By Matt Miller email@example.com
Danger on the ice
Des Moines will host 35th annual World Championship Ice Racing Series in November
In the short history of the Wells Fargo Arena, the multi-faceted complex has hosted some of today’s top sporting events including the Harlem Globetrotters, Monster Jam, PBR Classic and WWE Raw. You can check another off the list, as top professional riders will do battle in the opening round of the World Championship Ice Racing Series. Scheduled for Nov. 13, the motorsports competition enters its 35th season with state-of-the-art bikes and four-wheel ATVs seeking individual and championship points.
“We’ve been working with Wells Fargo Arena since it opened to get this here,” said Brent Densford, president of International Championship Events (ICE). “There are a lot of racing fans around Iowa, so why not have an event like this? Ice racing is growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s always exciting. It’s the same reason people like to see crashes in NASCAR and brutal fights in MMA — they like to see the carnage side of things. It’s definitely an extreme, intense form of racing.”
The first-ever, indoor, speedway ice racing championships were organized in 1977. Today, the sport draws thousands of fans from across the United States. While much of the sport is male dominated, there are a few women who compete and make their presence felt. Mandy “Wild Child” Brodil is one of them. Brodil is a three-time world champion and is once again looking to take home the title. Brodil, a California native, participated in her first race at just 18 years of age and didn’t let her inexperience and youthful look stop her from gaining the advantage over her male opponents. Brodil placed highly in several events and surprisingly won the World Championship point’s race in her first season.
“I’m the only female in history to podium, let alone win a world championship, and that’s one of my biggest accomplishments,” Brodil said. “It’s a great feeling and something that can never be taken away. I want that top spot again this season.”
That feeling of being the best is something that Brodil cherishes, and it’s something that fellow Kevin Veon wants to claim. Veon, a resident of Des Moines, enters his third year of the ice racing championships, which runs from Nov. 13 through March 25 in various U.S. cities including Portland, Fresno and Bloomington. The series will again visit Iowa when it stops at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena on Jan. 14-15, 2011.
“The most exciting part of racing is the adrenaline pumping through your body when you’re out there in front of the spectators,” said Veon, 26, who began racing after his friends decided to. “I’m definitely excited for the first race of the season — it’s been on my mind for a while. Most of the guys have been racing on dirt all summer, so when you get on the ice, it’s an even playing field. The ice is a totally different atmosphere.”
Veon is also eager to race in Des Moines in front of family and friends.
“They had an event in Chicago a few years ago that was cool, but being from the Des Moines area, it means a lot more to Iowans,” he said. “A lot of guys in the series are from around here, so it’ll be nice to perform for a Des Moines crowd. But even though it’s at home, it’s not going to be a cakewalk.”
Locker Room note: The 19th annual Komen Race for the Cure will take place Oct. 23, celebrating survivorship or honoring those who have lost their breast cancer battle. Register as an individual or start or join a team. The race will begin at the State Capitol Grounds at Grand Avenue and East 9th Street. Visit www.komendesmoines.org. CV
Caption:The no-holds-barred sport of championship ice racing visits Wells Fargo Arena on Nov. 13. Photo courtesy of World Championship Ice Racing