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Random Photos (and Trivia Questions) for June 2012


(6/14/2012)

Welcome to another edition of Random Photos. This month's batch includes some time-warpers, great submissions and even a Trivia Contest.

 

Bengan and an Arctic Cat bicycle

It's tough to be any more random than Bengan Westerlund holding an Arctic Cat bicycle at the recent SHOF Vintage Round Up. Bengan is an interesting cat who has oodles of interesting Arctic Cat products in his collection, many of which are in his home country of Sweden, and many of which are here in the U.S.

 

Vintage Arctic Cat bicycle

I've wanted to nab a decent condition version of this bike for years. Bengan refuses to sell this one to me, claiming that he has plans of touring Europe on it later this summer.

 

Jeep and Arctic Cat Panther snowmobiles

From two wheels to four, in the form of this sweet Jeep pulling a pair of Panthers. For my friend Kale, this photo represents the closest thing to heaven on earth.

 

Towing an Arctic Cat Firecat the easy way

As long as we're working the theme of towing Arctic Cat snowmobiles, here' an interesting situation worth looking at. I would love to have been an anonymous bystander, watching and listening to the 10 minutes of f-bombs as these guys wrestled the Firecat into the wagon.

Thanks yet again to Minnesota Rob for sending pix my way, including the above image.

 

Towing an Arctic Cat Sno Pro race sled the old-fashioned way

In contrast to the old-sled-loaded-on-a-new-vehicle like the station wagon image, here we have a 2012 Arctic Cat Sno Pro race sled loaded onto the back of an old Dodge flatbed.

The above photo also kicks-off the Trivia Quiz portion of this post.

So, question #1: Which famous Team Arctic racer owns and currently drives this truck?

 

Arctic Cat photos from the Bob Vojvodich collection

Speaking of Team Arctic racers, here's an image from the Bob Vojvodich Collection of Kevin Uhlenkamp, shot at an early MRP event in Grantsburg, Wis. I shot a lot of pix of Kevin when I was an editor at Snow Week.

Anyone know what he's up to now?

 

Arctic Cat photos from the Bob Vojvodich collection

Another from the Bob Vojvodich collection (of which the next several images are also from)

I'll make this the easy question of today's contest...

Question #2: Name the racer piloting this El Tigre EXT.

 

Arctic Cat photos from the Bob Vojvodich collection

Another Vojvodich Collection image, this time of legend Steve Thorsen (left), getting ready to test-ride Brian Sturgeon's Wildcat at an MRP race in 1987.

I love that Thorsen is wearing his old Polaris Factory Sno Pro helmet! Classic stuff.

 

Arctic Cat photos from the Bob Vojvodich collection

Speaking of Sturgeon, here's a shot of Brian's younger brother, Dan, tail-standing it at the 1995 ISOC cross-country at Brainerd International Raceway.

Also a Vojvodich image.

 

Arctic Cat photos from the Bob Vojvodich collection

This Vojvodich Collection is awesome!

Trivia Question #3: Name the racer and the race he's competing in the above shot.

 

Arctic Cat photos from the Bob Vojvodich collection

Bob Vojvodich still loves the old Arctic Cats, as evidence of this shot of him racing a ZR at ERX last winter. Bob's from Oak Grove, Minn.

 

Arctic Cat photos from the Bob Vojvodich collection

Here's Bob on his 700 EFI ATV. Thanks for all the cool images, Bob! Much appreciated.

 

Auggie and his NSSR Arctic Cat ZRT

Longtime Team Arctic racer/rider Auggie Musech sent the above image. Like so many Team Arctic racers over the years, the Musech’s were successful racers/crews, but were sort-of unsung in their accomplishments on the race track. And I’m as guilty as anyone for not doing more to highlight their efforts back when they were racing.

In Auggie’s words, here’s some background on their team:

“We set three NSSR World Records in 1995, 1996 and 1997 racing for Tim Berg at Black Magic Motorsports when speed runs were a big deal. We raced against Jim Dimmerman, Kelly Shilts and many others.

All of our sleds were sponsored by Black Magic. In 1995 we raced a ZRT 800 and went 115.353 mph. In 1996 we raced a Thundercat that went 116.756 mph and in 1997 we went back to the ZRT 800 and went 114.437 mph. All of these were World Records running on shaved ice, from a dead stop for 1000 feet.

The driver (seated) was Dave Lohse. At his right is me Auggie, the crew chief, and the other crew member is Bobby Musech.

Our race program started for me in 1993 when Tim Berg called and said that he had a T-Cat he wanted me to set-up for speed runs. To make a long story, I worked on the sled for a month. We took it to an outlaw speed run and wouldn’t you know it: Jim Dimmerman was also there. We beat him pretty bad that day,  so afterwards he came over and wanted to know who owned that sled. I told him that Tim Berg owned it.

He said “Don’t I know you?” and I said that he was in my carburetion class when I taught service training schools for Arctic.

Jim had an NSSR race the following weekend and wanted to run our sled, so I told him to call Tim, which hid did and he (Jim) picked up the sled on a Wednesday and set the World Record on Saturday! “

Awesome story!

 

Auggie's ZRT Arctic Cat

So here's a current shot of Auggie's trail sled, a ZRT (ahem) 800.

 

Augie's ZRT Arctic Cat

It gets the "ahem" because when you open the hood, you see the 900 heads. Love it!

 

The original Arctic Cat Fire Cat?

Yet another submission, this one from a cryptic, crazy Canadian who goes by the name of Hammer.

He claims this is the original Fire Cat, and I must admit that he has a valid point.

In his words:

“This is pretty top secret stuff right here so keep it on the QT. If word of this gets out, I'm sure that sparks will fly! 

Our insiders (aka: Lumberhead) tells us that this is one hot sled. When you fire this baby up, it really burns up the trails and will smoke the competition. Definitely not a "Rider Forward" chassis but does boast the biggest seat storage in the industry. A few early recalls due to excessive under-hood temps. Horsepower numbers have been listed in BTU's. Sounds suspicious. Might be a metric thing. After going through a bush cord, a wood shed, two test riders, a 2x4 and a carton of cigarettes, it's reported that this prototype is still in the developmental phase.”

I’m trying to ink a deal with Hammer to write all future captions for ArcticInsider. It might take a lot of Labatts Blue, but I think I can make it happen…

 

Kirk Hibbert singing Viva Las Vegas at the 1997 Arctic Cat Race School

Speaking of the original Firecat, the guy on the left in this picture is one of the people who conceptualized and built the Arctic Cat version of this fames machine.

Kirk Hibbert, shown here giving the low-down on the ZR skidframe during the 1997 Team Arctic Race School in Thief River Falls.

Anyone beside me wish for the return of Race School in TRF?

 

Team Arctic Race Shop with Joey and Al, circa 1990s

On the subject of Team Arctic, Race School and the 1990s... here's a shot of then-Race Manager Joey Hallstrom (left) and the guy who can build anything (and make it go fast), Al Shimpa, sitting inside the old Race Shop.

 

Prototype Arctic Cat Sno Pro race sled

I'll finish up this random photo post with something VERY modern: a shot of Team Arctic cross-country fast-guy Ryan Greening, test riding a prototype of the next Arctic Cat Sno Pro race sled just a couple weeks ago.

So my last bit of trivia involves Ryan...

Question #4: Ryan's uncle was one of the fastest cross-country racers of the 1970s and early '80s. Name him.

(The first person to answer all four questions will win one of the amazing prize packages that this site is famous for. Good luck!)

Thank for reading.



Comments (31):

Chad Colby says:
6/14/2012 5:17:00 PM

Great story John.... love seeing the "old iron"
Kylesolberg says:
6/14/2012 5:52:00 PM

Kirk hibbert is the answer for question one
John Zanon says:
6/14/2012 7:24:00 PM

Minnesota Rob: "are you sure that picture (Firecat in the car) isn't from Upper Michigan?" in the U.P. any cargo extending 4' past the vehicle has to be flagged...so you'd be good to go! HaHa

Love seeing all the photos...John, you're still the greatest!
Bob Vojvodich says:
6/14/2012 9:40:00 PM

Thanks John! I hope everybody likes the photos of the "vintage iron" especially that #50 sled....I'm happy to share them!
CRJPilot says:
6/14/2012 10:30:00 PM

1. Kirk Hibbert
2. Aaron Scheele
3. J.S. I-500
4. Bobby Flame???

I know two of them are correct, guessed on the other two!
Greg Marier says:
6/15/2012 6:59:00 AM

Answer to #4 is Gerard Karpik. Over the years I have had the pleasure to work with Gerard, David, Randy and Rick Strobel (brother-in-law to the Karpiks) on many different race sleds.
Jim Dimmerman says:
6/15/2012 7:39:00 AM

Augg the Dog !!! Unsung accomplishments...? Anybody that ran the Big Bore class sure knew who Auggie was. I used some of those carburation skills he taught me in service school to set the 93 World Record on that sled he prepped...I've heard stories that he still lurks around local lakes preying on other sleds of color ! Your a good man Auggie, thanks for your help. Jim
RACEKID says:
6/15/2012 9:00:00 AM

1) Kirt Hibbert

2) Aaron Scheele

3) John Sandberg I 500

4) Gerard Karpik

John Sandberg says:
6/15/2012 11:13:00 AM

I'll call it a group effort, and Racekid wins. Racekid, email me you address.

Jim, what I meant about "sort-of unsung" regarding Auggie (and many others) was that they were well-known in their own arena, but not as well known outside of it. Over the years, speed runners and drag racers have gotten less attention than other style racers.

Similarly, lots of racers in ALL forms of competition have gone with little notice by the media. I'm one of those media offenders! It's kind of the nature of the beast, but it can be improved upon.

Anyway, I appreciate all the comments and photo contributions. Keep them coming!
RL says:
6/15/2012 11:42:00 AM

Love those pics. Brings back many good memories. And you did not have to mortgage your house to buy a new sled. As always keep up the good work.
Was that burn down Brian? Where was steep hill Steve?
John Sandberg says:
6/15/2012 12:50:00 PM

LOL on the Burndown Brian and Steephill Steve comment. Brian burned down one too many times for me, but I still ride with Steve on occasion.
Tom Rowland says:
6/15/2012 7:38:00 PM

Look close at the Jeep/Panther(s) image...I could be wrong but I think the machine on the passenger side of the trailer is actually a Cat Cutter? I guess if 4 adults are friendly enough with one another to travel in that smallish Jeep cab, it is only natural that they wouldn't mind all coupling-up on a Panther/Cat Cutter combo!

Those race photos from the 1980's and 90's are great!
jimu@sledracer.com says:
6/17/2012 10:49:00 AM

Two bonus trivia question: How much money did Steephill Steve and Burndown Brian raise for the Barkmulcher's snowmobile club selling sledgehammer hits on Wild Phil's car before Wild Phil came out of the grocery store?
Mike says:
6/18/2012 10:29:00 PM

Kevin is a mechanic at Alex power Alex mn
Dave Lohse says:
6/19/2012 5:17:00 PM

Aug the dog can be seen on the Chippewa Flowage all winter long with his ZRT 800? picking off T-cats. As a matter of fact you better do some work to your Z1 turbo's if you want to go by him, by the way he does trail ride it (reluctantly)
Auggie says:
6/20/2012 10:28:00 AM

Yah, well Dave's SpeedWerx prepped 2012 F8 is no slouch either. Ron Gilland who rides with us is always working. He carries a laptop in his back pack and when we stop for refreshments he will ask Dave "how did you do against the ZRT 800". Dave says, "he got me". Out comes the laptop, hooks it up to the F8 and downloads the last run info and dials in some changes (I have no idea as to what he is doing) and away we go again on the flowage. I have yet to see Dave's F8 be beat by any brand or like sled of that engine size which say's a lot for the Speedwerx guy's Jeremy, Ron and Greg Collins. I do think though that they are plotting against me for next season.
John Sandberg says:
6/20/2012 12:15:00 PM

LOL this is great.

Now, how about sharing some of those speed secrets Dave and Auggie?
Auggie says:
6/20/2012 10:09:00 PM

John. how about this one. Squeese the throttle so hard that snot drips out of the handle bars and the carbs go to WOT.

Auggie
Jf says:
7/2/2012 7:10:00 AM

I am thinking Dan sturgeon isn't planning on backing off in that pic. And It looks like that is on a lake such as Mille lacs or something, not sure,
but bir had no lake back then.
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