Another season of snocross racing has come and gone, and with it are countless stories of heartbreak and triumph. The Pro class in particular was riddled with mixed luck and injuries, and the field of racers continued to evolve throughout the season as fill-ins came and went.
When the snowdust cleared, though, Elias Ishoel was once again at the top of the heap with his fifth straight points championship. It was truly an international display, though, as the top five in points came from four different countries
Here’s a look at the season, through the numbers, in the order the racers finished in points on the Amsoil Championship Snocross circuit.
Elias Ishoel, 577 points
The four-time defending champ from Norway and rider of the No. 200 Thene Racing Ski-Doo entered the season still recovering from a potentially career ending knee/leg injury, but opened the season on top and never looked back. He wasn’t his usual unbeatable self but he was still the class of the field.
BEST FINISHES: Victories at Fargo (round 2), ERX 1 (round 7), a sweep at Souix Falls (rounds 9-10), an overall win at ERX 2 (round 12) and the season finale at Iowa (round 16)
RESULTS: 4 wins and 8 total podium podiums in first 10 rounds, plus 5 heat victories. In moto format, scored 5 wins and 12 total podiums in 18 motos.
Email Harr, 534 points
The Swedish rider of the No. 31 Judnick Racing Polaris was good but not great in the first half of the schedule, with just two heat race victories and one win in a final. But he then exploded onto the scene at the same time the Pro class went to a moto format and made a late run up the standings with truly dominating performances.
BEST FINISHES: Victories at Deadwood (round 6), ERX3 (round 11), a weekend moto sweep at Michigan (rounds 13-14) and then Saturday in Iowa (round 15).
RESULTS: 1 win and 4 podiums in the first 10 rounds, plus 2 heat victories. In the moto format, scored 10 victories and 13 podiums in 18 rounds.
Kody Kamm, 521 points
The former champ from Kansasville, Wisconsin, and rider on the No. 53 Hentges Racing Polaris had a couple of early season victories to set the stage, but more than anything he was a heat race dominator, which allowed him to build up a big stockpile of points.
BEST FINISHES: Victories at the season-opening round in Fargo, and Friday in Deadwood (round 5).
RESULTS: 2 wins and 3 podiums in the first 10 rounds, plus 9 heat victories. In the moto format, scored 1 win and 10 podiums in 18 rounds.
Hunter Patenaude, 461 points
The Hartland, Vermont, native and rider of the No. 8 Scheuring Speed Sports Ski-Doo previewed his entire yo-yo season at the first two events – opening with a subpar (by his standards) performance at Fargo but then sweeping the Pro classes at Canterbury in rounds 3 & 4. He then got banged up in Deadwood and missed the podium both nights, before taking another final at the next event.
BEST FINISHES: A weekend sweep at Canterbury Park in January, plus another win on the Saturday of the first ERX weekend (round 8).
RESULTS: 3 wins and 4 podiums in the first 10 rounds, plus 7 heat victories. In the moto format, 3 podiums in 18 rounds.
Francis Pelletier, 446 points
The St. Felicien, Quebec, native and rider on the No. 220 Warnert Racing Ski-Doo slipped a bit in the standing this year, with his only victory coming late in the season in the moto format. He made a late run to finish fifth overall in the season points.
BEST FINISHES: A second-place finish behind Patenaude in round 3 at Canterbury, and a moto victory in round 12 at ERX.
RESULTS: 2 podiums and 4 heat wins in the first 10 rounds. In the moto format, 1 win and 7 podiums in 18 rounds.
Adam Peterson, 437 points
The Medford, Wisconsin, native and driver of the No. 3 Team LaVallee Racing Polaris sparkled at times and notched a strong second-place finish at Deadwood but faded a bit toward the end of the season.
BEST FINISH: A second-place finish behind Kamm in Deadwood (round 5).
RESULTS: 1 podium and 3 heat victories in the first 10 rounds. In the moto format, 3 podiums in 18 rounds.
Dan Benham, 402 points
The Deer River, Minnesota, native and driver of the No. 221 All Finish Racing Arctic Cat started the season strong at his team’s hometown race in Fargo and had at one podium finish in four of the five weekends of racing before the switch in format. He missed five motos, though, in Michigan due to injury, and that buried him in the points standings.
BEST FINISH: A second-place behind Ishoel at Sioux Falls in round 9.
RESULTS: 4 podiums in first 10 rounds. In the moto format, 2 podiums in the 13 rounds in which he competed.
Logan Christian, 392 points
The Fertile, Minnesota, native and driver of the No. 43 Scheuring Speed Sports Ski-Doo, was a points-collecting force in rounds 3-7, with three podiums and three heat wins. But things went south after that, as he battled injuries and other issues.
BEST FINISHES: Second place at Canterbury behind teammate Patenaude in round 3 and second again behind Ishoel at ERX 1 in round 7.
RESULTS: 3 podiums and 3 heat wins in the first 10 rounds. In the moto format, 1 podium.
Petter Narsa, 318 points
The Swedish rider of the No. 27 Skogquist Race Team Ski-Doo suffered through an injury-plagued season in his return to North America, missing heats, finals and motos along the way and doing a couple of “start and parks.” But then he surprised with a second-place finish in a moto late in the season.
BEST FINISH: Second place in a moto in Michigan in round 13.
RESULTS: No podiums or heat wins in the first 10 rounds. In the moto format, 1 podium.
Aki Pihlaja, 285 points
The Finnish veteran raced the No. 128 Ski-Doo for the snakebit Green Mountain Racing team and, like others who raced for the team this season, dealt with a rather notable injury. A broken left ankle sent him home after round four, but thanks he in to a hole in the schedule he surprisingly only missed two weekends of racing before returning.
BEST FINISH: Third place at round 10 in Sioux Falls, plus a moto win at ERX 3 in round 11.
RESULTS: 1 podium and 2 heat wins in the first 10 rounds. In the moto format, 1 podium.
Cole Cottew, 220 points
The Wisconsin native now living in Zimmerman, Minnesota, and racing the No. 21 Cottew Motorsports Polaris had his season end dramatically in the season’s most scary looking crash. The tough guy showed up on crutches in the last round to cheer wife Malene Cottew to the Pro Women’s championship.
BEST FINISH: Heat victories in Fargo and Deadwood.
RESULTS: Two heat victories in the first 9 rounds before his season ended in round 10.
Travis Kern, 217 points – The Aitkin, Minnesota, native who rides the No. 201 Cottew Motorsports Polaris suffered through his own injuries this season and missed several rounds of racing. He tried to tough-it-out late in the season but was clearly not himself.
BEST FINISH: A heat win in round 7 at Elk River.
RESULTS: 0 podiums and 1 heat win.
The Rest Of The Crowd
- Big things were expected from Oskar Norum this year on the Hentges Racing No. 40 Polaris, but his season lasted just a day and a half. On opening weekend in Fargo, he won two heat races and finished seventh in one final but then crashed in a heat race and suffered a knee injury that ended his season.
- Jacob Yurk was set to enter the season as Daniel Benham’s teammate for the All Finish Racing Arctic Cat team but he separated his patellar tendon from his kneecap in an accident in practice on opening weekend and never took a start.
- The Hentges team brought John Malmstrom over from Sweden to fill in for Norum, and he stuck around for two full weekends (four rounds). His best finish in a heat race was sixth, and 10th in a final.
- At about the same time, the Green Mountain Racing team brought Gustav Sahlsten over to the U.S. to race the pro class for the same two weekends. His best racers were two eighth-place finishes.
- Later in the season, Green Mountain added yet another Scandinavian – Robert Lunden of Norway raced Round 7 at ERX before getting hurt in his second-ever heat. As an aside, Green Mountain also had previously retired Corin Todd lined up to race at ERX but he was injured while practicing.
- Pro Lite points champ Jordan Lebel was the most prolific of the part-timers. After locking up the Pro Lite title in round 15, he bumped up to Pro for Round 16 and was very competitive, with third-, fourth- and seventh-place finishes against the world’s best in his three motos.