Well, race fans, it appears your snow dances have worked. Winter storm Argos barreled though the Midwest, leaving a trail of that fluffy white stuff just in time for the AMSOIL Championship Snocross series opener in Duluth, Minn., over Thanksgiving weekend. While we in the Midwest prepare to dig ourselves out, we’d like to break down what we’re most looking forward to for the 2016-17 Snocross season.
The usual suspects are on the schedule – Duluth, Shakopee, Minn., Deadwood, S.D., Salamanca, N.Y. and Lake Geneva, Wis. – all of which draw fans for their own reasons, like the beautiful Lake Superior backdrop in Duluth, the raised-start line in Shakopee and the season-ending excitement in Lake Geneva. But this season, two new stops have been added to the schedule. On Dec. 16-17, Winter Park, Colo., will host the Country Cat Snocross National. Dubuque, Iowa also makes its debut this season for Theisen’s Snocross National on March 3-4.
The AMSOIL DOMINATOR
Appropriately named after the AMSOIL DOMINATOR® Synthetic 2-Stroke Racing Oil past champions like Tim Tremblay and Ross Martin use in their sleds, the AMSOIL DOMINATOR kicks off the season at the AMSOIL Duluth National. Pro riders compete head-to-head for two laps in a bracket-style format, the winner taking home $10,000 and the custom trophy. Past races have come down to the wire, with last year’s winner (Tremblay) taking the lead (and ultimately the title) from the back row.
Veterans vs. The Young Guns
While stalwarts like Tremblay and Martin have solidified their presence in Pro Open class, the 2015-16 season saw a flood of graduates from the Pro Lite class eager to land atop the podium. Past Pro Lite front-runners like Ryan Springer, Andrew Carlson and Trevor Leighton now have one year of Pro Open experience under their belts and will look to challenge the seasoned veterans. And, let’s not forget Kody Kamm. This young gun was the only rider who could seem to keep up with Tucker Hibbert last season until Kamm went off the track in Canterbury, Minn., with a season-ending shoulder injury. Fresh off shoulder surgery, he’s been working hard to get in shape for the upcoming season. Is this the year someone unseats Tucker Hibbert, who’ll be gunning for his fifth consecutive championship? We’ll just have to wait and see.
And (of course) the Racing
Everything I’ve listed should make for an awesome 2016-17 season. If the Trike Challenge at Hay Days Grass Drags was any indication, this season is shaping up to be pretty intense. Along with classes for riders ranging in ages from 6 to 30-plus, this season the series includes a snow bike class, which has been gaining in popularity in smaller series throughout the country.
The roost, the whoops, the massive air… it’s sure to be exciting from the holeshot to the finish line. It’s all about that “braaap” baby!
Check out the AMSOIL Racing website throughout the season for race recaps, live stream feeds and more. We’ll see you at the races!