Arts & Life
5:55 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Vintage Racers Hit the Track

Vintage snowmobile racers compete this weekend in Eagle River in the world championship.  

Vintage snowmobiles race in the qualifying rounds at the Eagle River Derby Track.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The world championship may be a week away…but spectators at the vintage race are all about the here and now.  The qualifying rounds for the vintage championship are filled with sleds from the 70s and 80s…or older.  They’re smaller and more antique looking than today’s ultrafast monsters.  And though next weekend’s races will draw a bigger crowd, more people enter the vintage categories.  Elmer Jensen is a longtime volunteer at the derby. 

“I think it’s a little less expensive.  A lot of older sleds around and that – they’re not quite as expensive as some of the newer champ 440 class that they’re gonna race next weekend.  That’s pretty big dollar.”

Outside the viewing area, racers prepare their sleds for the track. 

49-year-old Todd Haske of Wisconsin Rapids says he got his penchant for vintage sleds…from his father. 

“That’s what we grew up on.  This is our era, kinda – as it goes, most people revert back to things they did when they were younger.  We always had a passion for these racing sleds.  And it’s never waned.” 

Haske says this year he’s hoping to make the final round for the first time.