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Northwoods Spotlight - Dirt Track Racing July 31Submitted: 07/31/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

Northwoods Spotlight - Dirt Track Racing July 31
EAGLE RIVER - Summer in the Northwoods for many folks means baseball, fishing, and vacation. For several, it can also mean racing.

Several days a week hundreds of area drivers racing for trophies and glory. Eagle River Speedway is one of the tracks in the Northwoods. Rhinelander's Jered Cech grew up watched his dad compete in drag racing. It motivated him to get a car and burn rubber.

"To be honest, I finally was able to get the money to race," Cech explains. "You can pay anywhere from $3500 to $35,000 for a car. This is closer to $20,000. The cost is high, but it's also cost effective."


It's not just the adults. Brian Retzlaff's son Parker also races. Cost can be an issue. But some of the lessons he's learning isn't just about racing.

"He loves it and it keeps in active," says Brian. "It keeps him from doing stuff he shouldn't be doing."

Depending on the class, these cars can go between 60 and 100 miles per hour. Joe Dufek had the chance to try one of these out on the track.

Joe didn't go very fast on the slippery track - averaging around 40 miles per hour.

The sport seems to be very strong in the Northwoods. It's thanks in part to a unique code shared by some of the drivers.

"It's the only sport I know where you might help someone, and they could turn around and beat you," says Bob Kleinschmidt of Arbor Vitae.

"It's a lot safer than people think," Retzlaff adds. "They have everything the NASCAR guys do. Hans devise. Fire suit. It's pretty safe for (his son Parker)."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - Before you head out on an outdoor adventure this summer, you might want to check your packing list.

Tom Stephens and his wife Jessica Allen own The Hiker Box in Eagle River.

They're used to helping people get ready for outdoor trips like camping, hiking, or kayaking.

They say packing food, water, fire starters and emergency blankets are crucial.

Clothing is important, too, right down to what socks you wear.

"If you think that a standard cotton sock is going to take care of you out there, you'll find out that you're wrong in a very painful and lasting way with huge blisters," says Tom.

Tom also says there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.

You should also bring along a first aid kit, but you should make it your own.

"You need to go through that and look at it from your eyes and what you need for first aid. Do you have special conditions? Do you prefer a certain bandage for your ankle?" says Jessica.

It's also good to bring a light, a compass, and repair tools on your trip.

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Two people went into the water and pulled the driver from the car, but the driver died.

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