Arctic Cat rider Dan Ebert went from fourth place too winning the three day Red Lake I-500 on January 17 in Thief River Falls, Minn.
Temperatures reached a high of 28 degrees Fahrenheit but the gray overcast made it tough for riders to see contrast in the course.
Riders left according to time and first out was Arctic Cat rider D.J. Ekre. He was followed by Arctic Cat riders Ryan Huston and Cory Davis. Ebert started fourth and then there was a gap of nearly three minutes to Polaris rider Gabe Bunke. They took to the same course they ran Friday which took them through Thief River Falls, then East to Goodridge for a fuel stop. From there they swung North and back down to Goodridge for another fuel stop, then south and East back to the Seven Clans Casino. Conditions were markedly different than on Friday and in many places the snow was thinned out from sleds running through and the snow had set up from the warm temperatures on Saturday resulting in many hard edges.
Ekre had the lead and was pulling time on the field going into the first fuel stop. He was followed by Huston, Ebert and Bunke. Davis was missing from the order and was soon seen coming down the ditch with no body panels on his sled. He pulled up to the stop sign for the gas stop crossing and killed the sled; his track had ripped lengthwise into three pieces. It was a harbinger of things to come for Ekre as his track came apart on the second leg, knocking him out of the race.
Meanwhile, Huston had an off just after the first gas stop putting Ebert into the lead.
Well into the second leg, Ebert got crossed up in some bumps leading into a road approach and came off his sled.
While running in second place, Huston's track was ratcheting and was failing just like Davis' and Ekre's so he had slowed down. Bunke caught and passed Huston to take second place and was gaining time on Ebert.
Bunke logged the Pro 600 fast time of the day, but he wasn't able to make enough time to catch Ebert.
Ebert crossed the line with a three day time of 8:11:35.371. Bunke's time was 8:13:42.290. In third place was Huston (8:16:22.969) followed by Cody Kallock (Arctic Cat, 8:27:43.946), Aaron Christensen (Polaris, 8:32:20.999), Chad Lian (Arctic Cat, 8:33:20.420) Jesse Thelen (Polaris, 8:33:36.338) and Arne Rantanen Jr. (Arctic Cat, 8:38:24.748).
"This race win is something I will think about every day for the rest of my life," said Ebert.
"This was the most brutal I-500 that I can remember, that simply to finish is a victory in itself," said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. "For Dan to win it in his second attempt is outstanding, as was the complete domination of Arctic Cat in all but two of the classes."
Arctic Cat's Roger Skime at a previous event.
With intent to better understand and improve the future of Arctic Cat production machines, Vice President of Engineering, Roger Skime, raced a Sno Pro 500 to fourth place in the Legends 50-Plus class while Arctic Cat Product Manager Joey Hallstrom finished fifth in the Expert 85 class aboard his Sno Pro 500.
See all of the Red-Lake I-500 Results
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