Kody Kamm put an exclamation point on his charge for the season points championship on the Amsoil Championship Snocross series on Sunday afternoon, sweeping his heat races and then winning the last Pro Open final of the season to claim his first title.
Kamm led from the flash of the green starting lights to the waving of the checkered flag on a challenging, sun-soaked course in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on a race that was carried live on TV on the CBS Sports Network.
Just three weeks past his 24th birthday, the Polaris racer from Kenosha, Wisconsin, came into the weekend 28 points behind Tim Tremblay in the championship race, and just ahead of the legendary Tucker Hibbert. But Kamm won all six of his points-lucrative heat races over the weekend and two of the three finals. After the race, he called it “a dream come true.”
The Charge To A Championship
After strong performances on Friday and Saturday, Kamm came into Sunday’s final day of racing on the 2016-17 race season just two points behind Ski-Doo racer Tremblay. That lead was erased in heat races, which Kamm swept and thus collected maximum points while Tremblay finished second twice. That meant that Kamm went into the final with a strong 10 point advantage. In turn that meant that, even if Tremblay won the final, all Kamm had to do to earn the championship was finish fifth or better.
Kamm’s sights were clearly set on a higher standard, however. When the green starting lights flashed his Hentges Racing Polaris immediately hooked up and he led the pack of 14 racers up the ski hill the first time.
The Lake Geneva course is particularly challenging, with three separate runs up and down the ski hill on each lap. Yet this final race of the season was just 9 laps long, so once in front Kamm merely had to stay there, and that’s exactly what he did. In the early going Kamm appeared to be racing in his normal ride-on-the-edge sort of style. But as his lead increased, he seemed to be taking fewer chances – while also building on his lead.
After two laps, Kamm led second place Lincoln Lemieux by 3.2 seconds and had 4.6 seconds on Tremblay. Next came Ryan Springer, Petter Narsa, Kyle Pallin, Adam Renheim and Tucker Hibbert.
During lap three, though, Tremblay moved past Lemieux and had his main challenger directly in front of him. Kamm’s lead over Tremblay was 4.1 seconds after three laps and then 3.9 seconds after four laps, but then it started to build again to 5 seconds and then 5.7 after six laps. Each racer was required to take the “joker” section of the course at least once during the race, and Kamm waited until the end to take that longer section, then came down the hill and across the finish line with an impressive 5 second victory – and a championship.
Tremblay finished second, Hibbert third and Lemieux fourth – and that’s just the way the point standings ended the season, oddly enough. Ryan Springer finished fifth, followed by Narsa, Pallin, Renheim and Elias Ishoel, with the retiring Andrew Carlson tenth.
After the race when interviewed on TV, Kamm recapped the season.
“I had lots of ups and downs this year,” Kamm said. “I had a crash and separated my shoulder and just thought I was done after that. But the first race back I won and just was riding really good after that, with lots of pain.
“This weekend I felt great, with no shoulder pain at all, and I got second once this weekend but won all of my other races – 8 of 9 of them. I’m just really pumped about that, and I’ve got the red number plate now and the championship.”