It is that time of year again – when you can smell the 2-stroke exhaust and race fuel in the air. It’s also time for two of New York’s biggest snowmobile grass drag events: the Snow Bash in Ohio, N.Y., and the Excell Eastern Nationals in Bouckville, N.Y.
Looking for something to do next September? Take a trip to New York and check out some of the best snowmobile drag racing in the country at these two events!
Snow Bash – Ohio, N.Y.
Put on by the Ohio Ridge Riders, Snow Bash is a one-of-a-kind event. This will be the second year for the Pro Stock 1000 shootout, where 16 sleds put in $500 each. This year, D&D Racing put in $1,000, and Bill O’Hara Auto Group added $500, bringing the total purse to $9,500 ($7,500 to the winner and $2,000 to the runner-up).
This year’s field was a force to be reckoned with. The drivers were Mark Vikio, Todd Hogan, Mike Bailey, Brian Weaving, Bill Sawyer, Gary Poplawski, Matt Luba, Will O’Hara, Adam Osha, Rob Lawrence, Ian Thomas, Don Burgess, Jason Hamlin, John Davis, Jeff Marks and Keith Culley.
Classes included everything from Stock 600 to the Pro Stock 1000. The Ohio Ridge Riders also did something pretty cool to raise extra winnings. The club sold 400 raffle tickets at $100 a piece, giving away $27,000 at the end of the weekend. The other $13,000 was split up into purses for the racers.
It turned out to be an exciting weekend of racing. After all was said and done, Gary Poplawski won the Pro Stock 1000, Skyler Klinegardner won the Amateur Bash Master, and Mike Bailey won the Pro Bash Master for the second time.
Excell Eastern Nationals – Bouckville, N.Y.
The Excell Eastern Nationals is an event that has grown so much in the few years it has been taking place. It’s by far one of the best (if not THE best) drag racing track in the U.S. This facility is impressive, especially at night when the track is all lit up.
This year was one for the record books! Steve Brown set a new Lake Racer World Record on a Hypersports-powered Arctic Cat owned by Rick Stewart that had been tuned and prepared by BCM/Boyd McGarry. Aboard the 750-lb. sled, Brown recorded at 3.95 E.T. at 134mph to win the Lake Racer Class.
The Eastern Nationals has something for everyone, from 120s and Vintage to full-blown Outlaw sleds. There are plenty of vendors and a good-size swap meet and vintage show.
The weather was a little on the cool side this year, but that meant more horsepower and fast times and speeds. Racing went on with out a hitch on Saturday, when everything led up to the Pro Mod Shootout under the lights. There were 16 sleds in the shootout, registered for $100 each. Harpoon Eddies put in another $1,000 for a total purse of $2,600 to be split between the winner and runner-up. In the final, it was Dylan Roes edging out Billy Sawyer.
Sunday looked like it was going to be a great day for racing with several finals in the lineup. The nonstop racing action featured some crazy fast sleds in the Lake Racer and Outlaw classes, including Walter Joy on his nitrous-powered Outlaw Ski Doo.
Overall, the event was a great success with 343 entries and 5,800 spectators in attendance. The event can only get bigger and better in the years to come. Personally, I would like to see the BIG 4 and other vendors attend this event, and maybe a freestyle competition as well.
Story & photos by Jon Johnville
JJ’s Outlaw Photography