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Northwoods Spotlight: Record Vintage crowd; 20K expected for DerbySubmitted: 01/16/2013
Story By Joe Dufek


EAGLE RIVER - Last weekend was the first of two world championship snowmobile races in Eagle River.
Racers took us back in time, hopping on sleds at least a quarter-century old.

The Vintage Snowmobile Championships showed drivers racing on sleds which were made before 1985. Several Northwoods racers took the checkered flag on the final day of action. Including Jeff Stoxen of Rhinelander - winning in the 440 Sport Mod. Racing these old machines is a thrill.

"It's been getting bigger, and bigger," says Jeff Stoxen of Rhinelander - one of the vintage racers. "Everybody is one big family for vintage. Everyone helps everybody out."


A record 7,000 fans watched the Vintage races here at Eagle River Derby Track. Over 20,000 are expected for this weekend's World Championship Derby.

Derby track owner Chuck Decker adds, "the big news is the $60,000 prize to the World Champion this year. Just the one class alone is going to pay out $90,000."

Last year's defending champion Nick Van Strydonk will return to defend his crown. The Tomahawk racer is excited to be racing with the event celebrating it's 50th year.

Several past champions will be honored on Friday night. Time trials get underway Thursday. The World Championship is set for 3pm Sunday afternoon.

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TOWN OF HANSEN - Investigators want to know what caused a fire at a sawmill in Wood County Monday night.

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Surveillance video from a nearby house shows the mother running to retrieve her baby, who wasn't hurt.

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LAND O' LAKES - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office believes a tree falling into a power line caused a fire in Land O' Lakes Monday afternoon.

The Sheriff's Office received a call from a Wisconsin DNR warden at 2:12 p.m. reporting a grass fire in the area of Claire Fire Lane and County Trunk Highway S southwest of Land O' Lakes.

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The warning covers Ashland, Iron, Price, Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade, Forest, Florence, Oconto, Marinette, and Menominee counties.

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