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  Who is Root River Racing:
Team Owner - Rich Gillette
Team Manager - Rod Mickelson
Team Motor Builder & Trainer - Dee Manshack
Maintenance Specialist - Tony Subjek
                                          Leon Spinden III
                                          Jim Keough
and 7 great families and 8 incredible riders.
  Where is Root River Racing’s home base: Root River Powersports in La Crescent, MN.
  When was the team formed and its history:
2006-2007—Rich Gillette started personally sponsoring riders in the Minnesota Quad Motocross Dis-trict 23 series as his son Alex was learning the sport.
  2008—Rich, looking for a way to reduce the cost of sponsoring riders, he opened Root River Powersports, LLC with the assistance of Rod Mickelson. During this season the Root River Racing Team was born. The team consisted of 7 riders that he had helped in the past. The team raced all 15 of the District 23 races.
  2009—Due to the economic down turn in the end of 2008, the team was scaled back just 4 riders. Once again the team raced all of the District 23 races, but included 3 ATV MX National Championship series races into the schedule.
  2010—With the economy turning around, Rich split his support between local District 23 riders and ATV MX National Championship series riders. By the fall, he felt more could be done at the national level. Sitting down with Rod and Doug, it was decided that the national riders needed the best of the best to compete at this level. Focusing on the quads, he had 5 brand new Honda TRX 450Rs built, a new JB performance Supermini 150cc mod, rebuilt a Honda 300ex and rebuilt 2 other 90cc mods. The reasoning behind this was to increase performance and minimize mechanical failure. To make sure the quads stayed in tip top shape, they were kept up and maintained at Root River Powersports in between every race.
  2011—Before the ATV MX National Championship series began, the relationship between Rich Gillette and Motowoz Performance Systems had grown into a virtual partnership of sponsorship and representation at the National tracks. Doug Schiltz, who works at Root River Powersports was sent to Motowoz to be taught how to adjust and re-build the Motowoz shocks that the teams race quads would be running. In turn, Rich and Root River Powersports would have Doug join the team at all the races for maintenance support on the quads and to represent Motowoz on Vendors Row.
The Root River Racing team was very successful. The team never had a DNF due to mechanical error during any of their race motos. Of the 6 riders that started the year, 3 raced all 11 ATV MX National Champi-onship series and finishing 7th overall or better. The other 3 riders had season ending injuries. The races that they did compete in they finished no lower than 13th.

2012 – The Root River Racing Team was the up and coming team to be modeled after. We received hundreds of comments by other race families, event personnel and track owners about our professionalism, conduct on the track as well as off the track by our riders and what a huge help we were to everyone that needed it. We were also praised for everything we were doing to help the sport and the National Championship series. This and our performance on the track earned us the Team of the Year award.

Our success had grown rapidly and it showed most of all on the track. Only achieving one national title with “Factory Sam” Rowe’s performance in the Schoolboy Jr class, we were in the hunt with every class we signed up for. The team made 57 appearances on the podium with 13 overall wins.

2013 – Rich’s passion for this team, the ATV motocross sport, the National Championship series and all its riders had grown to an epic proportion. In the fall of 2012, Rich made the hard decision to shut down the store front of Root River Powersports and move the race team to our new race shop. There were multiple reasons for this, but the biggest was so that the mechanical specialist team of  Rod Mickelson, Tony Subjek and Doug Schiltz had a much better layout to build these awesome machines. About this same time, Rich met with the series owner and managers to discuss a title sponsorship program that would start branding the sport with a nationally recognizable name from outside the motocross world. With his connections at Pepsi-Cola, Rich chose to use the Mtn Dew name to bring as much attention to the series as possible. The choice to use Mtn Dew comes from Rich’s theory that the series would be more recognizable to potential spectators, sponsors and local patrons if a nationally known product outside of the sport was supporting the series. At this point, the jury is still out as to whether it worked or not.

The team grew in the off-season to 10 full sponsored riders and 7 partial sponsored riders. All the riders really busted their butts in the offseason with their schooling and training. It definitely showed in their results at the race track. Dalton “Bubba” Hicks was ultimately successful in achieving his first national championship in the 450A Class.  “Factory Sam” Rowe kept his winning ways rolling with his 4th national championship when he moved up to the College 16-24 class. The rest of the team made leaps and bounds with their performances also by increasing their podium finishes to 97 and overall wins to 30. That is an increase of 58% and 43% respectively. In the 15 classes that the team raced we took 10 2nd place series finishes.

There was an incredible amount of competition in each of these 15 classes and many of those 2nd place series finishes were decided at the last race of the year. There was a sour faces on the riders since a lot of them missed their championships by only a couple points. Rich wasn’t dejected or disappointed at all. He knew how much better the team had become and he knew that the future was only going to get brighter with more championships.

Shortly after the seasons end, Doug Schiltz our Motowoz Shock specialist came to Rich and told him he was moving on. He stated that it was nothing more than the travel was taking too much of a toll on him and his relationship. The same goes for the teams vet rider, Mike Barnhart. Brent Sellers has also decided to step down from the team. After his horrific crash at Red Budd in 2012, he told Rich at the end of the season this year, his heart just wasn’t in it as much as it was before. To all of them we wish them well.

2014was definitely a season of success. That success didn’t come without some bumps and bruises, but as the riders tell me, “That’s racing”. Championships were won by Root River Racing in Open A, Production A, 450 A, Women and Super Mini. This more championships that were won this year by any formal team or by this team in any one season. Included in those five championships our riders hit the podium 68 time and took 36 overall wins.

The season started a little rough with one of our top riders, Haedyn Mickelson going down in the very first lap of the very first moto of the year. He took a bad spill in a high speed corner and end up with a compound fracture of his leg just above his boot. Figuring him to be out for the year, I felt crushed for him because of how hard he had trained in the off season. I witnessed more determination in Haedyn’s desire to race and win than I have ever seen in my life. Within 6 weeks Haedyn was back racing and WINNING!

Other highlights to our season was Megan Manshack achieving her 12 year quest to win the Women’s national championship, eight time national champ “Factory” Sam Rowe winning 2 championships in one season, Noah Mickelson winning his first ever national championship in the Super Mini class, Dylan Tremellen chalking up another championship bringing him to a total of five and Sean Taylor having his best year yet in the AMA Pro Class.

2015A few new faces for 2015. Pro rider Josh Upperman, B class rider Tyler Mack and 90’s class rider Owen Subjek bringing the full sponsored riders to a 12. Josh Upperman “Uppie” as he likes to be called came to us from Baldwin Motosport looking for a change. Minnesota native Tyler Mack joined the team after 10 years as a partial sponsored rider for Root River Racing. The extremely intelligent 8 year old Owen Subjek was thrown onto the team by Rich Gillette, because he saw a lot of talent in him even though he had very little experience.

The season for us started at Daytona International Speedway for the first ever ATV Supercross
event on March 18th, 2015. With a full 4 months of R & D on our Pro Quad setup for Josh Upperman, we were happy with a 7th place finish from him. Knowing the adjustments and modifications of Josh’s quad was far from over, we knew it was going to be tough to get to the podium with him and his quad.
Through out the year we did get to a setup that Josh could run a very fast pace and be in the thick of it
throughout the entire moto.

Crashes and injuries plagued us this year. Both Alex Gillette and Tommy Vossman Started the season with broken wrists and wouldn’t start their seasons until rounds 4th and 5th respectfully. Owen Subjek broke his femur playing with friends after practice at the 3rd round of racing. Noah Mickelson broke his hip at the 4th round and Logan Tremellen ruptured his large intestine in a crash at the 6th round.

The Team started giving back through one of our major sponsors Racing for Cancer. Through our win bonuses from Tom Vossman we contributed $12,300 dollars to the foundation. We also visited adolescent cancer hospitals at 6 of our events where Josh Upperman and 1 to 2 of our amateur riders would visit with patients and give them signed posters and other Root River Racing apparel.

Tough year for Root River Racing, but we pushed through to look forward to 2016. We still made it to the podium 44 times and more than half of our riders finished in the top 5 of their classes.
    I have a background in business and philanthropy that goes back long before I was   even born. My Grandfather bought his first franchise of Pepsi-Cola in 1934. Over the next 62   years he and my father would grow the business into one of the largest and most successful   independent multi-franchise ownerships of Pepsi-Cola. Once the companies were successful, my   father and grandfather gave back to the communities that made them successful.   Through their generosity, they help thousands of people in many different ways. I   idolized them for their determination, success and compassion. Through gifting, my grandfather   incorporated all of his grandchildren into the business as shareholders, but never as a part of the   operation of Pepsi-Cola. Even though I could never hold a position within the company and since   I had shadowed my father at Pepsi-Cola since I was 12 years old, I still went on to College for   business management.

After college, I became the general manager of a successful bowling alley,   bar and grill. After two and a half years the bowling alley was sold to a large conglomerate of   bowling centers. I moved on to real estate sales. I became a success very quickly with my knowledge of marketing and sales through my years at Pepsi-Cola and my college education.

It was at this time when I met Rod Mickelson and started sponsoring his sons, Haedyn and Noah with their racing. Rod seemed like a good man and so did his boys. He told me about their racing and the struggles they had with keeping the quads running and getting to the races. I asked what I could do to help. Through helping them and spending time with them, it sucked both my son and I in. At one point, when I was buying Alex’s first race quad, Rod said to me, “Rich, you don’t want to do this. It will take over your life.”

Well here I am, 10 years later, with a team of 11 other riders from around the country. I’m committed to supporting them, to make them the best riders they can be and on some of the best quads I can produce. I believe that if I produce a quad using the best of the best, then it will be up to the rider to produce wins. I tell my riders and mechanics, that I never want to hear that it was something with the quad or a mechanical failure that held them back from the win. If there is something better out there, let me know and I’ll get it. ATV motocross is a large part of my life, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.  

In the past 3 years, I have expanded my support to the Title Sponsorship of the series to try to use the Mtn Dew name to drum up additional support as well as recognition to the sport. This extra effort is growing the sport and is working well with the spectators.
Root River Racing Sponsors
The success of Root River Racing is founded in the support of our sponsors, family and friends. 
We encourage everyone to support the companies that are allowing our riders to chase their dreams.
  Contact information:
Root River Racing - Rich Gillette
100 Twilite St Suite A La Crescent, MN 55947

Rich’s Cell: 507-269-2324
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