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Sunday, October 17, 1999 -- Ansted
Fire on the Mountain Street Luge
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

[Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

Fire on the Mountain
Dave Auld coming into the finish
You may have seen luge events in Olympic events, or perhaps even watched a few street luge races on ESPN, but until you see these guys flying down the mountain past you, it's hard to appreciate what's actually going on.

The 3rd Annual Fire on the Mountain street luge race brought Ansted alive on Sunday, October 17, with over 3,000 spectators and fans lining the course. Competitors came from across the United Sates and across the world to compete in this growing race. The competition was tough as the top 4 finishers in this race would earn a slot in the X-Games on ESPN. The number of participants rose from 20 last year, to 44 this year.

The course started at the top of Fire Tower Road in Ansted, and by the time the luge pilots reached the bottom no more than 2 minutes later, they had traveled 1.1 miles, hugged the inside of 19 turns, and reached speeds in excess of 70mph; all this while laying flat on their back, less than 2 inches above the blurred pavement.

Fire on the Mountain
Johno Moore keeping low in Ansted
The outsides of turns were all lined with bales of hay, providing some means of protection on a course most readily confess to be the toughest on the entire NSLA racing circuit.

Stopping power is provided by your own two feet. While it's not uncommon to see the pilots' shoes beefed up with a layer of tire tread glued to the bottom, it's not mandatory. As racers braked for the final 90 degree right turn after flying down the fastest part of the course, they were hidden in front of the smoke coming from the soles of their shoes.

Fire on the Mountain
No strangers to the paddy-wagon; catching a ride back to the top
The fastest time of the day went Lee Dansie(1:40). Also earning X-Game slots were John Fyer, 1999 NSLA Points Champion Travis "Airman" Tripp, and Mark Meadows. Fryer, Tripp, and Meadows finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th overall, respectively.

In the NSLA Pro class, Tom Mason finished fastest, followed by the 1999 NSLA Harcore Award winner Waldo Autrey, and Wade Sokol.

All official results will be posted as soon as they are received. Thanks go out to Michael Shannon for keeping this race going, and for handling the results. Much appreciation goes out to the Ansted community, local paramedic and police volunteers, and to all the spectators who came out to enjoy the day.