Lake Geneva, Wis. – Three days of racing wrapped up in Lake Geneva, Wis., with a Sunday filled with bright skies and bar-to-bar action that continued to put the focus squarely on the championship picture.
Amsoil Championship Snocross held is 14th round of competition on Sunday, March 20, featuring a condensed schedule that highlighted the Pro and Pro Lite classes. With only two rounds remaining after this weekend, the contenders hammered down and tried every trick to get out front and capture valuable championship points.
Ishoel Smooth on Way to Eighth Win
Racers were met with piles of snow at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa over the weekend. The big track and the uphill’s played their usual tricks this time of year. On Sunday, with the skies a perfect blue and the sun beating down upon a full house, the track took a beating. Warm weather and hard-landing snowmobiles brought about deep holes and loose snow conditions that caused riders to swap out in places they least expected.
Managing those ever-changing conditions was paramount for success on Sunday. For the past few seasons, no one has adapted better to change more than Elias Ishoel.
The three-time defending champion got a good start, coming out third. Out front was Hunter Patenaude, who was looking to make up for a tough round of racing on Saturday and keep pace with Ishoel in the overall standings, but a mechanical would knock Patenaude out of the lead on lap three.
As has been the case over the past few seasons, Ishoel was there to capitalize. He moved to the front with ease, using a mix of skill and strength to find near perfect rhythm despite the constant sea of change.
Emil Harr capped a successful weekend of racing, once again finishing as the runner-up to Ishoel in the Pro final. Harr got a better start than he did on Saturday night, and despite getting passed after a great move by Ishoel, he never dropped below second. He found late speed to pressure Ishoel but ran out of real estate once the checkered flags fell upon the field. It was his seventh podium finish in 2022 and moved him into sole possession of second overall behind Ishoel.
Francis Pelletier started the final out fourth, locking him into a five-lap battle for the final podium position with Harr. Once Patenaude dropped back, he was able to keep the early race momentum and pulled away from the pack before finishing third. It marked Pelletier’s fourth podium in the past five races and moved him into third overall.
Kyle Pallin overcame a poor start to finish in the top five. Pallin came out of the gates in 12th and stayed there for a few laps before he started charging through the field. He made it into the top five on lap five, before making a pass for fourth on the second to last lap. Oskar Norum rounded out the top five.
Rookie Lebel Lands Tenth Win
It was a near perfect weekend of racing for Pro Lite rookie Jordan Lebel in Lake Geneva. He was able to win all three finals, but unlike his textbook performances on Friday and Saturday nights, Lebel had to do a bit of yeoman’s work on Sunday.
Lebel had to start from the back row on Sunday after going through the LCQ. He shot off the line but was held up by traffic. He came across the line on the first lap in eighth. It took him a few laps to find his rhythm, but when he did, he went on a tear. He made up to fourth by lap six and set his sights on the leaders. Over a four lap sequence he made power moves to get past Evan Daudt for third, Theo Poirier for second and with the white flag waving, he got around Anson Scheele for the lead.
It marked Lebel’s tenth win of the season and set himself up to win the overall title in next weekend’s penultimate round.
Scheele has been racing with confidence and authority over the past few rounds. He came out second in the final on Sunday but blasted past Daudt for the lead by the time the field hit the bottom of the first hill. He was in control until the final two laps, when Lebel grabbed the lead. His second half surge has shown great promise, and four overall podiums.
Theo Poirier wrapped up a great weekend of racing, being the most consistent Pro Lite rider outside of Lebel. He grabbed two podiums in Lake Geneva, including a third on Sunday, and was a challenge for the leaders in every race he lined up for.
Daudt was able to turn his hole shot into a fourth-place finish. Marcus Ogemar followed up his podium on Saturday night with a fifth-place finish on Sunday.
It looked early on in the second Moto of Pro Snowbike on Sunday that Troy Horbaty was going to get his fifth overall win of the season, but Jesse Kirchmeyer turned the script back in his favor.
Kirchmeyer won the first moto, with Horbaty finishing second. So Horbaty needed a win in moto 2 for the overall. He grabbed the hole shot and was looking to pull away, but he caught an edge and hit the ground. That allowed Kirchmeyer to grab the lead and the overall win by going 1-1.
Horbaty would remount and keep pace to finish second. His 2-2 put him second overall. Keaton Ward finished fourth in the first moto but put in a strong ride in the second moto to finish third, and third overall.
After winning eight of the first ten FXR Sport finals, Adam Ashline had gone three rounds without a trip to victory lane. But the points leader took care of business on Sunday with an impressive ride to grab win number nine.
Ashline started fourth on the start and moved into third at the bottom of the first big downhill section. That put him right behind the leaders and as the group made the final left handed turn before the finish line, Ashline picked up two spots by using an aggressive inside line. From there, he was pressured by Crayden Dillon, but Ashline set the pace for the win, while wrapping up the class championship in the process.
Dillon now has three straight podiums after his runner-up finish. Beau Tibbetts raced hard and broke through with his first Sport podium of the season.
SPORT LITE: The Sport Lite points leader, Cameron Cole, set a blistering pace on Sunday. He grabbed the lead after the first turn and kept adding time over the second place sled over the duration of the race. Cole ran a sub one-minute lap, close to what the top Pro class times were on Saturday night.
Tanner Johnson picked up his first of two podium finishes in Lake Geneva on Sunday, finishing second despite heavy pressure from Josh Connolly for the bulk of the final.
JR 10-13: Dylan Lebel was on point on Sunday, taking command of the Junior 10-13 final off the start. Lebel pushed out front of the scrum and drove to his second class win of the season, and fourth podium in the past five rounds. There was some swapping of spots behind the race leader, but it was the points leader Tanner Johnson who took home the runner-up spot and extended his overall lead in the class. Colin Taggart kept pace with Johnson for the entire race, finishing third and grabbing his first podium finish since round two.
The final weekend of Amsoil Championship Snocross will take place next weekend in Cannonsburg, Mich., March 25-26. Amsoil Championship Snocross airs all rounds live on FloRacing and CBS Sports Network.