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Cross-Country I-500 Moves To Final Day, With Brian Dick Leading

USXC Press ReleaseFebruary 08, 2014

Brian Dick Increases Pro Lead, More Riders Head for the Exits

The Seven Clans Casino
I-500 Wraps-up Day Two of Competition

Thief River Falls, MN (February 7, 2014) – The day some riders refer to as
“moving day” kicked-off at 9:00 AM Friday with the Yamaha Pro Stock class
leaving the starting line. Racers went out in reverse order in their classes
from Thursday’s start to level the playing field as to what kind of course they
would encounter. Attrition played a part, as it always does, with about 17
riders heading for home on day two.

The number of racers not finishing the Seven Clans Casino I-500 this year is
down by quite a large margin compared to past years. Typically, in day one the
field is thinned by about twenty percent and yesterday’s DNFs were nowhere near
that number. Even with the riders not finishing day two, non-finishers look to
be well below average for this race. USXC race announcer, Phil Zimple and
others have their opinions on why. “I think the sleds have just gotten so much
better and more reliable and it seems like people are using their heads out
there,” Zimpel said. More surprising than the overall DNF numbers is which
riders are dropping out, with the more experienced pros and semi-pros making up
the bulk of the early exits.

The top five day two finishers were pro riders Brian Dick (Cat), Ben Lindbom
(Yam), Ben Langaas (Cat), Zach Herfindahl (Cat), and Cody Kallock (Cat).
Lindbom left the line first on his blue Yamaha Viper and held onto the lead
position on the track most of the day. Aaron Christensen (Pol) got around
Lindbom on the second leg between Goodridge and Grygla, MN, but a badly blown
belt after the second gas stop set Christensen back significantly. Lindbom is
Yamaha’s last hope in the I-500, with Thursday’s eighth position finisher,
former snocrosser, Matt Piche going out with mechanical problems on day two.

At the end of day one, Women’s class rider Anne Pladson (Pol)
held a razor thin 17 second lead over Jolene Bute (Cat). Friday, Pladson
crossed the line well off the pace and Bute pulled about nine minutes ahead to
take the lead. Veteran Sam Vandeputte (Doo) was also able to ride well enough
to take over the lead in the all-new Super Stock class aboard a fuel injected,
600cc Ski-Doo, easily covering the 29 second gap that separated him from
yesterday’s leader, Jon Arneson (Cat).

Other notable racers who loaded up their sleds early after day two included
Bunke Racing’s Spencer Kadlec (Pol); Cole Nymann (Cat); Amsoil Semi-Class
favorite, Cale Anseeuw (Doo); and last year’s champion junior rider, Ean Voigt
(Cat). In the category of Things That Only Seem to Happen at the I-500, Wesley
Selby (Cat) ran out of fuel about 100 yards from the fuel stop; Zach Herfindahl
(Cat) had his primary clutch seize-up 40 yards from the finish line that he had
to repair to complete day two; and women’s class rider, Lisa Nelson, got stuck
along the course, taking her from a starting position of 68th to
crossing the line last.

Day three of the Seven Clans I-500 starts Saturday at 9:00 AM with the top
riders going out according to their elapsed time separation. This is
particularly exciting in the Yamaha Pro Stock class, because, barring any time
credits or penalties, riders will cross the finish line in their exact
finishing order. Facing these riders, however, is one of the most grueling legs
of the I-500 for the past several years, the “Warren loop.” Racer Jon Arneson
summed up the Warren run, describing it as “Rock-hard, icy, knife-edge drifts
in the ditches. Riders are going to have to slow down and use their heads if
they expect to finish on Saturday.” Leaving the toughest for last, day three
will be the ultimate test for riders looking to carve their names in the I-500
history books. Saturday also marks the very first Mini I-500 for 120
competitors, with a 5 mile course laid out to challenge the little ones. That
race starts about 10:30 near the USXC pits.

Class Leaders in the Seven Clans I-500 After Day One Are As Follows:
Yamaha Pro Stock: Brian Dick (Cat); Speedwerx Pro Open: Brian Dick (Cat); Semi
Pro: Timmy Kallock (Cat); AMSOIL Semi Pro Improved: Benjamin Langaas (Cat);
Drift Racing Super Stock: Sam Vandeputte (Doo); Polaris Expert 85: Kevin Tinjum
(Cat); Ski-Doo Masters 40+: Jon Arneson (Cat); Legends 50+: Jim Sobeck (Doo);
Trophy 85: Ryan Weidemann (Cat); Trophy 600: Jared Christiansen (Pol); C&A
Pro Trail: Kevin Tinjum (Cat); On Snow Magazine Women’s: Jolene Bute (Cat)

USXC Racing is the largest cross-country snowmobile racing organization in
North America. The USXC is set to hold eight races during its 2013-2014 race
season which runs from December 2013 to March 2014. Follow USXC on Facebook or
visit www.usxcracing.com for more information, registration, news and race results

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