Escanaba Hosts Ice Masters 500

Gates are open for the two day Midwest International Racing Association event in Escanaba.

Drivers from across the Midwest will race today and tomorrow at the U.P. State Fairgrounds in hopes being crowned Ice Masters in their various classes. Similar to NASCAR Racing, the teams compete for points and the sleds are tricked out on the inside and team sponsors logos are on the snowmobile and the team’s trailer.

Steve McAlpine, MIRA President said, “This is a sport where people compete because of the love of the sport and the thrill of competition. The sport is expensive and time consuming, without the support of friends, family, crew members and team sponsors many could not compete. It really takes passion, coupled with skill, and a little luck to become to build a successful race team.”

As many as 25 4 – 8 persons teams and crews are expected to race. Teams are coming to the U.P. from Alpena, Sault Ste Marie, Brimley, and Martin, Michigan as well as from many other in-state and out-of-state locales.

Laps and racer positions will be electronically calculated, and the live leader board is updated every lap.

Steve Masters, Director for the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau, one of the events sponsors, said, “I have never attended this type of racing event but from the research and what I have heard it should be exciting. The teams that have called for information seem excited about their trip to Delta County. We are hopeful racers will spend the night in the hotels and boost the local economy. The reason the CVB made the investment to bring the race to our area was to put heads in the beds of the motels during a time when the member motels can use a boost to their business. If we get the teams expected, the motels get a boost, and people show up to fill the grandstand, I think that this will become an annual event”

Racing Friday, February, 24, will continue under the lights until approximately 8:30 pm. On Saturday, February 25, the schedule runs from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm .

Heated concessions with seating, restrooms, and adult beverages are located on-site across from the race track. Tickets are $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass.