Cross-country snowmobile racing has a new season-opener in the Upper Midwest, and it will happen at a historic snowmobiling location in northwestern Wisconsin.
Reacting to the multiple COVID-19-related restrictions and regulations that are in place in various places and specifically in Minnesota, the Cor Powersports family that took over from the USXC as the most high-profile cross-country racing circuit has been forced to cancel the first two events on its original schedule. However, it now has a new opener that it is very familiar with snowmobiling.
The Lakewoods Resort in Cable, Wisconsin – site of the old Snow Goer Shootout in the 1970s and 80s as well as many other events in the sport’s long history – is scheduled to host the opener January 9-10. More recently, The Lakewoods and the Cable area has hosted Cor races, but that was before it took over USXC.
The Lakewoods 150 became the opener after the Gerald Dyrdahl Memorial in Gonvick, Minnesota, and a followup event planned for Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, both had to be cancelled.
With the new schedule, the Upper Midwestern cross-country schedule will next turn to Okoboji, Iowa, on January 23-24, followed by Manvel, North Dakota, on January 30. The hope is that the Minnesota restrictions will be loosened by the time the circuit returns to the state for the Goodridge/Grygla 500 February 13-14.
Here’s the full release from Cor Powersports, with the schedule at the bottom.
20/21 Race Season Starts Jan 9/10 In Cable, WI
2020 has been nothing but unknowns, 2021 starts with a plan!!
This week we got confirmation that MN COVID restrictions would continue through mid-January so as we stated when we announced the cancelation of Pine Lake we would secure venues in states where racing is allowed. This past week we visited numerous cities in Northern Wisconsin and Iowa that had shown interest in hosting our series if the opportunity arises.
Thursday, we confirmed with our MN legal connections that under the restriction in place that MN would not be a viable option for our venues, with that information we put our plan into motion which has been code named “We just want to race”. First off, we want to express our gratitude to the Detroit Lakes Holiday Inn and Detroit Lakes Tourism for all they have done this summer to bring the circuit back to the community, in our conversations today with these groups they expected our call and anticipated this would be the route we inevitably had to go.
This then put wheels into motion to adjust the schedule to ensure we would have at least 8 races this season; first change is Jan 9/10 we will bring the national XC series to WI which is the first time in many years. Lakewood’s Resort has hosted the Cor PowerSports series multiple seasons and it has been a great venue with lodging and food options on site as well as a great race course on Lake Namakogon. Nelson Leasing has put up $2500 for guaranteed purse for the Pro Factory 600 race at Lakewood’s Resort.
Next up on the schedule was Park Rapids, MN which is one of the racers favorite terrain races. We connected with the Park Rapids chamber and agreed that moving the date out of their normal January date was our best option to ensure we get an event there this year. The new date for Park Rapids is Feb 27/28 which originally was slated for ERX Motorpark in Elk River. With this date change it opened up a door for a new venue for the cross-country series and industry: Okoboji, IA.
Wednesday we met with members of the Snowhawks Snowmobile club and Parks Marina. The venue is right on the shore of East Okoboji Lake, the course will be routed in full view of restaurants, hotels, and other businesses plus full support from the Okobji Tourism will make this one of the elite events on our series. Parks Marina has also signed on as title sponsor and has put up $10,000 for event purse which will be $5,000 each for Pro Factory 600 and Pro Open classes. The event will be Jan 23/24 with both Pro classes (Pro Open Saturday and Pro Stock Sunday) running a 2-lap qualifying race to set the race order for a heads-up final that will run 150 miles on the 13-15-mile course.
Then the final great news on Wednesday came from a conference call on the way home from Okoboji, IA with the Goodridge/Grygla snowmobile club, they have gotten the green light to move forward with the I-500!
The new 20/21 schedule is as follows:
·Jan 9/10 Cable, WI
·Jan 23/24 Okoboji, IA
·Jan 30 Manvel, ND
·Feb 13/14 Goodridge/Grygla, MN I500
·Feb 27/28 Park Rapids, MN
·Mar 6/7 Naytahwaush, MN
·Mar 27/28 Bessemer, MI
·Apr 10/11 Biwabik, MN