|Faust Scores a Two-for-One at USXC Willmar 100
Ryan Faust (Pol) Earns First USXC Win in Pro Stock at Willmar Area Lakes 100
Willmar, MN (January 18, 2014) – After alternating Arctic Cats in the Yamaha Pro Stock winner’s circle in the first two rounds of USXC competition, Polaris got off “the schneid” this weekend with Ryan Faust at the controls. The Willmar Area Lakes 100 wrapped up round three of the schedule, as well as the pure lake racing portion of the circuit.
A lemans-style ice track couldn’t get any more technical, as 10 miles of lefts, rights, chicanes, and straights snaked around Foot Lake in Willmar, MN. A fresh blanket of snow covered the area the night before the race, forcing USXC owner Brian Nelson behind the wheel of a plow truck at 4:30 AM Saturday to clear the course. By the time the 8:30 AM driver’s meeting adjourned and riders staged for the first race, the sky was sunshine blue with a stiff breeze to help with snow dust.
Saturday appeared to be the day a few riders figured things out in a big way. In the Semi-Pro class, Cale Anseeuw piloted his slammed ice setup, turning some impressive laps to grab Ski-Doo their first major victory of the season. The top three in Semi-Pro, Anseeuw, Cole Nymann (Cat), and current point leader Casey Pries (Cat) were only separated by about 2 seconds, besting veteran Jon Arneson (Cat) and Polaris rider Alex Hetteen.
At the end of the day, all eyes turned to the 10 lap, 100 mile Yamaha Pro Stock final. Coming into the race, Christian Brother’s Racing rider Brian Dick (Cat) won the Speedwerx Pro Open class, setting a best lap time of the day at 8 minutes and 47 seconds. Dick did this aboard his usual Pro Stock sled, despite competing against some true “open” equipment. Anyone placing a bet, would have put large coin on the Pro Stock win being a slam-dunk for Brian Dick. Not so fast.
Always in the hunt, Ryan Faust (Pol) decided the hunt was over and it was time to go for the kill. From the moment Faust jumped over the start/finish line, bar-to-bar with Aaron Christensen (Pol), something looked different. All clichés aside, Faust appeared like he had been shot out of a slingshot right into the first turn. Brian Dick gave some early signs he was going to make it a race, but he just never found the pace, while Faust threw down some eye-watering laps. For the first half of the race, Faust bested each one of his laps down to an 8:48, just one second slower than the day’s best.
Even with only a 20 second fuel stop and brief surge, it wasn’t enough for Brian Dick and Ryan Faust logged his first Yamaha Pro Stock win in USXC competition by over a minute, an impressive gap in pro competition. “The sled felt the best it has all year,” Faust said through a sweaty ear-to-ear grin. “I really liked the more technical layout here and it felt good to get my first USXC win.”
A few side notes of the day included both Chad Lian (Cat) and round one winner Zach Herfindahl (Cat) finishing the Pro Stock race with no brakes. There was also a Ryan Simons (Cat) sighting, taking laps in the Speedwerx Pro Open race aboard, of all things, a Christian Brother’s Racing-badged Arctic Cat four stroke.
Now it’s on to the terrain at the Oslo 100 in Oslo, MN January 25, 2014.
The complete recap of winners from Willmar include:
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