Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jake Mataya Takes 2013 ICE Speedway Manufacturers Cup Championship in Grand Finale at Evansville's Ford Center

Jake Mataya on the #29 Kawasaki KX450F takes the outside line during heat race #3 at the ICE Speedway Championship Manufacturers Cup round at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, IL. on January 21, 2012, and went on to win his heat and take the 3rd-place spot on the evening behind eventual winner Jared Mees and runner-up Kevin Anderson.  Holding firm on the inside line is Bryan McKenna on the #19 Honda CRF450R, with Mark Cheza #16 on his Honda just behind, with Brandan Bergen on the #26 Honda just behind Mataya.

With the mostly absent Mees not running the full schedule during the off-season after capturing the 2012 title, Mataya dominated the ICE Speedway Cup Series in 2013 and won the championship for the first time over runner-up Kirk Cheney by 32 points (330-298 total points) in the eight-race ICE Speedway Championship.

Last weekend's final event of the season, held in Evansville, Indiana's Ford Center, saw the 2013 title decided in front of a packed house for the 37th Annual World Championship ICE Racing Series.

You can check out the full press release below thanks to the great folks from the ICE Speedway Championship, and be sure to mark this one on your calendar for next winter, as the action is hot and heavy and well worth the price of admission!

2013World Championship ICE Racing Series




A packed house was on hand at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana to see the Grand Finale of the 37th Annual World Championship ICE Racing Series. You could cut the tension with a knife as everyone in the building knew there were two World Championships on the line. The racing was very exciting with plenty of thrills and spills to wow the fans.

Cup Bike Heat Races started the night's action off. The first was a wild one that ended with contact and tempers heated. "Sideways" Sammy Wiggins-Coatesville, PA made the last lap pass as he dashed to the finish line over Shea Knuth-Bloomington, IL and Tom "Freight Train" McGrane-Gap, PA. Knuth took exception to the "Freight Train's" aggressive riding style and let his opinion be heard throughout the pits. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed. Other Round-1 Heat winners were "Fly'n" Brian McKenna-Boston, MA and Jake "The Snake" Mataya-Blaine, MN. Round-2 Heats were won by Wiggins; McKenna and "Captain" Kirk Cheney-Hastings, MI keeping his World Championship hopes alive. Both Cheney and Mataya had a win and a second in their Heats so there was no change in their 32 WC Point spread led by "The Snake". With 40 WC Points up for grabs to win the Main Event it was still wide open on who would be the 2013 Champion. Tom McGrane with 3rd and 4th place Heat finishes was now mathematically out of the WC Title Chase.

Next up was the Bike LCQ to decide who would make up the back row starting positions of the Main Event. Hard charging Austin Greenland-Spring Mills, PA dominated this race start to finish followed by Jay "The Jackhammer" Maloney-Oakland,NJ; Tom McGrane and Darren Carter-Bloomington, IL all transferring on to the Main. Done for the night in respective order were Knuth; Kyle McGrane-Gap, PA; first timers on the ice Nick McFadden-Owensboro, KY & Greg Childers-Evansville, IN followed by Brittany Powell-Bloomington, IL who is improving every start she makes.

The Main Event was now set and ready to go. All the marbles were on the line - the 2013 World Championship and the first ever Evansville Ice Racing Champion was about to be decided. Cheney shot out from the gate to take the early lead. He desperately needed to win for a chance at the Title. But on the second lap Greenland amazingly forced his way to the front from a second row starting spot to lead Cheney and Mataya. On the 4th lap of this 8 lapper "The Snake" struck once again to take second from Cheney setting his sights on Greenland. Going in to the final lap it looked like Jake was going to have a shot at the win but Greenland gutted it out to hang on for his first major league ice racing victory. He was followed closely by Mataya; Cheney; McGrane; McKenna; Carter; Maloney and Wiggins respectively.

2013 was an awesome competitive season of racing for the ICE Manufacturers World Cup Motorcycles crowning a great new World Champion in Jake "The Snake" Mataya. Cheney kept things close through the last night of racing. Greenland promises to be a strong contender for the future. ICE Rookie-of-the-Year honors went to young Kyle McGrane. Special ICE MVP Awards were given to Tom McGrane and Kirk Cheney for extraordinary efforts on and off the track. Congratulations to all the racers for a great season!

The ICE Unlimited Outlaw Quads had their own World Championship battle on the line tonight with three racers still in the hunt at the Grand Finale. Dusty Crouch-Topeka, KS with a 32 WC Point lead over Kevin "Cool Hand" Smith-Overbrook, KS and Mandy "Wild Child" Brodil-Poplar Branch, NC with an outside chance to win her 6th WC Title.

The First Round Heat Race winners were Brian Sommers-Burlington, WI; Jeff Brodil-Grandy, NC and Crouch. Round-2 winners were Jeff Brodil; Ken "Stuntman" Remer-Burlington, WI and Chuck "The Ice Man" Calvert-Madison, WI. In this last Heat Race of the night Mandy Brodil and Smith got tangled up going into turn one sending her #1 Quad to the infield. In the process she looped her machine backwards throwing the "Wild Child" to the ice surface. She landed on her back hitting her head violently on the ice. After several minutes Mandy decided to compete in the re-start finishing second. A short time later Mandy became ill in the pits and sought out help from the attending medical crew. She was diagnosed with a concussion, her second in two seasons, and subsequently transported to the hospital for further observation. Her hopes for a 6th World Championship Title were over.

The Outlaw Quad LCQ was all Sommers taking the lead from the Pole and never looking back. The three other riders transferring to the Main in order of their finish were Ryan "Hit Man" Kaufman-Table Grove, IL; Anthony Demeo-Woodland Park, NJ and Smith. Just missing the cut was Brandon Davis-Danvers, IL on the Harley powered Thunder Quad and Cody Norton-Cooksville, IL.

The Outlaw Main was a wild one that would determine this year's World Champion. When the starting gate was released by ICE Official Referee Robert Arms Jeff Brodil, Mandy's Dad, shot off the Pole staring position with front wheels in the air! By the time he reached the first turn he was being pushed hard from the outside into the infield. Brodil wasn't able to recover as the rest of the field raced on. Crouch had excellent position on the track racing away in the lead followed by Calvert and Remer. On lap two of this six lapper Remer forced the issue and got by Calvert for second followed through by Demeo and Smith. Then suddenly, on lap three, Demeo cuts under the turn 1-2 pole markers causing his disqualification. The very next lap saw Kaufman get by Calvert for 4th and that's how it all ended up as they crossed the finish line. Crouch had won the race convincingly and his first World Championship! Remer finished second, his career best, with Smith taking the last Podium spot locking down 2nd overall in this year's WC Title Chase. The rest of the field as they scored were Kaufman; Calvert; Sommers; Jeff Brodil (DNF) and Demeo (DQ'd).

All the Special Awards and WC Points Fund checks and trophies were presented at the private banquet immediately following tonight's event. ICE Rookie-of-the-Year honors went to Eric Jennings-Otisville, NY; co-ICE MVP's were Ken Remer and Chuck Calvert. The prestigious Bob Hetrick Memorial Sportsman Award was presented to Mandy Brodil for outstanding achievements and goodwill, on and off the track, supporting and promoting the sport of World Championship Ice Racing. Unfortunately Mandy and her family were unable to be present to accept the award due to Mandy's injury. The last word was Mandy is improving and was cleared to travel home to North Carolina. I know I'm speaking for all her friends and fans in ice racing wishing her a speedy and complete recovery.

On a special night of racing a very special moment took place on the ice. Shortly after his third successful attempt this year at the Ring of Fire Quad Jump in Evansville, under the spotlights and on the house PA system, Ken Remer proposed to his long time girlfriend Kristie Knack. Totally surprised she accepted!

On that happy note we'll sign off for another great season of World Championship ICE Racing. Congratulations to the new World Champions Jake Mataya and Dusty Crouch! Get well soon Mandy!

Fri-Dec 14th 7:30 PM - Showare Center - Kent, WA
Sat-Dec 15th 7:00PM - Comcast Arena - Everett, WA
Fri-Jan 4th 7:00PM - Maverik Center - Salt Lake, UT
Sat-Jan 5th 7:00PM - Maverik Center - Salt Lake, UT
Sat-Jan 12th 7:30PM - US Cellular Coliseum - Bloomington, IL
Sat-Jan 19th 7:30PM - Hampton Coliseum - Hampton, VA
Fri-Feb 15th 7:30PM - Sun National Bank Center - Trenton, NJ
Sat-Feb 23rd 7:00PM - The Ford Center - Evansville, IN
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