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Fire on Ice set for Feb. 11-13

The Fire on Ice racing event in Weyauwega will celebrate its fifth anniversary in 2011.

The event will take place Friday through Sunday, Feb. 11-13, at the Waupaca County Fairgrounds in Weyauwega and will feature ATV, motorcycle, vintage snowmobile, sno-cross snowmobile and oval snowmobile racing.

“Basically it’s a family weekend of racing throughout the whole Midwest,” said Dewey Stelzner, president of Fire on Ice.

Stelzner said before the first official Fire on Ice event took place, the Weyauwega Fire Department hosted a snowmobile championship at the fairgrounds. Stelzner, a member of the fire department, helped with those events also, but the fire department decided to stop hosting the event, which prompted Stelzner and a group of associates to decide to promote the event themselves.

The event was a success from the get go.

“It went really well,” Stelzner said. “We got race of the year for USSA that year, our first year. And last year we also got race of the year again.”

This year’s event will feature the following racing organizations: USSA Pro Star Oval Racing Series, Central Wisconsin Ice Racing Association, Great Northern Sno-Cross Series, Wisconsin State Kitty Cat Racers and the Pro Vintage Racing organization.

“The first year, we started out with just the USSA group and we felt that our event could grow, so we just kept on adding more different sanctioning bodies to help fill out the weekend,” Stelzner said. “Last year, we were actually on SPEED TV because of all the different racing sanctions we had.”

New in 2011 is Fire on Ice is part of the TLR Cup, a six-race ice oval racing series. The race in Weyauwega will be the fourth race on the schedule. Other races are held in Rock Rapids, Iowa; Amherst; Wausau; Valcourt, Canada; and Lincoln, Mich. Top prize for the champion of the six-race series is $20,000.

Stelzner said he is excited Fire on Ice was chosen to be part of the TLR Cup. Being part of the TLR Cup should help attract more participants from a variety of locations. He said these snowmobile racers put on a great show with speeds over 100 mph.

Fire on Ice is also part of the Central Wisconsin Triple Crown.

“Three different classes of racing compete for prize money and a huge trophy,” Stelzner said. “We are actually the final leg of that Triple Crown. Amherst was the first leg and Wausau is the second leg.”

Stelzner said Fire on Ice is not only a huge event for the snowmobile racing community, but also the Weyauwega community itself.

“It brings a lot of business in from all over the place,” he said. “The hotels in Waupaca last year, every one of them were full. I talked to one of the guys down here at the gas station and he said he puts extra staff on that weekend because it is just that busy.”

That’s a good thing because Stelzner said the proceeds from the event go toward area youth organizations.

“Over the last four years, we have given out more than $40,000 to 18 area youth groups and that’s where all our proceeds go to,” Stelzner said. “When we started this organization, that’s one of the things we wanted to do, we wanted to better the Weyauwega, Fremont and Waupaca area youth groups.”

Visit www.fireonicewega.com for more information.

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