The Bozeman Mountaineers Hill & Hole was held April 27, 2013, at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds in Bozeman, Montana. Spring was finally just starting to come around in Montana, and the high for that day was 57 degrees F. Bozeman is a quaint small town with a population of 38,000. It's located in southwestern Montana about an hour's drive north of Yellowstone National Park. The area is a haven for many outdoor activities, including mud racing.
There were 63 driver entries for the event and about 500 spectators in attendance. Attendance was better than expected, and the bleachers filled quickly, leaving standing room only for late arrivals. Drivers were allowed to bump one class and run twice.
The Mountaineers kicked off the event with the Stock class, which was limited to vehicles with no performance or suspension modifications and a stock tub. Mike Jongeling won this class in his '68 Ford Bronco. He completed his run in 9.16 seconds, catching big air on the first bump.
Next up was the Street class with 24 entries. The rules for the Street class were as follows: suspension modifications allowed, stock tub, minor performance modifications, and the rig must be street legal. Justin Uiterdyk won the Street class in his '79 Toyota Pickup converted to run on propane with a time of 10.21 seconds.
The Modified class saw 21 entries. The class allowed suspension and performance modifications, but vehicles had to run on pump fuel or diesel (no race fuel or alcohol). Donnie Maxwell caught some truly impressive air with his Cummins-powered '75 Ford F-350, winning the class with a time of just 7.7 seconds. Many of the drivers in the Modified class were sticking after landing the first jump, but Donnie's “Fummins” powered right through. Brian Galvin also put on a show with his '55 Reo M-55, which also has a Cummins under the hood. Brian took Second Place with a time of 9.2 seconds.
The final class of the day was the Race class. Rules? Anything goes. Donnie Maxwell won the Race class as well, catching even bigger air and with a time of 7.9 seconds.
The racing lasted about four hours and ended at 4 p.m. Not all of the racers walked away with payouts, but everyone did have a blast playing in the mud as the spectators cheered them on.
Bozeman Mountaineers 4x4 Club
The club is a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting safe and fun motorized recreation (bozemanmountaineers.org). The club holds racing events such as the Hill & Hole to raise money, which is then used to fight to keep out trails open for motorized recreation. The Mountaineers do this by donating proceeds from events to organizations like United Four Wheel Drive Association, Citizens for Balanced Use, Red Rock 4-Wheelers, and BlueRibbon Coalition. The Mountaineers help to keep our trails open by working on conversation projects and performing trail maintenance and cleanup.
Hill & Hole Race Winners
Stock Class (11 entries)
1st: Mike Jongeling won with a time of 9.16 seconds in his '68 Ford Bronco.
2nd: Corey Dwaldon came in Second Place with a time of 9.94 seconds in his trusty '79 F-150.
3rd: Justin Uiterdyk took Third Place with a time of 9.94 seconds in his dependable '79 Toyota Pickup running on propane.
Street Class (24 entries)
1st: Justin Uiterdyk with a time of 10.21 seconds in his '79 propane-powered Toyota Pickup.
2nd: Christopher Ross with a time of 10.95 seconds in the old '70 Chevy K30.
3rd: Ed Fitzpatrick put on a great show with a time of 12.34 seconds in his '85 Chevy Blazer.
Modified Class (21 entries)
1st: Donnie Maxwell was the leader of the pack with a time of 7.7 seconds in his '76 Ford F-350 powered by a Cummins diesel engine.
2nd: Brian Galvin with a time of 9.2 seconds in his '51 Reo M-55, a great time for a heavy military truck.
3rd: Shane Jongeling placed with a time of 10.35 in his classic '74 Ford Bronco.
Race Class (7 entries)
1st: Donnie Maxwell blasted down the course and finished with a time of 7.9 seconds in his Cummins-powered '75 Ford F-350.
2nd: Brian Galvin took Second Place in this class too with a time of 10.5 seconds in the old '51 Reo M-55.
3rd: Chris Rogers pulled 13.4 seconds out of his '55 Chevy Truck, winning a place on the podium.