DL Racing: Chasing The Soo 2.0

There's nothing like unwrapping some new buggies to put a smile on a guy's face.

For DL Motorsports and team owner Don LaBean, two must be a lucky number. Or at least he’s hoping it is. You see, 2012 will mark DL Racing’s second attempt at wining the Soo I-500, the team will run two sleds and they have two new riders. Yeah, you could say two is a pretty critical digit for Don and the team right about now.

With the 44th Soo I-500 a little over a month away, the DL Racing crew has already been hard at it for a few months getting everything situated for this year’s race. From taking delivery of new buggies, meeting with sponsors, attending Haydays, and making the plan to not enter 1 but 2 (2!) sleds in the SOO I-500 this year, there’s definitely been a lot going on.

“After a pretty successful launch into enduro racing last season, why not expand and put two sleds in every race” Says owner Don LaBean “We have the resources, man power, and a list of sponsors that totally support our team. The biggest hurdle for us this year was sorting through the resumes from racers who wanted to be a part of our team this season.”

All new and shiny, they almost look ready to ride.

DL Racing will have the same three riders back on board with the team this season, but with a few changes. With two sleds, Justin Tate will be switching over to the new No. 28 sled, while Shane Felegy and Joey Fjerstad will team up to ride the No. 29.

The team will also welcome Soo veteran and multi-time champion Jeff Leuenberger. Jeff brings a ton of knowledge and strategy to the team and a few new helping hands to pit row. Jeff will throw a leg over the No. 28 with Justin this season.

Also new to the team will be Grant Lynch. Grant spent a fair amount of time last season bouncing between cross-country racing as well as racing the Soo I-500. The DL Racing team is expecting big things from him this year.

The shop has been buzzing with activity getting sleds ready to race.

Not quite. The DL crew goes to work immediately, tearing down the sleds to the bare chassis to get them ready for the Soo.

“Sleds have been delivered and completely disassembled already, said LaBean, “The front ends have been tweaked and modified from what we learned last year and some subtle changes have been made to make adjustability a little easier.”

With the race looming just a month away it makes what little test time is left really critical.

“ The team is working really hard to make sure we are ready for the first test session in a few weeks and we plan on holding nothing back with either sled come the Soo,” said LaBean.

Stay tuned to sledracer.com for more updates from DL Racing and Chasing the Soo 2.0

Sponsors: DL Racing, Woody’s, Polaris, Tiede2 Motorsports, Wahl Bros., Camoplast, Fox Shocks, Fly Racing, HMK, Klotz, Straightline Performance, XLT Engineering, EVS, 139 Design and Weiss Equipment.

Cutting into the brand new tunnel? I can't watch! A Soo sled is a different animal and the list of mods needed to endure (and win) 500 laps on an ice oval is long. And yes, some require a steady hand with a cutting wheel.

Returning Team Members:
Don LaBean – Owner
Rick Tiede – Sponsorship Coordinator
Larry Tiede- Crew

Rich Felegy- Crew
Bill Foner- Crew

Dana Hribek- Crew
Shawn Rosenbrock- Crew

Colby Campbell- Crew
Brad Weaver- Crew

Mike Floyd- Crew

2012 SHOF Inductees

Joey Hallstrom

Joey Hallstrom
DATE OF INDUCTION: February 18, 2012
CAREER SPAN: 1979 – Present

Combining a deep passion for the sport with the competitive heart of a racer, Joey Hallstrom built the Team Arctic Racing Program into a winning powerhouse; helped launch the iconic Jeep 500 cross-country race; and strongly influenced several pioneering Arctic Cat snowmobiles. The many accomplishments during his 25-plus-year career at Arctic Cat reflect his strong vision, persuasiveness and force of will.

An independent Arctic Cat terrain racer beginning in the late 1978, Hallstrom’s career with a reborn-Arctic Cat began first as a racer then as Race Manager in 1987. Recognizing the talent of racers and technicians and leveraging both in equal measure, Hallstrom built Team Arctic into a dominant force whose success defined the 1990s. Recognizing Arctic Cat’s need for race-focused snowmobiles, Hallstrom strongly influenced the creation of the iconic 1990 EXT Special and the legendary ZRs. He was intent to grow the sport of racing, spearheading the “boy racer” Jag Special in 1990 and launching a unique program that offered beginners the opportunity to freely compete on such machines in snocross. He dedicated similar support to Formula III and Mod class oval racing by commissioning small production runs of such chassis by T/S Racing beginning in 1989.

Hallstrom’s vision to grow the sport included helping launch the Jeep 500 cross-country snowmobile race in 1987 and initiated the first NHRA snowmobile asphalt drag exhibition in 1994. He played key roles at magazine photo shoots and helped produce two books on Arctic Cat’s history. Hallstrom transitioned to Arctic Cat Product Manager in 1999, where he continues to influence the success of Arctic Cat snowmobiles now and in the future.

Toni Haikonen

Toni Haikonen
DATE OF INDUCTION: February 18, 2012
CAREER SPAN: 1983 – 2002
BRANDS REPRESENTED: Ski-Doo, Polaris, Lynx, Arctic Cat

An international racing legend whose raw talent intersected with the rebirth of North American snocross, Toni Haikonen catapult himself and the sport into new heights beginning in the mid-1990s. Haikonen’s fluid style and blazing speed would produce historic wins at nearly every venue, while his easy-to-like personality made him fan favorite throughout the world.

With a snocross career that began at age 12, Haikonen scored a Finnish National Championship, Scandinavian Championship and hundreds of victories prior to his introduction to North American snocross in 1993. His success in the U.S. earned him a sponsored ride with Ski-Doo/FAST beginning in 1994. In a history-making night at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., in 1995, Haikonen began double-jumping the course’s massive jumps to score a monumental victory that simultaneously launched the high-flying era of snocross.

In 1998 Haikonen notched another historic first by winning the inaugural ESPN Winter X Games snocross in Crested Butte, Colo., setting the stage for another period of snocross popularity. During his eight years of racing in North America, Haikonen scored dozens of National snocross wins, European Snocross Championships, MRP Championships and was a top finisher in select cross-country events. His last victory came in 2000, and he retired from the sport after the 2002 season.

Marcel Fontaine

Marcel Fontaine
DATE OF INDUCTION: February 18, 2012
CAREER SPAN: 1970 – Present

From racer to mechanic to race director, Marcel Fontaine lived, loved and dedicated himself to the sport of snowmobile racing for more than four decades. Most often cited for his undying passion for oval racing in Quebec, Fontaine masterfully guided Eastern Canadian oval racing for 30 years. His influence extended to nearly all forms of competition as he added snocross, drags, hillcross and watercross to his palette of offerings, while simultaneously building both relationships and coalitions that have preserved and expanded snowmobile racing during good times and bad.

An oval racer from 1970-1976, Fontaine would transition to mechanic, then to race director for CCMQ beginning in 1983. It was as a race director and sanctioning body that Fontaine would fulfill his greatest achievements and lasting contributions. He founded SCM and Eastern Pro Tour, worked with ISR and Quebec race rules committees and raised the professionalism of snowmobile competition throughout North America. In particular, Fontaine’s efforts to improve safety and fairness made him a standout race director who was recognized by racers, peers and industry as one of the great leaders of the sport.

Fontaine’s honest embrace of the snowmobile racing world as his “family” fostered a deeply loyal base of competitors and officials, and his unyielding professionalism leaves a legacy of success that will be felt for future generations of competitors.

Larry Bosacki

Larry Bosacki
DATE OF INDUCTION: February xx, 2012
CAREER SPAN: 1967 – Present

By embracing and nurturing the sport of snowmobiling during its formative years, civic-minded people like Larry Bosacki transformed winter recreation and the Wisconsin north woods. The third-generation owner of Bosacki’s Boathouse eatery on Minocqua Lake in the town of Minocqua, Larry understood that the fledgling sport was about people, experiences and hospitality. For more than three decades Larry gave from his business and himself to foster those key elements.

By partnering with snowmobile clubs, grooming local spur trails at his own expense and promoting snowmobile tourism at every turn, Bosacki helped grow the winter economies of an entire region. To expand his local business and the opportunity to ride, he operated a Ski-Daddler dealership from his boathouse in the late 1960s. Bosacki also leveraged his many statewide political relationships to help forge important trail accesses and routes that would come to define the north woods snowmobile experience. Two breakthrough efforts included saving railroad trestle bridges for snowmobile trail use, as well as spearheading the first dedicated snowmobile trail crossing of an active railroad track.

His love of snowmobile competition took many forms, including supporting and working on several race teams, and helping launch (and fund) the Snowmobile Hall of Fame. Bosacki’s accomplishments over three decades are testament to the power of people who act locally.

Bunke Racing Announces 2012 Rider Lineup

Semi-Pro rider and 2011 USCC Rookie of the Year Spencer Kadlec will race a Polaris for Bunke Racing in 2012.

Moorhead, Minnesota (November 7, 2011) – Bunke Racing has expanded and is preparing for its biggest push ever on the USCC cross-country snowmobile racing circuit. For 2011-2012 the team will field two Pro riders, Gabe Bunke and rookie Pro Bobby Menne, Semi-Pro rider Spencer Kadlec and Pro Women rider Jen Fuller.

Bunke is a veteran rider and was Pro 600 points champion on the USCC circuit in 2007. Bunke has also won the Soo I-500 twice and will be looking to continue his record of success this season. Last season Menne was one of two riders who ruled the Semi-Pro classes on the USCC circuit. Menne won five races and stood on the podium 10 times on his way to finishing second in points in both Semi-Pro classes. At the final race on the USCC schedule Menne opted to race as a Pro and finished 6th in Pro 600. He will make his 2011-2012 Pro debut at the first race on the USCC schedule December 17, in Grafton, ND.

“I’m excited to finally be racing Pro,” Menne said. “I feel like it’s been a long time coming and I’m ready to go up against the big names in the sport.”

“We wouldn’t put Bobby in the Pro class if we didn’t think he was ready,” said Bunke. “Bobby’s a good racer and he showed a lot of speed and consistency last year and that is what you need to be successful in cross-country.”

Semi-Pro rider Spencer Kadlec will also be joining the Bunke Racing team this year. Kadlec, who hails from Staples, MN, was new to cross-country last season but got stronger and faster as the season wore on, so much so that he was named USCC’s Rookie of the Year. Kadlec started mid-pack but by the end of the season had one Semi-Pro 600 race win and five podium finishes. He placed 5th in Semi-Pro 600 points and 4th in Semi-Pro Improved.

“Bunke Racing has been looking to expand for more than a year, we just needed to find the right rider,” said Bunke. “Spencer was at the top of our list of riders we wanted to approach. He’s got a lot of experience racing dirt bikes, he proved he can race a sled last season and having him on the team is going to be great for all of us.”

“I’m looking forward to riding for Bunke Racing,” Kadlec said. “It will be a lot of change for me with a new sled and a new team, but it’s no different than what I did last year, so I expect to pick up where it left off – winning!”

Jen Fuller will represent Bunke Racing in the Pro Women class on the USCC circuit.

Also joining the Bunke Racing lineup is hillclimb and enduro racer Jen Fuller. Hailing from Saginaw, MI, Fuller is a lifelong snowmobiler and a student at Michigan Technological University studying Civil Engineering. Fuller’s race resume includes competing at the Jackson Hole World Championship Hillclimb, a Queen Of The Hill title

from the Whealkate Winternationals Hillclimb in Houghton, MI, and a handful of podium finishes including a win last year at the Range Endurance Races in South Range, MI.

“Bunke Racing is going to help Jen get started in cross-country,” Bunke said. “She has never raced cross-country before but we feel with the experience she has we can help her win.”

Here is the complete 2011-2012 Bunke Racing team lineup:

Pro Open and Pro 600
Gabe Bunke
Bobby Menne

Spencer Kadlec

Pro Women
Jen Fuller

Shawn Arneson
Paul Kahtava
Jeff Klein
Matt Burkhardt

Team Managers
Gabe Bunke
Bob Menne III

For more information on Bunke Racing please visit www.bunkeracing.com. Follow Bunke Racing on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BunkeRacing

TLR Cup Rule Changes And 2012 Schedule

The 2012 Schedule for the coveted TLR CUP Championship has been posted on TLRCUP.com and Driver Registration for the upcoming 2012 Season opens soon. The 2012 Season will begin in January and be contested at six ice-oval racing events within the United States. Changes to the rules allow the opportunity for more riders to share in the incredible $100,000+ prize purse.

Click to see the 2012 TLR Cup schedule.

Snowmobile HOF to eBay Arctic Cat Sled Signed By Team Arctic

Many Sharpies were harmed in the signing of this sled.

Thief River Falls, Minn. (Oct. 31, 2011) – To raise money that supports the Snowmobile Hall of Fame (SHOF), a one-of-a-kind 2012 Arctic Cat F1100 Sno Pro in 50th Anniversary trim will be auctioned off on eBay beginning November 24th, 2011.

But this isn’t like any other 50th Anniversary Arctic Cat.

Of all the 50th Anniversary edition F1100 Sno Pros, this was the very first built during production. This is an all-new snowmobile decked out in classic Team Arctic colors and autographed (and documented) by every Team Arctic racer in attendance at the Arctic Cat 50th Anniversary celebration in Thief River Falls, Minn.

There is no other Arctic Cat snowmobile in the world that has so many autographs from Team Arctic racers along with five autographed boards that document the signatures, and the years, the racers were with Team Arctic.

Some of the legends whose names are signed on this machine: Roger Skime, Larry Coltom, Jim Dimmerman, Kirk Hibbert, Roger Janssen, Dave Thompson, Brian Sturgeon, Aaron Scheele, Chester Boman, Tucker Hibbert, Brad Pake, Paul and Brian Dick, Brian Nelson, P.J. Wanderscheid and many more.

For more information on the upcoming auction please visit www.snowmobilehalloffame.com



These Guys Should Be In The Snowmobile Hall Of Fame

Here are two people who should be inducted into the Snowmobile Hall Of Fame. I’ll even write the bios to make it easier for them:

Pat Mach put cross-country snowmobile racing back on the map.

Pat Mach
A love for snowmobiles and cross-country racing led Pat Mach to create the United States Cross-Country Racing Association (USCC), a move that would ultimately usher in the third resurgence in cross-country snowmobile racing. Mach’s efforts in creating the USCC and shepherding cross-country into the modern era also brought historic events such as the I-500 back to prominence in the snowmobile industry.

A lifelong snowmobiler born and raised near his hometown of Minto, ND, Mach grew up idolizing cross-country riders such as Archie Simonsen, Brian Nelson and Guy Useldinger. He got his start as a kid on his uncle’s 1971 Puma, but admitted he never had the money to buy his own snowmobiles. Mach went on to attend the University of North Dakota and as a pitcher on the baseball team threw the school’s first no-hitter.

After Mach graduated from college in 1990 he decided it was time to fulfill his dream and he began racing snowmobiles professionally. Ultimately, he would follow in the footsteps of his heroes racing cross-country professionally for over a decade. Then, left without a place to race in 2002, he surveyed a large segment of snowmobile racers and discovered there were a bunch of guys out there who, like him, were looking to go cross-country racing but had nowhere to race. Knowing he had the racers, Mach took it upon himself to start a new, grassroots cross-country circuit and founded the USCC in 2002.

Created in his vision of how a cross-country race circuit should be, the USCC flourished and since then has grown every year, even expanding with a USCC East circuit in 2009. Today, it is the largest cross-country snowmobile racing circuit in the world and has brought cross-country back to the forefront of snowmobile racing. Mach was a champion of the sport and was constantly analyzing cross-country to make sure it was as safe and competitive as it could be. Mach served as President of the USCC until he passed away at the age of 42 in a trail riding accident on February 5, 2011. His influence lives on today with the USCC as well as the numerous community activities he was involved in such as the Minto Baseball Association and the UND Alumni Association.

Blair Morgan won more snocross races than anyone else in history.

Blair Morgan
Blair Morgan was born December 9, 1975, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The youngest of four children, he grew up on a farm just outside of Prince Albert. When he was thirteen he began racing motocross and eventually transferred the riding style he learned on dirt bikes over to snowmobiles.

Morgan stunned the snowmobile racing world when he made his National-level snowmobile racing debut at the West Yellowstone Expo in March, 1997. The 22-year-old used a motocross-derived stand-up riding style to make a strong finish at that race finishing second to Kirk Hibbert, but it wasn’t until the next fall at the Duluth National Snocross that Morgan’s impact would really begin to be felt. A virtual unknown, he rocketed to the front of the pack and instantly put his name at the top of the list of the best racers in snowmobiling. By the end of the 1999 season he had established himself hands down as the rider to beat on the snocross circuits.

From 1997 until his final season of racing in 2007-2008 he tallied 84 Pro National snocross wins, more than any other rider in the history of the sport. He won 11 WSA/WPSA points championships and was Snow Week’s racer of the year in 1998, 1999 and 2002. For 12 seasons he dominated the sport, winning the Winter X Games snocross five times. Morgan signed a multi-million dollar contract with Ski-Doo in 2001 and founded his own team, Blair Morgan Racing Team. During his career he battled numerous injuries; the worst was in June of 2003 when he broke his leg and his back in crash in British Columbia. Despite these injuries, he won six races during the 2003-2004 snocross season.

Morgan’s riding style changed the sport of snowmobiling and snowmobile racing. Quiet and unassuming off the track, he was a vicious competitor on the track and his professionalism and level of preparation forced his competitors to adapt or be left behind. Morgan’s racing career ended when his spinal cord was severed in a crash during practice for the Montreal Supercross in 2008. A paraplegic, Morgan still lives in Prince Albert and has a wife, Teri, and two kids, Corbyn and Breck.

Snocross Needs A Monster Million

Photo: www.mosterenergycup.com

This past weekend, October15, 2011, Monster Energy put $1Million on the line at the Monster Energy Cup
in Las Vegas. Riders qualified for the main through heats and an LCQ, kinda like the snocross format at Winter X. It was a Supercross-style race with a track designed by Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath, and they also had a Best Trick comp where five riders got one run at one trick for $40K. Hollywood couldn’t have put together a better script.

I’m going to throw this out there – why is snocross waiting around for ESPN to hold an event for it at Winter X? Why don’t the teams, manufacturers and race circuits get together and make their own event similar to the Monster Energy Cup? They could take the money they spend on all the half-hour TV shows and pool it together for one big show. They could purchase prime air time on ESPN or SPEED TV. Monster Energy has already stepped up and put on its own event, why wouldn’t a similar event in a sport such as snocross gain sponsor interest?

There were 46 riders signed up for the Snowcross World Championships last March in Tuuri, Finland. Twenty-nine riders scored points in the Pro Open class on the ISOC circuit last season, and you could probably throw in a handful more from CSRA and East Coast Snocross. Plus you could pull the restrictions off for the one event and allow Semi-Pros to run. A conservative estimate would give you 30 riders, enough for two heats, an LCQ and then a three-race final to determine the overall winner.

As for the purse, AMSOIL is already putting up $10K for the Dominator Race at Duluth. Is $10K enough to create a buzz? Maybe, but I would think something like $100K would be more in line with creating serious buzz. How do you get that kind of purse money? Don’t ask me. I ask questions, I don’t answer them. But maybe the money left over in the budgets from Winter X might be a start.

Bottom line is, snocross can’t rely on the whim of the decision-makers at ESPN to maintain its prominence in the motorsports world. If it wants to stay at a premier level it needs to take control of its own destiny.


Christian Brothers Racing Signs Troy Lee Designs, Drift Racing

Logan Christian wearing a Troy Lee Designs lid.

Christian Brothers Racing will team with Troy Lee Designs again this season to give the team and its snowmobile racing fans the ultimate visual experience. From Formula 1 to NASCAR to motocross to snocross, the Troy Lee Designs name is recognized as one that creates the best look, best protection and best image in motorsports.

Last season Troy Lee Designs-sponsored Christian Brothers Racing riders locked down both USCC Pro cross-country championships, finished 1-4 at the brutal USCC Red Lake I-500 and on the ISOC National snocross circuit Logan Christian took home Pro Rookie of the Year honors while the team was voted Team of the Year on both circuits.

“As a team, our image is important and being named Team of the Year is something we take seriously,” said Dwight Christian, co-owner of Christian Brothers Racing. “A big part of that was Troy Lee Designs. The look and quality of Troy Lee Designs products is the best in motorsports and we’re proud to have them on board with the team again this season.”

As an added bonus, Christian Brothers Racing will have a vending trailer at the races this season where snowmobile racing fans can look at, sample and buy Troy Lee Designs products.

“At Troy Lee Designs we pride ourselves in working with the world’s fastest racers,” said Roger Hendricks of Troy Lee Designs. “Christian Brothers Racing are proven winners on and off the track so making the decision to work with them on the racing and product vending end was an obvious one.”

The Christian Brothers Racing vending trailer will be at all eight ISOC National snnocross races, the Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby and select USCC cross-country races. In addition to Troy Lee Designs products the rig will also carry a full line of Drift Racing snowmobile gear as well as Christian Brothers Racing team apparel.

For more information on Troy Lee Designs visit www.troyleedesigns.com. For information on Drift Racing visit www.driftracing.com. Find out more about Christian Brothers Racing at www.christianbrosracing.com.

USCC Pro 600 points champion Ryan Simons wore Drift Racing gear last season.

Team of the Year to Race DRIFT in Snocross and Cross-Country

Plymouth, Minn. (Oct. 11, 2011) – After claiming championship titles in both oval and cross-country competition in 2011, DRIFT Racing Gear is going wide-open into national snocross competition for 2012 with the Christian Bros. Racing team of Fertile, Minn.

One of the most comprehensive and professional independent teams in snowmobile racing, Christian Bros. Racing (CBR) launches into 2012 as the ISOC and USCC Team of the Year with an elite corps of racers including: Pro Rookie of the Year Logan Christian; pro front runner Garth Kaufman; 2010 X Games bronze medalist Cory Davis; and 120 Champion Evan Christian.

“Our cross-country team chose DRIFT gear last season because of its quality, style and excellent fit, said CBR team co-owner, Dwight Christian. “Wearing DRIFT, we won the USCC Pro Championship with Ryan Simons. Now both teams will chase championships wearing the latest DRIFT race gear.”

The 2012 CBR all-star cross-country team consists of defending Pro Champion Simons; defending I-500 champion Brian Dick; and four-time Pro class winner last season, D.J. Ekre.

“Adding the high-horsepower Christian Bros. snocross team to the DRIFT program will launch us high in the sky and on the podium in this very visible form of racing,” said Tom Schaefer, DRIFT Gear supervisor. “The racers will sport the newest DRIFT Racing Suit and associated gear, while the mechanics and support personnel will stay warm and stylish with high-quality DRIFT jackets, pants, gloves and casual sportswear.”

CBR will sell select DRIFT gear via a vending trailer at all snocross and most cross-country events.

Look for the CBR racers and crew in the latest high-performance DRIFT Racing jackets and bibs at all ISOC and USCC races. For more information, go to www.driftracing.com and www.christianbrosracing.com.

DRIFT, based in Plymouth, Minn., designs, produces and sells high-performance race apparel for snowmobile and motorsports enthusiasts. DRIFT gear is available at powersports dealerships throughout North America. For more information about DRIFT products, go to www.driftracing.com.

I Trained All Summer Part V

Drew with Iain Hayden. Notice the hardware.

You’ve trained all summer, now we are less than two months away from the start of the snocross season. This is when the real work begins. The final stage of conditioning is to develop the muscles and the energy system that we use when racing. We have some very high intensity Power endurance workouts, as well as some sustained anaerobic threshold workouts. The idea is that when you get on your sled (and hopefully this happens sooner than later) you are ready to ride, i.e. conditioned to ride. Your’re not going to be using the sled to try and ride yourself into shape, you are in shape and you are going to be using the time you have on the sled to sharpen your skills.

I remember after the first summer working with Iain Hayden he called after getting on the sled (he was riding for Yamaha at the time) and said he felt like a million bucks. He said it was the first time he had gone back to riding after a summer and didn’t feel sore. He also said it was the first time he didn’t have to take a break because of conditioning; he was able to ride as much he felt he needed to. In fact I got an email from Greg Marier, who was overseeing Yamaha’s race program, a week later and asked if the boys should maybe take a rest. I asked Greg why he was asking that, and he said the crew was worried that they were putting to many laps on and that they should be tired with all the time they had put in riding so far.

We had a conference call later that day where both Steve Taylor and Iain said the reason they worked so hard all summer is they could ride so hard during testing. They explained that they weren’t tired and they weren’t sore and wanted to make sure the mechanics could keep up with them!

One thing I would like to mention is that when you start riding you want to back off the workouts. You should cut your workouts down to two cardio sessions a week and maybe one or two weight workouts a week. The reason for this is riding is a workout, so if you keep doing regular workouts you’ll be doubling up and overtraining, which is something we don’t necessarily want to do. Overtraining will begin to break down what we’ve worked so hard to build up. Keep an eye on how you feel, your body will tell you when you’re legitimately tired.

I track the heart rates of all my athletes to make sure they aren’t over training during the first few weeks they get back on the sled, just to make sure. We don’t want to throw away all the hard work they have done getting ready for Duluth.

As for Jim (Mr. sledRacer.com), he’s held to his training (for the most part) and has even completed a half marathon and a 10-mile race this summer. I can’t wait for him to get on the sled this winter and see the difference all his hard work has made. Now all he needs is a race team to pick him up! And for you guys who may have slacked this summer, I want you to know that Jim is 41-years-old, married with two kids, he runs his own business and he still found time to make his workouts happen. No excuses!

Lastly, the Evolved SX Snocross Boot Camp was a huge success again this year. We had a nice group of athletes show up and everyone left with an added advantage for the coming season. You can read about it here.

If you have any questions you can e-mail me at: drew@evolvednutrition.com

sledRacer Interview: Rick Tiede

Rick Tiede sporting some Woody's Wear.

Woody’s is arguably the most recognizable name in snowmobile traction products. Founded by James Musselman and Woody Kozlow back in the 1960s, the company has been heavily into racing from its inception. Based in Hope, Michigan, the Woody’s Race Program Coordinator is a guy named Rick Tiede. It’s not too many years ago Rick was racing Semi-Pro snocross, so he’s not some desk jockey who doesn’t know a stud from a roofing nail. Always smiling and always happy to talk to anyone who approaches him, Rick is also leading a groundswell of new support for the Soo I-500. We checked in with him to find out what you need to do to get sponsorship, why track patterns are important and why Woody’s is offering more support than ever.

sledRacer.com: You came from the ranks of racers, what is it like being on the other side?
Rick Tiede: Absolutely awesome, I’ve grown up in the snowmobile industry and honestly there isn’t anywhere else I’d rather work. Coming from a racing background has definitely helped me better myself as a race director though; I know what it takes to make the relationship from sponsor to racer happen from both sides.

sR: Woody’s has been in the traction and snowmobile racing business a long time, does it ever get old for people in the company?
Tiede: Woody’s is a family-owned company that basically started in racing over 40 years ago. Everyone here is truly passionate about racing, and it shows as we have one of the largest most successful race programs in the industry.

Oval racer Malcolm Chartier is sponsored by Woody's.

sR: One race you’ve supported more as of late is the Soo I-500, why?
Tiede: We have always supported the Soo I-500; it’s honestly where the racing at Woody’s all started. The Musselman family grew up racing Enduros and Drags here in Michigan and did extremely well. There are a few old I-500 trophies floating around here at the office, but as far as the recent increase in added support – that has stemmed from everyone here wanting to help bring back the Soo back to the forefront of snowmobile racing and show how prestigious an event it really is. And its working!

sR: There is a ton more interest in that race in the past few years, why do you think it’s coming back?
Tiede: It’s a great race to showcase your products at, whether it’s the sled, fuel, oil, or traction products. Winning or making it through a grueling 500 laps on a track that gets to be pretty insane is definitely something to brag about.

sR: With the economy down, where do you see snowmobile racing going in the next few years?
Tiede: Of course, everyone had to tighten up the last few years with the big economic hit on the industry, but things have definitely been on a rise the past few years. We understand that its not just sponsors that have to tighten up but racers alike, so we have definitely been trying to do as much sponsorship as we can these past few years. From our end things should only continue to get better as the years roll on!

Tiede once raced for Scheuring Speed Sports. Once.

sR: I know you’re backing a Soo team and have put together a talented group of riders including guys like Justin Tate. Would you like to see racing move more toward what Tate is doing where a rider goes cross-country racing one weekend, races snocross the next and hits an enduro here and there? Or do you think snowmobile racing will remain a sport where riders specialize in one genre such as snocross?
Tiede: I would absolutely encourage racers to get on the multiple forms of racing kick. It allows the racer to get a taste of all forms of racing, broadens not only their knowledge of the sport but also allows them to get their sponsors in front of a variety of crowds and racers. If a guy like Tate can race snocross, cross-country, and oval enduros anyone can do it! Seriously though, we never know what’s going to happen in this industry so being able to adapt to all forms of racing just makes a racer that much more valuable to a sponsor. Levi LaVallee is another perfect example how a rider can diversify his program and make it successful.

sR: If I’m a racer, what is the best way to get support from Woody’s?
Tiede: We try to make it easy for both new and past sponsored riders to get a hold of me for sponsorship. You can do that by filling out our race application online at www.WoodysTraction.com or give me a call at 989-689-4911.

sR: What are some things you look for when you consider sponsoring racers beyond a product or discount level?
Tiede: Every racer wants to be the “factory” guy for us at Woody’s, but the teams and racers that set themselves apart are the ones that go above and beyond putting a sticker on their truck, trailer, and sled. It’s the Steve Scheurings of the sport who get us involved with the Air Force or Makita and into the Power Tool shows across America. It’s the Levi LaVallees who have open door policies for fans that make him the “Fan Favorite” every year. It’s the 4-Time World Champions like PJ Wanderscheid. And it’s the guys that not only help sell Woody’s parts by doing all these things but the racers and teams like Tim Bender, Malcolm Chartier, or Craig Marchbank that have actually helped create, test and prove some of the best products we sell today.

Brian Dick used Woody's traction products to win the USCC Red Lake I-500 last year.

sR: What is something a racer should know about traction but probably doesn’t?
Tiede: The biggest thing that racers tend to overlook is their track patterns. Track patterns can truly make or break all forms of racing. We spend a ton of time creating different patterns for all forms of racing, from drag patterns with too many scratch lines to count, to oval sprint patterns that help riders to break the back end loose with controlled slip, all the way to balanced patterns for cross country races so when they get on the throttle coming out of a left or right hander they aren’t going to spin because we all know spin is just time wasted.

sR: What is the best part of your job?
Tiede: Best part of my job has to be getting on the road and attending every top snowmobile event in the country, from snow shows to the X Games. I’ve had the privilege of making what is most peoples joy and hobby a profession, you can’t beat hanging out and working side by side with some of the industry’s most influential people and getting paid for it! Also thanks to my job I’ve made some great friends all across the country.

Tiede dabbled in racing for a number of years. He says his racing experience plays in huge in his current position as Race Program Coordinator.

sR: Is there anything new we can we expect to see from Woody’s this year?
Tiede: R&D is one of the big factors that separate Woody’s from the rest of the snowmobile traction industry. We are always working on something new and improved, we definitely have some industry changing news to release this season but you’ll have to stay checked into the website and snowmobile events for that release. Also we have yet again came out with a really cool clothing line so be sure to check that out online, the new Woody’s Wear is top notch!