For many snowmobilers, winter may have been a relative bust in many parts of the snowbelt. But for snowmobile snocross racers? It’s been a super exciting season with many different winners at the top of the ticket.

At the next-to-last weekend of this season’s schedule, Emil Harr won top honors in the Friday show, but rookie Jordan Lebel dominated on Saturday night under the lights in Elk River, Minnesota. Below is the story on Saturday’s racing from the ISOC Amsoil Championship Snocross circuit.

Lebel Locks Down Pro Win, Dillon Sweeps and Cottew Clinches at ERX

Jordan Lebel
Jordan Lebel

Elk River, Minn., ~ Time is running out on the 2023-2024 Amsoil Championship Snocross season. After Saturday night’s racing concluded at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota, only two rounds of points racing remain on this season’s schedule.

     That put the big air, deeply whooped-out track at ERX at the center of the snocross universe on Saturday night. Points races were tight in most of the series 14 Pro and youth classes. 

     All weekend, ERX provided the most competitive racing of the season. Starts are always important, but there were multiple lines and ample opportunity for racers to separate themselves from or make up time on their opponents.

     When the champions are crowned in Duluth in two weeks, many will look back on ERX and see how Saturday was moving day for title contenders looking for separation.

Lebel Triples to Pro Snocross Overall Victory

Pro rookie Jordan Lebel was locked in at ERX Saturday night.

     The round seven winner used near-perfect starts and a commitment to running his lines extremely fast to win all three rounds of the Pro Triple Crown. Lebel, who sits third overall in the points standings, had pressure in all three races but kept finding ways to pull away from the field as he picked up his third win of the season.

     “I had a good start on the last round and got the holeshot,” said Lebel. “I kind of knew where to go, and I decided that those were my lines, so I just stuck with them. It worked so, yeah, it was a fun day today.”

Jordan Lebel
Jordan Lebel

     Friday night winner Emil Harr entered the night with a 40-point championship lead over Francis Pelletier. Harr read the night accordingly, and he consistently pressured the front of the field in all three rounds. However, with Lebel riding at an elite level on Saturday, Harr gobbled up points. He finished with seven points (2-3-2) for second overall.

     Three other riders had a shot at third overall, with Jacob Yurk taking home the honors. Yurk would finish 5-4-3 (12 points), edging out Pelletier’s 3-2-8 (13 points) and Adam Peterson’s 4-6-6 (16 points) for his sixth straight podium.

Dillon Sweeps ERX With Determination

Crayden Dillon opened the Pro Lite season with seven straight wins. He then confronted a stretch of four rounds with only one podium finish. His elixir came from the deep holes and big air offered up at ERX this weekend.

     Dillon has a stranglehold on the Pro Lite points championship and reinforced his grip by sweeping the weekend in Elk River. On Saturday, Dillon had to work through traffic after getting pushed slightly wide off the start. But the rookie found a quicker way through the big bumps and moved into podium contention on lap 10. By then, he was on a rail and passed Evan Christian on lap 17. He then got around race leader Eric Downs with three laps remaining for his ninth win of the season.

     “I stuck with the inside line, and it was a really rough line,” said Dillon. “I was getting beat up, but I just told myself to dig deep and just breathe. It was a great race, and everybody put on a good battle. I’m sure it was fun for the fans to watch.”

     Downs blasted off the line and locked the top spot down for the first 18 laps before Dillon charged through. He kept his pace after losing the lead and drove to his second podium and best finish of the season in second.

     Christian, who worked on Downs for most of the contest, finished third.

Crayden Dillon
Crayden Dillon

Cottew Clinches Fourth Straight Title With Win

It has been a fantastic season for Malene Cottew, and the Pro AM Women’s top rider added another chapter to a storybook career on Saturday night.

     By winning her 12th race of the year at ERX, Cottew clinched the season championship, her fourth straight title in the top-level pro class. Cottew had to work through a rough track and a motivated Cerissa Blessum to nail the weekend sweep.

     Blessum was first around turn one and locked down the top spot for the first few laps. But Cottew found a way to power through the big bumps and into the lead, where she would drive to her fourth straight victory.

     Blessum would finish second after holding off Inanna Hauger over the final two laps.

Malene Cottew
Malene Cottew

Other Intriguing Classes

PRO AM PLUS 30: Adam S Johnson nailed the hole shot, but Andy Lieders stole the show in Pro AM Plus 30 on Saturday.

     Lieders returned to racing in Sioux Falls with a win, and the defending class champion backed it up with his second straight win of the season by running a clean race on Saturday night. Points leader Corin Todd would get past Johnson on lap three and then hold off Johnson for the runner-up spot.

SNOW BIKE: Yanick Boucher cleaned house at ERX this weekend, pulling off four straight moto wins for the Snow Bike sweep. 

     Yanick completed the perfect weekend by winning both motos on Saturday night, bringing his winning streak to six straight overall wins. Defending champion Troy Horbaty finished 3-2 for second overall. Bobby Pagel would own the tie-breaker over RJ Marnoch for third overall. Marnoch finished 2-6, and Pagel 5-3, but Pagel had a better finish in Moto 2 for the final podium spot.

FXR SPORT: After 12 rounds of racing, the FXR Sport class is deadlocked at the top of the standings. Cameron Cole closed the gap on Kellen Chapuran, and the two will head to Duluth tied at 383 points, with Brandon Nelson four points back.

     Those three riders didn’t factor into the ERX podium on Saturday, as Tanner Johnson earned his second win of the year. He outlasted Ingebrigt Hoelsaeter, who made his season debut in Elk River with a runner-up finish on Saturday. Hayden Meyer nabbed his first podium finish by holding off Cole for third.

Andy Lieders
Andy Lieders

SPORT LITE: The final rounds of Sport Lite racing in Duluth promise to be exciting, with four riders within 19 points of one another. That includes Saturday’s winner at ERX, Lawrence Eeg, who picked up his fourth win of the season.

     Eeg held off Jesse Hallstrom at the finish line for the win. The pair were separated by .055 of a second, with Hallstrom finishing in the runner-up spot in his first weekend of racing with ISOC this winter. Friday night winner Shade Meyer crossed the line in third. He and Eeg picked up points on overall leader Trenton Hilmerson, who finished sixth. 

     Hilmerson leads Eeg by 13 points, with Meyer three behind Eeg and Kamden Duffy three behind Meyer.

ROX SPEED FX STOCK 200: Points leader Jack Gelinas returned to the winner’s circle with a wire-to-wire win in the Rox Speed FX Stock 200 final.

     Gelinas earned his fifth win of the season, leading Koy Maruska and Rucker Kuehl to the finish line. Maruska made a last-lap pass on Kuehl and took the runner-up spot by half a second

Yanick Boucher
Yanick Boucher

TRANSITION 9-13: Easton Kuhn bounced back from a missed final on Friday night to pick up his first win of the season in Transition 9-13.

     While Kuhn led the final from start to finish, he did have to hold off late pressure from Tavin Knudson. Kuhn finished .382 of a second ahead of Knudson for the win. Riley Johnson leaves ERX with his second podium of the season, a third-place finish.

JUNIOR 14-15: AJ Skogquist took the Junior 14-15 points lead on Friday and extended it on Saturday with his second win of the weekend.

     Skogquist and Kamden Duffy are now separated by ten points in the championship standings, but they were only separated by a tenth of a second at the end of Saturday’s final. With Duffy in second, Colin Taggart would cross the line in third.

TRANSITION 8-10: It was a close finish, but Trip Knudson led the Transition 8-10 final from start to finish on Saturday night. Knudson held off Noah Gillis at the finish line (.919 of a second) for his fourth straight win.

     Gillis got around Kody Krantz with three laps remaining for his third straight podium. Krantz would finish third, his sixth podium of the season.

JUNIOR GIRLS 9-13: Victoria Dillon is making a late-season surge to unseat points leader Avery Hemmer. Dillon used a near-perfect holeshot to grab the race lead and finished .001 of a second ahead of Hemmer at the finish line.

     The win cut into Hemmer’s overall lead, with Dillon now trailing Hemmer by only three points. Eleanor Schmidt finished third for the second weekend in a row.

120 CHAMP: Ryan Shimanski got a slight boost in his overall points lead at ERX. Shimanski led the 120 Champ final from start to finish for his fourth win of the season.

At the finish line, he held just a .729-second advantage over runner-up Henry Dillon but also gained five points on Kody Krantz for the championship points lead. George Boettger finished third, his third trip to the podium this season.

JUNIOR 10-13: Tavin Knudson brought out the broom at ERX, winning both Junior 10-13 rounds. Knudson picked up his third straight win by leading from start to finish, staying atop the overall standings.

     Lincoln Meyer edged out the runner-up spot from Easton Kuhn with a close finish at the checkered flags.

     The final rounds of the AMSOIL Championship Snocross season will April 5-7 in Duluth, Minn. The AMSOIL Duluth National presented by Hayes Brakes will be held at Spirit Mountain.

     For more information about the 2023-2024 AMSOIL Championship Snocross season, visit www.snocross.com. You can tune in all season-long, live on www.FloRacing.com. Event day schedules and tickets are available at snocross.com.

Photo Credit: Crystal Wallem Photography 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *