Picture the scene: It’s 20 years ago — September 12, 1993, and the Haydays Grass Drags and Swap Meet is really hitting its stride in terms of being able to claim that it is the largest event in all of snowmobiling. More than 30,000 snowmobile enthusiasts pack the grounds near Lino Lakes, Minnesota, and racer entries reach 529.
This was also a time when the snowmobile manufacturers were starting to pay a lot of attention to Stock-class grass drag results – and particularly at Haydays – to give themselves something to talk about during the all-important fall selling season.
Looking back now, there was great racing in a lot of classes, but the Stock A final (featuring 600-class, single pipe snowmobiles) was one of the most hotly contested events. Better yet, by the time the large class got whittled down to four for the final, there was one sled from each brand on the starting line. Talk about parity!
This is the story of that race, as portrayed by Snow Week magazine in its September 27, 1993, issue. This account was in the middle of a story that stretched for seven pages. Hallas ended up winning the Minnesota Cup (given to the overall top racer at Haydays) while the crew from D&D Racing earned the Snow Week cover for the dominance in various classes.
Will we see you at Haydays this weekend? Make sure to stop by the Snow Goer booth near the finish line of the grass drag track.
FROM SNOW WEEK MAGAZINE
Stock A had 54 sled gunning for the top prize. Stock A featured some of the best racing of the day, complete with controversy.
First round winners were Ken Hallas, Charlie McNally, Greg Davis and Jim Jones, who was driving for Pat Hauck. Hallas won his heat in round two. Rick Stroebel and Bruce Schrader were also round two winners.
During the third round of heats, Davis appeared to leave the line early, although the starting lights didn’t indicate a red light had occurred. After much discussion, SWDRA officials checked the system, only to find out that the red lights were not working. It would be up to the starter to watch for red light situations the rest of the day. Davis did not advance.
Jones, McNally and Glenn Erlandson were winners in the third round.
Through Stock A qualifying, Erlandson heat Hallas in one round and then Hallas turned the tables and beat Erlandson in the next, but they both advanced in each round. The final was going to be one hot race.Round 1 featured Zach Miller and his ’92 Arctic Cat EXT. Lane 2 was Jim Jones on his Yamaha Vmax 600. Lane 3, Glenn Erlandson and his ’94 Polaris Indy XLT. Lane 4, Ken Hallas with his ’93 Ski-Doo Formula Plus X.
All the drivers took their time staging at the line. It was as if they were playing a game to see who would set their sled down last. Finally, when the last sled hit the ground, all four helmets focused on the starting light.
The start was extremely tight. Erlandson may have had a slight advantage. As the sleds disappeared behind their own dust, attention turned to Lyle Hazeltine, the public address announcer, for the results.
“And your winner is… Glenn Erlanson on a Polaris, second Ken Hallas, third Jim Jones, fourth, Zach Miller,” boomed Hazeltine’s voice.
Erlandson had finally broken his string of second place finishes with a victory in Stock A at Haydays.
“It felt real good,” said Erlandson. “I beat Kenny (Hallas) in one heat and one semi, and he inched us out in the other semi. We knew we had to beat him on the light. But we got out the same and just pulled him down the line.
Erlandson said he was getting too lean for the early rounds, but, “as the weather warmed up, it loosened up and got right where she should be.”