A true snowmobile cross-country race brought more than 125 competitors together for a weekend of high-speed competition in the trails, woods and ditches around Park Rapids, Minnesota, on January 28-29.
The third stop on the Cor PowerSports 2022-23 race series brought the circuit off of the laketops and down an impressive course. In the end in the Pro class, Zach Herfindahl of Eagle River, Wisconsin, was once gain the man to beat on his Arctic Cat. The following report was filed by Emily Wicklund of Emily Pearl Photography and shared with us by the Cor Powersports circuit. Enjoy.
Round Three: Park Rapids, Minnesota
— Recap by: Emily Pearl Photography
Round three of the 2023 Cor PowerSports series brought frigid temperatures and clear blue skies in Park Rapids, Minnesota. This race was the second terrain race of the year but is far different than any other terrain on the schedule. The 108-mile course is filled with short ditch sections and tight-corner, wooded State trails.
This race favors those who grew up riding in the woods and who like high speed, tight racing action. All classes left as a group one sled at a time 10 seconds apart, with the Pros leading the way. Racers made one lap, which was 108 miles each day. The Junior 10-13 riders took a shorter loop which was about 40 miles each day. Times from both days were combined to determine the overall winners for the event.
Sleds took off at 9 A.M. and the temperature was minus 20 degrees with windchill.
The first Pro sled off the line was the Polaris rider of Charlie Revering, followed by the Arctic Cat of Zach Herfindahl. Two Ski-Doo sleds were next: Wes Selby and Dustin Dohrn, with the Polaris of Dan Revering being the fifth sled off the line.
After Pro sleds took off, the Pro Factory Vet 35+ sleds left. There were three entries; Kurt Bauerly left first, then Jon Arneson second, and Craig Ritzinger third.
The first Semi Pro sled to get the green was Travis Longtin on Arctic Cat, followed by the Polaris of Carter Hulke. The Pro Factory Women class left after Semi Pro, with McKenna Cloose leading the pack and Gabby Hallstrom, Savannah Landrus, and Unity Gausen leaving in that order.
Racers made their way down the ditches North on county road 4. Coming into the first town of Emmaville, Herfindahl had overtaken the on-track lead with Charlie Revering now in second, Selby still in third, Dan Revering up to fourth, and Dohrn up to fifth.
For the Semi Pro sleds, Hulke made his way into first on-track, Parker Krumm was up to second, Matt LaMourea up to third, Brandon Wolter in fourth, and Aiden Johnson in fifth.
Sleds entered the woods in Emmaville and ran narrow state trails. Coming out of the woods, Herfindahl was still leading on track with Christensen in second, Dan Revering in third, Busse in fourth and Tate in fifth.
In the Semi Pro class, Wolter led out of the woods with Evan Peppel in second, Krumm in third, and Boe Bunke in fourth. Racers made their way into
the fuel stop and ran the second half of the course with the top five in those classes remaining similar.
Adding Up Saturday
After one day of racing, Zach Herfindahl led the Pro Factory and Pro Open classes with a time of 1 hour 54 minutes 1.571 seconds. Aaron Christensen clocked in second 2 minutes 2.264 seconds back. Marshall Busse in third (-3:02.548), Justin Tate in fourth (-3:12:166) and Dan Revering in fifth (-3:41:204).
In the Semi Pro class after day one, Boe Bunke was leading with a time of 2 hours 41.101 seconds. Evan Peppel sat second (-19.862), Jesse Hallstrom in third (-34.089), Brandon Wolter in fourth (-58.634), and Parker Krumm in fifth (-3:34.503).
Some other class leaders were Craig Ritzinger (Pro Factory Vet), McKenna Cloose (Pro Factory Women), Brady Wadena (Expert 600 Limited and Junior 14-17), Trig Anderson (Junior 10-13), Reese Novacek (Junior 10-13 Girls), Blake Higgins (Sport Improved), Jared Christensen (Sport Stock) and Adam Brandt (Trail and Vert 30+). The Masters 40+ and 50+ classes were a tight battle with Jamie Smart leading both classes by only 1.3 seconds over Jon Arneson.
Cold Clear Sunday
Sunday was colder but we still had the blue skies with only minimal cloud coverage at the start of the race. On this day the Vintage and Classic sleds would have in theory joined us but there were no vintage racers signed up, but there were three brave racers in the Classic class.
The Pro racers left in the order they finished Saturday, with the time gap they created up to five minutes. Zach Herfindahl was the first to leave the line with Aaron Christensen leaving 2 minutes 2 seconds after. Marshall Busse started third 3 minutes 2 seconds back. Racers made their way on the same course as Saturday, running north on County Road 4 first.
For the Semi Pro racers, Krug was first to leave, VanLyssel second, Kodey third, Hallstrom fourth, and Bunke fifth.
Coming into the fuel stop, Herfindahl still held a lead but Christensen cut it down to 1 minute 45 seconds coming into the fuel area. Busse was third to fuel, Tate fourth, and Brown fifth.
For the Semi Pro racers, Hallstrom was first to fuel with Krug second, Bunke third, Peppel fourth and VanLyssel fifth.
Sleds made their way back into the ditch and then continued on to the narrow wooded trails. One common word used to describe the course by racers was “fast.”
After two days and 216 miles, Zach Herfindahl was the first to clock-in but his time was not the quickest on day two alone. Looking only at day two times, Justin Tate had the fast time with a time of 1 hour 55 minutes 42.835 seconds. Clocking in second was Brown (-5.692), Christensen in third (-32.306), Busse in fourth (-37.453), and Herfindahl was fifth (-44.696).
In the Semi Pro division, Boe Bunke was still fastest in day two times (1:59:37.952). Hallstrom clocked in second (-9.593) and Peppel in third (-32.441).
Add It Up
Times were then calculated for overall class winners.
In the Pro Factory and Pro Open class, Zach Herfindahl claimed the win on his Arctic Cat with a total time of 3 hours 50 minutes 29.102 seconds. Aaron Christensen was second (-1:49.874), Justin Tate in third (-2:27.47), and Marshall Busse in fourth (-2:55.305) all on Polaris. Rounding out the top five was David Brown on his Arctic Cat (-4:102).
In the Semi Pro Factory and Semi Pro Improved classes, Boe Bunke was the overall winner on his Polaris with a time of 4 hours 19.053 seconds. Jesse Hallstrom
claimed second on his Ski-Doo (-43.682) and Evan Peppel placed third on his Polaris (-52.303). In fourth was Brandon Wolter on Polaris (-2:7.759), and in fifth for the Semi Pro Stock class was Parker Krumm on Ski-Doo but in the Semi Pro Improved fifth went to Luke VanLyssel.
In the Pro Factory Vet class, Jon Arneson took the win on his Arctic Cat (4:22:29.383) and Kurt Bauerly took second only out of the lead by 20.755 seconds after 216 miles. In the Pro Factory Women’s class, McKenna Cloose clinched the win on her Arctic Cat (4:23:20.215). Savannah Landrus placed second on her Polaris (-3:1.691) and Unity Gausen in third (-51:30.57).
In Sport Stock, Keagen Houser won on his Arctic Cat (4:15:17.063), Justin Olson placed second on his Polaris (-3:52.253), and Chance Ogle was third (-4:53.532). Houser also won the Sport Improved class with Jarret Loegering taking second (-7:41.767) and Adam Brandt in third (-14:57.905).
In the Masters 40+, Jon Arneson took the win (4:22:29.308), Mike Carver took second (-10:20.527), and Dale Cloose was third (-10:48.665) all on Arctic Cats. In Masters 50+, the top two were the same with Arneson and Carver, but in the 50+ class was Todd Halverson on Arctic Cat.
In the Vet 30+ class, Adam Brandt took the win on his Arctic Cat (4:30:14.968) and Jared Christensen took second on his Polaris (-15:17.692). Adam Brandt also won the Trail class with his brother Stuart Brandt coming in second. In the Expert 600 Limited and the Junior 14-17 classes, Brady Wadena took the win on his Arctic Cat (4:31:30.017) with Elliot Clark taking second on Arctic Cat (-1:18.103), and Jaxon Hammer in third on Polaris (-7:0.607).
In the Junior 10-13 class, Trig Anderson took the win on his Arctic Cat (1:56:28.858), Reilly Clark took second on Arctic Cat (-8.603) and in third was Reese Novacek on Polaris (-6:14.006). In the Junior 10-13 Girls, Reese took the win over Charlie Kangas in second on her Ski-Doo (-22:48.382) and Kynsie Diesen in third on Arctic Cat (-39.55408). In the Junior 14-17 class, Katie Clark took the win on her Arctic Cat (2:35:06.436).
Cor PowerSports will be off next weekend as many of our Pro racers will be competing in the Soo I-500 in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan and we wish them all the best of luck. We will be back in action with our XC I-500 on February 11-12 in the Goodridge/Grygla area!
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