As a gesture of appreciation for Gary Schwartz, fuel sponsor and one of the event’s founding fathers, the Merrill Ice Draggers dropped in to Pine Ridge Mobil Tuesday night, pumping fuel for customers and handing out pit passes from 5-7 p.m.
Despite the onset of the January thaw, draggers appeared surprisingly optimistic regarding the upcoming season.
“Well it’s definitely not the kind of weather we prefer,” said Chris Huitfeldt of Wausau. “It will definitely keep us off the ice on Saturday for our test and tune and most likely delay our first race day next weekend (Jan. 28), but we have all of February yet. Our season consists of four events and we schedule six every year, so as long as we can get four events in, we will have a complete season. If we can get some cold temps next week, who knows… maybe we can give it a go on Saturday. Either way, we are looking forward to it! It’s a great time every year, we have a lot of fun out there.”