Area hillclimbers race at Worlds

David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette Hubbell’s James Marietta launches his sled off a jump during a hillclimb run at Whealkate Bluff in South Range in February.

Three western Upper Peninsula snowmobile hillclimbers represented Michigan, as well as the U.P. at the World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming.  Another snowmobiler represented an area snowmobile dealership.

Competing for Pat’s Motorsports of Greenland, on the dealership’s Yamaha’s, was Tyler Robinson. Robinson, of Afton, Wyoming, posted the fastest time in the Improved Stock 600 class. This advanced him to the finals in that class, along with having the second fastest time in the Improved Stock 700 class. 

Robinson’s feat is even more impressive given that it was the first time in over 20 years that a snowmobile hillclimber, qualified through the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Riders (MASTERS) Racing Circuit, advanced to two finals.  The MASTERS is a qualifying hillclimb circuit from the Midwest.

Unfortunately, equipment malfunctions kept Robinson from building off his qualifying times.

“Talk about the highest of highs and lowest of lows. After qualifying firs in 600 improved and second in 700 Improved, we experienced equipment failure on our Mod runs on Saturday,” said Robinson. “That ended up literally draining me mentally and physically.”

Even a crew of technicians from throughout the area could not help Hubbell’s Jimmy Marietta. Marietta came down with the flu, yet he competed in four different classes. Marietta and his M&M Powersports’ Arctic Cat excited the thousands of fans in attendance and hundreds of people watching the competition over the internet.

“Jimmy (Marietta) had one of the fastest times from the start to the very challenging halfway point up Snow King Mountain,” said Jason Kleinschmidt, MASTERS vice president of racing. “All of us in the MASTERS are very proud of him, especially when one considers how he was feeling and this being the first time he competed at the World Championship.”

Also qualifying for the World Championship and competing for the first time were Roger Strack of Atlantic Mine and Wyatt McIntyre of Greenland.

In only his second year of snowmobile hillcimb experience with the MASTERS, Strack ran in both Stock and Mod classes on his Tina’s Katalina/Diamond House International Polaris. The weekend before the World Championships, Strack took a first place finish at the Adventure Mountain Terra-X Race.

Wyatt McIntyre won two classes at Adventure Mountain.  It was that Terra-X experience, along with winning the Junior Division at the Ojibwa Casino Hillclimbs in South Range, that made him the only Junior Division competitor at the World Championship from Michigan.

“I would like to thank everyone that made my childhood dream of going to Jackson, Wyoming, to race snowmobiles at the world championships (a reality),” McIntyre, who is 17, said. “It has been something I thought I’d never get to do.  I know many others have come so close but haven’t made it.

“It was an amazing experience, and I hope to do it again soon. I’m grateful for the people who made it possible for me, especially my mother, Trisha McIntyre. The one who pushed me to become a not only a better rider, but a better person, and to surround myself with amazing people.”

While McIntyre did not advance, he defeated 12 other junior racers in qualifying.

Robinson also thanked those from the western U.P. for giving him the chance to compete in one of the biggest snowmobile events in the World. 

“Can’t thank the Pat’s Motorsports team enough,” he said, “hauling their sleds from Michigan to give me the chance to take them over the top of Snow King, working on the repairs between classes, supporting and believing in me as a racer, and being able to roll with the punches really says a lot.”