Flashback: Snowmobile Racing Legend Jack Struthers

With a career that spanned 20 years, Polaris terrain racer Jack Struthers became a legend by winning cross-country and snocross races in the West and Midwest. Great riding skill aside, Struthers was a master at machine set-up — his specialty was suspension tuning. Struthers’ wins include the 1991, 1992 and 1994 Thunder Bay to St. Paul I-500. He retired from competition in 1996 and was inducted to the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in 2004. Struthers still runs the family business, mega powersports dealer Carl’s Cycle Sales, in Idaho. Here is a story about Struthers winning the Snow Week Racer of the Year honor after the 1990-91 racing season. It was published in the July 18, 1991 issue of Snow Week magazine, a former sister publication of Snow Goer magazine. 

Polaris Jack StruthersSnow Week’s prestigious 1990-91 Racer of the Year award goes to cross-country and snocross veteran Jack Struthers of Boise, Idaho. Struthers, 27, recently completed his fourth year of racing on the competitive Rocky Mountain Cross Country Racing Circuit (RMXCRC). He is considered by his peers to be one of the best all-around snowmobile racers in the West. Struthers has a unique style that allows him to conquer even the toughest courses.

His greatest accomplishment last season was winning the Thunder Bay to White Bear Lake I-500 cross-country race in his first attempt. It was Struthers’s second trip to Minnesota last season, as earlier in the year he took on the best snocross racers the Midwest Challenge had to offer at the Quadna Mountain Challenge, taking home the checkered flag in the highly competitive Pro Lite class.

But it’s racing in the Rockies, where the moguls are big enough to swallow you, your sled, trailer and tow vehicle, that Struthers really shines. He was the lead driver on a team that dominated the 3-man Pro class last season, winning all six RMXCRC events. When he wasn’t flying through the air in rugged cross-country races, Struthers was running more snocross.  At the American Snocross Challenge in McCall, Idaho, the Polaris veteran captured first place in Pro 7 Open and Pro 4/5, along with a second in Pro 6. At the end of the year, at the SnoCross Classic in West Yellowstone, Montana, Struthers again won the Pro 7 Open and pro 4/5 classes.

Polaris Jack StruthersWhen he’s not racing, our 1990-91 Racer of the Year works as the service manager at Carl’s Cycles in Boise. He has been instrumental in getting Fox Shocks involved in snowmobile racing and he has worked closely with Polaris in developing shocks for both consumer and race applications.

Struthers becomes the second Polaris veteran in a row to win Racer of the Year honors, following in the footsteps of oval champion Mike Houle. Respected and well liked by his competitors, Struthers piloted a Polaris Indy 400 XC and Polaris Indy 650 during the 1990-91 season. As to why Struthers had the kind of season most drivers only dream about, perhaps RMXCRC President Lin Rogers said it best: “Jack is very serious about his racing and is most professional when it comes to preparing his sleds for competition.”

Congratulations to Jack Struthers, Snow Week’s 1990-91 Racer of the Year!

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