Fans, racers enjoy SxS Spring National

US Air Motorsports Raceway hosts unique event
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Leader photo by Morgan Rode UTV racers from across the country compete in the Midwest SxS Sports Spring National at US Air Motorsports Raceway this weekend.

US Air Motorsports Raceway brought a new and unique race to Shawano on Saturday and Sunday.

Fans from across the state and country witnessed a mix of professional and amateur UTV racers compete in the Midwest SxS Sports Spring National, zipping around a track that was 50 percent asphalt and 50 percent dirt for the first time in the sports’ history.

Some fans made the trip to US Air to see professional motocross racer Ricky Carmichael make his UTV racing debut. Others came to watch family members compete. Some visited because they were die-hard racing fans.

Those who came out to see Carmichael compete were not disappointed. The racing legend took first-place in the Sportsman A-Main class on Saturday and Sunday. Carmichael fended off Cory Podolski on Saturday and Matt Wood on Sunday.

“This (UTV racing) was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Carmichael said. “The event was fantastic, in a great location, the track was really good and the people here are great.”

Brad Minerick took first in the Pro Stock B-Main class on Saturday before Ben Enloe raced to a first-place finish in the class on Sunday. Mike Skillinstad turned in a first-place finish in the Trail Warrior A-Main class on Saturday before finishing second on Sunday. Josh Bayer won the class on Sunday, finishing just over a second quicker than Skillinstad.

Tony Schwellenbach claimed the fastest time in the Pro Stock A-Main class on Saturday before Adam Reek won the class on Sunday. Ken Masch finished second in the class on both days.

Owen VanEperen won the Kids Karts A-Main class on both days, finishing ahead of second-place finisher Jon Holtger. Kyle Chaney claimed the top spot in the Pro Mod A-Main races both days, with Cody Miller earning a pair of second-place finishes in the class.

For an event that was the first-of-its-kind with no real expectations for how things might turn out, it did not disappoint.

“We found the event on Facebook and decided to come over,” said Bill Wienke, who came from Madison. “It’s a pretty cool event.”

“There were a lot of drivers, the size of the purse and celebrity drivers like Carmichael,” Tom Hylok, of Little Suamico, said on why he came out to the raceway. “I thought the track was really prepped well and the event ran really smoothly.”

Before the racing began, Johnny Greaves, the event’s promoter mentioned that he hoped to bring the event back to Shawano in the future. Following two days packed with hours of racing, fans and competitors were echoing those same thoughts.

“I liked the event,” said Rick Stubbs, who came from West Bend to watch his son race. “It’s different, with the asphalt and the dirt mixed. With what I have seen here today, I can only see this event getting bigger in the future.”

“I think Johnny is tapping into something here that he can probably have for many years to come,” Carmichael said. “I’m impressed with this being the first time this event has happened and how well it all went.”