By Steve Landon
Since racing came back to the historic Gladwin County Fairgrounds in 2014 old Mother Nature has gone out of her way to make life difficult for the all volunteer group who have endured a snowstorm, brutally cold temperatures and a major meltdown over the years. Just once they wanted to enjoy a sunny day with little to no wind and the mercury in the upper 20’s. This past Saturday their prayers were answered with incredible weather, plus a great crowd who saw a record 225 race entries take to the famed blue ice oval.
Osceola County drivers had another great run on the big blue oval. Mike Warchol of LeRoy went home with a victory in 1984 & Older 340 Improved before going on to grab a second place in 1984 & Older 340 Improved Liquid, 1984 & Older 340 Pro and in 1984 & Older 440 Improved, all on Yamaha entries.
Marion speedster Robert Jenema kept Yamaha in the winner’s circle with an impressive win in 1984 & Older 440 Improved Liquid. Fellow Marion throttle jockey James Bazuin scored a third in 1984 & Older 340 Stock Liquid on a Polaris
Other area drivers who met success included; James Gibel of Lake City who took third in 1984 & Older 440 Improved on a Yamaha, Josh Vanbuskirk of Falmouth, scored a second in 1984 & Older 440 Stock Liquid and Amanda Gibel of Lake City went home a winner with her victory in the Powder Puff Stock 440cc max on a Yamaha.
Last Saturday’s race was the first of two vintage race programs scheduled for the Gladwin County fairgrounds this year. Racing will return February 11, 2017. Many of these fine drivers will be racing at the Marion Snowfest Saturday February 18th in Marion. If you’re looking to see some great snowmobile racing action close to home then head for Gladwin or Marion this winter.