Side by Side Racing this Friday Night...
This Friday Night, Eagle River Speedway will host the first race where Side by Side/UTV's will race on a Dirt Stock Car Track. It will also be a night to honor one of the Stock Car Racers that has logged more miles on the legendary track then close to a 1000 other racers. That is Bob Kleinschmidt of Arbor Vitae. To make this Friday Night's races even more special, Harry's Fireworks will have a big Fireworks show for the fans, racers, and crews.
The Side by Side races will have these popular Off Road Vehicles racing against each other in a Heat Race, then the Feature. The machines will have to go through a series of cones on the front 'stretch.' They will then turn to go into the infield where they will have to go over a series of bumps, then make a sharp turn to merge unto the back 'stretch.' It will be on the back stretch that they will pick up speed as they go into the famous Eagle River Speedway 'hair-pin' third turn.
"This is going to showcase the talent of the drivers, along with the 'selling points' of the machine. The machine will have to be able to handle the 'slalom,' then take the 'beating' of the bumps, then showcase it's speed," commented Eagle River Speedway Track Announcer, Skip Schulz.
Schulz has run Side by Side and ATV Racing in the past with his MASTERS Racing Circuit. This race is also a preview of Side by Side racing that will take place later this summer at the Eagle River Derby Track.
Two of the racers that will be competing include Patrick Rogan and Teddy Laurie from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The 30 year old Rogan will be competing on the Houghton Power Sports/Steep Hardwood Guiding Can Am Maverick. Laurie will be racing the M & M Powersports Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000. Eagle River Speedway officials expect Polaris to be represented with racers on the Polaris RZR.
"The fans are going to have the chance to 'root' on the brand they like, as we will have 3 of the top Side by Side Manufacturers represented. These racers will also be representing dealerships from throughout Northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula," stated Schulz.
To honor one of the drivers that helped build Eagle River Speedway into prominence, the track will honor "BobbiO," what Bob Kleinschmidt has been known for decades. Kleinschmidt has been diagnosed with a serious health issue that did not allow him to race his number 0 Midwest Modified Stock Car this year. Even without the chance to race, Kleinschmidt has helped other racers through Arbor Vitae Marine Sponsorship.
To honor her husband, Bob's wife, Alanagh, is going to be giving the winner of this Friday Nights WISSOTA Midwest Modified Feature $500.00 in Arbor Vitae Marine Sponsorship for the remainder of this year and next year.
"This way fans will see how BobbiO always believed in helping others, even if they were his competition," stated Heidi Koplitz, Bob's daughter, and a former racer.
Kleinschmidt has been a sponsor of Jesse Aho's Midwest Modified Car. Aho has won the Eagle River Speedway Midwest Modified Points Championship for the past 3 years, and is leading in the class points battle this year.
"Bob has been sponsoring me for years ever since we started racing in Eagle River consistently. He is a great person that has incredible work ethic. I was going to drive his car this year in Eagle River as a partnership trying to win a championship for Arbor Vitae Marine. Bob thought about this in the off season to realize he just had to give it one last run. He is a race car driver and competes on a nightly basis as hard as possible," remarked Aho. Aho is from Toivola, Michigan.
Kleinschmidt didn't just have a positive impact on fellow racers, but also on those that covered the races for the media.
"The Bobbi0 car has been a staple around the local dirt tracks for so many years. I remember when I cut my teeth in the sport back in the early 2000's, the likes of him, Rob Rodzicak, Tim Kolehouse, Guy Carley, and Bob Richardson putting on some great battles in the Midwest Mods at Eagle River. Bobbi0 always struck me as one of the more colorful and entertaining drivers out there. I wish him and his family nothing but the best as they go through this difficult time," commented Jeremy Mayo. Mayo, former track announcer and currently a Sports Reporter goes on to say, "More so than any other sport, racers are family and rally around each other when the chips are down. I've seen it happen so many times and this is certainly another example of that."
It was last year that Kleinschmidt's car rolled over 5 times before it came to a rest up-side down. The first rollover started just past the flag-stand, with the car ending up sitting on it's roof on the entrance of the 1st turn at Eagle River Speedway.
When asked by Schulz whether he was injured or what he thought when the car was rolling over. Kleinschmidt smiled and responded, "Hope somebody got that on video."
Unfortunately no one did get it on video.
The big night of honoring Bob Kleinschmidt, and kicking off a new form of Side by Side Racing, will start with Hot Laps at 7:00 pm CT. Eagle River Speedway is located on Cloverland Drive, 3 miles West of Eagle River.
Hope to see everyone where the Northwood's Fastest Racing Action takes place!
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