new series brings life to oval racing interview

Comments

Transcription

new series brings life to oval racing interview
New Series
Brings Life To
Oval Racing
By Steve Landon:
There was a time fans of all ages
would pack grandstands and hillsides
around countless tracks in the U.S. and
Canada to see true masters of snowmobile racing travel at incredible speeds
around ovals made of ice. Jim Dimmerman, Brad Hulings, the Decker Brother’s, Steve Thorensen, Dan Kirts, Rob
Diamond and others where household
names during the winter months month’s.
The excitement of those days is still out
there thanks to a new generation of top
drivers, however, the sluggish economy,
poor winters, competition from computers
and snow-cross has sharply cut into oval
track attendance at all but a few major
venues. Now thanks to the TLR Cup,
oval track series racing is getting a muchneeded shot in the arm to put it firmly
back on the comeback trail.
The brainchild of Michigan/Texas businessman Tommy Lipar the new TLR Cup
features a six race series centered on
the popular Champ Class. Teams from
across the U.S. and Canada compete for
points, prize money and a chance to win
a share of the $51,000 in prize money.
Tom Lipar’s roots in snowmobile racing run back to the late 1970’s when he
formed an oval track enduro team in his
hometown of Remus Michigan, he is
kind of person the sport has needed for
a long time. His business experience,
promotional background in both snowmobile and auto drag racing as well as
his knowledge of what it takes to bring
fans to the track can only help oval racing
return to the spotlight.
Traditionally most oval snowmobile
races with the exception of Eagle River
run their programs without much fanfare
even the features classes are run pretty
much like any other race. The TLR Cup
series introduces the finalist building up
to the green flag. After the traditional
victory lap the top three drivers are taken
to a podium for fans and media to take
pictures, obtain interviews much like you
would find in any top summer racing pro-
gram. Beyond the track, teams and drivers are encouraged to get out show their
equipment, meet with fans and potential
fans to share their passion for the sport.
This formula can only have a positive
effect on racing in the future resulting in
more fans, venues, race teams and the
all-important sponsors.
To learn more about the TLR Cup visit
their website at www.tlrcup.com/or plan
now to attend one of their up coming
races at the following locations; USSA
Race January 29 & 30, - Wausau, Wisconsin • USSA Race February 12 & 13
- Weyauwega, Wisconsin • Eastern Pro
Tour Race February 19, & 20, - Valcourt,
Quebec, Canada • Lincoln, Michigan –
February 26 & 27, 2011.
INTERVIEW
W.E. - Winning Edge
T.L. Tom Lipar
W.E. - Having been active in oval snowmobile sprint racing with Joel and Mitch
Diamond since 2008 you’ve seen the
sport go through a lot of changes especially in oval racing. Having seen those
changes and falling entries what led you
to come up with the TLR Cup.
T.L. - You just said it, falling entries and
lack of fan involvement. I wanted to
protect my investment in the race team
by helping the sport to continue and get
better.
W.E. - What is the TLR Cup all about?
How did you come up with the concept?
What do you hope will come out of your
efforts in the future?
T.L. - The TLR Cup is a series spanning
across associations for the Pro-Champ
class also known as the World Championship class. The concepts is to have a
points fund with a $50,000 purse for six
races across the Midwest and Canada.
We make no rules, we just want to get
26 YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
more drivers involved and give them a
chance to put some money back their
pocket. The idea comes from drag racing.
Not only did I own a team but along with
two other partners started and owned the
America Drag Racing League (ADRL.US)
where we had to raise money and draw
racers and fans to our events.
W.E. - You selected the Champ Class for
the Cup, Why?
T.L. - It is the featured class at every race
and it is the class that runs for the World
Championship at Eagle River, plus that is
class we run.
W.E. - You are working with a six race
schedule this year with three oval
groups; USSA, ORA and SCM. How did
this plan develop with these three organizations? Do you hope to add Eagle River
in the future?
T.L. – We picked the six races that we
thought would draw the most attention
and that involved all the associations.
Todd Achterburg and I talked at the
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
Derby about Eagle River, there maybe
something in the future, but Eagle River
draws everyone anyway, our purpose
was to get that type of involvement that
Eagle River has at more races.
TLR Cup Launches
Inaugural Season.
Michigan’s Malcolm Chartier Leads Point Standings
W.E. - You have had two races so far,
how have fans and drivers reacted to
the program? What do you do to get fans
fired up beyond just seeing bringing their
sleds to the line to race?
T.L. - All the drivers I’ve talked to and
their crews are excited about the series
and have thanked me. The fans will take
some time as we did not have a lot of
publicly yet. We have driver introductions
for the final with their helmets off so fans
can recognize the drivers. We have a
Winners circle stage and podium for the
top three finishers of the race. Fans will
be allowed to come on to the track to
greet the winners after the race and get
autographs and maybe some souvenirs
from the drivers and teams.
W.E. - How is your program ran? Number
of heats, number of laps for heats and
finals, and number of sleds in the finals.
T.L. - We usually run three heats for five
laps. The final is 15 laps.
W.E. - Do you have plans expand the
series next year?
T.L. – Yes, we would like to, we will
evaluate this year at the season’s end.
I would like to get some sponsors on
board and raise the purse and the number of races.
W.E. - Having been around snowmobile
racing all your life what do you feel the
sport needs, especially oval racing to really bring the fans and drivers back?
T.L. - I have some ideas that we used in
our drag racing series. The reality is you
have to make it easier for teams to get
involved and put on a good (affordable)
show for the fans.
W.E, - Any final comments?
MALCOLM CHARTIER OF FAIR HAVEN, MICH., FINISHED SECOND IN THE FIRST TWO RACES TO
GRAB THE POINTS LEAD IN THE TLR CUP.
Oval track snowmobile racing’s hottest
new series, the TLR Cup is already a hit
with drivers and fans with just two races
under their belt.
The six race cup series kicked off
December 18 & 19, in Rock Rapids Iowa
as part of the Oval Racing Alliance (ORA)
season opener with Arctic Cat ”Ace” P.J.
Wanderscheid of Sauk Center, Minn.,
leading the charge to the checkered flag
over ski-doo speedster Malcolm Chartier
of Fair Haven, Michigan. Gary Moyle of
Houghton, Mich., rounded out the top
three also on a ski-doo.
TLR helped ring in the New Year with
USSA hosting a race January 1 & 2 in
Amhurst, Wisc., where Wahl Racing’s
Dustin Wahl of Greenbush, Minn., took
the top slot over Malcolm Chartier on a
ski-doo and Brandon Johnson of Greenbush, Minn., on a Polaris/Wahl. Despite
two runner-up finishes all is not lost for
Chartier, he currently holds the lead in
the point standings over fellow Michigan
native Gary Moyle. Moyle finished third
in the opener falling a notch to fourth in
“Performance Products
from Performance People”
Suspensions
Drive Sprockets
Gears & Chains
Fuel Systems
Clutching
Braking
WAHLRACING.COM
WAHLRACING.COM
WAHLRA
WAHLRACING.COM
WAHLRACIN
T.L. - I would like to thank the associaWAHLRACING.COM
tions and the tracks that put on the races.
WAHLRACING.CO
They have been very helpful and the first
WAHLRACING.COM
two races went very smooth.
1.800.883.0294
WAHLRACING.COM
WAHLRACIN
WAHLRACING.COM
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS 27
Amherst.
Three-time Eagle River World Champion P.J. Wanderscheid had nothing but
praise for the new series.
“The TLR was a perfect fit for our team
since we intended on being at most of
the six races anyways. It defiantly is
helping the sport since it puts a type of
seriousness to each one of the races it
is involved in. The cup race is helping
the overall show with the driver introductions on stage and the trophy presentation after the race. It is something that is
defiantly showing a lot of potential for the
future”, P.J. said.
After a trip down victory lane in Rock
Rapids, Iowa P.J.’s luck soured with the
team falling to sixth place in Amherst.
“At Rock Rapids we had a strong run
in all the heat races and improved on
our setup for the final, our sled was spot
on. My hole-shot was great and I got out
front, from then on it was smooth sailing for the 15-lap final. In Amhurst we
struggled with handling issues all day
what put us in the back row for the final.
We moved up to sixth place at the end of
the final. Our machine was not where we
wanted it to be but together the sled and
I showed we could run 15 laps without
slowing down and move forward though
the pack.
We built a new sled for this year; it has
worked well so far. We are still learning what it likes and what it doesn’t like.
Race sleds kind of have a mind of their
own so you have to learn their own
unique personality just like a person. I
feel good going into Eagle River. Nothing
is ever a for sure or given especially at
Eagle River so we will see what happens.
We know we have all the pieces to win;
it’s just the matter if they all come together at the right time and if the good luck is
on our side. It is really anyone’s race at
this point.
Our goal is plain and simple we want
to win races every weekend, but we also
need to be consistent. If we can avoid
starting in the back row from now on I
think we have a very good chance at winning the Cup”, Wanderscheid said.
P.J. Wanderscheid is sponsored by;
AMSOIL, Arctic Cat, Country Cat, Skinz
Protective Gear, Millennium Technologies, Drift Race Clothing, Woody’s, Ultimax Belts, Moto Tassinari, Fox Racing
Shox, Hooper Race Engines, Trackside
Performance, Leatt Brace, Dan Welle,
Southtown Chevrolet, Varner Auto Body,
Minnesota National Bank, Webtomix
Websites and Visual Advantage Graphics.
Dustin Wahl got off to a slow start at
the opener mustering only a seventh
place finish in the final at Rock Rapids,
Iowa. A member of one of snowmobile
racing’s true royal families, the Wahl
Brother’s, Dustin has a lot of history and
experience backing up his racing effort.
Despite the slow start he never backed
off coming back to find the winners circle
MALCOLM CHARTIER STANDS IN FRONT OF
THE IMPRESSIVE TLR PODIUM BACKDROP
AFTER A SECOND PLACE FINISH IN AMHURST,
WISCONSIN.
in Amherst.
“The day started out great at the TLR
opener in Rock Rapids, I won the first
two qualifiers I was in. The equipment
was working fine until the third round
when things just fell apart. We took a
fifth in the final heat; we just lost the
handling on the sled. I didn’t make the
right adjustments to do any better than
seventh. Amherst went well, I have had
some good runs there over the last few
years. The heats are so stacked with
competition that it is a big feat just to get
top three in them. I believe I went 1, 3,
and 2 in the qualifying rounds. My speed
was right there with the fastest guys so
we knew that if we could get a decent
start we would be right there in the 15
lap final. I got a good start and ran third
for around five laps and then everything
came together. I made my way into second a lap later into the lead and just took
off from there.
We have all new equipment this year;
we’ve been working hard on getting
all the bugs worked out. I am definitely
happy for the most part on the season to
date. Eagle River is going to be a huge
challenge as it always is. Our sleds are
just as fast as anyone’s. It basically will
come down to who makes the right adjustments throughout the week and who
has the best luck.
The cup series has been awesome
already and we’re only through round
two. Everything that they are doing is
very professional, we couldn’t ask for any
more as drivers. Plus to add to everything, this year is the amount of competition at the races is impressive, it is quite
an accomplishment just to make the front
row of the final”, said Wahl.
Dustin Wahl is sponsored by; Jimmy
John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Polaris,
Micro Belmont, T.G. Design, FOX Shox,
NGK, Super Seer, Moto Tassinari, Millennium Technologies, Central Boiler, Red
Line Oil, Camoplast, Woody’s, Carlisle
Belts, Oakley, DRB Fab and TrackTek.
Malcolm Chartier got his start on the
MIRA circuit running pro-am events, an
impressive young driver he has steadily
moved up the ranks to become one of
the up and coming stars of the sprint circuit. Despite being locked in the bridesmaid position the first two weeks Chartier
has run consistent week after week in
both heat and finals. Thanks to that consistency he is on top of the point standings going into round three, January 29
& 30 in Wausau, Wisconsin. Gary Moyle
is in second place in the standings. 34
points back.
“I am happy with the program our team
has. I don’t think there is anything that
is keeping me from winning. My only
concern is to stay consistent with my
results. In Rock Rapids I qualified first
for the champ final, I was second out of
the gate, and finished that way. Amherst
FANS GET TREATED TO PLENTY OF EYE CANDY AT THE RACES WITH AWESOME LOOKING
SLEDS AND RACE RIGS.
28 YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
l
a
v
O
e
c
I
p
i
h
s
n
o
i
p
m
a
h
C
w
e
N
S
E
I
R
E
S
G
N
I
C
A
R
-30
9
2
y
r
a
u
n
a
J
n
o
Next race
Wausau, WI
in
5
2
5
u
a
s
u
a
W
at the
TLRcup.com
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS 29
ROCK RAPIDS, IOWA TOP THREE (L-R): MALCOLM CHARTIER - SECOND
PLACE, P.J. WANDERSCHIED - WINNER & GARY MOYLE - THIRD.
P.J. WANDERSCHEID.
I qualified third, out of turn two. I was running fourth. Mid-way
through I was able to get by two riders and finish second. I feel anyone is capable of winning the champ finals this year,
there is not one outstanding driver. I take each race one at a
time, it is way too early to think about the title. All that I can do
is have good starts, and be consistent. For 2011 I am running a Mike Houle Racing Champ. It is similar to my sled from last year with some updated parts. The only
difference I’ve noticed with the 2011 chassis compared to the
2010 is how well it handles in the rough. This will be beneficial
for 25 laps. The team and I are in great spirits for Eagle River.
We’re heading there to win a World Championship this year. The cup program Tom Lipar has created is a great idea for
our sport. I believe it adds more flash to the pro champ class
with the introduction of the drivers prior to the race, and the
awards after with the podium. I think fans will like this because
they can see the faces behind the helmet. This is a great thing
he is doing, it will only benefit our sport”, Chartier said.
Malcolm Chartier is sponsored by; Team Woody’s, Mike
Houle Racing, Hydro-X, Grace Performance, M.L. Chartier,
HMK USA, Fast Concepts, Ski-Doo, Scott Goggles, DP Schweihofer, Tuzinowski Landscape, Ajax Paving, Pamar Enterprise, Active Tree Services, and HCP Designs. To learn more
about their team visit their website www.Chartiermotorsports.
com
From water-cross to ice oval snowmobile racing Gary Moyle
and his family have always been right in the hunt for the
checkered and the championship in anything they do. A past
Eagle River World Champion, Moyle of Houghton, Mich., has
been right in the hunt this year for the winners circle in the TLR
Cup, finishing third in Rock Rapids, Iowa and fourth in Amherst,
Wisc., on a ski-doo. While he has yet to take a victory lap in
the TLR Cup this year, Moyle is hard work has paid off with a
30 YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS
second place in the current point standings.
“Rock Rapids was only our second race with a very new Mike
Houle chassis and it’s the first banked track we hit, so it just
took us some time to figure out what we needed to do to make
it work. Once we got it handling right we broke some suspension parts and had to start over. By the time the final came
around we were pretty close and our sled was handling awesome, but we just didn’t spend enough time on our hole-shot
and it took us a long time to get by third before I could start to
chase PJ and Chartier down. I just ran out of laps and them
guys ahead of me weren’t giving me much to work with. “No doubt about it we were just flat out fast at Amherst. The
night before we placed a strong second in the 600 class on our
440 so I was feeling really good going into Sunday with only
Champs on the track. We won the first heat, derailed in the
second heat with a lap or two to go and still finished third, then
won our third heat so we qualified second. In the final I got a
decent hole-shot, we led the race from lap one on to about lap
nine. Right about that time the line changed and I found myself
running where my sled wasn’t happy but there was no other
option, there was just so much meal made from 12 sleds flying
sideways through the corners that I couldn’t drive through it. So… I did my best to hold on the last five laps and I just kept
getting passed by. Not a good feeling but we did get fourth. What we need to do is simple, be more consistent. We’ve
been racing long enough that we shouldn’t make simple
mistakes, so the emphasis is going to be on not making those
mistakes and going out and performing well in every heat and
every final. In the past we would use heats for testing mostly
and try some pretty crazy stuff that worked or didn’t, but I didn’t
mind because I knew I’d be fast enough to make the final
regardless. Now with qualifying points counting towards the
overall TLR Cup Series I’m done with that, my team liked trying
stuff all the time, but they are on board too, we just have to be
consistent.
As far as our sled - well this year we tried something different. Normally Mike Hill (my crew chief for nine years) builds a new
sled or two and we source the motor. This year because of a
very busy crushing season Mike just didn’t have time to build
one. So we sourced the sled and the motor. Mike Hill called
Mike Houle and ordered a new sled and that’s that. We then
called John Hooper and ordered an engine and that is that. Now that we put these pieces and people together we have the
best combo in the most efficient package. And very importantly
we still have our same great team that isn’t burnt out from
working 70 hrs a week in gravel pits and then trying to cram
enough time in to build a championship quality sled. With this
approach we can focus on the little things and going into Eagle
River we are feeling really confident. Our engine is awesome,
our chassis is awesome, our team is awesome, and I am
very ready to win again. It’s going to be a very fun year I can
already tell.
I love the TLR Cup and the reasoning for it. When anything
new and exciting happens to our sport it’s a great thing, it
creates new excitement filling the void that all of us have
when things stay the same year in year out. The fan turn out
has been great so far and the driver turn out has been very
impressive. I don’t remember the numbers for sure but I think
we had somewhere around 19 champs in Iowa a week before
Christmas! That’s darn impressive”, Moyle said.
Moyle Racing is sponsored by; US Marines, Ski-Doo, Hooper Race Engines, River Valley Bank, Woody’s, NGK Spark
Plugs, AMSOIL, Mike Houle Racing, Millennium Technologies,
SCOTT, Camoplast, Dayco, Skinz, and SuperSeer.
Heading into Eagle River many of the top champ drivers will
be gunning for the World Championship. If the final is anything
close to what fans have seen so far in the TLR Cup Series
the battle for the W.C. is going to be one of the best ever as
is the battle in weeks to come for the TLR Cup. One thing is
clear thanks to the efforts of Tom Lipar, The Eagle River World
Championship Derby, USSA, SCM and ORA oval racing is
coming back in style
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS 31
TLR CUP RESULTS
RACE 1 RESULTS: Rock Rapids, IA
Driver Name Bib# Hometown Qual. Finished
PJ Wanderscheid 28 Sauk Centre, MN 3rd 1st
Malcolm Chartier 33 Fair Haven, MI 1st 2nd
Gary Moyle 66 Houghton, Michigan 6th 3rd
Brian Bewcyk 39 Winnipeg, MB 5th 4th
Joel Diamond 02 Lapeer, MI 8th 5th
Travis MacDonald 8 Winnipeg, MB 4th 6th
Dustin Wahl 74 Greenbush, MN 7th 7th
Matt Schulz 38 Wausau, WI DNQ 8th
Joey Fjerstad 16 Minneapolis, MN 2nd 9th
Nick Van Strydonk 13 Tomahawk, WI DNQ 10th
Curtis Boivin 19B Fort Frances, ON 9th DNF
Spencer Graff 97 Kewaskum, WI 10th DNF
Brandon Johnson 22 Greenbush, MN DNQ DNF
Cardell Potter 58 Camp Douglas, WI DNQ DNF
Gunnar Sterne 220 West Chicago, Illinois DNQ DNF
RACE 2 RESULTS: Amherst, WI
Driver Name Bib# Hometown Qual. Finished
Dustin Wahl 74 Greenbush, MN 5th 1st
Malcolm Chartier 33 Fair Haven, MI 3rd 2nd
Brandon Johnson 22 Greenbush, MN 4th 3rd
Gary Moyle 66 Houghton, Michigan 2nd 4th
Matt Schulz 38 Wausau, WI 1st 5th
PJ Wanderscheid 28 Sauk Centre, MN 10th 6th
Nick Van Strydonk 13 Tomahawk, WI 8th 7th
Joel Diamond 02 Lapeer, MI DNQ 8th
Joey Fjerstad 16 Minneapolis, MN 9th 10th
Travis MacDonald 8 Winnipeg, MB 7th DNF
Brad Bettin 20 Woodruff, WI DNQ DNF
Spencer Graff 97 Kewaskum, WI DNQ DNF
Curtis Boivin 19 BFort Frances, ON DNQ DNF
Cardell Potter 58 Camp Douglas, WI DNQ DNF
Gunnar Sterne 220 West Chicago, Illinois DNQ DNF
Brian Bewcyk 39 Winnipeg, MB DNQ DNF
CURRENT POINT STANDINGS:
Position Driver Name Bib# Hometown Qual. Race Total
1 Malcolm Chartier 33 Fair Haven, MI 18 180 198
2 Gary Moyle 66 Houghton, Michigan 14 150 164
3 PJ Wanderscheid 28 Sauk Centre, MN 9 150 159
4 Dustin Wahl 74 Greenbush, MN 10 140 150
5 Matt Schulz 38 Wausau, WI 10 90 100
6 Joel Diamond 02 Lapeer, MI 3 90 93
7 Brandon Johnson 22 Greenbush, MN 7 80 87
8 Brian Bewcyk 39 Winnipeg, MB 6 70 76
9 Travis MacDonald 8 Winnipeg, MB 11 50 61
10 Nick Van Strydonk 13 Tomahawk, WI 3 50 53
11 Joey Fjerstad 16 Minneapolis, MN 11 30 41
12 Curtis Boivin 19B Fort Frances, ON 2 0 2
13 Spencer Graff 97 Kewaskum, WI 1 0 1
14 Brad Bettin 20 Woodruff, WI 0 0 0
15 Cardell Potter 58 Camp Douglas, WI 0 0 0
16 Gunnar Sterne 220 West Chicago, Illinois 0 0 0
17 Shane Felegy 3 North Branch, MN 0 0 0
18 Jay Ryden 145 Minocqua, WI 0 0 0
Tom Lipar, The man
behind the TLR Cup
TOM LIPAR’S STARTED TEAM REMUS IN THE LATE 1970’S. FRONT ROW: DAN DOERR,
TANYA SWITZER - HARRISON MARDIGRAS SNOW QUEEN. BACK ROW:TOM LIPAR IS
SECOND FROM THE LEFT.
W.E. - Tell us a little bit about yourself; W.E. - While your business is curcareer, hometown, family, etc.
rently located in Texas, you are a
Michigan native. When and how did
T.L. - I am originally from Central
you become involved in snowmobilMichigan from a little town called
ing and snowmobile racing? Where
Remus. My wife’s name is Melany and you ever active as a driver?
I have three sons Eric, Aaron, Joe and
one daughter Nicole. I also have five
T.L. - I got started in oval racing in
grandchildren with one on the way. I
1971 on a 1972 Arctic Cat EXT, in
have been in business since I was 20
1976 I formed an enduro team (Team
years old ranging from bar & restauRemus). I tried to drive the first year
rants to auto sales. I ended up in real
but found that I was better at tuning
estate in the late 80’s and started a
and running the team than driving
development company. We buy large
and decided to let other people drive
tracts of land, develop the infrastrucfor me. My enduro team disbanded
ture and sells lots and homes to the
in 1980 and I worked with Rob Diaretail customer. In the last five years I
mond for a couple of years before
have branched off into the mortgage
I left snowmobiling to pursue other
business and also started an oil comthings.
pany.
Memories At The Mile
Antique, Vintage & Classic Snowmobile Show
Part of the 43rd Annual I-500 Snowmobile Race
February 5, 2011
For More Information and Application Form
Contact Steve Landon, The Winning Edge Magazine: 652 E. Surrey Rd.
Farwell, MI 48622 • 989-588-9213 • [email protected]
To download an application form go to: thewinningedgemagazine.com
PRE-REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 21, 2011
32 YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
White Pine Lodge
Christmas Michigan
The best snowmobiling in the
Midwest right from your door!
E7889 W. State Hwy M-28
Christmas, MI 49862
“TEAM REMUS “ WAS SUCCESSFUL DURING THEIR BRIEF CAREER.
THEY FINSHED SECOND IN 1978 AND 1979 AT THE T.C. 250 IN
TRAVERSE CITY MICH.,TO RON KEECH OF MICRO BELMONT
ENGINEERING RACING.
W.E. - In 1976 you became involved
with and entered the MISA/MIRA oval
track enduro circuit with Team Remus. If
memory serves me right you won the last
Marion 150 in Marion, Mich., in 1978 and
finished second two years in a row, 1978
and 1979 at the T.C. 250 to Ron Keech
of Micro/Belmont Engineering Racing.
Tell us about that team and how it came
about, drivers, sponsors, equipment, etc.
T.L. - Like I said I started out as a driver
on the enduro sled. After a lot of wrecks
and injuries, which I can still feel today,
I quit driving and recruited drivers that
could drive a whole lot better and safer
than me. The team was made up of volunteers from my hometown that needed
something to do in the wintertime. We did
procure $15,000 in sponsorship dollars
the first two years,it was a lot of money
at the time. The sponsor was also the
uncle of Rob Diamond he introduced
Rob to the team when we were looking
for another driver. We ran a 1976, 1977
& 1978 Yamaha SRX, although the 1978
IFS SRX was a new sled we had a hard
time with getting it to work so we went
back to the 1977 SRX, which was a great
sled at the time.
ended and we lost
Rob Diamond as a
driver, who wanted
to race his own sled.
24 HR Gas Station and C Store
Direct Trail Access
X-Large Hot Tubb
Group Rates
Next to Kewadin Casino
Delux Continental Breakfast
[email protected]
www.whitepinelodgeonline.com
906.387.1111
W.E. - During your
time with Team Remus, Rob Diamond was just coming into
racing. Were you the person who got him
into the sport?
T.L. – No, I did not get him into snowmobile racing, Rob had successfully sprint
raced and had started to run the enduro
circuit a year after we did. Through Rob’s
TEAM REMUS SCORED A VICTORY AT THE MARION 150 IN 1978. PICTURED L-R: MARION
SNOW QUEEN DONNA NIVER PRESENTED THE WINNING TROPHY.
W.E. - Beyond those races what kind of
success did Team Remus have? When
and why did it disband, especially after
getting support from Yamaha?
T.L. - We finished fifth in points the first
year and I think we were second at the
Caro 150 race. We were a solid top 10
contender most of the time. We disbanded for two reasons, the sponsorship
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS 33
uncle we were introduced, at
the time I needed a driver and
Rob needed funding. I believe
Rob was the best snowmobile
driver there was at the time.
W.E. - From 1980-1982 you
were the crew chief for “Team
Diamond Racing” who was
running ski-doo entries on
the enduro circuit. During
that time Diamond won his
first pro-enduro, the 1981
Alpena T.B. 250 and the North
American Cup Pro-enduro in
Eagle River, Wisconsin, the
1981 and 1982 MIRA Proenduro Championship plus
captured the pole for the 1980
Soo I-500. Tell us about the
role you played during those
years? What do you remember most about the teams and
those races?
T.L. - I just helped out like
everybody else, we had Rob,
his cousin Rod Diamond
and his Dad, Dan Diamond
collectively worked to make
decisions concerning the sled.
I remember the good times
and the innovation that they
brought to the sport, guys like
Bob Benner with his front end
design, Ron Keech who new
how to keep a sled together.
The Vermeersch’s and Hunt
Brothers who are still racing today. I also remember
George Sherrard who raced a
lot of the Soo I-500’s. He actually finished in all top 15 posi-
tions except 13th through the
years he raced. George won
the race in 1989. I now know
a lot about George because
he is our tuner for the champ
sled. George also was the
crew chief for Blair Morgan’s
snow cross team. George
helped Blair win seven Gold
Medals at the X Games.
W.E. - Why did you leave after
the 1982 season?
T.L. - I felt I was becoming
ineffective, because I could
not devote needed time to the
team. I could only show up
on weekends, besides I had
other things that I wanted to
accomplish.
W.E. - In recent years you
became involved with Diamond racing now TLR Racing
supporting Mitch and Joel Diamond? How and when did this
come about?
T.L. - I got an Email from Robs
son Mitch three years ago
asking about a sponsorship
for the endure team. Rob had
come to a couple of my drag
races and thought I might like
to get involved in snowmobile
racing again.
W.E. - Considering the fact
your roots were in oval track
endurance racing what made
you decide to go with the
sprint circuit?
TOM LIPAR WAS INVOLED WITH THE HIGHLY SUCCESFUL TEAM
DIAMOND IN THE EARLY 1980’S. OWNER/DRIVER ROB DIAMOND
CAPTURED THE 1982 EAGLE RIVER MIRA SHOW ON A SKI-DOO.
T.L. - When Mitch sent me
an email I called Rob up and
asked him what they were
doing and he invited me up to
Kinross to watch them race
the enduro. On Saturday
they had the sprint races and
ROB DIAMOND AND JERRY ADAMOWSKI CAPTURED THE 150 MILE PRO-ENDURO IN 1982 AT EAGLE RIVER,
THE LAST YEAR MR. LIPAR WAS A MEMBER OF THE TEAM.THE ENDURO CIRCUIT WAS SPONSORED BY
STROH’S BEER. DIAMOND’S TEAM WAS SPONSORED BY BUDWEISER.
Rob’s other son Joel was
asked to drive a champ sled
for another team. When I saw
the speed and the way the
sled handled I was hooked.
I told Rob I would put up the
funds for the enduro but we
had to get into champ racing
as well.
W.E. - Do you plan to have
the team race any enduro
such as the Soo I-500 this
year or in the future?
T.L. – Yes, Mitch Diamond will
be running three enduro’s this
year; the Soo I-500, Caro and
Lincoln. Joel will be running
the champ sled.
W.E. - Stepping back from
snowmobiles and into auto
racing I see you have quite
a reputation in drag racing.
Tell us about that segment of
TLR Racing and how you got
involved?
I got involved the same way
I returned to snowmobile
racing. My nephew Joshua
Hernandez came to me and
wanted me to sponsor him in
a drag car. I went to a race
saw the Pro Mod class and
said that’s what I like, if you
want to race we are going to
race that class. I think that
34 YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
XP Trail Package 177hp
XP Manifold Plates
XP Twin Race Pipes
3 Cyl Race Motors to 1500 cc
2 Cyl Race Motors to 1200cc
TOLL FREE ORDER LINE
(877) 878-9692
WWW.THE CRANKSHOPVT.COM
was in 2000.
W.E. - Is auto drag racing your
specialty or have you ventured
into other segments such as
ovals?
T.L. – No, only drag racing, but
I did talk to Richard Childress
about getting into NASCAR
while on a hunting trip with him.
We met a few times to discuss
the best way to get involved,
but by that time I had a lot of
money invested into my drag
race team and put it off to the
future.
W.E. - What kind of success
have you and your drivers had
over the years? Any particular
standout moments? With Josh
driving we won two NHRA Pro
Mod Championship in 2006
& 2007. We were the first
Pro Mod car to run under six
seconds in a quarter mile both
in NHRA and IHRA. We held
ET records in both associations
plus we have held most track
records across the country. Under the current NHRA Pro Mod
statistics Josh leads in almost
every category (even though
we have not run the circuit in
three years). We also were runner up in three out of last four
championships in the ADRL.
I’m longer involved directly
in drag racing, the team was
sold to the Sheik of Bahrain in
the Middle East. Josh is in the
Middle East driving this winter.
www.studboytraction.com
231-853-2323
ON THE SUGGESTION OF MITCH DIAMOND SHOWN HERE, MR. LIPAR DECIDED TO GET BACK INTO
SNOWMOBILE RACING.TODAY MITCH AND JOEL DIAMOND DRIVE FOR THE TEAM.
W.E. – What are your plans for
the coming months?
T.L. - Get better and win!
THE WINNING EDGE MAGAZINE
© 2010 Reproduction prohibited
YOUR TOTAL MOTORSPORTS PUBLICATIONS 35