Some of the most thrilling car races in Minnesota take place on a frozen lake in rural Rush City.
The International Ice Racing Association of Minnesota meets multiple times per year on a track on top of frozen East Rush Lake. Dozens of Minnesotans from across the state flock to the area with modified and stock cars during the winter months to duke it out on the frozen waters.
Sarah Appel of Minneapolis made the trek up to Rush City several times this winter for the meets.
“Ice racing is the perfect practice for summer track racing or the perfect excuse to make a beater ice racer with or without studded tires and get out there and have fun. Everyone involved is so excited to have newcomers and show them the ropes; it’s a passionate group out there.”
The courses are plowed and maintained with this week's East Rush Lake course pictured here:
From there, a handful of drivers do "wheel to wheel racing" (head-to-head in layman's terms) and others choose time attack racing. Wheel to wheel racers all have studded tires, whereas time attack is open to non-studded vehicles as well. Those who race wheel to wheel should expect close quarters with other drivers.
"It's awesome being on somebody's tail going completely sideways into a turn, trying to pass them while inches from their bumper," said racer Ian Forte.
If you want to try your hand behind the wheel or simply watch, the final races will take place March 3rd and 4th on East Rush Lake by Flickabirds Resort with free entry for the first ten new cars.
(photos courtesy IIRA Facebook page , Ian Forte and Sarah Appel)