Martin, Mich. - A new speed record was set and four winners were crowned at American Snowmobiler's Super Sled Shootout over the weekend. However, rains ultimately washed out the final day of races.
More than 135 racers dodged rain for a day of practice on Friday and Saturday was chock full of fast racing fun at AmSnow's 22nd Annual Super Sled Shootout presented by Aeroquip on the ¼-mile asphalt drag strip at US 131 Motorsports Park. While Saturday was a success, Sunday was washed out by steady rains. This was the first year rain has cut short our weekend of racing.
While the dampness kept the times down some from last year's record pace, Michael Swartz of London, Ont., made the fastest pass in history in the ¼-mile on the asphalt. Swartz hit 186.748 mph. That eclipsed last year's mark of 183.59 set by Michigan's Jeff Kerridge. However, Kerridge's mark of 7.39 seconds remains the record time, and Swartz is not an official record because they were not able to back up the run within 1% at the same event. Swartz set the top speed in qualifying for the Outlaw class aboard the Hurricane Performance sled of Dave Marshall Racing out of Prescott, Ont. The sled uses a Pro-Line chassis and the engine is a modified Yamaha RX-1 capable of 600 horsepower.
Kerridge, last year's record breaker, still had a great day, eeking out a win in the Outlaw class with a final run of 7.963 at 164.86 mph aboard his 2006 Yamaha Apex that he set the record with last year. The sled is a Kenneth Smith/Mott Motorsports prepared unit. Swartz finished fourth.
Edwin Wirbel of Hope, Mich., won the Pro Stock 1000 class with a run of 8.427 at 151.65 mph on a modified Ski-Doo Mach Z. The win made Wirbel the first three time winner at the Shootout. He won races in 2008 and 2009 previously, but this time was driving a sled he prepped himself for his Sledwin Racing team.
A new 10.20 Index class race produced a strong field of nearly 30 racers with Boyd McGary of Horseheads, N.Y., winning by a scant .001 seconds due to his fast reaction time on the start. The 2004 Ski-Doo MXZ 800 he took to the winner's circle is owned by McGary's friend, Jamie Hitchcock.
Clearly the most ecstatic winner of the weekend was hometown hero Michael Winger Jr. of Dorr, Mich., just a few exits north of the track. Winger won the Bracket race after several years of being a runner-up in the brackets. He was consistent in the 9.40 range all day and hit 9.625 in the final, but had a 9.42 in the semi-final race. Winger, 22, and his dad, Michael Sr., do all the work on their M&M Racing machine, a 2000 Polaris XCR 800.
The MSA All Sports Show and Swap Meet drew people from all over Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Canada, and as far away as New York! Yamaha's generator division supplied the power and although there was some damp weather, spirits were high and response was extremely positive. Consumers loved the clean, open show and swap meet side-by-side so you could peruse hundreds of vendors at your leisure. Plans are already being laid for next years combined Super Sled Shootout and MSA All Sports show so stay tuned to AmSnow.com for more info in the coming months.
For more details and photos from the wet and wild 2011 Super Sled Shootout, look for the December issue of American Snowmobiler. Subscribers can see a more complete story and photos from the races on our website later this week.
By Mark Savage, Editor of American Snowmobiler
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