Weyauwega, Wisconsin, February 10 & 12, 2012; – Little did anyone ever dream when the 2012 Tommy Lipar Cup Series kicked off in Amherst, Wisc., January 7th the battle for the championship would come down to three races the last weekend of the series. Thanks to Mother Nature and her unusual mood swings TLR Cup events in Escanaba, Michigan, and Ogilvie, Minnesota, were cancelled due to mild weather and poor track conditions. One event featuring three finals would determine the 2012 TLR Cup Title. Three different drivers would capture cup victories over the course of the weekend, but only one man would take home $25,000 and the prestigious TLR Cup: Four-time World Champion P.J. Wandersheid of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, would be that man.
Driving an Arctic Cat-powered Hooper chassis, Wanderscheid grabbed the checkered in the first race in a series of finals Friday when he edged past Wahl Brothers/Polaris speedster Brandon Johnson of Greenbush, Minnesota, entering the final lap to go on to victory and take the lead in the chase for the title. On Saturday Wanderscheid finished behind Ski-Doo ace Malcolm Chartier of Fair Haven, Michigan, before closing out the series Sunday with fourth place just ahead of Chartier, who claimed the number five slot. Nick Van Strydonk of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, winner of the 2012 Eagle River Worlds Championship, took home top honors Sunday on his Polaris followed by Dustin Wahl of Greenbush, Minnesota, on board a Wahl Brothers/Polaris. Cardell Potter of Camp Douglas, Wiscconsin, rounded out the top three on a Ski-Doo.
“This weekend was a great one for our team,” Wanderscheid said. “We knew going in there was a lot on the line, we needed to be on top of our game for three straight days of racing if we were to have a shot at the Cup. We were just two points behind Brandon Johnson in the title chase. Friday’s win was our first of the season, it could not have come at a better time. The victory combined with our strong finishes Saturday and Sunday proved to be enough to get us the championship. It was not an easy task, Malcolm Chartier was running great all weekend. I knew going into Sunday’s final I had to stay in front of him to get the points we needed to win the championship. I can’t say enough about our team, we all worked together to get the job done. We’ll be back next year to defend our title.
“The TLR Cup series is one of the best things to have ever happened to oval track snowmobile racing. Thanks to Tommy Lipar and his dedication we have a world-class series that is bringing much need attention and publicity to our segment of the sport, attention that has not been there in a number of years. I cannot thank Tommy Lipar enough for everything he has done in just a few short years”, Wanderscheid said.
Wanderscheid Racing is sponsored by; AMSOIL, Arctic Cat, Country Cat, Drift Racing, Skinz Protective Gear, Millennium Technologies, Woody’s, Moto Tassinari, Ultimax Belts, Fox Racing Shox, Hooper Race Engines, Trackside Performance, Dan Welle Southtown Chevrolet, Varner Autobody, Webtomix, WEBSITES and Visual Advantage Graphics. Crew; Team Owner Dave Wanderscheid, Crew Chief: Mark Wanderscheid Crew Members: Brian Wanderscheid, Troy Hoppe, Rick Varner and Butch Von Wahlde.
Defending champ Gary Moyle came up short for a title repeat. Following a third place finish in the final Friday, Moyle and his team were optimistic about their chances of having a successful weekend on the oval, sadly it was not to be. Following their success run Friday Moyle would not finish another final.
“During Fridays race we noticed a 3/4-inch hole in my head pipe before the race even started,” Moyle said. “We didn’t have time to fix it during the pre race ceremony, luckily I was able to capture a third-place finish. Saturday’s feature, four laps in my left carburetor froze open forcing me to create some major belt heat by braking while on the throttle. I ran in third till lap 14 in corner four, with a straightaway to go my sled blew a belt and did not finish so no points for me! On Sunday I was the first place qualifier with no one beating me all day long. I led the feature the first six laps, then blew a belt, and had another DNF. It truly makes me sick, but that’s racing.
“I think the TLR Cup is a great series! No doubt it is the biggest contributor to keeping champ racing alive. At every TLR Cup event this season there has been impressive crowds, the show is second to none, every heat is competitive. The structure of the TLR points does not allow for any sandbagging, it’s all out racing every heat and into the feature. I’ll be back next year. I’m far too addicted to quit now,” Moyle said.
While he failed to claim the checkered in this years TLR Cup finals Moyle was able to finish seventh in the final point standings.
Chartier proved to be Mr. Consistent again this year and worked his way to victory in Saturday’s final taking second place in the season points for the second straight year. Chartier finished just 40 points behind Champion P.J. Wanderscheid.
“Starting out the weekend I was third in the points standings,” Chartier said. “We had no problems during the weekend, our team stayed very consistent. My Houle-shot [a reference to crew chief/engine and chassis builder Mike Houle] is what led me to victory on Saturday after the restart. The sled was running good and I had a great line around the track that separated me from the field. Running all three finals in one weekend was good. If you add it up, it was only 30 more laps than a normal USSA weekend.
“It feels great to finish in the top two in the standings. We have a very competitive series with some of the best drivers in the nation going at it week after week. To be near the top once again with this group of guys says a lot about our team, of course the extra money from the points fund always helps. I believe that I am not always the fastest rider each weekend, but the most consistent. I cannot remember the last DNF we had,” Chartier continued. “Our team and I firmly believe the Tommy Lipar Cup is helping our sport grow. We really like interacting with the drivers and fans that it incorporates into the weekend. I will be back for the 2012-13 season. Our team has signed a multi-year deal with our title sponsors. The main reason is the drive and joy I still get from racing. I will continue to race until my body won’t let me, or until it is not enjoyable for my family or myself.”
Nick Van Strydonk drove his Polaris to victory Sunday and closed out the season with a third place finish in the point’s standings.
Dustin Wahl who kicked off the TLR Cup season with a victory in Amherst, Wisconsin, turned in a solid performance taking sixth, fourth and second in the finals to grab fourth place in the season standings.
Brandon Johnson entered the weekend series finale on top of the point’s race following back-to-back cup wins at Eagle River and Wausau. On Friday he had another strong run placing second behind P.J. Wanderscheid in the final, however, his luck would not endure. Driving a Wahl Bros/Polaris Johnson failed to finish the final Saturday. On Sunday he finished 10th to close out the season with a fifth place in the points standings.
Thanks to a never give up attitude by race promoters, a little bit of cold weather and tremendous amount of dedication by USSA, Tommy Lipar and countless volunteers the 2012 TLR Cup Series was a total success. When winter returns for the 2012 – 2013 season you can bet the best racers in the world will be on back again to put on one of the greatest shows in snowmobile racing – The TLR Cup.
To learn more about the TLR Cup visit their website at www.tlrcup.com
ESCANABA (Race 2) Make Up
1. P.J. Wanderscheid #33 -Sauk Centre Minn. – Arctic Cat
2. Brandon Johnson #22 – Greenbush, Minn. – Wahl Bros. / Polaris
3. Gary Moyle #66 – Houghton MI – Arctic Cat
4. Malcolm Chartier #33 – Fair Haven, MI – ski-doo
5. Cardell Potter #58 – Camp Douglas, WI – ski-doo
6. Dustin Wahl #74 – Greenbush, Minn., – Wahl / Polaris
7. Trevor Fontaine #31 -Webster, WI – Arctic Cat
8. Spencer Graff #97 – Kewaskum, WI – ski-doo
9. Nick Van Strydonk #13 – Tomahawk, WI – Polaris
10. Travis McDonald #8 – Gonor Manitoba, Canada – ski-doo
DNF Ryan Kniskern #616 – Marinette, WI – Arctic Cat
OGILVIE, MINN. (Race 5) Make up
1. Malcolm Chartier #33 – Fair Haven, MI – ski-doo
2. P.J. Wanderscheid #33 -Sauk Centre Minn. – Arctic Cat
3. Nick Van Strydonk #13 – Tomahawk, WI – Polaris
4. Dustin Wahl #74 – Greenbush, Minn., – Wahl / Polaris
5. Trevor Fontaine #31 -Webster, WI – Arctic Cat
6. Joel Diamond #02 – Lapeer, Mich., – ski-doo
7. Ryan Kniskern #616 – Marinette, WI – Arctic Cat
8. Cardell Potter #58 – Camp Douglas, WI – ski-doo
9. Spencer Graff #97 – Kewaskum, WI – ski-doo
DNF – Gary Moyle #66 – Houghton MI – Arctic Cat
DNF -Brandon Johnson #22 – Greenbush, Minn. – Wahl Bros. / Polaris
DNF – Dan Fenhaus #38 – Wausau, Wisc. – ski-doo
RACE 6 RESULTS: Weyauwega, WI
1. Nick Van Strydonk #13 – Tomahawk, WI – Polaris
2. Dustin Wahl #74 – Greenbush, MN – Polaris
3. Cardell Potter #58 – Camp Douglas, WI – ski-doo
4. PJ Wanderscheid #28, Sauk Centre, MN – Arctic Cat
5. Malcolm Chartier #33 – Fair Haven, Michigan – ski-doo
6. Jordan Wahl #747 – Greenbush, MN – Wahl. / Polaris
7. Dan Fenhaus #38, Wausau, WI – ski-doo
8. Brandon Johnson #22 – Greenbush, MN – Polaris
9. Travis Macdonald #88 – Gonor, Manitoba – ski-doo
10. Brad Bettin #20 – Woodruff, WI – Polaris
DNF. Gary Moyle #66 – Houghton, Michigan – Arctic cat
DNF. Ryan Kniskern #616, Marinette, WI – Arctic cat
FINAL TLR CUP POINTS
1. P.J. Wanderscheid #28 Sauk Centre, MN 544 points
2. Malcolm Chartier 33 Fair Haven, Michigan 510
3 Nick Van Strydonk 13 Tomahawk, WI 455
4 Dustin Wahl 74 Greenbush, MN 438
5 Brandon Johnson 22 Greenbush, MN 404
6 Cardell Potter 58 Camp Douglas, W 297
7 Gary Moyle 66 Houghton, Michigan 292
8 Travis Macdonald 8 Gonor, Manitoba 236
9 Ryan Kniskern 616 Marinette, WI 212
10 Trevor Fontaine 3 Webster, WI 183
11 Matt Schulz 38 Wausau, Wisconsin 166
12 Spencer Graff 97 Kewaskum, WI 155
13 Joel Diamond 02 Lapeer, MI 126
14 Jordan Wahl 747 Greenbush, MN 112
15 Gunnar Sterne 220 West Chicago, Illinois 90
16 Brian Bewcyk 39 WPG, MB 85
17 Matt Ritchie 355 Minocqua, WI 63
18 Brad Bettin 20 Woodruff, WI 63
19 Dan Fenhaus 38 Wausau, WI 49