AMSOIL Pro Johnstad wins Pro-Lite

Martin Records strong effort during Pro main event

DULUTH, Minn. (Nov. 30) – Local Pro-Lite Snocross rider James Johnstad loves Spirit Mountain so much he assembled his family for an impromptu Christmas photo at the picturesque ski resort. The fact they were celebrating his big win in the season-opening AMSOIL Duluth National and the photo was taken on the top step of the AMSOIL Championship Snocross series podium was simply a giant bonus.”Everything we do out here is about being with family,” Johnstad said. “Getting everyone together just now and taking a photo we can use for Christmas, that just made today that much better.

“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders to get that first win (in Pro-Lites). They always say that once you get that first win the rest come easier. I hope that’s true. I haven’t actually won a final in about four years now, so it feels good to be back on top, especially with this AMSOIL sled.”

While Johnstad celebrated, teammate Ross Martin was left wondering what could have been.

In the main event of Pro competition, Martin quickly overcame a second-row start — the result of a qualifying accident caused by another rider — and found himself in third place after just a few laps. He then made a great pass for second before setting his sights on leader Tucker Hibbert.

Ross Martin got as high as second place during Saturday's Pro main event.
Ross Martin got as high as second place during Saturday’s Pro main event.

Martin methodically closed the gap on Hibbert and by Lap 10 was ready to pass. He made a great move in the rhythm section and nosed into the lead for a couple of seconds before his AMSOIL Polaris jumped sideways and rolled over. By the time Martin got up and remounted, he’d lost several spots. From that point forward he just rode out the race to salvage a few championship points.

“I think the rear end just got a little sideways and it was kinda over from there,” Martin said. “I felt pretty good and running up front is very familiar to me, so it wasn’t a case of nerves or anything. I don’t know; we’ve been working on our sled all day and it’s just not quite where I want it to be yet.

“I was definitely happy with my speed, but as the track got rougher it wasn’t working out for the setup we had. To prepare for tomorrow I’ll get with our mechanics and figure out a better game plan. We changed quite a few things from last year, and I guess mentally I’m just not sure where we stand just yet.”

Saturday’s race will be shown in its entirety at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 22, on CBS Sports Network. Sunday’s schedule will feature action in both Pro-Lites and Pro with qualifying beginning at noon. That race will air at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 29, also on CBS Sports Network.

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