Local riders finish strong

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette Greenland's Al Turin (left) edged out Minnesota's Nick Gustafson (right) to win Saturday's UP Championship Snow Drags Top Gun Final in Ontonagon.

With racers coming from all over the northern Midwest, it was a group of local snowmobile drag racers who walked away with wins in the Masters-sanctioned “featured” classes during the annual Upper Peninsula Championship Snow Drags in Ontonagon this past weekend.

Greenland’s Al Turin never missed a beat after becoming the first snowmobile drag racer to win back-to-back Top Gun championships in 2016 and 2017 in the Masters’ 20+ years of sanctioning snowmobile races. Turin and his Yamaha held off Polaris’s Nick Gustafson in the Top Gun final.

Just prior to the Top Gun final, Lake Linden’s Jerry Buschell narrowly edged out Gustafson in the Magic Class final.

“It was amazing that Nick (Gustafson) advanced to both finals, after driving many hours from Roseau (Minnesota) just to make it to the races,” said Masters Director of Race Operations Jason Kleinschmidt. “Both finals were close, but not many people over the last decade have been able to beat Turin and Buschell, but Nick gave them a great run.”

Buschell took a first in three classes. He piloted his Ski-Doo to wins in the Pro Mod 700, Pro Mod 850, and in Magic.

Turin took different Yamaha sleds to wins in Race Stock 600, Pro Mod 600, and Top Gun. Both drivers are members of the elite Masters Hall of Fame.

The other circuit Hall of Fame member, Matt LaCosse, of Champion, made it a father-son sweep. Matt won the Vintage class, while his youngest son, Carter, won the 120 Stock. Matt other son, Nathan, lost by less than a foot to Lower Peninsula native Tyler Fisher in the Trail Stock class.

“We don’t just ‘say’ the Masters is a ‘family,’ this past Saturday proved it, when Tyler Wood of Calumet eliminated his father, Dave, from 2 different classes,” said Kleinschmidt.

Wood went on to win the competitive Pro Mod 850 class.

Braden Rose of Harvey won the 120 Mod class, and his 5-year-old sister, took a second in the 120 Stock final.

The Masters will be sanctioning this Saturday’s Wisconsin State Championship Hillcross and the Mid America Championship Hillclimb. Both events will be at Keyes Peak in Florence, Wisconsin.

UP Championship Snow Drags

Jan 27, 2018, Results

Citizens State Bank 120 cc STOCK: 1. Carter LaCosse, Champion, MI., Polaris; 2. Rylan Rose, Harvey, MI., Polaris; 3. Mazie McPherson, Allouez, MI., Polaris.

SONCO 120 cc MOD: 1. Braden Rose, Harvey, MI., Polaris; 2. Nolan Bogetto, Bessemer, MI., Polaris; 3. Carter LaCosse, Champion, MI., Polaris.

JJ’s Tackle Shop Vintage: 1. Matt LaCosse, Champion, MI., Ski-Doo; 2. Jim Johnson, Skanee, MI., Polaris

Pat’s Foods/U-Save Trail Stock: 1. Tyler Fisher, Benton Harbor, MI., Arctic Cat; 2. Nathan LaCosse, Champion, MI., Polaris.

Dr. Kirk Schott Race Stock 600: 1. Al Turin, Greenland, MI., Yamaha; 2. Trevor Wood, Calumet, MI., Arctic Cat.

G & J Concrete Race Stock 850: 1. Tyler Wood, Calumet, MI., Ski-Doo; 2. Matt LaCosse, Champion, MI., Ski-Doo.

North Country Snowmobile Club Pro Mod 600: 1. Al Turin, Greenland, MI. Yamaha; 2. Jim Johnson, Skanee, MI., Polaris.

Domitrovich Insurance Pro Mod 700: 1. Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI., Ski-Doo; 2. Tom Hodges, Alouez, MI., Arctic Cat.

Pat’s Motorsports Pro Mod 850: 1. Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI., Ski-Doo; 2. Matt LaCosse, Champion, MI., Ski-Doo.

General Concrete Construction MAGIC: 1. Jerry Buschell, Lake Linden, MI., Ski-Doo; 2. Nick Gustafson, Roseau, MN., Polaris.

North Country Snowmobile Club TOP GUN: 1. Al Turin, Greenland, MI., Yamaha; 2. Nick Gustafson, Roseau, MN., Polaris.