After a thrilling day of qualifying races at the famed Derby Track in unseasonably warm, humid and sometimes downright rainy conditions, the front row is now for the 54th annual World Championship race in Eagle River, Wisconsin, and it’s bound to be a doozy.
Ten drivers from a variety of backgrounds used the Derby’s unique qualifying process to earn their spot, and each driver has a strong sled — there are no slouches in the field this year, that’s for sure!
Going into the final, 2015 champion Cardell Potter is the favorite, on his interesting looking Pro Champ sled, but all the way down to position 10 there is speed and driver skill. Two more drivers will be added to the field Sunday at 1 p.m., then the run for the sport most prestigious and storied title begins at 3 p.m. The winner of the race will have their name etched into history, and inscribed on the Snow Goer Cup traveling trophy.
As is a tradition here at the Derby Track, Snow Goer has been working the event from many angles, gathering information and recording results. With that knowledge, we offer the Snow Goer Tip Sheet, complete with fictional odds on each front row starter. The sheet is distributed at the but we offer our odds here as well — see the odds and comments on each racer in the captions below. And, make sure to make your own predictions in the fantasy Snowmobile Racing Challenge game by clicking here. As always, it’s easy, free and fun!
Cardell Potter, #58, of Camp Douglas, Wisconsin: He has had the fastest sled all weekend but he hadn’t been getting very good holeshots… until Sunday when his team got that dialed in too! The 2015 winner is the man to beat. ODDS: 2-1
Nick Van Strydonk, #13, of Tomahawk, Wisconsin: If this 2012 Champion gets out front early, he’ll be very hard to pass. He has a quick sled and drives it expertly. ODDS: 3-1
Matt Schulz, #38, of Wausau, Wisconsin: The defending and two-time World Champion has taken a lot of seconds this weekend, but he could be waiting in the weeds for this field. Obviously he knows how to win here. ODDS: 4-1
Colt Dellandrea, #53, of Sundridge, Ontario: He has a very, very fast sled and ran some great laps in qualifying for his second run for a championship but must show consistency and patience. ODDS: 5-1
Gunnar Sterne, #220, of West Chicago, Illinois: He showed on Friday night that he has the chops to pull an upset and could surprise the field again with some breaks. ODDS: 6-1
Travis MacDonald, #8, of Gonor, Manitoba — After being mediocre earlier in the weekend, MacDonald had a strong showing in his semi-final. Plus he has a championship-winning team. ODDS: 7-1
Matt Ritchie, #355, from Minocqua, Wisconsin — A young, enthusiastic driver who knows his way around this track, but his sled hasn’t exhibited top-tier speed yet this year. ODDS: 9-1
Jordan Wahl, #747, of Greenbush, Minnesota: Jordan is a young, talented racer who will try to break a jinx that the Wahl team has had at Eagle River since Terry Wahl’s 1998 victory. ODDS: 10-1
Beau Van Strydonk, #61, from Tomahawk, Wisconsin: He’s raced for 17 years but this is his first year in Pro Champ. He’s competing on a sled raced by his champion cousin, Nick Van Strydonk, last season. ODDS: 12-1
Mike Hakey, #44, from Walpole, NH: Eastern racer qualified for his first World Championship on a Weatherill sled. ODDS: 12-1