January 17, 2011
Veteran cross-country racer Corey Davidson took his second straight USCC Pro 600 win January 15 at the USCC National Guard Cross-Country Snowmobile Championship race in Grand Forks, N.D.
The 12-mile course followed ditch, treeline, powerline and fields. Snow pack was deep and there were many drifted areas that made for challenging riding. As the day wore on, the course became whooped-out, making for exciting viewing for fans sitting in cars lining the course route or for those watching and listening on usccracing.com.
The Pro 600 final had 26 riders take the green flag. Attrition was low with five riders dropping out. Davidson set a blazing fast pace using his smooth riding style and unique course lines to steadily pull time on the rest of the field. The Polaris driver completed the race with a time of 45:47.849, besting second place Christian Brothers/Arctic Cat rider Ryan Simons by a hair less than 10 seconds (45:57.239).
Simons was backed up by his teammate D.J. Ekre who took third with a time of 46:05.813. After Ekre came Aaron Christensen (46:13.757; Pol), Cory Davis (47:07.615; Cat), Garth Kaufman (47:12.256; Cat), Gabe Bunke (47:32.308; Pol), Logan Christian (47:46.549; Cat), Brian Dick (48:03.453; Cat) and Cody Kallock (49:22.983; Cat).
Ski-Doo racer Tyler Aklestad won the Pro Open race. Aklestad, who hails from Palmer, Alaska, left first in the field of 19 Pro Open riders and set a blistering pace. After two laps he was some 10 seconds clear of second-place rider Christensen. Veteran snocross rider and former Winter X Games gold medalist Justin Tate was third on his Polaris.
Thirty-two riders lined up for the Semi-Pro 600 class with Arctic Cat rider Ryan Greening taking the win over Chad Kyllo, Nathan Moritz and Bobby Menne IV rounding out the top 4.
This weekend’s race was the first of this season that will count toward racers’ point tallies. Bad weather kept many racers from traveling to the race in Grafton, N.D., over the New Year’s Day holiday weekend, which forced USCC officials to improvise.
Air temperature readings this weekend in Grand Forks held below zero all day and a steady breeze put wind chill in the minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit range. But that didn’t stop 200 USCC racers — a record number for the circuit, in its ninth season — from putting on a great show of cross-country racing for the spectators. “It’s exciting to see so many names on the entry lists,” said USCC President Pat Mach. “I think it shows cross-country snowmobile racing is making a solid comeback.”
Next up for the USCC is the Red Lake I-500 in Thief River Falls, Minn., January 20-23. For more information about the USCC National Guard Cross-Country Snowmobile Racing Championship, visit usccracing.com.