PolCat?

The spindles are custom but the a-arms looked like off-the-shelf Cat parts.

 

Keen-eyed observers at the ISOC Duluth National race may have noticed a much “taller” suspension gracing the front of Brett Bender’s Pro Open buggy on Saturday. We’re not experts, but up close it sure looked to be an Arctic Cat suspension affixed to the IQ bulkhead. We saw the sled inside the trailer and let’s just say not many details have been overlooked in it. We kind of expect this sort of thing to come out of Tim Bender’s shop, but the larger question is, with the mod-only Pro class is this an early glimpse at possible (and feared) amalgamation of the snocross Pro class?

Another look at the setup. Not sure how well it worked since Bender had an IQ race front back on the sled for Sunday's racing.

Park X, 2003

A few days ago I found myself going through old snocross photos. Fans and racers may remember Park X hosted a couple National snocross races, the first in December 2003. This was the third of 11 events on the WSA National schedule in 2003-2004, coming after Duluth and Winnipeg. Scroll on an sledRacer fires up the Wayback Machine.

Yes, that's Kirk Hibbert, racing Semi-Pro and leading the pack up the hill.

 

Jeff Gruhlke was a force in Semi-Pro in 2003-2004. He finished second in Pro Open points and nearly won Pro Open at Canterbury but got passed by Ryan Simons on the last lap.

Speaking of Ryan Simons, he had moved from the Olah Racing team to the Engelstad rig and raced Semi-Pro Open and Pro Stock. Paul Engelstad is now part of Tucker Hibbert's crew and Hibbert's race trailer is the old Engelstad rig.

The 602 is Dan Ebert, racing the Sport class.

D.J. Eckstrom finished on the podium nine times in '03-'04 and finished third in Pro Open and fourth in Pro Stock points.

Speaking of Engelstad, this is Alex Engelstad. He was a force in the Sport classes but decided to quit snocross and race cars. That's a new and totally green Colorado Rob with the mic.

This guy showed up with one of the T&S Racing mods from 2001. I wonder where all these sleds went? I'd sure like to have one.

I found a string of photos from the Pro Vet class that reads like a who's who of snowmobile racing. No. 60 is Scott Davis. Scott and Cory would come down for a few races each year.

People who know Dan Benham wouldn't be surprised to hear he gave the likes of Hibbert, Strege, Davis, Reimer and Engelstad a run for their money in Pro Vet that day.

Andrew Johnstad racing Sport. He's a Pro now.

Brett Bender racing Sport. He's a Pro now too.

Kylie Abrahamson used to race Sport against the boys. See the two numbers? She shared a sled with her brother Brett.

Brett Turcotte was riding Sport for Blair Morgan Racing. Park X was one of a handful of races he was at that year.

Semi-Pro Open final, r-l: Schultz, Malinoski, Simons, ?, Christensen, Gruhlke, Bauerly, Hentges, Olson. The question mark is a Warnert Racing rider, not sure who. Could be Jeff Arsenault.

Robbie Malinoski and Brian Sturgeon. The bald guy behind him is Brad Olah, his team owner.

Aaron Christensen was racing Semi-Pro Open and Pro Stock, seen here. He had changed his number from 137 to 10. He saved his sled from a yard sale off the big double at Winter X that year during practice - I still call that one of the best pieces of riding I ever saw.

After Tucker Hibbert left, Shaun Crapo was signed away from Polaris to run out of the Team Arctic rig. By mid-season he had three wins and the points lead in Pro Stock, but back pain led to a visit to the doctor just prior to Winter X. The diagnosis? A bulging disc that was close to his spinal cord ended his season.

Scott Vig takes a digger at the bottom of the hill. Scott and mechanic Rob Schatzle made a great team.

T.J. Gulla was brought on board with Team when a wrist injury sidelined Levi LaVallee at Duluth. He earned a call back the next year after he took two seconds and was leading the Pro Stock final at Valcourt before his sled broke. At that point I thought Gulla was jinxed. Since when do Bender-prepped sleds fail?

Zach Pattyn made a few WSA races in 2003-2004. At Park X he was with Zelinskis and shared a sled with Josh Zelinski.

After being plucked from Ski-Doo by Steve Scheuring to fill in for D.J. Eckstrom the season before, Ross Martin was once again a privateer, only this time on Polaris. By season's end he had a backdoor support program with Polaris via Judnick Motorsports. The rest is history.

In his early days, Levi LaVallee was the center of a lot of drama. At Park X he had an on-track run-in with Steve Martin that led to a confrontation with Martin's mechanic Chad Kyllo (white shirt) and his former mechanic Ron Verly (in sunglasses). Verly was C.W. Sirjane's mechanic that season, but C-dub missed a few races after breaking his foot at Duluth. My question is, who is the guy sippin' the 40?

The dynamic duo, Blair Morgan and Carl Kuster discuss the uphill run before the Pro Open final. Morgan was coming off a broken back and broken leg sustained in Motocross. Morgan won Pro Open that day and went on to win six more races and both points championships. That's why they call him Superman.

A month after Park X Mike Island would win the Gold Medal at Winter X. He won Pro Open at Syracuse and Geneva and finished second in points. His mechanic was Tony Swiontek, the guy who now wrenches for Ross Martin.

 

Tremblay Wins Pro Super Stock At Lake Geneva

The Pro Super Stock podium at Geneva: Tremblay, Ebert, Kaufman.

Lake Geneva, Wisc. (March 19, 2011) – During the eight rounds of AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series competition, Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing/Ski-Doo rider Tim Tremblay has faced several challenges with tenacity. His persistence paid off tonight as he was victorious in the SledHead 24/7 Pro Super Stock main event at the Nielsen Enterprises Grand Finale in Lake Geneva, Wisc.

[Read more...]

sledRacer.com Does The Duluth National

The Duluth track sent riders around the track clockwise instead of counter-clockwise as in years past.

What a difference a year makes. Last year the Duluth National Snocross was delayed because temperatures leading up to the race were too warm to make enough snow. This year? The snow piles were so high the crowd had trouble seeing over them. Plus, the Duluth area had at least 6-8 inches of natural snowfall leading up to the race. It made for a white thanksgiving as well as for a really sweet race weekend.

We spent two days at Duluth prowling the pits and checking out the racing. The way Duluth goes you could spent a week there and not see and do everything, but here are a bunch of photos that we hope will make you feel like you were there. Read on as sledRacer takes you on a journey to the Duluth National Snocross.

[Read more...]

Ride With Bender 2010

sledRacer.com 2010-2011 Snocross Rider Rankings

Cory Davis at Duluth 2009. He narrowly missed making our rider rankings list.

The 2010-2011 snocross season will kick off Friday, November 26, 2010, at the ISOC AMSOIL Duluth National snocross at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota. That’s in about one week, people, so it’s time for sledRacer.com to release its list of the Top 10 snocross riders to watch for the coming season. Our rankings are based on past year’s results, points totals and how much swag and free food we got from the team’s trailers. Read on as we present to you our best of the best. But first, an honorable mention.

One rider who didn’t make our list but should have is Cory Davis. As a rookie Pro, Davis only had one podium finish, but he also missed the podium by one spot twice. And he finished Top 5 in Open points and sixth in Super Stock points. His performance (and the fact that he’s entering the season with an injured foot) wasn’t quite good enough to get him on the list, but he does get an honorable mention.

[Read more...]

Winter X Games 15 Pre-Selected Athletes

Winter X Games 15 Snocross: Brett Bender is in.

Winter X Games 15 is coming up this January 27-30 in Aspen, Colorado. There will be five snowmobile events: Adaptive Snocross, Best Trick, Freestyle, Snocross, Speed & Style. A bunch of riders have already been pre-selected and they include:

Adaptive Snocross

Doug Henry

Jim Wazny

Jeff Tweet

  [Read more...]

Highlights From The 2010 FIM Snowcross World Championship