Xtreme International Ice Racing makes successful return to Pelham

Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – The home of the Birmingham Bulls was transformed once again into the host for a night of highly-energetic and gas-powered fun on the night of Saturday, Jan. 20 as the city of Pelham welcomed the return of Xtreme International Ice Racing.

The racing event marked the first return of the ice racing spectacle to the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena and proved to be a successful sequel to the inaugural event held in March of last year. Despite the freezing cold temperatures outside, many from around the county made their way to Pelham to attend the rare outing.

“Events like these bring in revenue to our local businesses as people eat, get their gas, shop for necessities, and more right here in Pelham before and after the event,” Director of Skating Susie Gray said. “It is important to bring as much family-friendly entertainment to our community as possible. People need outlets for togetherness and fellowship. Exposure to our amazing city for those who are coming for an event such as this helps our businesses and other local attractions.”

In addition to the featured racers at the event, a number of local adult and youth racers also took part in the races and receiving their own fair share of track time and audience applause.

“We were thrilled to be back in Pelham, a truly one-of-a-kind place with a scarcity of local riders,” said Colby Long, one of the event’s featured racers. “Alabama may not be known for ice racing, but this year (we) brought together 22 talented local riders and drivers to compete alongside our international superstars.”

As with last year’s event, Xtreme International Ice Racing brought a mixture and variety of vehicles to the modified ice rink and showed a range of motorcycles, go-carts and pro-quad ATVs in multiple separate racing heats.

To navigate the ice track, most of the vehicles were equipped with specialized razor-sharp studded tires that provided the grip and traction necessary for the racers to maintain control. With the thickness of the ice increased for the event, the speed and power of the vehicles were only highlighted as the tires dug up the ice and kicked up snow with each passing turn and full-throttled straightaway.

It was a sight that required the arena’s Zamboni to reset the track multiple times.

The family friendly event was also witness to a few minor yellow-flag moments, including a wipeout from one of the youth riders, a tire-blowout on one of the go-karts and part of a barrier becoming stuck to the foot of driver. All was in good fun however, with no racer suffering any significant injury over the course of the event.

For the featured international racers, the winners in each racing class were as follows:

  • Speedway Class – Kyle Legault from Welland, Ontario
  • Flattrack Class – Colby Long from Bargersvill, IN
  • Outlaw Pro Quad Class – Anthony Barlow from Merseyside, England

With the success of the event now in the books, organizers for the event anticipate that they will see Pelham again in the future.

“We look forward to returning next year,” Long said.