Wow! That’s all we have to say after watching the Pro Champ 440 sleds for three full days of racing here at the Amsoil Eagle River World Championship Derby track. With huge money on the line this year – including more than $50,000 to win from Jimmy John’s and a total purse topping $80,000 for this one class alone – there’s a lot to race for. Being the 50th driver to have your name inscribed on the Snow Goer Cup? That’s icing on the cake!
So how competitive is this field? Well, the fast qualifier and two-time former champion Gary Moyle has yet to make the final. Another former champion in Larry Day will also have to come through the Last Chance Qualifier if he wants to go for a second title. Those two will have to compete with perhaps the strongest field of racers seeking a second-row starting position in recent memory at 1 p.m.. After that, the field of 12 will be set for the 3 p.m. run for the Championship.
This is the text from Snow Goer Tip Sheet — printed and distributed on the Derby grounds. In it, we set fictional odds for the racers who qualify on Saturday for Sunday’s final. Those 10 racers are listed below. While we would never encourage friendly wagering between friends (OK, maybe we would!), you can use the tip sheet however you want. Choose one of the three past champions in the field – four-timer PJ Wanderscheid, 2010 champ Matt Schulz or defending champion Nick Van Strydonk. Go for a member of the lightning-fast Wahl Bros. team – they’ve got three sleds in the final again this year, from the veterans Dustin Wahl and Brandon Johnson to the second-year pro Jordan Wahl. Or choose one of the young guns – Malcolm Chartier was the Friday night winner here on the Derby track, Travis MacDonald has a championship winning team, Cardell Potter has been on this stage before and Kniskern is a rising star.
Nick Van Strydonk, #13 Polaris from Tomahawk, WI — The defending champ starts slow but gets better each lap; a great closer ODDS: 2-1
Malcolm Chartier, #33 Ski-Doo from Marine City, MI — Has great Houle equipment and was fastest on Friday; could be a breakthrough ODDS: 3-1
Brandon Johnson, #22 Polaris from Greenbush, MN — All he did is win his heats and semi, and the Wahl team is due ODDS: 4-1
Matt Schulz, #38 Ski-Doo from Wausau, WI — Former champ is sly and sneaky fast; he should not be counted out ODDS: 4-1
Jordan Wahl, #747 Polaris from Greenbush, MN — Young, calm and oh so fast; Lack of experience is his only hitch ODDS: 5-1
Dustin Wahl, #74 Polaris from Greenbush, MN — He is overdue, but his sled wasn’t as fast as his teammates on Saturday ODDS: 6-1
Ryan Kniskern, #616 Ski-Doo from Marinette, WI — Tommy Lipar backed racer finished fourth last year, and could easily move up ODDS: 7-1
PJ Wanderscheid, #28 Arctic Cat from Sauk Centre, MN — Four-timer has never been rated this low, but he’s fighting multiple injuries ODDS: 7-1
Cardell Potter, #58 Ski-Doo from Camp Douglas, WI — He’s been knocking on the door, and he knows this track well ODDS: 9-1
Travis MacDonald, #8 Ski-Doo from Gonor, MB — Very fast, doesn’t deserve to be rated this low, but it’s a star-filled field ODDS: 10-1