Updated: February 10, 2021 10:50 PM
Created: February 09, 2021 06:31 PM
Life is an open road and last weekend that road expanded onto Lake Superior. The ice turned into a race course as drivers sped off in the first event of this winter's ice racing season.
"We're out here racing in 35 below [temperatures] and we've got some diehard Stock Car racers," said Mike Androsky, president of the Lake Superior Ice Racing Association (LSIRA).
Frigid conditions didn't kill the spirits, or engines, of around 11 drivers out on Superior's Allouez Bay on Saturday.
"It went pretty good, I'm happy that we're finally racing again," said driver Thomas Worth. "Because of the weather we've been having a lot of troubles with safety, snowbanks, and things like that."
It marked the Lake Superior Ice Racing Association's season opener, which was delayed five weeks due to poor conditions. Ice needs to be at least 16 to 18 inches thick to race on, and there has to be enough snow to build the half mile course.
"If we don't have snow banks we can't make a track and the cars slide off and they keep sliding," Androsky said.
Year round competitors exhaust their efforts readying their rigs to speed over 60 miles per hour on frozen tracks
"On my vehicle the front tires have ATV studs for steering and stopping, our rules don't allow us to stud the rear tires," Worth explained. "Then we have a special race tire, compound special race tires we buy, that are extremely, extremely soft."
Although there's no money in the sport the fun keeps bringing drivers back.
"It's a lot of fun," Worth said. "I spent a lot of time when I first started just gaining the respect to the people around me. So now when I win or do good everybody's happy for me and that's more important than the race."
LSIRA plans to run their season into the second weekend of March. Spectators are allowed to drive their vehicles onto the ice from the bay landing and pull up to the track to watch.
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