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Stadick wins Winternationals, tackles I-500

January 21, 2011
By Fritz Busch

If they haven't broken down or gotten hurt by the time you read this, Stadick and Grausam will be competing in the final day of the Red Lake I-500 cross country snowmobile race near Thief River Falls.

At this moment, they could be topping the 100 mph mark in the woods, on a river, field, ditch or snow and ice-packed road in northwestern Minnesota.

The race, considered one of the world's most prestigious and grueling cross country snowmobile races, is about adrenaline from the thrill of the competition of man vs. man and man vs. nature.

Article Photos

Photo by David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, Mich.)

Tim Stadick of New Ulm poses with the trophy he won last weekend at the 2011 Snowmobile Winternationals Hill Climb near Houghton, Mich. His cross country snowmobile is in the foreground, hill climb sled behind him.

There are a number of female racers in the race offering about $100,000 in prizes.

Nearly half of the anticipated 260 total entries won't finish.

"Some guys have not finished (the I-500) after racing it for several years," Stadick said.

Fact Box

At 45, New Ulm snowmobile racer Tim Stadick is still living out his dreams. Winning the Pro Stock 700 class last weekend at the 2011 Snowmobile Winternationals Hill Climb near Houghton, Michigan, Stadick and another New Ulm native, Justin Grausam, now living in Brainerd, compete in the Red Lake I-500 this weekend near Thief River Falls.

"I'm pretty excited," he added, working on his cross country sled in a warm garage on a sub-zero degree night last Tuesday.

"I don't think its (winning the Winternationals hill climb) sunk in yet. Maybe it will sometime down the road," Stadick said with a gleam in his eye.

This weekend is his first I-500.

"You need to know when to go fast and slow down. It's not about setting speed records, it's about lasting for three days," Stadick added.

Bryan Dyrdahl, who races Ski-Doos along with Stadick, holds the I-500 Pro 600 record with five wins since 2000.

Arctic Cat racer Justin Morken is the youngest finisher, at 14 years, 16 days old in 2007.

The I-500 began in 1966 as a 500-mile race from Winnipeg to St. Paul.

Now the race begins and ends at Seven Clans Casino near Thief River Falls.

This year, a Vintage Legends class features racers age 50 and over on 1981 and older sleds with no more than 500 cc air cooled or 440cc liquid cooled.

Next year's race, the 40th anniversary of the I-500, is being designed to race the original route from Winnipeg to St. Paul.

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