Ice Racing Kickoff

Ice Racers Begin Season on Allouez Bay

Following in his stepbrother’s footsteps, Brock Zychowski got hooked on ice racing at an early age.

“The adrenaline rush is crazy,” Zychowski said. “You don’t think about how fast you’re actually going when you’re out there, it doesn’t feel like you’re going that fast, but I mean, when you watch it, I am actually going that fast.”

Each year, Allouez Bay on Lake Superior is home to the first of six ice races throughout the winter.

“This location is good because it’s always the first to freeze up good,” said Dennis Almer, Promoter at the Midwest Ice Racing Association.

With the recent warm weather, riders were concerned the ice would be too soft to race on, but the cold temperatures came at just the right time.

“Being that we’ve had cold weather for about a week straight now, the ice is really nice and hard and makes a lot of traction,” Zychowski explained.

Traction that comes with the help of about two thousand studs built into each tire.

“There’s an art to building the tire, and whoever gets the tire right usually wins the race,” Almer admitted.

The quad racers explained what goes through their heads during a race.

“Well, obviously, track position. If you’re in the lead, who’s behind you. If you’re not in the lead, ice is very hard to pass on,” Scott Williams said.

“When you see them take off into the first corner, the hole shot, that is key for ice racing,” Zychowski added.

With an event like this, safety is a number one priority. So to make sure it is safe for all the trailers, cars, and people to come out on the ice, many safety measures are taken beforehand.

“We take an auger and auger a hole and measure the depth of the ice,” Almer demonstrated. “But we also cut a section out of it to tell that it’s good, clear ice and there’s no snow in the middle of it.”

For Brock and the other racers, there’s good reason to come out and leave it all on the ice.

“We give every bit of the money back to the rider. So a seventeen-year-old boy that can ride, drives his ford ranger here and wins a race, he gets a couple hundred dollars in his pocket to get home,” Almer said.

Whether on a four–wheeler or a motorcycle, ice racing is for people of all ages to enjoy winter in The Great Outdoors. 

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