(February 28, 2017) - Do you believe in miracles? In the weeks leading up to TLR Cup Tour Round 8 at the new-to-the-tour Tomahawk Speedway, temperatures flirted with disaster. Sunshine, rain and temperatures in the mid 50's teamed up to jeopardize all of the hard work the Tomahawk, Wisconsin crew had put into their debut TLR Cup Tour event. Miraculously, a cold front moved through just in time and what has now been dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" was on.
The track, usually designated for dirt-track car racing in the warmer months, underwent a face lift to prepare for the inaugural Winter Hatchet Nationals. Measuring in at just .26 miles on the inside, it's one of the tightest tracks on the Tour and drivers had to really be on their a-game to make moves. One driver who has certainly demonstrated that all season is Gunnar Sterne. The driver of the #220 Ski-Doo had yet another story-book weekend as he made a clean sweep, coming out in the top spot every single time he hit the track. In Saturday night's final under the lights, he rocketed off the start to get the lead right away, although the #53 of Colt Dellandrea was hot on his tail, working to make a pass at every opportunity.
A red flag on lap 11 led to a staggered restart and with just four laps to go, Dellandrea was unable to catch Sterne. He did catch his first podium appearance of the season though, and put an Arctic Cat in the Winner's Circle with his second-place finish for the first time since the beginning of the season. Hometown favorite Nick Van Strydonk did his part to make sure the big-three manufacturers were represented as he finished with a very close third on board the #13 Polaris.
When the Outlaw 600 machines took to the track, strong starts and solid handling were key. Bob Richardson, who runs the custom-built #2 Eagle Outlaw chassis once again led the charge much like he has for the majority of the season. Going into the final as the #1 qualifier, he followed suit and went on to win his fifth final of the year. Dave Levra came across the line second and Trever Spokely rounded out the top three.
Bill DeVault proved that he too can win anywhere and demonstrated just how well a stock Polaris snowmobile could handle a rough ice oval track. In what has become his typical fashion, DeVault drove his #298 machine to victory, with Tom Olson in the runner-up position. Class newcomer Joe Schwartz took the third spot.
With Round 8 in the books, only one remains. This weekend the Tour will head to the big half-mile track in Beausejour, Manitoba; where the TLR Cup Tour champion will be crowned. With tight points battles across the board, you definitely don't want to miss this one.
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