Escanaba’s Nick Leisner slides his road inventory into flip three on the Higher Peninsula Interntaional Raceway Saturday throughout observe.
ESCANABA — The Higher Peninsula Worldwide Raceway held its observe day for the 2021 racing season Saturday in Escanaba.
The several-hours-long observe session gave drivers from the observe’s seven divisions — youth, sportsman and 600 micro sprints, road shares, classic and sport modifieds and 4 cylinders — the prospect to shakedown their automobiles.
Two drivers of the game modified division which can be no strangers to UPIR — or its victory lane — however nonetheless took the prospect to hit the observe have been Escanaba’s Jamie Iverson and Menominee’s Matt Valiquette.
Whereas each have raced at different tracks already this yr — Iverson at 141 Speedway in Manitowoc and Valiquette in his classic modified at Gravity Park in Chilton — it was their first time on the UPIR dust observe this yr.
“We’ve received a brand new automobile and simply need to be sure all the things is working the best way it’s alleged to,” mentioned Iverson. “We had some points the primary day trip (at 141)… so we’ve come right here to make it higher and never have points when (in a while).”
Iverson is hopeful that he’ll have the ability to make many of the exhibits on the 2021 schedule.
“It’s type of up within the air,” he mentioned. “We’ll attempt to make as many exhibits as we will, however a number of the Sunday and Friday exhibits we would not have the ability to make. We would not have the ability to make all of them, however we’ll attempt to make as many as we will.”
Final yr, Iverson completed third within the sport modified division championship standings. Forward of him have been Matt Valiquette in second and champion Lonnie Dalgord.
For Valiquette — who will likely be pulling double-duty each week within the modifieds and classic modifieds — any likelihood to get within the automobile is useful.
“Any time you have got a chance to be within the seat turning laps — whether or not it’s at a observe, a observe out of city or an everyday race evening — you’re studying,” mentioned Valiquette. “You’re going to get higher, you’re going to get quicker, you’ll be extra aggressive and also you’ll be extra comfy within the automobile.
“Within the first a part of the yr, getting that consolation again from final fall is important, so it’s all about laps. It’s all about seat time.”
On Friday, Valiquette swept the warmth and the characteristic at Gravity Park in Chilton.
“I used to be simply thrilled with the observe and nice crowd of individuals,” he mentioned. “Individuals are prepared to return out and have some enjoyable, and what higher manner to try this than come out to your Friday, Saturday or Sunday racetrack.”
Becoming a member of Valiquette within the classic division are veterans like his father Jake Valiquette, Herb Iverson, Jerry Olsen, Don Benoit, Allan Yelle and Dave Broeders amongst others.
“We’ve received a stacked deck of seasoned veterans. So, it’s going to be quite a lot of enjoyable racing them guys,” mentioned Valiquette.
Twelve weekends of racing motion at UPIR will get underway Sunday, June 6.
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