SOUTH RANGE - Pelkie's Wyler Miller and Matt Prusak of Salol, Minn., were crowned Kings of the Hill in Saturday's Whealkate Bluff Winternationals snowmobile hillclimb, put on by the Mid-America Snow and Terrain Expert Riders.
Miller, who set the high mark in competition with the three other Pro Stock class champions, won for the fifth time (including when the event was run at Copper Peak), while Prusak was a relative novice as a professional, taking Pro Mod King in just his second year of pro competition. Both took home a $1,000 top prize.
Both drivers successfully navigated all four gates in King of the Hill runs, but neither completed the course by reaching the timing chute.
Matt Prusak (706) of Salol, Minn. changes sides on his Polaris IQR 800 as he negotiates the berm in the middle of the hill at the Whealkate Bluff Winternationals in South Range Saturday. Prusak finished the day as Pro Mod King of the Hill. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
Wyler ‘Wild Man’ Miller (420) of Pelkie climbs to the high side of his Ski-Doo as he goes around gate four. Miller finished the day as Pro Stock King of the Hill. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
Robert Peters of South Range comes out of the start on his vintage 1978 Arctic Cat El Tigre 6000. Peters topped the hill with a time of 24.66 seconds. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
Nick Gustafson (724) of Roseau, Minn., climbs the wall high at gate four with the finish gate in sight. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
Lauren Simonich of Hurley, Wis., comes out of the start full throttle as she heads for the first gate in the Sport 800 Class on Friday. Lauren took a third and has qualified to run the womens’ class at World Championships in Jackson Hole, Wyo. (DMG photo by David Archambeau)
Miller reached the King of the Hill trials by winning the Pro Stock Open Class on his 600 cc Ski-Doo in a time of 21.06 seconds in the first of two qualifying attempts.
Prusak won the Pro Mod 800 class on a Polaris in 21.55 on his second of two attempts.
Miller was the only driver to win multiple classes, adding the Pro Mod 600 title to his haul.
Top three finishers by class:
Sport 800 - 1. Shay Thompson, Negaunee (Arctic Cat); 2. Greg Kleinschmidt, Merrill, Wis., (Yamaha); 3. Lauren Simonich, Hurley, Wis. (Polaris).
Sport Open - 1. Thompson, Negaunee (Arctic Cat); 2. Jason Carne, Houghton (Arctic Cat); 3. Leif Forcia, L'Anse (Arctic Cat).
Women's Open - 1. Jennifer Fuller, Houghton (Polaris); 2. Simonich, Hurley, Wis., (Polaris), 3. Sydney Toburen, Merrill, Wis., (Polaris).
Women's 600 - 1. Barb Mahr, Sheboygan, Wis. (Polaris).
Pro Stock 600 - 1. Ken Cohen, Ahmeek (Arctic Cat); 2. Jason Kleinschmidt, Merrill, Wis. (Yamaha); 3. Cory Bull, Ironwood (Arctic Cat).
Pro Stock 700 - 1. Tim Stadick, New Ulm, Minn., (Ski-Doo); 2. Matt Cook, DePere, Wis., (Arctic Cat), 3. J. Kleinschmidt, Merrill, Wis., (Yamaha).
Pro Stock 800 - 1. Jordan Stank, Houghton (Polaris); 2. Nick Bracco, Calumet (Ski-Doo); 3. Kyle Wadaga, Baraga (Ski-Doo).
Pro Open Stock - 1. Wyler Miller, Pelkie (Ski-Doo); 2. J. Stank, Houghton (Polaris); 3. Mike Fraki, Atlantic Mine (Arctic Cat).
Pro Mod 600 - 1. Miller, Pelkie (Ski-Doo); 2. J. Kleinschmidt, Merrill, Wis., (Yamaha); 3. Lance Forcia, L'Anse (Yamaha).
Pro Mod 700 - 1. Layne Stank, Menominee (Polaris); 2. Miller, Pelkie (Ski-Doo); 3. Derek Zimney, Roseau, Minn. (Polaris).
Pro Mod 800 - 1. Matt Prusak, Salol, Minn. (Polaris); 2. Matt Cook, DePere, Wis. (Arctic Cat); 3. Nathan Warfield, Duluth, Minn. (Polaris).
Pro Open Mod - 1. Wadaga, Baraga (Ski-Doo); 2. Jason Carter, Marquette (Ski-Doo); 3. Nick Gustafson, Roseau, Minn. (Polaris).
Vintage - 1. Robert Peters, South Range (Arctic Cat); 2. Andrew Wichlarz, Trimountain (Yamaha); 3. Andy Kienitz, Houghton (Yamaha).
The fastest time of the weekend was turned in by Baraga's Kyle Wadaga, finishing in 20.04 to win a tightly-packed Pro Open Mod class.
Jordan Stank of Houghton (Pro Stock 800) and Ken Cohen of Ahmeek (Pro Stock 600) were also local winners in professional classes.
All top-two finishers in pro classes are qualified for the World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyo., March 24-27.
Local runners-up include Nick Bracco of Calumet (Pro Stock 800), Stank (Pro Open Stock) and Miller (Pro Mod 700).
Friday included women's and vintage racing, in which racers went straight up the hill, as well as the Sport classes, in which amateur racers navigated one gate.
Shay Thompson of Negaunee was the winner in four different sport classes, while local winners Friday included Jennifer Fuller of Houghton (Women's open) and Robert Peters of South Range (Vintage).