Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in partnership with the Midwest International Racing Association (MIRA) hosts the Turtle Creek 250 snowmobile race.
The snowmobiling race will take place in the open field near the Acme Meijer store on M-72, which is located about 15 minutes east of downtown Traverse City.
Dozens of race teams from throughout the Midwest will come to compete on a newly created frozen ice track.
From the organizers:
“There’s a format on Saturday that’s a lot of short sprint races. Between 5-7 laps. You’ll line up 10-12 sleds out here and it’s an all-out sprint for that short amount of time. They’ll have 20 different classes of high intensity quick races; plus races for the littlest kids, and a Junior Class staring at age 8.”
Sunday, day two of racing, brings the main event. Karl Schwartz with the Midwest International Racing Association says, “It will be a NASCAR-style event with snowmobiles. We’ll actually qualify for starting position. There will be pit stops, there will be pit crews. Instead of a pace car there will be a pace sled pacing the field. It’s really exciting racing. We actually have electronic scoring just like NASCAR does. True driver radio communications just like NASCAR does.”
“It’s about a two-hour race and similar to a NASCAR format. Where once the sleds start the race they keep racing until it’s done. So you come in, you get to watch quick pit stops that take 15 seconds to fill the sleds with gas and change the skis. And swap a rider and get right back out there.”
In all, it’s a 250-mile race, 500 laps. “We’re going to be hitting speeds of 90 mph on these sleds. So that’s going to be really cool to see.”
On Sunday our main event we limit to 32 starters. And each one of those pro-Enduro teams will bring a crew of 5-10 people”.
The site is owned by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
The Midwest International Racing Association holds similar racing events in Gaylord and the Alpena areas, but they say they’re happy to be coming to Traverse City.
What: Turtle Creek 250 snowmobile race
When: February 25-26, 2023
Where: Open field next to the Meijer (4900 M-72, Williamsburg, MI)