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.

 

Davis/Davis To Run Iron Dog

Seven-time Iron Dog champ Scott Davis won't have much time to drink coffee at this year's event.

Cory Davis and Scott Davis have announced they are racing the 2011 Iron Dog as a team. Cory is a standout on the ISOC National snocross circuit and has scored a handful of wins on the USCC cross-country circuit. Davis has seven Iron Dog titles to his name. Whether or not Cory runs the race with him depends on how fast his foot heals (see sledRacer story on that here.

Nineteen teams have already signed up to run the 2011 Iron Dog and the promoters hope they surpass last year’s total of 29 teams.  For more info on the Iron Dog click here.

To read the full story from the Anchorage Daily News click here.

For more info on Cory Davis visit www.cory-davis.com