Buschell blazes at Ontonagon Snow Drags
ONTONAGON – Lake Linden’s Jerry Buschell won the Top Gun Feature at Saturday’s Ontonagon County Economic Partnership (OCEP) Upper Peninsula Snow Drag Championships.
Buschell defeated teammate Paul Voelker and John Mihelich in the final. Voelker and Mihelich are from Laurium.
All 3 drivers were on Ski-Doos.
Buschell kept his 3-year unbeaten streak going by also winning the Pro Mod 700 class, took a second in Pro Mod 800, and a 3rd in the Open Mod Final.
It was the “Green Monster,” 400 horsepower turbo of Jeff Moleski that had the crowd excited throughout the day. Moleski’s snowmobile not only dominated in the Open Mod class, but thrilled the crowd when his Jaws Performance S-3 Engineering Michigan Power Sports turbocharged 4-stroke snowmobile challenged Buschell to a special race at the end of the day.
Moleski, from Howell, Michigan, gave Buschell a three-sled lead at the starting line. Moleski easily won the special race.
Moleski, racing with the Stilson Race Team, drove more than 12 hours to get to the first event of the Ojibwa Casino/MASTERS Racing Series event in Ontonagon.
“We drove through white-out conditions from below the (Mackinac) Bridge to be at this race. Fortunately we left a day early to make sure we got here.
“We haven’t had any snow back home to even test on,” said Nick Stilson.
Stilson won Race Stock 600, took a second in Race Stock 800, Mod 700, and a third in Mod 600 classes. Stilson was on Arctic Cats.
While Stilson Racing made the long trip to the western U.P. worthwhile, Buschell’s teammates, did well. In addition to Voelker’s second in Top Gun, Ken Cohen won the Pro Mod 800 class.
MASTERS, which stands for Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers, opened its 15th year of sanctioning snowmobile races. The OCEP UP Snow Drag Championships had drivers from both Michigan peninsulas and Wisconsin competing on both Stock and Modified snowmobiles. The machines raced side-by-side on three North Country Snowmobile Club groomed lanes. The machines hit speeds over 100 miles per hour in 500 feet.
The snowmobile racer that has won more races then any other driver in the circuit history, Matt Lacosse of Champion, won the Race Stock 800 class on a Ski-Doo. It was Lacosse’s sons Nathan and Carter that won the 120 cc class.
In addition to Lacosse Racing, another team that has been with the MASTERS Racing Circuit for years is Wood Brothers Racing, from the Keweenaw Peninsula, which took home a UP Snow Drag Championship class by winning Trail Stock 600. Dave Wood on an Arctic Cat won that class and Dave’s son Trevor took a second in Race Stock 600.
Taking advantage of his home-town special built snowmobile race track was Ontonagon’s Adam Hawkins. An Ojibwa Casino Racing Series champion from last year, Hawkins defeated Lacosse and Stilson in the Pro Mod 600 class final.
Hawkins was on a Polaris.
“When you look at having Rosely Racing from the Lower Peninsula, Minkel Racing from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, and one of our Circuit’s best snowmobile racers, (Adam) Hawkins from Ontonagon, we had the ‘cream of the crop’ at the races,” said MASTERS President Skip Schulz.
OCEP President Bill Fischer told the drivers and the fans to expect an even bigger race next year.
“We want to let everybody know that we’re already committing to the MASTERS and the UP Championship Snow Drags to host the race in 2016,” said Fischer.
The Ojibwa Casino/MASTERS Snow Drag series now heads to Sagola for the Sagola Sportsman Club Tip Up Town Snowmobile Drags. The Snow Drags will be on Eddy Lake next to the Sagola Sportsman Club on Feb. 7.
The circuit’s first Snowmobile Hillclimb will be on Feb. 21, when they host the Mid America Championship Hillclimb (MACH) in Caspian.
The first Hillcross will be at Keyes Peak in Florence, Wisconsin on March 1. The Ojibwa Casino series includes stops at Marquette Mountain in Marquette and Mont du Lac, located near Duluth, Minnesota.