The Mid America Snow and Terrain Extreme Racers, known for the past 20 years as the MASTERS, held its first professionally-sanctioned Snowmobile Hillclimb in Minnesota on Jan. 19. The event took place at Golden Gate Campground north of Sleepy Eye.
It was billed as the Golden Gate Extreme Hillclimb, and the event lived up to its billing.
With only 15 percent of the more than 80 attempts of drivers successfully climbing to the top, the fans were treated to spectacular ‘attempts’ by drivers and sled to find a way to go around the gates and try to make it past the ‘timing shoot.’
“This was a very driver oriented, technical hill,” commented Jordan Stank. Stank, the Midwest’s number one professional snowmobile hillclimber, went on to win both the Miller-Sellner Pro Stock King of the Hill and the Vetter Sales and Service Pro Mod King of the Hill. Stank qualified for his fourth consecutive trip to the World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyo.
What made the competition exciting is one of the drivers, Stank, had to beat was his father, Layne. Layne, who has also qualified for the past three World Championships, qualified for the Golden Gate Extreme Hillclimb by winning Pro Stock 700 and Pro Open Stock.
Jordan qualified for the Pro Stock King of the Hill by winning the Pro Stock 800. It was past World Championship Qualifier, and long-time MASTERS Circuit Pro Driver, Tim Stadick of New Ulm who qualified for the Pro Stock King of the Hill by winning the Pro Stock 600 class. Stadick was competing on a 440 cc sled.
Before the Pro Stock King of the Hill the drivers drew for the order they would compete. Jordan Stank drew the first run and turned in an amazing 23.81 second run.
Layne Stank, who qualified for two runs in Pro Stock, went next and failed to make it over the top. Tim Stadick drew third and also failed to make it over the top. While Jordan Stank had already won the $500 for taking the Miller-Sellner Polaris Pro Stock King of the Hill, he ran again to lock up another ‘ticket’ to the World Championship.
The younger Stank ran a 36.76 second run to take both the Pro Stock King of the Hill and the World Championship Qualifier second position.
In the Vetter’s Sales and Service Ski-Doo Pro Mod King of the Hill, the only two drivers who qualified was Jordan Stank and Tim Stadick. Jordan won the Pro Mod Open and the Pro Mod 800 on Stock Polaris Assaults. Stadick won the Pro Mod 700 and Pro Mod 600 on a Stock Ski-Doo 440.
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Stadick drew to run first in the Pro Mod King of the Hill, and turned in a very fast 25.25 run. Stank hit the hill next knowing that Stadick’s time was going to be very difficult to beat.
“With the run Tim (Stadick) had, I knew I had to have a perfect run. What made Tim’s (Stadick’s) run so amazing is by this time the hill was getting much more difficult!” commented Jordan Stank.
On Stank’s Pro Mod King of the Hill run, he turned in a 25.40 second run, missing Stadick’s run by less then .2 of a second.
Stank cut a little over one second off his previous Pro Mod King of the Hill run. Stank turned in a 24.30 second run, thus forcing Stadick to go ‘all-out’ on the final run of the day.
Stadick was on time to beat Stank until passing the final gate and en route to the Timing Shoot where Stadick had problems and failed to make it over the top. This gave Jordan Stank a win in both the Pro Stock and the Pro Mod King of the Hill, and reserved three of the four ‘tickets’ to the World Championship in Jackson, Wyo.
The competition for the right to qualify for the King of the Hill runs started with the Open Mod qualifying in the first round. Oneida, Wisconsin’s Travis Rymer was the first to make it over the top. However his time would not hold up, as Alex Hetteen immediately ‘set the bar’ pretty high when he turned in a 29.65 second run. It wasn’t until the second round, on a different course, that Hetteen’s time would be beat. Knocking Hetteen off of winning the Open Mod Class was Jordan Stank with a 28.30 second run.
Hetteen would then focus on the Pro Mod 800 class. Hetteen broke a crank-shaft and was knocked out of competition for the rest of the day.
With Hetteen out, this opened the door for some of the drivers that entered Professional Snowmobile Hillclimb competition for the first time. One of those drivers was Kory Fasnacht of Madison Lake. Fasnacht was in the minority of drivers to be able to claim he made it over the top at Golden Gate. Fasnacht did this amazing feat on both of his Pro Mod 800 runs. His times of 1:04:67 and 43.47 gave him a second and third place finish. Winning Pro Mod 800 was Jordan Stank with a 30.70 second run.
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