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Hundreds watch high-speed racers kick up dirt at Turf Wars, held at the Becker County Fairgrounds

About 120 racers participated across a dozen racing classes at the 5th Annual Turf Wars Racing. The event brought adrenaline seekers from across the region to the Becker County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 4.

Racers wait near the starting line for their chances to compete during the 5th Annual Turf Wars Racing event, held Saturday, June 4 at the Becker County Fairgrounds in Detroit Lakes.
Racers wait near the starting line for their chances to compete during the 5th Annual Turf Wars Racing event, held Saturday, June 4 at the Becker County Fairgrounds in Detroit Lakes.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — Racers kicked up dirt at the Becker County Fairgrounds for the 5th Annual Turf Wars Racing event, held Saturday, June 4.

About 120 racers entered the ATV and dirt bike drag racing event across 12 different classes, and hundreds more witnessed the event from the fairgrounds bleachers as heat after heat of racers sped down the 300-foot track.

Saturday's race marked the first time Turf Wars has been held at the Becker County Fairgrounds. The event was previously held at Sherbrooke Turf in Cormorant, Minnesota.

Luke Eggebraaten, co-owner and organizer for the event, said he was so proud of all the racers who showed up, and the spectators watching from the bleachers added an amazing element.

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Two side-by-side ATV racers accelerate down the track during the 5th Annual Turf Wars Racing Event at the Becker County Fairgrounds in Detroit Lakes on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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Bubba Samuelson, right, of Frazee, tears off the starting line during Turf Wars Racing in Detroit Lakes on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"We feel so blessed that people want to come out to the fairgrounds to watch Turf Wars," said Eggebraaten. "We're right in the middle of town, so we're not just a couple kids throwing on an event, we're a legitimate company doing a fun thing in Detroit Lakes."

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The event was designed in a tournament-style, pitting two racers against each other in double-elimination rounds. Winners of each racing class were awarded 3-foot trophies.

Eggebraaten said the event had racers of all ages participating.

"We had a girl, it was her 4th birthday today, she was racing," he said. "It's been a lot of fun."

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Racers wait near the starting line for their chance to compete.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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Racers kick up gravel as they accelerate off the starting line during Turf Wars Racing in Detroit Lakes on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

The weather also cooperated, he said. Last year, it was 102 degrees on race day, making it unpleasant for many racers and spectators compared to Saturday's event, which had a high temperature of 73 degrees.

"One of the other surprises we've seen is just the spectating has been so much better," said Eggebraaten. "People are here to watch and engage with the racers, and just see how it's done here and have a good time."

One of the racers, Logan Mackner of Detroit Lakes, said the main difference between the fairgrounds and Sherbrooke Turf was the gravel track instead dirt and grass.

"It's less traction," said Mackner. "I really haven't noticed a difference because I have paddle tires."

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Racers accelerate down the track during Turf Wars Racing in Detroit Lakes on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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All-terrain vehicle racers accelerate off the starting line during the 5th Annual Turf Wars Racing Event at the Becker County Fairgrounds in Detroit Lakes on Saturday, June 4, 2022. The event marked the first time the event has been held at the county fairgrounds.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

ATV sand tires have paddles on the rear tires and center rib, or smooth tread, for the front wheels, according to ATVtires.com . They are used for enhanced grip and stability on loose track conditions, like sand or gravel.

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Macker said he likes racing ATVs because he likes to go fast, but had some problems in his first heat.

"I couldn't shift, so I lost my first race," said Mackner. "We'll see what happens with the next one."

For complete results from the 2022 Turf Wars, check out the event Facebook page. Drone videos of the race will also be added at a later date.

Lead Multimedia Reporter for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus.
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