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ICE - Indoor Speedway on Ice

Indoor Ice speedway has been around for 45 years, in 1975, some fifty-four years after the beginning of speedway motorcycle racing, a group of inventive Americans took these brakeless, gearless, and simplest of all hybrid-racing machines indoors to compete on ice. Also in 1975, indoor ice racing competitions were being held using 250cc flat track bikes as the primary machines. A Michigan gentleman named Staten Lorenz was credited with starting this form of ice racing. The end result has been the evolution and development of a thrilling new sport. From its early American beginnings, indoor ice racing is now being enjoyed by fans throughout the world.

The first ever indoor speedway ice race was organized and promoted by a motorcycle dealer in Huntsville, AL in 1975. The next was held in New York State and the third was organized by a group of racers and their families in the summer of 1976. This event was held in the Kent State University Hockey Field House in Kent, Ohio. As fate would have it, then speedway rider, Gary Densford, staying in Indiana at the time, was invited to compete in this event by his close friend Bob Hetrick. Hetrick ended up winning the event and Densford finished second. 

More important in the big picture of things, it started the wheels rolling for what is now the World Championship ICE Racing Series. Densford left Ohio pumped up by what he had just experienced. He travelled the country looking for arenas to hold a championship series of events in. You can imagine the response from some arena managers back then. Everything from “You want to do what on my ice”!? to “Are you crazy” nitro burning motorcycles without brakes! You’re out of your mind!? With perseverance, Dens ford was able to find four willing victims?, (or should that write, willing arena managers) wrote a rule book and what heretofore was a novelty event had become a brand new motorsport.

It was in 1977 when Dens ford first formed International Championship Events/ICE to organize and promote indoor speedway ice racing. Back then the sport was quite simply titled Speedway on Ice. The first ever series of racing events were held that year. The early pioneering riders rode old two valve Czechoslovakian Jawa’s and British made JAP machines. All that was available for traction on the ice in those days was off the shelf hardware store sheet metal screws. There was no uniformity and racing results were quite primitive relative to today’s competition. In real terms – over two seconds a lap slower! Technical innovations have improved the sport dramatically since those early days. The biggest improvements have come in the areas of tire and stud technology. In 1982 ICE adopted a stud rule making use of a single designed stud mandatory. The new “Ice Getter” stud, The Ice Getter was a good universal stud that allowed for better traction and no increased ice wear (a very important consideration for indoor ice racing). This stud was about a second per lap quicker and gave very consistent traction.

As the sport and its riders developed further we began to realize that much more traction could be achieved and that there needed to be a stud design that could be “tuned” or adjusted. To accomplish this in 1985 ICE adopted a new mandatory stud called the “Kold Kutter”. This nifty little design knocked seconds off lap times! Although ice wear did increase, the gain in traction and exciting racing action was worth it. Indeed, the lap times and speeds got so quick that several older riders of the time decided to retire. The newest mandatory stud to be instituted by ICE on January 1, 1991 is “Silver Rockets Racing Studs”. They offer the best of all worlds for indoor ice racing and outdoor ice racing where ice wear is a consideration. The absolute most traction available with the least possible amount of ice wear, just what the doctor ordered. Over the years other forms or machine have been introduced, In 1985 ICE debuted the Trike and Quad Divisions, the Trike’s only lasted one year due to insurance issues,  and then in 2004 the X Kart.

Until 2016 the Franchise was owned by the very guy who pushed to get it all going back in 1977 Gary Densford, In 2016 it was made public that husband and wife team Ken and Kristi Remer had purchased the 40+ year running arena motorsports entertainment property ICE / World Championship ICE Racing Series, speaking to the press they said “We couldn’t be more thrilled to carry on the Densford Legacy and take ICE racing to the next level and beyond.” “We are extremely excited to see what the next 40 years for ICE will bring!”

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