The Eagle River Snowmobile Derby is always historic, but Sunday’s run for the 55th annual World Championship has all the makings of a truly epic event.
After a weekend filled with qualifying races on the rugged iced oval, the front row for the 3 p.m. final features 10 amazingly fast sleds, with an interesting mix of veteran drivers and relative newcomers.
You have two past champions on the starting line in Cardell Potter and Nick Van Strydonk who know how to get it done, but many of the other drivers are backed by teams featuring past champions as builders and/or tuners – including Dave Wahl, Dale Loritz, Bobby Donahue, Al Fenhaus, Mike Houle, Brian Bewcyk, Terry Wahl and more. They have helped build great machines that these young drivers must try to drive to their fullest potential to make their own history and put their name on the Snow Goer Cup after today’s final. Two more drivers will be added for the final in a last-chance qualifier later today.
The Snow Goer Tip Sheet is here to add to the fun and to help you feel smart, with fictional odds on each front row starter. Make your picks (and side bets?!), then read the blow-by-blow action with racer quotes Sunday evening on SnowGoer.com – the No. 1 source for all snowmobiling information.
Also, get your picks in for the Snowmobile Racing Challenge game. Click here to play — it’s easy, free and fun.
Cardell Potter of Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, won here in 2015, and also won here on Friday Night in the Sweet 16 race. He is strong, has the experience and has had great speed all year. Odds: 3-1
Gunnar Sterne of West Chicago, Illinois, is the defending TLR Cup points champ and has a blazing fast sled, and is seeking his first World Championship. Odds: 3-1
Nick Van Strydonk of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, is the defending champion and also won in 2012. He was slow Friday but his crew changed “Pretty much everything” while working on the sled until 2:30 a.m. and came back super-fast on Saturday. Odds: 4-1.
Colt Dellandrea of Sundridge, Ontario, has a championship-winning team behind him this year after switching to Ski-Doo and a Houle chassis. He’s been super fast this year but is stiff and sore after being crashed into on Friday. Odds: 5-1.
Glen Hart of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is strong and fast, and seems especially competitive if he gets ahead early. If he gets the holeshot, he could be hard to beat. Odds: 6-1
Blaine Stephenson of Hutchinson, Minnesota, is the sentimental favorite of many fans and even other race teams after he came back to race after recovering from a brutal injury in a crash last year at Ironwood, Michigan. He also crashed in his semi-final but came back to take third place. Odds: 6-1.
Travis MacDonald of Gonor, Manitoba, set the fastest time in time trials but finished third in his semi-final. He is a veteran driver with a fast sled, and could surprise. Odds: 7-1
Jordan Wahl of Greenbush, Minnesota, is a veteran driver on a new sled who is looking for his first podium in Eagle River since 2013, and first Wahl win since Terry Wahl earned it in 1998. Odds: 8-1.
Jerry Brickner of Wausau, Wisconsin, has fast equipment and is looking to be the first rookie champion since PJ Wanderscheid. Odds: 10-1
Stephen Marquis (37) of Cookshire, Quebec, is trying to become the first Quebecois to win a World Championship since Jacques Villeneuve in 1986. Odds: 12-1