Todd Palin is switching snowmobile brands to Ski-Doo. So what’s next? Is Sarah Palin going to become a liberal Democrat? Is Bristol Palin going to suddenly become interesting?
Ski-Doo announced today that multi-time Iron Dog champion and one-time potential “first-dude” (although, as the VP’s spouse, wouldn’t he be “second dude”?) Todd Palin is switching to its brand for the coming cross-country snowmobile racing season.
Palin will team again with Scott Davis – with whom he has raced in recent years and won the 2007 Iron Dog Gold Rush Classic – on Ski-Doo MX Z E-TEC 600 models in the 2,000-mile race across Alaska.
Previously, Palin, 48, had been paired with Arctic Cat snowmobiles, and that tie gained Cat a lot of notoriety inside and outside of the snowmobile market when wife Sarah Palin became John McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008. At Haydays that year, Todd Palin went from being just another member of the Team Arctic squad to being a rock star, with secret service on hand prowling the grounds while Todd signed autographs in the Cat booth.
He didn’t need Sarah’s fame to be important in our sport, however. Todd Palin has now run in 19 consecutive Iron Dog events – largely regarded as snowmobiling’s most challenging event. Racers encounter extremely remote, rugged terrain in some of the planet’s harshest winter conditions as they cross the Alaskan outback.
Todd Palin ran his first Iron Dog in 1993, and claimed his first victory with teammate Dwayne Drake in 1995. Later he partnered with Dusty Van Meter for victories in 2000 and 2002, and with Davis – a 7-time winner himself — in 2007. He has also suffered injuries during the race, including a broken arm 400 miles into the 2008 event. Undeterred, he finished the marathon race in fourth place.
Palin and Davis have been teammates for eight years, which include three top-five finishes and a fifth place last year.
In the press release issued by Ski-Doo, Davis said, “We want every advantage we can get, and BRP’s Ski-Doo sleds have the best combination of speed, durability and handling that can win this race.”
Palin added, “The Rotax E-TEC engines proved last year that they bring a clear fuel mileage advantage while delivering the power you need to run at the front.”
“We’re proud to have Scott and Todd join BRP’s Ski-Doo X-Team,” said Yves Leduc, BRP vice president and general manager. “The Iron Dog race is a grueling event and Ski-Doo snowmobiles with these two talented riders make a great match.”
Todd and Sarah Palin were actually shown briefly on live national TV last night – they were shown in the crowd at the “Dancing With The Stars“ episode featuring their daughter, Bristol. Bristol was actually voted off of the show last night. The Palins have never been afraid of seeking exposure. Aside from Sarah’s political aspirations, the family has starred in several reality television shows – including “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” featuring the entire family and Bristol’s current “Bristol Palin: Life’s A Tripp” on Lifetime – and Todd participated as a contestant in the NBC “Stars Earn Stripes” endurance reality show earlier this year. In many of these shows and other appearances over the years, Todd has been sporting Arctic Cat logos and gear.
So, Ski-Doo may get more exposure than they normally would from signing a top-notch Iron Dog racer. But, let the record be clear, Ski-Doo has also signed a couple of incredible snowmobile racers that could help put the X Team back in the winner’s circle in 2013 and beyond.