EVERETT, Wash. — Xtreme International Ice Racing is the fastest sport on ice.
“It's very technical,” says racer Jay "The Wild Thing" Maloney. “It's very aggressive.”
Nitro charged dragster bikes race side by side at 50 to 60 miles an hour in hockey arenas.
“You have to move people, bump people, to pass,” says Maloney.
And--oh yeah--no brakes.
“Brakes would actually be dangerous because if someone is braking going into the corner, you'd run up the rear end of them,” says promoter and racer Anthony “The British Bulldog” Barlow.
If you want to slow down, crashing into hay stacks or the wall will do it for you.
“You've got no padding apart from the crash helmet so it does really hurt,” admits Barlow.
But it doesn’t hurt like getting run over by wheels with as many as two thousand embedded spikes. Barlow says those can chew you up like a chainsaw.
It sounds a little nuts, we suggested.
“I think it is,” says Barlow. “Maloney was saying the other day we're all nuts. I think we are.”
Maloney’s been racing since he was 4 years old; professionally since he was 16. He says the pros on this XIIR circuit are like brothers.
“I look forward to every weekend and seeing everybody,” he says. “But once we cross that line in this ice, the friendship normally goes out the window.”
There's pride on the line and money. With every lap the ice gets just a bit more slushy. At 60 miles an hour, things can change in an instant.
“Once it goes wrong there's no coming back from it.” Says Barlow.
It's a wild ride you don't want to miss.
“We always tell everybody we'll sell you a whole seat but you only need the edge,” laughs Maloney.
Xtreme International Ice Racing happened Saturday, February 16 at Angel of the Winds Arena. Tickets range in price between $10 and $30.