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.

Warnert Racing: Pair of 3s At Blackjack National

St. Cloud, MN December 11, 2011 – Warnert Racing rolled into the Blackjack National on Friday evening with all riders ready to go!

Day 1 started off great, with all the riders putting in fantastic qualifying efforts. Locking them all into positions for the final. The Pro-lite final kicked off the evening’s excitement. With an aggressive left to right starting line that was eating up riders all day. We knew it was going to be an exciting one to watch. Travis got a great jump off the ling, but then was pushed far outside where he caught someone’s ski. This caused him to flip over, ending his chase for the night. In Pro-open all three Warnert Racing Ski-doo’s where able to get great starts and finish in the top ten. Justin charged hard to ride his way to 8th, while Emil was just a couple spots off the box finishing 6th. Tim was running 2nd when an Ice ridge almost swallowed him up, causing his sled to catapult on its side. Tim was able to muscle his machine back over and finish off the night with a well-deserved 3rd.

Hard riding pays off in Day 2 of the Blackjack National. Travis attacked the track right away coming out the back row in the Pro-lite final, on his #436 NSK Ski-doo. He was able push his way through the stacked field of talent, up to 3rd place when the checkered flags flew! With teammate Justin Broberg having an unfortunate tangle in the LCQ, Emil and Tim where put on the hunt for the number One spot in Pro-Open final. Emil was putting a great ride in, when an unfavorable incident ended his race dropping him to 14th. Tim was able to keep his consistency toward the front. Pulling off a solid 4th place finish and locking up 3rd place in the point’s standings as we prepare for round 3 of the ISOC National Tour.

THANKS TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS WHO MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR THE ENTIRE WARNERT TEAM: Ski-doo, Foremost Insurance, XPS Lubricants, NSK Bearings, SSI Decals Inc., Quadna Mountain Park, C&A Pro Skis, 50 Below, Stud Boy, Fly Racing, Rotax, VP Racing Fuels, Dragon, NGK, KYB, Mechanix Wear, DP Brakes, Rox, V-Force Reeds, Frog Z Skin, TekVest and SnoStuff

Visit warnertracing.com for up to date info on riders, sleds, and more.

Round 2: Blackjack National

The Blackjack National marked Round 2 of the National snocross tour. It went down this past weekend in Ironwood, Michigan, -well, actuall Bessemer, which is the next town down Highway 2 as you head East into Michigan’s U.P. Here are some photos I shot on Saturday and some of my impressions on the day as well as the competition overall.

Travis Muller got the call from Warnert Racing to fill in for the injured Kaven Benoit. Benoit was at the race walking with a crutch. He dislocated his hip at Duluth.

No, Ron Pattyn's trailer isn't foggy, it's just my lens. Here he pours some of Dragon's finest race fuel into a test container to bring to tech.

The Stud Boy trailer is guarded by these two vicious guard dogs.

Iain Hayden does his dynamic warm up before Pro practice. He had a gnarly crash at Duluth and had another in the first round of qualifying at Blackjack.

Dan Ebert's mechanic Greg Muller warms up his mod before Pro practice. Dan had a great weekend that the Regional race at Quadna Mountain Park the weekend before.

Johan Lidman warms up on the bike before Pro practice. That Muscle Milk is good stuff!

The lodge at Blackjack. Word is the owners want to make the race a regular deal every year - same date, same everything to people keep coming back. It's not a bad idea as this is about the only place there's snow so early in the snowmobile/ski season.

Pro Lite is where the action is this season and the class has the best racing on the circuit in my opinion. Here Petter Narsa lets Garrett Mees know that the guy with the red plate should go first.

One reason I like the Pro Lite class is there are about 10 guys who can win on any given weekend, and some of them aren't the guys racing out of the big haulers. Chase Rosemeyer is one of those guys.

CSRA regulars Joey Sagan and Dylan Hall were strong all weekend. Hall swept the Semi-Pro points on the CSRA circuit last year and is a rookie Pro on that circuit this season.

Of course, everyone knows Dylan Martin, he's Ross Martin's brother. Like his brother, Dylan has a lot of talent and can win on any given weekend. He will race Pro on the East Coast Snocross circuit this season for Team Southside.

Jake Scott races for Team LaVallee. With Levi Lavallee sitting out the weekend because he was in California testing for his distance jump and Bobby LePage out with injury, Scott carried the flag for the LaVallee squad.

Even with all the talent in the Pro Lite class if you could name one kid who is the next big thing it might have to be Kody Kamm. Kamm is still learning the snocross ropes and is sometimes his own worst enemy on the track. When things fall into place for him he's blazing fast though.

James Johnstad has been lighting it up in the Pro Lite class. He's still super-young too, so who knows where he will go?

Andrew Carlson has the massive support of the Carlson Motorsports team behind him. He seems on the brink of breaking big in the next season or so.

Dave Joanis is another guy who races Pro on CSRA and has dabbled on the National circuit over the past few years. He had a great day at the race on Saturday, winning the final.

With Kyle Pallin and Cody Thomsen moving up to Pro, the Pro Lite ranks in the Cat amp are pretty thin. Perhaps their best hope at a good result lies with Matt Pichner.

Nick Pattyn has risen to the top of every class he's raced in so far, now he's racing Pro Lite. He's young, but definitely on the pace.

Andy Lieders came out of nowhere a few years back and I think still shows promise. He seems plagued by bad luck though.

Joe Fallen has had a great start to his season. He's another one of those privateers who could steal a race if he has a good day.

Oh hey, there's Tucker Hibbert.

Emil Ohman watches Pro Open heats. He's proven so far this season that a healthy Emil is a serious competitor.

This isn't the gnarly part Ross was pointing at, this is the kinda gnarly part.

Apparently Mathieu Morin is feeling better after popping his shoulder out at Duluth. He finished fifth in Pro Open Saturday. Must be the Jimmy Johns.

Scott Judnick lookin' all serious and stuff.

OK, HERE's the gnarly part. Downhill, close-spaced, kind-of-a-rhythm-section that was the scene of more than a few crashes. Woulda been sweet to have a massive X Games-style flyaway on this downhill but hey, what do I know?

Justin Tate was running fourth at Duluth on Sunday before he got bumped off the track. He also injured his shoulder in that incident but he said it wasn't a big deal it was better a few days later. He's pretty much a privateer in Pro Open, which is really cool.

Cory Davis was on out Top 10 snocross rider rankings list. He's shown moments of brilliance this season but for the most part has struggled after sitting out snocross racing last year.

Brett Bender's mod is super-cool. The trend this year seems to be black sleds.

Dan Ebert transferred to the main through the LCQ. One of only four Cats to make it in.

The sun was setting behind the mountain as the Pro Lite final went down. Here, Dave Joanis has the lead but he's looking back...

...because Derek Ellis (along with Ellis' teammate Petter Narsa) is right behind him.

Joanis got the win followed by Narsa and Ellis. Narsa still had the red plate at the end of the weekend but he's headed back to Scandinavia to fulfill his contract to race for Lynx. By the way, that's an all-Ski-Doo Pro Lite podium folks.

T.J. Gulla looks for a good place to watch the Pro Open final. After a podium finish at Duluth on Sunday Gulla struggled at Blackjack on Saturday. He came back Sunday, won the LCQ and finished eighth.

The Hibbert and Martin show lines up for the final. First year Pro Mike Bauer qualified fourth.

Hibbert got a monster holeshot, but the start was a tricky one, kind of a double dogleg deal combined with an uphill.

The riders get funneled into the uphill run and yup, looks like Hibbert's got it.

But wait! Hibbert gets tagged from behind and pushed out onto the soft stuff. That taillight at the top of the hill? Oh, that's just Martin, pretty much checked out.

Martin learned last season that you can't let up even when you get a monster holeshot and crazy lead. He was on the gas trying to put distance between himself and whatever was behind him.

He almost had the race right off the start, but once again Hibbert was forced to eat roost as he went to work running down Martin. Something in the driveline on Bender's sled locked up early in the race leaving Tremblay and Malinoski between Hibbert and the leader.

Hibbert got by Malinoski and then ran down Tremblay.

Paul Bauerly ended up tenth on Saturday and ninth on Sunday. Not a bad weekend for a guy who doesn't get much recognition.

Martin came around with about two laps left to go in the 14-lap race headed into the finish line jump...

...with Hibbert close enough to catch some of his roost blast.

Hibbert caught Martin and tried a block pass, running into Martin. Hibbert got by but lost his spindle. He nursed it around to start the final lap...

...then got on the gas, realizing his sled didn't handle THAT bad and hey, every spot lost cost him valuable points.

Shortly after Martin's win Nate Hentges, Tim Bender and Tom Rager Jr. talk about the general awesomeness of the race.

Advantage: Martin.


Petter Narsa Wins For Team BOSS Racing At Duluth

The 20th annual running of the Duluth National Snocross event saw a number of firsts for Team Jimmy John’s/ Ski-Doo/ BOSS Racing. Friday night Mathieu Morin (#14) was the first to take the Jimmy John’s sleds to the field for a 16 rider bracket challenge during the inaugural AMSOIL Dominator. Morin drew an early pick against Broberg and knocked him out of the running. The next bracket saw Morin head to head against Tucker Hibbert— who took the holeshot and left Morin just 2 short laps to recover. It was not to be, Morin was left to focus on Saturday’s Pro Open as Ross
Martin walked away with the $10,000 prize.

Saturday began with BOSS Pro Light Riders; Derek Ellis, Corey Watkinson and Petter Narsa showing astonishing speed, pulling holeshots and displaying soaring triples to a crowded grandstands. The team took four 1st place wins in the heat races— sending both Ellis and Narsa to the Main. Host athlete, Petter Narsa (#271) was the undisputed fastest rider on the track and top qualifier headed into this final. At the start, Narsa pulled the holeshot and led the entire race to win the opening round of the ACSS Pro Light class— clearly displaying his internationally renowned talent.

When the Pro Mods screamed onto the track, the crowd was in a frenzy as a super fast Mathieu Morin advanced to pass leader Malinoski during the first heat in Pro Open qualifying. A dislocated shoulder injury cut things short and sent Morin to the back leaving him with an 8th place result. Round 2 qualifying brought a 3rd place finish for Morin- leaving him 1 point shy of the LCQ and edging him out of the main.

Sunday‘s Pro Light was a near perfect repeat of day one, with Ellis, Narsa and Watkinson taking 4 combined first place finishes during qualifying- this time sending all 3 riders into the Main, with Derek Ellis (#106) ranked as the number one qualifier. Narsa came off the line in 2nd advancing on Kody Kamm, when he got tangled up in lap traffic only 2 laps left to go. Narsa continued to hold his 2nd place position taking the number 2 podium slot. Ellis took 4th overall.

Lead Pro, Mathieu Morin (#14) had a strange series of highs and lows during Sunday’s Pro Open qualifying rounds; he consistently exploded off the line moving to the 2nd place spot. Due to his earlier shoulder injury he could not sustain his position. During all three rounds he left the crowd bewildered as he would move to pass the leader – then suddenly he appeared to slump over the sled and pull off the track- the result of his shoulder popping out of its socket and leaving him
briefly unable to use his arm. Mathieu has been equipped with a state-of-the-art brace and doctors have already given him the green light for the next race of the season.

For pictures and more info, please visit our website at www.teambossracing,com

ECS 2011-2012 Competition Preview

Jesse James Bonaduce leads the field. Photo: Mike Key/Extreme Exposures

CHESHIRE, Conn. (Dec. 2, 2011) – For the first time in several years, there is no true favorite on the northeastern regional snocross scene as a new season draws near.

When it was announced last summer that 2011 ECS Pro champion Mathieu Morin had signed with BOSS Racing for an assault on the ISOC national title, racers across New York and New England let out a sigh of relief, just as they did one year earlier when 2010 champion Bobby LePage headed back west to ride for Levi LaVallee.

Morin’s move back to the national stage swings the door wide open for a new star atop the podium, with a fine mix of talented veterans and fresh faces ready to step into the spotlight.

Last season, Morin claimed 13 of 17 Pro finals en route to the class titles. This season, many feel former champion and longtime veteran Danny Poirier could regain his spot on top of the podium. With his years of experience, finely-honed skills and race-proven sleds (Polaris), the famed “Canadian Blast” may set the gold standard in performance this winter.

Another snocross veteran with years of top-level experience is Minnesota native Matt Piche. Piche is known affectionately as “The Bull Rider” for his skills muscling a 400-pound sled around the track. Piche, along with Christian Salemark of Sweden, will pilot the all-new Arctic Cat sleds for Green Mountain Racing in 2011-12, giving the Cat faithful here in the northeast an exciting team to follow. Piche and Salemark both have national experience and ample skills to reach the podium.

Another Cat rider fans should watch is sophomore campaigner Corin Todd, of Otego, New York. Todd won a Pro Stock final during his rookie season and finished third in points. Now part of Vermont-based Camara Racing for 2011-12, Todd has his sights set squarely on consistent finishes that could propel him on to the 2012 Pro crown. Once he, Piche and Salemark get their new Cats dialed in, battles up front between manufacturers should get pretty competitive.

Lucas Brunelle and Jacob Muller. Photo: Mike Key/Extreme Exposures

A pair of top-notch organizations are leading the Ski-doo contingent this season. Ingles Performance, of Phoenix, N.Y., will feature regional veterans Michael George and Chris Ackerman as they compete for Rookie of the Year honors in the Pro division. Also piloting the new MX Zx 600 RS this winter will be Quebec veteran Renaud Alexandre, riding for Damexco Racing. Unfortunately, Alexandre suffered a dislocated hip in Duluth and will be out until the injury is healed. The entire staff at ECS wishes him a speedy recovery.

A familiar name is headed east to compete this season. His older brother is a former national champion, and he’s got great skills of his own. Dylan Martin will lead Team Southside this season on the newly-refined 600 IQ race sled, and while he may not have rookie status, Martin is a sure bet to contend for wins in ECS competition.

Martin will be joined at Team Southside by Jacob Muller, the Minnesota native that won the Semi-Pro (now called Pro Lite) championship last winter. It’s a potent combination for the North Adams, Mass.-based team.

With Muller, Ackerman and George all advancing to Pro, the door is also wide open for a new star atop that newly-named Pro Lite Class. Many feel if veteran racer and Quebec native Lucas Brunelle stays consistent, he may be the favorite to claim the titles in both Saturday and Sunday action (Pro Lite riders run qualifying rounds and Finals each day).

Some the other challengers preparing for battle include Jesse James Bonaduce, the gifted New Jersey native back for more in 2011-12. Bonaduce is super-fast and silky-smooth, and could easily be a championship contender. Another veteran to watch is New Yorker Adam Sedlmeier, who has the experience and talent to succeed. Many will put their money on him, and he is without argument a safe bet to land on the podium.

Two young graduates of the Sport division are making the move to Pro Lite this winter. Vermont native Leo Patenaude and Ed Bandel both bring solid skills to the table, and both could turn heads in this division. Their presence will certainly elevate the level of competition.

One rider not to e overlooked is Albany, NY, rider Chris Coleman. This urban dweller looks more and more like a skilled veteran with each outing, having matured a great deal last season. Expect Coleman to challenge the leaders on occasion this coming winter.

ECS is blessed to have great talent throughout all divisions for 2011-12, including the Sport, Junior and Women’s divisions. And the surprising competition within the Trail classes is fun to watch, as those who want to give snocross a try hit the track.

It all kicks off when ECS launches its second season Dec. 10-11 at the beautiful Burke Mountain Ski Resort in East Burke, Vermont.

East Coast Snocross, presented by Woody’s Traction and AMSOIL, is the sanctioning body for snowmobile racing in the northeastern United States. ECS maintains a regional circuit intended to keep grass-roots snocross racing healthy in this part of the snowbelt, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow’s factory-backed Pro teams.

For more information, please go to www.eastcoastsnocross.com.

Warnert Racing Invades Duluth

It was good to see old friend Tomi Ahmasalo again.

St. Cloud, MN November 28, 2011 – Warnert Racing kicked off the snocross season this past weekend at the
20th annual Duluth Nationals. With old friend Tomi Ahmasolo stopping by the trailer to show the guys how he
used to do things. The team was pumped up and looking forward to some great racing action. They started the racing action on Friday night in the Amsoil Dominator Challenge, which all three Warnert Racing Pro drivers had qualified for. This event was the first of its kind and with being only two laps it didn’t give riders much time to show of their endurance. The guys rode great but had some unfortunate luck, which took them out of the chase for the $10,000 cash prize.

Day two brought some heavy rains in the morning causing an unpredictable track that made for some exciting races. Kaven Benoit #127 kicked off a successful day by putting his NSK Ski‐doo on the podium in the Pro‐lites division taking home 3rd place. The track offered a massive up hill triple, which brought a chance for our Pro Open riders to really show of their flight skills. The guys qualified well and put all three of
their Ski‐doo’s into the final. It was a hard battle from the start, with riders pushing the limits for that number 1 spot. Tim Tremblay #11 was able to finish off the night by putting his Foremost Insurance Ski‐doo into 3rd place as the checkered flags waved. Showing just how much power and talent the Warnert Racing crew had for this season.

Kaven Benoit (r) on the podium at Duluth.

Sunday was the last and final day of the Duluth Nationals and brought better weather and an even faster track. Kaven Benoit #127 kicked off another great day by charging his way into the final through the LCQ. With a second row start Kaven pushed through the pack and charged into the 6th spot. The Pro Open guys rode with extreme confidence through qualifying and Justin Broberg was able to claim his spot in the number 1 qualifying position, with Tim Tremblay not far behind in second. This gave the guys great starting
positions and the inside line when the green light flashed! Justin got caught with another rider coming
down the deadly back side of the track, which would end his hunt.

Tim pulled a great hole‐shot and with riders battling behind him he was able to start pulling away from the pack. Tim was dominating the field when a sudden sled malfunction would end his day. Emil Ohman on the
#27 XPS Ski‐doo was able the battle his way up the pack and finish in a well deserved 6th position.

Foremost Insurance, Ski‐doo, NSK Bearings, XPS Lubricants, SSI Decals, Inc., Quadna Mountain Park, C&A Pro
Skis, 50 Below, Stud Boy, Fly Racing, Rotax, VP Racing Fuels, Dragon, NGK, KYB, Mechanix Wear, DP Brakes,
Rox, V‐Force Reeds, Frog Z Skin, TekVest and SnoStuff

Visit warnertracing.com for up to date info on riders, sleds, and more.

Tom Lawrence Named Ski-Doo Race Coordinator

Ski-Doo Race Coordinator Tom Lawrence (L) talks shop with Steve Thorson. Photo: Gary Walton/Action Graphics

It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Tom Lawrence to the position of Ski-Doo® Race Coordinator.

In his new role, Tom will help develop and communicate the annual plan for Ski-Doo® racing. He will be responsible to coordinate all aspects of the relationships with the racing teams, individual racers, sponsors, promoters, associations and sanctioning bodies. He will work closely with the marketing, technical and product development departments within BRP to deliver top performance results and help promote and benefit the brand. He will be based in the Wausau, WI office. Tom will report to Marcel Imbeault and this appointment will take effect on December 5, 2011.

Tom has worked for BRP for 12 years—8 of those years as Race Coordinator and the last 4 years as an After-Sales Service Representative. With Tom’s background and experience, he has already established a solid reputation and close relationships within the racing community.

Please join me in congratulating Tom and wishing him great success in his new position.

Denis Morin
VP Product Development, Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo

Duluth, 20 Years Ago…

Twenty years ago Snow Week was on hand to document the first Duluth National Snocross and we revisit the event through the pages of the December 14, 1992 edition. This is from a collection of Snow Week magazines I acquired recently. I used to work for Snow Week and always thought it was a great publication that had a valuable place in the world of snowmobile racing. It’s demise in 2007 (or 2008? not sure) was one of the catalysts for me to start this Web site. An interesting thing to note is while 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the Duluth National Snocross, 1992-93 season marked the 20th anniversary of Snow Week. Hmmm…

Holeshots featured a blurb about Paul Groth's Budweiser Sno-King. Powered by four turbocharged Yamaha V-Max 4 snowmobile engines Groth said the 16-cylinder configuration would make 1,000-horsepower and would be good enough for 200mph.

Another Holeshot blurb noted that riders were happy to hear they would be allowed to use carbide runners and carbide-tipped studs in the upcoming International 500. The race was expected to have 300 entries and had a 100 at the time the issue went to print.

The second page had more of Hibbert as well as Steve Hanson, Brian Sturgeon and Jason Jones. Team Arctic rode ZR580s in the Open class. The ZRs came off the assembly line three days before the race and they were as big a news item as the race itself.

What a great photo of Hibbert working on his sled as Doug Lamm looks on. On his way to two wins that weekend Hibbert was quoted in the story saying he worked on clutching for the holeshot, added stiffer front shock springs and took out some picks and added cleats(!). These days Pro snocross rider have crews who do all this wrenching stuff for them.

A nice shot of some tangled sleds off the start, a ZR and an XCR. In the background the familiar Spirit Mountain chair lift. No tuff blocks, just good old-fashioned haybales.

It was all Polaris and Arctic Cat in the printed results. Hibbert won Pro Open and Pro Lite. Hmmm...

OK, so what else was in that issue? How about this way cool ad for the Thief River 200 sponsored by Pabst (with a $24K payout!).

It looks like Snow Week went to the ISR meeting that year too. Lots of photos of people handing over giant checks. I've been to ISR meetings and none of them were nearly as exciting as this one appears to have been. I never got a giant check either.

Snow Week handed out its 1992 Racer of the Year award at the ISR meeting. Ice racer Gary Vessair was the lucky recipient.

An ad for the International 500 features Jack Struthers and promises a $100K payout (based on 300 race entries). It also looks like the ad features a handy course map for pre-running.

1992-93 was set to have some great racing go down and it would begin the epic battles between Arctic Cat's ZR and Polaris' XCR that would last for nearly a decade. Looking at this schedule it looks like you could go racing pretty much all winter long across multiple racing genres with either one of those sleds.

The back of the paper always had classified ads. Remember, there was no eBay or craigslist back then. Need a used Wahl chassis twin tracker?

Or how about a Pro-5-built Polaris Formula III sled and a van to race it out of?

Looking back on this race 20 years on its amazing how much has changed and yet, at the same time, how little has changed. Familiar names, familiar scenarios, the same drama and anticipation and, of course, the same event.

Stud Boy Traction Goodwin Performance DOOTalk.com Race Team Goes Grassroots

Zach Pattyn will be back on Ski-Doo in 2012.

November 18, 2011 – Stud Boy Traction (Ravenna, MI), Goodwin Performance (Zion, IL) and DOOTalk, LLC (Churchville, NY) are excited to announce the Stud Boy Traction/Goodwin Performance/DOOTalk.com Race Team.

Zach Pattyn will be leading the charge in the Pro classes in the ISOC National Series followed by his brother Nick Pattyn and Casey Boylan in the Pro-Lite (semi-pro) classes. Jake Angove will fill the Sport class, and Josh Zelinski and Tom White will be running the Vet classes in both the ISOC National and Regional circuits. Ron Pattyn (Stud Boy Traction), Greg Goodwin and Tom White will function as crew chiefs for the team and they will work closely with Jason Koskela (TEAM Industries) and the other sponsors to make the machines perform at their highest level.

“We have put together a very talented, passionate and hard working group of racers and technicians. As a team we plan to
make a mark on the race track as well as give back a tremendous amount of value to our sponsors. Since a huge part of our sponsorship comes from DOOTalk members, we have some great giveaways planned as well as being there to provide technical information to site members and race team supporters. This is going to be a great year!” said Stud Boy’s Ron

The team is also excited to be supporting fellow team member, Garrett Goodwin and the Stay Strong 333 program, as he recovers from a spinal cord injury this past summer. Ron spoke for the whole team when he said: “We are honored to have Garrett on our team. He is a role model for ANY athlete and we will put him to great use on race weekends.” DOOTalk.com’s Member Sponsored Racing program is the only Forum Based racing program in the industry, where site members purchase ‘laps’ to support the race team. Stud Boy Traction has always been a family oriented grassroots racing team. With Stud Boy Traction, Goodwin Performance and DOOTalk.com joining forces for the 2011-2012 racing season, this grassroots racing team has the makings to shake things up at the top levels of ISOC racing.

The Stud Boy Traction/Goodwin Performance/DOOTalk.com Race Team is sponsored by: Ski- Doo, Nelson’s Speed Shop, Fox Shox, C&A Pro, Team Industries, Rox SpeedFX, SSI Decals, Fly, Powermadd, Scott, SledBrite, ODI Grips, HCP Designs, TekRider, Dragon Race Fuels, DP Brakes, Ipone, Camoplast, Grand Rapids Truck Center, and the members of DOOTalk.com.

2011-2012 sledRacer.com Snocross Rider Rankings

We’re on the brink of the 2011-2012 snocross season, time for the sledracer.com annual snocross rider rankings. Just a week out from Duluth, if you’re not ready now you’ll never be and we’ll help you get revved up with a little snocross bench racing. Bust out a cold one and read on as we give our $.02 on who is the best in snocross. You can see our past rankings (and see how accurate we were) here andhere.

11. Emil Ohman
No. 27
While Emil Ohman is entering just his third season of snocross in the United States, he’s been around Europe for a while. Translation: he’s older than you assume. But with age comes experience as well as patience, and the 2008 FIM snowcross world champion Ohman has both and both can be used to beat younger riders. Ohman had a breakout season in 2010 when he stood on the podium five times and placed third in Pro Stock points. He definitely came into Duluth on the pace last season but tweaked his knee there which opened up the gates to an injury-plagued 2011 season. Is a healthy Ohman a contender? It’s tough to say, but the pieces are there.




10. Kyle Pallin
No. 324
Arctic Cat
How can you put a rider on the Top 10 who has never ridden as a Pro? History would show that a rider who dominates the Semi-Pro class like Pallin did in 2012 usually makes a seamless jump into the Pro class. Plus, he finished 4th at the Winter X Games in snocross last season, proving he can ride a mod and put in the laps with the big boys. He’s got a ton of momentum behind him coming into the 2012 season, the question is, can he win?






9. Logan Christian
No. 43
Arctic Cat
The Pro National series Rookie of the Year last season, Logan Christian suffered a knee injury riding motocross in the off-season. After a less-the-stellar first half of the 2011 season, Christian turned it around after the New York race, made himself a consistent Top 5 rider and almost stole a win at the Hayward event. He rides for Christian Brothers Racing, one of the biggest and best teams on the circuit. Known for his relentless training regimen, expect Christian to start slow coming off injury but pick up mid-season and maybe steal some podiums.





8. Cory Davis
No. 160
Arctic Cat
Another rider who spent last year away from snocross (but not away from racing), Cory Davis is a naturally-gifted snowmobile rider, perhaps the most gifted on the circuit. During the summer of 2010 he suffered a severe injury to his foot riding ramps on his dirt bike. While now healed, questions surround Davis’ ability to ride snocross with the “new” foot. If he can pound the laps expect him to be Top 5 if not a podium contender.






7. Levi LaVallee
No. 108
The progression of the sport generally means a season away from racing is a death knell for most racers, but we’re betting Levi LaVallee can come back and be competitive again. Ever fit and always fearless and aggressive, LaVallee does not like to lose and he won’t be out there to mess around mid-pack. A former race winner and Pro Open points champ, he could easily be placed higher on this list.






6. Mathieu Morin
No. 27X
Last season Mathieu Morin swept the Pro points titles on the East Coast Snocross circuit. ECS is not the Nationals so it’s hard to say if he can bring that momentum with him. One thing is for sure, he was without a doubt the dominant rider on that circuit last year and his track record shows he wins wherever he goes. This year he replaces Brett Turcotte on the BOSS Racing squad. He’s been on the National tour before and done well, even winning races (including Pro Stock at Duluth in 2005). He should have a good season in 2012.




5. Garth Kaufman
No. 48
Arctic Cat
Garth Kaufman has quietly worked his way to the top of the field in snocross and he’s stayed there for the past few seasons. His smooth, consistent style combined with an adequate “next gear” that allows him to be just a step faster than some of the mid-packers puts him on the podium enough to call him a contender. While the Christian Brothers Racing rider has yet to show if he has that top gear that would put him out front (and keep him out front) against the Top 3, he’s definitely shown he’s a rider to take seriously.





4. Robbie Malinoski
No. 4
One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Malinsoki also rides for one of the highest-profile teams, Scheuring Speed Sports. Famous for logging the first National snocross win on a 4-stroke as well as for being the only rider other than Blair Morgan or Tucker Hibbert to sweep the points championships, Malinoski is a tough, consistent rider who can ride just about anything and always seems to find the podium. Expect him to be on the podium, but betting on the top step might prove risky.



3. Tim Tremblay
No. 27
Two years ago Tim Tremblay filled a spot on the Warnert Racing roster and won the Pro Stock points championship in his rookie season, proving he belonged on the National circuit. His results tapered off in 2011 but he still claimed a handful of podium spots. Still, he’s competitive and is even able to win on the Ski-Doo, a sled that has been a disappointing third best in the pack. On paper, the sled looks much improved for 2012, but will it put Tremblay in the mix with Hibbert and Martin again?






2. Ross Martin
No. 837
Ross Martin led more laps in more races than any other rider in the Pro class on the snocross National tour last season. Problem was, more often than not he wasn’t leading when it counted. Martin races for Judnick Motorsports, one of the most successful racing teams in the history of snocross and has the full force of the Polaris racing empire behind him. The mod-only Pro class should play into his favor because he’s always been better on his mod and has three Pro Open championships to prove it (2007, 2008, 2010). He’s the only rider who, when it comes to ability, racing experience and support, can match Tucker Hibbert. But, until he leads the laps that count, he remains the No. 2 rider on the list.




1. Tucker Hibbert
No. 68
Arctic Cat
In addition to being the reigning ISOC Pro points champion, Tucker Hibbert holds 66 Pro National snocross wins, he won the FIM Snowcross World Championship in 2010 and holds 10 Winter X Games snocross medals, including five gold medals. He locked up both championships last season despite suffering from an injured wrist (that required off-season surgery) for nearly half the season. While Blair Morgan’s win total still eludes Hibbert, the double race format this season could put him close to Morgan’s record of 84 wins. Despite his stats not being as fat as Morgan’s, Hibbert is arguably the greatest snocross racer ever and, until someone beats him on the National circuit, he is No. 1 on our list.