by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
There was an extra attraction at the Beatercross races Thursday night. Something was hanging on for dear life to one of the cars hurdling the jumps and turns of Elk River Extreme Motorsports track.
Well, OK, it was just a yellow teddy bear, but he certainly added to the fun, bounding along with his paws clinging to the back end of the car’s roof while his master, Levi Tipcke of St. Paul Park, led start to finish in the Compact 2 Division main event.
“Don’t worry, he’s not going to fall off and have somebody run over him. He’s fastened pretty good,” said Tipcke’s mom to the press, adding that the stuffed animal was an outgrown and worn family toy, and they decided to let him race rather than donate him to Goodwill.
Apparently this teddy bear doesn’t party with Levi like the Ted in the current movie did with Mark Wahlberg. He just goes along for the ride.
Tipcke picked up his second win of the season and first since opening night. He said he’s thrown a rod a couple of times in between.
Also picking up Main Event victories were David Elia in UTV Stock, Karl Kraikowski in UTV Open, Mark Ellington in Compact 1 and Brian Norby in Trucks 1.
Norby, too, has something for people to notice on his vehicle. Its number is 3:16, and there are Bible verses on either side of his orange Jeep, John 3:16 and one from Colossians.
This was the sixth of seven scheduled events with the finale to be held Thursday, Aug. 23, when season champions will be named.
Beater X is (as stated on the ERX website) an entry-level, grassroots form of auto racing, consisting of compact cars and small trucks, competing head-to-head on an all-dirt race rack, with a layout that emphasizes small rolling jumps, elevation changes and tight corners — to create an extreme form of auto racing that the average guy can compete in.
Even without clinging teddy bears it’s been good fun for three years at ERX, proving to be a good ticket-seller and popular with kids, teens and adults alike.