John Boos shared a link to the group: Yamaha YXZ Addicts.

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Start of Balsam lake 250. Poor driving is from 5 hours of sleep over 5 days. Not having any idea where the course goes

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  • If you want the entire story here it is. was first person signed up for Balsam lake 250 mile Hell On Wheels ice race with its $7000 prize money on Feb 4- 5th. With 1000s of miles on ice in last few years I figured I had a pretty good shot. Started prepping & building tires for ice race in November. Early January I was on ice testing. I found out through email the track wasn't going to be plowed. My ice tires didn't go through the 10 in of snow we had, so I ordered in 3 sets of tires & tested them all in the snow. Then spent weeks cutting & studding them instead of testing. The YXZ has smallest tank at 9 gal vs 10.5 of X3s. I emailed request of fuel cells & was told yes up to 20 gallons in pro mod class. I spent a weekend building & plumbing for it. We also had issue with turbo breaking manifold & retaining bolts. My buddy Shmitty could see things were getting desperate. He put his life on hold & helped me out every minute he wasn't at his day job. We built flexible exhaust systems. I then emailed about how start was going to be handled. I was told line up 24 machines & send them out. This concerned me because we all had studded tires & open wheels. I said its probably a really bad idea. We then started building bash bar exoskeleton & nerf bars to survive sure to happen turn 1 melee. By this time the race was less than 2 weeks away. Shmitty,Todd Cleasby & Erik Cleasby came to help fab ice racer into a war wagon. I had Todd Staples finishing final set of snow paddles. Wednesday night we had it all done & tested. The YXZ lifted the head & blew gasket. It had pulled 2 head studs from block. Shmitty & I worked round the clock finding & fetching parts, removing, repairing & reinstalling the engine. Tech & practice was Friday. Saturday morning @ 4:30 am I finished loading trailer. We showed up just in time for drivers meeting Sat 8am. I had not slept a wink since Wednesday morning. We were told 1 person showed up with a fuel cell and they blew up in practice on Friday. We couldn't use ours without a penalty or removal. We were also told the entire track was now plowed & we were going to start the race single file. We were told 5 minute mandatory fuels tops & no quick fuel cans originally. That was not the case at the race. The snow tire & bash bar prep was a waste of 100s of hours & $1000s of $. I went out for qualifying with no sleep for 4 days & having never seen the 10 mile track. The engine that usually rocketed me to 100 mph on rev limit would only go 73mph. I still managed to pass some of my class. Frustrated & unable to find it problem we loaded up & headed to shop. By this time sleep deprivation was so bad we couldn't function at all. Todd Cleasby met us at the shop as his brain was fresh. We rechecked cam timing all good. We discovered the turbo bearings were shot. Todd found I had also neglected to tighten 1 of the intake clamps in my sleepless stupor.

    We tried finding another turbo with no luck. Took it apart & did what we could. Went on our lake at 10pm Sat & bam 99mph!! I got 5 hrs of sleep that night which helped a bit. Sunday morning we found out the timing hadn't worked for qualifying & they ran it again later. Because we weren't there we had to draw a card from deck for starting position. I pulled a 2 LOL. So we started from the back with 30 second intervals. I couldn't remember where the track went from the 3 lap glimpse with no sleep. Right out of the start the YXZ even with a clueless pilot hunted down & passed the pro mod class within a few miles. 10 miles later I saw a dust cloud & the side of an orange YXZ. Johnny Greaves is a Pro 4 truck short track racing god who qualified 1st in an orange YXZ. I was gaining on an Orange YXZ!! I passed it easily & went into cruise mode lifting down the straights & conservative corners trying to preserve the lead or so I thought. I came into pits for fuel on lap 6 & was told I was in second running 5 seconds a lap off of Johnny Greaves. I went back out with fire in my eyes & the right pedal smashed. 20 miles later the turbo fed itself to the engine. Watching the video I realized the YXZ I thought was Johnny was a yellow 1 with orange sides. We did manage to help a few competitors finish while licking our wounds in the pits. The good is I lost 10 lbs thrashing on the thing. I found out at 48 I still have more fight in me than most 28 year olds. I have really awesome friends who fought like hell to make it all work. Shmitty put his life on hold for a month. Cody Reinhofer loaned me tires , wheels & parts off his own machine. He also spent a lot of time discussing ice tire tech. Thanks Jackie, Todd Cleasby,Erik Cleasby,Angie Novatney,Todd Staples,Casey Hauck, Lucas Olson, Mike Skillingstad, Ron Marks, Jim Mussels, Dennis Gadbaw. Unfortunately we wasted 100s of hours & $1000s of dollars prepping for unusual race methods that were abandoned later without informing us.

  • That was awesome to watch! Great driving too!! After reading your story...it's a shame Race organizers aren't fined for their negligence...which costs racers valuable time and money. Your car was hauling ass. How much boost are you running in that thing? And again...awesome job bro!

  • Thanks Ben. It was 15 psi in testing. I turned it back to 12 for the race.

  • Great story, thanks for sharing! Awsome video too, that looks really fun!!!

  • We started with a used turbo yxz. Now that we know its the machine to use & have been hooked. We'll build fresh for these speeds.

  • Wow! Unreal driving. Looks like a blast!!

  • Damn that was cool. Love seeing the YXZ pass that dopey X3!

  • Belt drives didn't really stand a chance in this event. YXZ does 100mph with 30" tire. Average speed with corners was over 80mph. CJ Greaves won pro stock class in YXZ. Bike Man was there with Jason Luberg driving. Evo Performance was there with X3s. They couldn't keep belts on.

  • Man that looks like fun! I think they could use a lot more cones. With almost no contrast it makes it really hard to see were you are going at speed. Thanks for posting.

  • Now that looks like a blast!! Good Job!!

  • Awesome!!!