Archive for January, 2014

Yamaha Racers Post Strong Results in Hayward; Henry Wins X Games Bronze

Posted on January 29th, 2014 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

Doug Henry rallied late in the final to earn the bronze medal at the line.

Doug Henry rallied late in the final to earn the bronze medal at the line.

Pleasant Prairie, WI – The eyes of the world were honed in on the slopes of Aspen, Colorado this past weekend, as Winter X Games 2014 brought together the best extreme athletes in the world for a competition only rivaled by the Olympics. Amongst them was adaptive snocross athlete and motocross legend Doug Henry. With special modification made to his Yamaha SR Viper RTX snowmobile, Doug rallied late in the final to pass Jim Wazny and earn the bronze medal at the line.

The medal certainly wasn’t a first for the long-time Yamaha athlete who is perhaps best known for being the rider to first win an outdoor national motocross championship in 1998 aboard a Yamaha YZ400F. The bronze marked Doug’s sixth medal in X Games competition, with four coming from Winter X and two more at Summer X.

Mitch Sebastian grabbed a pair of second place runs in Junior 16-17 and the 85 classes with his Phazer.

Mitch Sebastian grabbed a pair of second place runs in Junior 16-17 and the 85 classes with his Phazer.

While many of the world’s top snowmobile racers were at Winter X, several Yamaha independent riders were battling the elements in Hayward, Wisconsin in round two action of the COR Powersports cross-country series. The regional series is known for its demanding natural terrain courses, and Hayward proved to be all that and more, as sub-zero temperatures and wind gust in excess of 30-mph further challenged racers.

Highlights from the weekend include a strong showing from Pro Women’s racer Sarah Wiedmeyer, who captured the win in Women’s, a second in the Trail class, and a third overall in Vet 30. Matching Sarah’s efforts was last year’s rookie of the year Mitch Sebastian, who grabbed a pair of second place runs in Junior 16-17 and the 85 classes with his Phazer. Mitch also joined his father to snag another second place finish in the Team class aboard a Yamaha SR Viper.

Other Yamaha racers with strong showings included: a fourth place finish by Justin Steck in Pro Open; a second place run by Dusty Bodine in Sport Stock; and a fifth place in Vet30 by Seth Thorson.

Up next is the legendary Soo I-500, where Yamaha is one of the favorites to win it all. Follow all the action throughout the season at facebook.com/YamahaSnowmobilesUSA and youtube.com/user/YamahaSnowmobilesUSA

RVP Racing Goes Full Throttle in First USXC Terrain Race of the Season

Posted on January 28th, 2014 in Facebook, Sledder News

January 27, 2014, Hamel, Minnesota – RVP Racing, now in its 9th year of racing the Midwest cross country circuits on Stud-Boy Ski-Doo’s, went full throttle into the first USXC terrain race of the season at Oslo, Minnesota, this past Saturday. Racing aboard Ski-Doo MXZ XRS 600 E-TEC’s, veteran racers Nick Roehl, Sam Vandeputte, and Scott Pivec hit this season opening terrain race ready to shake down their new 600 E-TEC equipped Super Stock machines, against other manufacturer’s consumer machines and the limited build, purpose built race machines as well.

In the Semi-Pro class, which was the first race of the day, all three racers left the line with the weather cooperating and providing good visibility. The 54 mile two-lap race was just enough time for the racers to really get used to their new machines under full terrain race conditions. In the end, it was Sam Vandeputte with his seventh place finish in the 32-racer field who got top honors among the RVP team.

“The R-Motion suspension is really good on these machines,” commented Scott Pivec after the race. “I kept checking up for the big holes, only to find that I didn’t need to. The R-Motion just soaked them right up! I could have went faster. I’m still getting used to how good this suspension works!” Nick Roehl agreed, “This is the best suspension I have ever ridden. The XRS is perfect for these high-speed ditch lines. I’ve never ridden a sled that preformed this well, as delivered, with no changes.”

All three racers were scheduled to race in the all new Super Stock class, which is limited to fuel injected consumer sleds, later in the day, but due to the fading light, the Super Stock race was cut to one lap. After some discussion within the team and with race director Brian Nelson, Sam and Nick decided to bump up to the Pro Stock class, where they could put another 108 all important race miles on their sleds in preparation for the legendary I-500 less than two weeks away. “You can ride all you want, but one mile under race conditions is like 10, maybe 20, miles of practice riding,” said Sam. Scott remained in the Super Stock class to compare the new iron to the other brands.

Sam and Nick were to start side by side in the back of the field, with their consumer based sleds, while all others rode limited build race sleds. In the 108-mile Pro Stock race, Sam and Nick were able to push their sleds to see how fast they could go. Unlike almost all other racers who had fast lap times on lap one, Nick Roehl was able to go faster and faster each lap, posting his fastest lap time on the final lap. Nick finished in the top 50% with a respectable eighth place finish. Sam’s luck ran out trying to chase down another racer, catching a sharp lip in a field while heavy into the throttle, standing the sled straight up at high speed, and ultimately cart wheeling the sled, ending his race.

To top it all off, Scott Pivec took second place in the Super Stock class, only seconds behind race winner, and friend, John Arneson!

RVP racing will be fielding five racers in the all new Super Stock class at the I-500 less than two weeks away. Rookie racers Bob Nichols and Eric Sand will be joining the RVP team in Thief River Falls, looking to bring home some hardware.

The entire RVP Racing Team is sponsored by Ski-Doo and Stud-Boy traction products. Racer Nick Roehl is sponsored by Hi-Performance Engineering.

One Snocross Gold And 17 Cross-Country Wins For Team Arctic

Posted on January 28th, 2014 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

Team Arctic’s Tucker Hibbert Wins 8th Career Gold at ESPN X Games; Team Arctic Cross-Country Scores 17 Wins at USXC in Oslo, Minn.

Hibbert 7 Peat_John Hanson ImageThief River Falls, Minn. (Jan. 28, 2014) – Team Arctic terrain racers struck gold again, winning the snocross at the ESPN Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., and taking 17 class wins at the USXC cross-country in Oslo, Minn. The X Games snocross gold once again belonged to Team Arctic/Monster Energy pro Tucker Hibbert, the winningest snocross racer in history and the first X Games athlete to win seven back-to-back gold medals. Hibbert dominated the snocross event from start to finish, winning by 13 seconds over second place to claim his eighth career gold and 12th career medal at the prestigious event.

“To win the X Games gold medal seven years in a row is an accomplishment that’s beyond words,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “Tucker and his team dedicate themselves to winning this race, with untold hours of testing and practice. Tucker’s wins have elevated the sport of snocross while making him a genuine living legend among action sports athletes.”

Kloety also added, “In addition to winning gold at the ESPN X Games, Team Arctic placed four other pros in the snocross final with Dave Joanis, Cody Thomsen, Mike Bauer and Logan Christian. Chris Heppding took sixth in the Snocross Adaptive final; Cory Davis finished second in the Long Jump and sixth in Freestyle; and Willie Elam took seventh in freestyle.”

Team Arctic cross-country racers delivered their own gold medal-winning weekend, capturing the win in 17 of 21 finals at the first ditch event of the season in USXC. Zach Herfindahl led the victory march with a solid win in the Pro Stock class. After suffering a DNF while leading the Pro Open final – the result of a rock puncturing his sled’s heat exchanger – Herfindahl raced the stock class on the sled of his Christian Brothers Racing teammate Ryan Simons. Simons finished second in the Open class and would have been in contention to win the Stock class had he not graciously offered his sled to Herfindahl, who leads the point chase.

Timmy Kallock waited for the ditch races to start his season, and it paid off with his sweep of the Semi Pro Stock and Improved classes. Other double winners included Jon Arneson (Super Stock and Masters 40 Plus) and Hunter Houle (Sport 85 and Junior 14-17). Team Arctic racers swept eight class podiums while garnering 43 of 63 possible podium places.

“The first multi-terrain race of the season is always exciting, you don’t really know what to expect. It was good to see some new names at the front of the pack, as well as those names we’ve seen there all year. Oslo proved that Arctic Cat’s snowmobiles and racers are as good in the rough ditch as they are on the lake courses,” said Kloety. “The team will be ready for the I-500 beginning Feb. 6.”

Photo by John Hanson

Team Arctic Results from 2014 USXC Cross-Country in Willmar, Minn.

• Pro 600:1. Zach Herfindahl

• Pro Open: 2. Ryan Simons

• Semi Pro 600: 1. Timmy Kallock; 3. Cole Nymann

• Semi Pro Improved: 1. Timmy Kallock; 3. Cole Lian

• Super Stock: 1. Jon Arneson; 3. Joseph Wood

• Expert 85: 1. Austin Lunde; 2. John Langaas; 3. Nathan Lindom

• Expert 85 Improved: 1. John Langaas; 2. Nathan Sillerud; 3. Grady Reinking

• Masters 40 Plus: 1. Jon Arneson; 2. John Koch

• Masters 50 Plus: 1. Brian Brown; 2. Don Rogers

• Sport 85: 1. Hunter Houle; 2. Ryan Weidemann; 3. Ross Ilstrup

• Sport 600 Stock: 3. Chase Nordstrom

• Sport 600 Improved: 1. Chase Nordstrom

• Trail: 1. Nathan Sillerud; 2. Thomas Junglen; 3. Logan Killchowski

• Vintage: 1. Jim Mattison; 2. Peter Behm; 3. Joey Potucek

• Vintage Legends: 1. Gerry Mattison

• Classic IFS: 1. Steve Martinson; 2. Tom Clement; 3. Tyler Knutson

• Women: 2. Jolene Bute

• Junior 10-13: 1. Tyler Brown: 2. Paul Brown: 3. Keaton Black

• Junior 14-17: 1. Hunter Houle; 2. Nathan Joyce; 3. Ross Ilstrup

• Jr. Girls 10-13: 1. Sarah Kleinvachter

• Jr. Girls 14-17: 2. Kelsey Pladson; 3. Sara Larson

USXC Gets Kids In On the Act with Mini I-500 & 250 Events

Posted on January 27th, 2014 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

Two Special Races Announced for 120 Competitors at I-500 and Walker Sites

Spicer, MN (January 27, 2014) – The tradition in cross country snowmobile racing has been to start them off young and that legacy continues in 2014 at two USXC Racing venues. USXC has added two special race events to the schedule geared directly at kids on 120cc sleds to give them a taste of real cross country competition.

USXC Mini_I_500591d50On Saturday, February 8, 2014, during the Seven Clans I-500 race in Thief River Falls, there will be a special “Mini I-500” held. The course will be one mile in length and racers will complete five total laps in a test of kid and machine. Winners of the Mini I-500 race will receive a one night stay at Seven Clans Casino Water Park including six water park passes and a $50 gift from Recreational Motorsports. Then, at the year-end Moondance Jam 100 race in Walker, MN on March 8, kids will again be able to test their riding skills in the “Mini I-250.” The Walker course will be a quarter mile in length and racers will battle through another five laps in pursuit of the checkers.

Four classes will be available for racers at each of the two events. The classes will be made up of two age groups, 6-8 and 9-12 years old. Racers in the two age groups can choose to compete in Improved Stock, which allows for open gearing on an otherwise stock 120, and the Pro 206 class, where the big Briggs & Stratton four strokes make their home. Race entry fees are only $37.50 and additional information can be found on the USXC website at usxcracing.com.

Last year’s Yamaha Junior 10-13 class points champ, Ean Voigt cut his racing teeth aboard a 120Z Arctic Cat. Mini racing has long been the start for many cross country racers, beginning with Arctic Cat’s Kitty Kat model in the early ‘70s. Thanks to the recent partnership between Arctic Cat and Yamaha, all four brands are now represented in the 120 class with the addition of the Yamaha SRX 120.

USXC owner Brian Nelson is excited about the two events. “We wanted to do something for the kids that was really special, not just a novelty sprint race, but something with a real cross country course,” Nelson said.

Moms, dads, and friends will be burning wrenches preparing their 120s to take the green flag in a few weeks. The USXC Mini I-500 and 250 events will be the longest 120 class races held in the history of cross country snowmobile racing. USXC Racing looks forward to seeing these future pros compete between the arrows.

USXC Racing is the largest cross-country snowmobile racing organization in North America. The USXC is set to hold eight races during its 2013-2014 race season which runs from December 2013 to March 2014. Follow USXC on Facebook or visit www.usxcracing.com for more information, registration, news, and race results. Contact USXC at 320-894-5839 or e-mail info@usxcracing.com. For sponsorship information contact Noel Schanilec: noel@usxcracing.com.

Herfindahl Wins at USXC Oslo 100

Posted on January 27th, 2014 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

usxc logo

Zach Herfindahl (Arctic Cat) Edges Gabe Bunke (Polaris) for Pro Stock Win

Oslo, MN (January 25, 2014) – USXC Racing returned to the ditches Saturday at the Oslo Merchants 100 after three consecutive lake races to kick-off the season. At the end of the 100 plus mile Yamaha Pro Stock final, Christian Brothers Racing’s Zach Herfindahl (Cat) managed a narrow victory. In hot pursuit were two racers with veteran resumes: Polaris’ Gabe Bunke (2nd place) and Justin Tate (3rd).

For the first time all season, race-perfect temps and moderate breezes awaited those arriving Saturday morning. Plenty of snowfall repositioned by Minnesota winds, however, were the recipe for some rough ditch lines. The course consisted of 27 miles of technical ditch and some high speed Red River running. After three consecutive races where pro class lap times shrunk as the day progressed, the Oslo Merchants 100 race broke that trend. By the time the Pro Stock race dropped, the course had holes as deep as four feet greeting racers.

A total of seven riders dropped out of the Pro Stock race before the checkered flag flew, by far the most DNFs at the half way point of this season. In the continued revolving door of podium finishers in the pro classes, Bunke earned a decisive victory in Speedwerx Pro Open over the returning Ryan Simons (Cat), with Ross Erdman (Doo) breaking out of a funk with a solid third. Bunke’s best time in Pro Open was a shade under 23 minutes, his Pro Stock time was a full 3 minutes slower. Making a charge at Oslo, Bunke’s teammate Spencer Kadlec battled for a fourth place finish in both the Pro Open and Pro Stock classes.

Rider parity this season is not restricted to the pros, with the semi-pros trading out positions, as well. Clearly using his knowledge of the area to his advantage, Oslo local Timmy Kallock (Cat) managed a first place finish in both the Semi-Pro and Amsoil Semi-Pro Improved classes. No stranger to the semi-pro podium, Alex Hetteen (Pol) grabbed second place in both classes, but his lap times increased too as the day progressed.

Perhaps just as notable as the winners and losers, was who did and did not show up in Oslo. Christian Brothers and Arctic Cat welcomed back Ryan Simons, as well as an old friend to cross country racing, D.J. Ekre. Ekre, who retired after a season-ending injury early last season apparently missed the smell of two stroke smoke enough to make a comeback. CBR, however, was missing racer Brian Dick Saturday, who likely would have made a serious run in the pro classes. Also conspicuously absent from Oslo was Yamaha’s Corey Davidson and semi-pro riders Cale Anseeuw and Casey Pries.

The Oslo Merchants 100 could be a preview of what’s up next: The Seven Clans Casinos I-500 in Thief River Falls, MN February 6-8. Parents, February 8 marks the running of the special Mini I-500 for the hard chargers on 120cc sleds. See www.usxcracing.com for details.

The complete recap of winners from Oslo include:

Yamaha Pro Stock: Zach Herfindahl (Cat); Speedwerx Pro Open: Gabe Bunke (Pol); Semi Pro: Timmy Kallock (Cat); AMSOIL Semi Pro Improved: Timmy Kallock (Cat); Drift Racing Super Stock: Jon Arneson (Cat); Polaris Expert 85: Austin Lunde (Cat); FOX Expert 85 Improved: John Langaas (Cat); Ski-Doo Masters 40+: Jon Arneson (Cat); Red Lake Outdoors Legends 50+: Brian Brown (Cat); Carver Performance Sport 85: Hunter Houle (Cat); Woody’s Sport 600 Stock: Nels Wicklund (Pol); Action Graphics Sport 600 Improved: Chase Nordstrom (Cat); C&A Pro Trail: Nathan Sillerud (Cat); FLY Racing Vintage: Jim Mattison (Cat); Arctic Cat Vintage Legends 50+: Gerry Mattison (Cat); TEAM Industries Classic IFS 18-50: Steve Martinson (Cat); On Snow Magazine Women’s: Anne Pladson (Pol); Seven Clans Casinos Junior 10-13: Tyler Brown (Cat); Mattracks Junior 14-17: Hunter Houle (Cat); Yamaha Generators Junior Girls 10-13: Sarah Kleinvachter (Cat); Applied High Performance Products Junior Girls 14-17: Kelsey Bardson (Pol).