The largest snowmobile snocross tour in the world has announced its schedule for the coming winter, and it includes a combination of historic sites and the return to some key locations scattered between the Dakotas and the East Coast.
The ISOC Amsoil Championship Snocross series draws the best high-flying riders from across North American as well as Scandinavia to compete on bumpy courses on Arctic Cat, Polaris and Ski-Doo 600-class sleds. The high profile Pro and Pro Lite classes are bound to be hyper competitive this year, as some top drivers changed teams while others spent the entire summer preparing to up their game.
Here’s a preview of the season as it’ll happen
The First Three Stops
The ACS series, which historically opened its season on Thanksgiving weekend in Duluth, Minnesota, will for the second year in a row run a more condensed calendar, squeezing 17 rounds of racing into eight weekends of racing in January, February and March.
It’ll start with a subtle copy of NASCAR racing by having its historically best attended, highest profile event first. Canterbury Park in the Minneapolis suburb of Shakopee, Minnesota, will host the Pirtek Snocross National, January 7-8. With seating indoors and out, coverage on countless TVs throughout the facility and a history that runs deep in the snocross world, Canterbury draws the masses. For the top Pro classes, there are complete programs each night.
The action keeps rolling the following weekend when the Thiesen’s Snocross National is held at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds in Dubuque, Iowa, January 14-15. Iowa race fans have shown themselves to be particularly enthusiastic when snowmobile races head to their state, and this year is likely to see more of the same for rounds three and four of the season points chase.
After taking a short one-week breather to let racers and teams lick their wounds and further tune their machines, the circuit travels 750 miles to the west for the U.S. Air Force Snocross National in Deadwood, South Dakota, January 28-29. The host Days of ’76 Event Complex is always the site of much bumping and banging, as the tight bullring track and rowdy Black Hills crowd encourages riders to muscle their way to the front and then deal with plenty of lapped traffic and snow dust.
With six rounds in the books, the circuit opens February in the other Dakota with the All Finish Concrete Snocross National at the Red River Fairgrounds in West Fargo, North Dakota, February 4-5. The new All Finish snocross racing team will be particularly motivated to try to earn victories here, but this is also the closest stop to the Arctic Cat and Polaris hometowns, so there will be plenty of racers in all classes seeking to attract attention and earn factory support.
Rounds 8 and 9 come two weeks later when the circuit makes a triumphant return to the Empire State. The Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino in Salamanca, New York, was missed last year due to COVID-related restriction. That should make area fans doubly hungry for action when the sky pilots race their February 18-19. And, for the record, this will also be the closest stop to Ski-Doo’s hometown in Quebec.
March To The Championships
When the calendar turns to March, some non-snowmobilers start aching for spring, but three exciting weekends remain on the ISOC Amsoil Championship Series schedule. And longer days and warmer temperatures typically make it easier for fans to enjoy the signs and sounds — and maybe even catch some rays!
It starts with the ERX Snocross National at Elk River, Minnesota, on March 4-5. The ERX facility has become a Mecca for powersports of many types, but its roots are with snowmobile racing. It features the longest laps of the season, with excellent sight lines for fans and plenty of side attractions, creating a very festive atmosphere.
Next, the circuit heads to the location that had typically wrapped up its season. The Amsoil Snocross National at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, is a can’t-miss event for sledheads in the area. Aside from the great racing on the ski hill, it’s also usually a place to see most of next-year’s sleds unveiled. In 2022, the event will be March 18-19.
Like last year, the season finale is scheduled to be held near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Last year COVID restrictions caused the finale to be moved to Eagle River, Wisconsin, but ISOC is giving it another go at the Cannonsburg Ski Area on March 25-26. This is where the champions will be crowned. Will Elias Ishoel repeat again? Can Kody Kamm reclaim past glory? Will one of the many young guns climb to the top of the ladded? Only time will tell.
Aside from Duluth, sites missing from the schedule that may disappoint fans in each respective area are in Eagle River, Wisconsin, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They filled in wonderfully for events that needed to be rescheduled last year, and fans in each area were publicly hoping their areas would once again make the cut, but for 2022 neither made the final schedule.
In a press release that accompanied the release of the schedule, ISOC president Carl Schubitke oozed enthusiasm.
“I am so excited about our schedule and the direction of our series,” Schubitzke said. “Looking back, last year’s pause allowed us to make some changes to our schedule and our venues that will benefit the sport for years. It’s going to be a fun year of racing and we look forward to putting on a great show for our fans.”