Ryan Simons grabbed the Pro Stock win on Sunday at Pine Lake new Gonvick, Minn.
Pine Lake has marked the traditional start of the cross-country snowmobile racing season for more than two decades. This year 220 racers showed up and made up close to 300 class entries, marking the largest cross-country race in more than a decade.
The lemans-style course on Pine Lake was roughly 11 miles long and featured a mile-long straightaway where riders reached speeds of over 100mph. Most classes made two laps but the Pro classes raced over 100-miles in the two 10-lap finals. Departing from the timed races of recent years, USXC ran heads-up racing for all classes both days on Pine Lake. Heat racing determined which riders would race in the finals.
Both Saturday and Sunday were overcast. Saturday’s event saw rain for a few hours mid-day while Sunday was dry. In Saturday’s Speedwerx Pro Open race Corey Davidson took an early lead on a Soo-style mod sled he brought just for Open class competition. Arctic Cat rider Ryan Simons slotted into second place and was able to hang with the more powerful sled but Davidson’s lead kept getting bigger every lap until his engine blew on Lap 7, handing the lead to Simons who took the win followed by his teammate and last year’s Pine Lake Pro 600 winner Brian Dick and Arctic Cat rider Zach Herfindahl.
Sunday dawned colder and riders had to fight something they didn’t have on Saturday’s wet track, snow dust. Simons grabbed the holeshot in Sunday’s 100-mile DRIFT Racing Pro Stock race and held the lead the entire way and was again followed by his teammates Herfindahl and Dick.
“I guess I didn’t have a strategy,” Simons, the reigning Pro 600 points champion said. “I just tried to pick up where I left off last year and everything turned out well.”
Veteran Arctic Cat racer Jon Arneson won the Polaris Semi-Pro 600 final and Yamaha rider Ben Lindbom won the AMSOIL Semi-Pro Improved race.
The Gerald Dyrdahl Memorial 200 marked the inaugural race for the USXC Snowmobile Racing circuit and circuit owner Brian Nelson was more than happy with it.
“For a first event I think it went great,” said Nelson. “We had a ton of racers show up, we got great feedback from racers and fans and the heads-up racing was exciting. But, as a business owner, I have to be self-critical and I would rate our weekend as a 6.5 or 7 out of 10. I think we can do better, and that is what we will strive for as we move forward.”
The next USXC event is the J&K Marine Beach Bar 200 in Detroit Lakes, Minn., January 5, 2013.
Other class winners from Pine Lake include:
Brothers Motorsports Expert 85: Bryce Buchanan (Cat); FOX Expert 85 Improved: Bryce Buchanan (Cat); Sport 600 Improved: Erik Nymann (Cat); Mattracks Masters 50+: Jim Sobeck (Doo); Carver Performance Sport 85: Kevin Tinjum (Cat); Woody’s Sport 600 Stock: Garrett Johnson (Cat); Sport 600 Improved: Erik Nymann (Cat); C&A Pro Trail: Glen Arlaud (Polaris); FLY Racing Vintage: Jesse Watland (Cat); Stud Boy Vintage Legends 50+: Gary Tintes (Cat); TEAM Classic IFS 18-50: Matt Schaumberg (Cat); On Snow Magazine Women’s: Jolene Bute (Cat); Yamaha Junior 10-13: Ean Voigt (Cat); Junior 14-17: Cole Lian (Cat); Arctic Cat Junior Girls 10-15: Marissa Kallock (Cat); Junior Girls 16-17: Callie Slominski (Cat).
The USXC is the largest cross-country snowmobile racing organization in North America.
Note: We originally reported Corey Davidson won the Pro Open. We apologize for that mistake.