Front Row Set At Eagle River: See The Odds On Each Rider

How deep is the field for the 61st annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby at Eagle River? That story might be best told by looking at the racers who did NOT make the front row. Guys like oval racing star Gunnar Sterne (who has four career podiums here), cross-country stud Zach Herfindahl (fourth here last year), 2022 third-place finisher Jake Garow, three-time finalist Jake Beres and 2022 fifth-place finisher Dakota Harris.

       All of those drivers have quick sleds and tried to make the final on the high-banked oval here in Eagle River, Wisconsin, through the event’s unique qualifying process. But they were forced into Sunday’s LCQ race by the 10 fast drivers listed below.

There is no slouch in this field! That said, Matt Goede has been the man to beat whenever he’s had his No. 28 Ski-Doo on the track, but he’ll have a hungry and talented group in chase.

     There are many chances for other history, including Blaine Stephenson chasing his best-ever fifth title; the historic Flying Dutchman VanDolder team chasing their first; a super-talented bunch of enduro crossover drivers pushing for their place in oval sprint history; the first Yamaha in the field in decades; and much more. Two more drivers will be added on Sunday.

     We’ve been producing a “tip sheet” at the World Championship in Eagle River since the 1990s, setting fictional odds on the front row qualifiers. Have fun with it and challenge your friends to guess who will hoist the Snow Goer Cup when it’s all done. But for the record, we’re not covering any wagers or side-bets you make with your friends!

     The World Championship is set for 1:30. Check it out, then check Sunday evening for full coverage and behind-the-scenes detail. Here’s a link to last night’s coverage.

Matt Goede
Matt Goede, #28 Ski-Doo from New Germany, MN. Defending champ has been fastest all weekend, is a strong favorite if race runs clean. ODDS: 2-1
Blaine Stephenson
Blaine Stephenson, #102 Polaris from St. Cloud, MN. Four-time former champ again looks like Goede’s strongest nemesis; strong finisher. Odds: 5-2
Zach Dewald
Zach Dewald, #57 Polaris from AuGres, MI. Second-gen stud racer finished second here last year, won his fast semi on Saturday. ODDS: 4-1
Tom Olson, #39 Polaris from Madison, WI. Shown here ahead of teammate Blaine Stephenson, if Tommy gets out front early, watch out for well-trained racer on fast Wahl sled. ODDS: 5-1
Joey Burch
Joey Burch, #129 Polaris from Mt. Pleasant, MI. Winner of spectacular Soo I-500 last Feb. clearly knows how to rise to a moment! ODDS: 6-1
Mike VanDolder
Mike VanDolder, #999 Ski-Doo from Ennismore, ON. Second fastest in time trials, could be darkhorse; would be first Ontario champ since ’92. ODDS: 6-1
Gavin Peterson
Gavin Peterson, #6 Ski-Doo from Chicago City, MN. Youg rider on the stealth #6 has been super aggressive all weekend, and is unafraid to trade paint. ODDS: 8–1
Luke Olson, #29 Polaris from Ishpeming, MI. On front row for second year, but this time with high-output DL Racing team. ODDS: 9-1
Tyler Town
Tyler Town, #2 Polaris from Traverse City, MI. Shown here in heavy snowdust, he was part of winning enduro team at this track last year, is going for W.C. sprint glory. ODDS: 10-1
Jesse Wergin
Jesse Wergin, #12 Yamaha from Hazelhurst, WI. Son of Hall of Fame racer held off Gunnar Sterne to earn a spot in the final. Impressive so far, but that’s a heavy sled to wrestle for 25 laps. ODDS: 11-1

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