Big time snowmobile racing returned to Duluth, Minnesota’s Spirit Mountain on April 2-3, as the Cor Powersports group brought its traveling cross-country road show to the site of much snowmobile racing history for a big showdown. More sled racing history was made at the event, as Zach Herfindahl not only won the highly coveted Pro Factory 600 class race, but also notched his seventh Pro Factory points championship. The following report was submitted by Cor Powersports, as documented by Emily Wicklund. She also snapped all of the photos. Full results are available here.
Spirit Mountain XC Recap
Cor Powersports had its season finale at the legendary Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota, on April 2-3. For years, this venue served as the opening round for the ISOC/WPSA/WSA/MRP Snocross schedule but this year, it was cross country’s turn to take over the slopes. The course ended up being three miles of uphills, downhills and sharp corners.
On Saturday the snow was falling at the start of the day with an overcast sky for the remainder of the day. The Sport Improved, Semi Pro Improved and Pro Open sleds ran a three-lap qualifier and various lap finals on Saturday with the remaining classes running their first day of merged-time races. On Sunday it was the Sport Stock, Semi Pro Factory Stock and Pro Factory Stocks that ran, with the remaining classes finishing up their second day of timed racing.
Race one of the first day was the Sport Improved Stock three-lap qualifier. The track was freshly groomed with the corners having no berms to rely on at the start of the day. This made cornering tricky for this race. After three laps, Cole Boyd was the top qualifier on his Polaris with a time of 12:55.9. Boyd was 4.0 seconds over second place Derek Kloety on his Arctic Cat. Colt Dellandrea timed in third 18.2 seconds out of first, with Lydia Sobeck in fourth (-20.2), and Tommy Coon in fifth (-23.37).
Race two was the Sport Women’s, Vintage, and all the Junior classes, which ran five laps. These classes ran both days with overall results determined by combined times from both days. After day one, Myles Ilstrup was leading the Junior 10-13 class, Taylor Cloose led Junior 10-13 Girls, Keagen Houser was atop Junior 14-17, Gabby Hallstrom was fastest in Sport Women’s, and Paul Sillerud was the only sled in Vintage.
The Semi Pro Improved Stock sleds hit the track next for their three-lap qualifying session. After three fast laps, Boe Bunke was at the top of the boards on his Polaris with a time of 12:19.8. In second was Brock Young 6.7 seconds back and in third was Nickolas Swenson 12.9 seconds out of first. Timing in fourth was Jesse Hallstrom (-18.6) and in fifth was Caleb Nymann (19.4). Carter Hulke was given a 30 second penalty for missing a marker and Evan Peppel was given 10 seconds penalty for hitting a marker.
Race four on the day was the Pro Factory Women’s, Masters 50+, Trail and Classic competitors’ turn to compete in their first day of racing. These classes ran six laps. After day one, Savannah Landrus was atop the Pro Women’s class with Mike Carver leading Masters 50+, Mitch Brummond led Trail, and Dillan Dohrn was leading the Classic class.
Next to hit the starting line were the Pro Open riders. Sleds were given the green flag in pairs of two and they were off for their three-lap qualifying session. After nine miles, Zach Herfindahl was quickest on his Arctic Cat with a time of 12:08.0. Timing in second only 0.4 seconds back was Paul Brown on his Arctic Cat. Coming in third was Justin Tate on his Polaris, 6.1 seconds out of first. In fourth was Ross Erdman 13.1 seconds back and in fifth was David Brown 17.1 seconds out of the lead. There were a few time penalties given during this qualifier. Dan Revering was given a 10 second penalty for hitting a course marker and both Marshall Busse and Taylor Bunke missed a gate and were given a 30 second penalty. This moved Revering from sixth fast to seventh, Busse from fourth to 11th and Bunke in the same finishing position. After the race we found out Bunke had lost his seat during the race and went to fetch it!
Race six of the day featured the Pro Factory Vet 40+, Masters 40+ and Expert 600 Limited classes. These sleds took the green in pairs of two for six laps of racing. After day one, Aiden Johnson led the Expert 600 Limited class, Mike Carver was atop Masters 40+, and Larry Thayer was the only Pro Factory Vet 40+ entry.
It was then time for the three finals of the day: Sport Improved Stock, Semi Pro Improved Stock, and Pro Open. First up was the eight-lap Sport Improved final. The first two sled to take the green flag were the top two qualifiers, Cole Boyd and Derek Kloety. The track conditions has changed tremendously since these sleds were last up during their qualifier at the start of the day. The red machine of Boyd took the early race lead and pulled away early with Kloety back in second. After six laps of racing, Boyd earned the win on his Polaris with a total time of 30:56.9. Coming in second was Tommy Coon, 31.3 seconds back on his Polaris. Rounding out the podium was Colt Dellandrea 40.5 seconds out of first. Derek Kloety took fourth (-1:15.9) and Kyle Paradis in fifth (-1:48.2).
The eighth race of the day was the Semi Pro Improved final with a championship up for grabs. Brandon Wolter was the current points leader coming into the weekend. The first two drivers to get the green for 12 laps were Boe Bunke and Brock Young. From the start of the race, Bunke put up consistent fast lap time keeping his name at the top of the leader boards. Hallstrom and Krumm were putting up times close behind. Parker Krumm picked up the pass on his Ski-Doo after lap four and was clocking in faster than Bunke. After 12 laps of racing, Krumm earned himself the win on his Ski-Doo with a total time of 52:25.4. Coming in second was the Polaris of Boe Bunke, 40.8 seconds out of the lead. The second-place finish for Bunke was enough to take over the Semi Pro Improved points championship. Rounding out the podium was the Arctic Cat of Caleb Nymann 41.8 seconds back. Clocking in fourth was Evan Peppel (-43.6), with Jesse Hallstrom in fifth (-1:50.6).
The final race of the day was the 15-lap Pro Open final. A pair of Arctic Cat drivers were first to get the green, Zach Herfindahl and Paul Brown. Right from the start, Herfindahl took the race lead and started setting fast laps of the race. He set the fast lap of the race on lap one, which was seven seconds faster than second place Paul Brown. Throughout the race, Herfindahl stayed consistent at the front of the field with Paul Brown running second and Tate clocking in third. A rider that continuously improved his lap times throughout the race was Marshall Busse, who started in the back of the pack. After 15 laps of high-speed racing, Herfindahl earned himself the win and clinched the Pro Open championship with a total time of 1:04.33 on his Arctic Cat. Clocking in second was Busse 30.8 seconds out of the lead on his Polaris. Rounding out the podium 43.1 seconds out of first was the Arctic Cat of Paul Brown. Fourth was the Polaris of Justin Tate (-1:34.4) and in fifth the Arctic Cat of David Brown (-2:53.7).
Sunday brought blue skies without a cloud in sight at the start of the day. It was a pivotal day with many championships up for grabs. The first race of the day was the Sport Stock three-lap qualifier. After it was all said and done, Keagen Houser was the top qualifier on his Arctic Cat with a total time of 12:23.1. Clocking in second 9.1 seconds back was Cole Boyd and 21.1 seconds out of first was Colt Dellandrea in third. Timing in fourth was Kyle Paradise (-58.7) and Mavrick Broden in fifth (-59.9).
Race two consisted of the Sport Women’s, Vintage and all junior classes. These sleds raced five more laps Sunday with overall results determined by their total 10-lap time, combining both days. In the Junior 10-13 class, Myles Ilstrup took the overall win on his Arctic Cat, being the only rider in his class to stay on the lead lap both days. His total time was 48:29.1. In second was Draycen Byfuglien on his Polaris and in third was Rielly Clark on his Arctic Cat. In the Junior 10-13 Girls class, Taylor Cloose took the overall win on her Arctic Cat over Madyson Landin on her Polaris. In the Junior 14-17 division, Keagen Houser took the win by 15.1 seconds over Aiden Johnson. Houser’s total time was 43:17.6. Clocking in third was Brady Wadena 1:01.7 out of the lead making it an all Arctic Cat podium. In the Sport Women’s class, Gabby Hallstrom took the win by 1 minute 37 seconds over fellow Arctic Cat competitor Frankie Omang. Hallstrom’s winning time was 46:115. In the Vintage class, there was only one brave competitor, Paul Sillerud who took the win on his Arctic Cat.
The third race of the day was the Semi Pro Factory Stock three-lap qualifier. These sleds were bumper-to-bumper all race and the results showed it with close lap times! Coming out as the top qualifier was the Arctic Cat of Jesse Hallstrom with a time of 12:18.8. Timing in second 19.6 seconds back was the Polaris of Evan Peppel. In third was Broke Young 22 seconds out of first. In fourth was Like Van Lyssel (-31.1) and fifth was Parker Krumm (-42.3). The top nine sleds were all under one minute from the winning time. There were two penalties given in this qualifier: Caleb Nymann was given a 30 second penalty for missing a gate and Carter Hulke was given a 10 second penalty for hitting a course marker.
Race four on the day was the Classic, Masters 50+, Pro Factory Women’s and Trail classes. These sleds ran six more laps today for a total of 12 on the weekend. Both days times were merged to determine overall winners. In the Pro Factory Women’s class, Savannah Landrus took the overall win on her Polaris with a total time of 54:21.4. Coming in second was Mckenna Cloose only 13.5 seconds back, with Lydia Sobeck rounding out the top three 18.9 seconds out of first. In the Classic class, Adam Longtin took the over all win with a time of 57:11.0. In second was Adam Geisler (-2:11.0) and Dustin Dohrn in third (-59.0). In the Masters 50+ class, Mike Carver took the win with a total time of 54:51.2 over James Smart in second (-42.) and Jeff McKay in third (-59.). In the Trail division, Mitch Brummond took the overall win with a total time of 55:30.2 over Stuart Brandt in second (-2:47.0) and Don McKay in third (-2:51.0).
The next race to hit the course was the high-profile Pro Factory Stock sleds. This premier class had on an eight-point margin in the 2022 points standings coming into Sunday. Sleds were given the green flag for their three-lap qualifier. After close racing action, the top two qualifiers happen to be the top two sleds battling for the championship: Zach Herfindahl and Dan Revering. Herfindahl was the top qualifier with a time of 12:12.2. Timing in second was Revering, only 6.8 seconds behind Herfindahl. Clocking in third was Marshall Busse 14.8 seconds out of first. Paul Brown timed in fourth (-18.6) and David Brown in fifth (-20.4).
Race six was the last race before the three finals to end the day. This race consisted by the Expert 600 Limited, Masters 40+ and Pro Factory Vet 40+ classes. The majority of these racer have already raced another class on this day and for some it was their third. In the Expert 600 Limited class, Aiden Johnson took the overall win with a time of 4:29.2 on his Arctic Cat. Coming in second 2 minutes 23 seconds back was Jaxon Hammer on his Polaris. Rounding out the top three was Brady Wadena on his Arctic Cat only 4 seconds behind second place. In the Masters 40+ division, Brian Harmon took the win with an overall time of 46:06.5 on his Polaris. In second only 24 seconds back was Mike Carver on his Arctic Cat. Rounding out the podium was Dale Cloose (-2:01) on his Arctic Cat. In the Pro Factory Vet 40+ class, Larry Thayer took the overall win on his Polaris with a total time of 49:14.1.
It was then time for the first final of the afternoon, the eight lap Sport Stock final. Sleds started in their qualifying order with the Polaris machine of Cole Boyd taking the early on track race lead. On lap two, Boyd set the fast lap of the race laying down a 4:22.7. Tommy Coon, who start further back in the pack, made some moves and found himself in the second position on track, trying to chase down Boyd. On lap three, Colt Dellandrea, who was running around the fourth-place position had a nasty off, causing him to hit a pole and barrel roll down the hill. We send him our best wishes. After eight laps of racing, Boyd was able to hang onto to the win with a total time of 32:06.2 on his Polaris. Falling under one second short of the win, Coon came in second 0.235 seconds behind Boyd on his Polaris. Rounding out the top three, 2 minutes 1.5 seconds out of first was Keagen Houser on his Arctic Cat. Timing in fourth was Kyle Paradis (-2:16.4) and Anakin Bosek was in fifth (-2:19.1). There was one penalty given in this final to Kyle Paradis who missed a gate and was given a 30 penalty.
Next on the schedule was the 12-lap Semi Pro Factory Stock Final. Jesse Hallstrom and Evan Peppel were the first two sleds to get the green flag. Hallstrom sprung to the early race lead and started laying down fast laps from the start. After lap one, Hallstrom clocked in fastest with Krumm timing in second and Peppel in third. Hallstrom’s first lap was the fastest overall lap in the race at 4:33.1. The top three sleds of Hallstrom, Peppel and Krumm all ran a tight race from start to finish. One of the class’s top competitors, Boe Bunke, had an off on lap two and scored a DNF. Hallstrom continued to lay down the fast laps and held the lead and after 12 laps of racing, he earned himself his second career Semi Pro Factory Stock win. His total time was 56:17.0 on his Arctic Cat. Clocking in second only 2.3 seconds out of the lead was Peppel with a time of 56:19.3 on his Polaris. This second-place finish secured the 2022 Semi Pro Factory Championship for Peppel. He will now be moving up to the Pro ranks in 2023. Rounding out the podium was Parker Krumm only 12.2 seconds out of first. Timing in fourth was Nickolas Swenson (-46.2) and Luke Van Lyssel in fifth (-51.2). The top six sleds were all within one minute of the leader making for some close racing action.
Herfindahl Wins Pro Battle & War
The last race of the 2022 season was the 15-lap Pro Factory Stock final. Zach Herfindahl and Dan Revering were only eight points apart in season points standing leaving it all up to this race. The green flag dropped and Herfindahl and Revering were off. The green machine of Herfindahl took the early race lead. On lap one, Herfindahl laid down a 4:28.1 with Busse timing in second quick with a 4:28.7. On lap two, Herfindahl timed in with a 4:30.6 and Busse with a 4:30.7. Justin Tate laid down a heater on lap two running the fastest lap thus far in the race with a 4:27.5.
Racing remained tight throughout the race with Herfindahl inching away just slightly each lap. On lap six, Revering found himself stalled just before the finish line with a mechanical problem. He got his sled going again but lost valuable time. After making up some time, a few laps later, Revering had a few thermal episodes at the bottom of the hill with his sled starting on fire. After multiple tries to limp his sled to the finish, he was forced to be towed in and score a DNF.
After 15 laps of intense racing, Zach Herfindahl was able to lap up to fourth place and take the win, sweeping the season finale. This win also secured Herfindahl his seventh Pro Factory Stock points championship. His total race time was 1:07.50 on his Arctic Cat. Coming in second after an impressive weekend in the Pro classes was Marshall Busse on his Polaris. His total time was 1 minutes 7 seconds out of the lead. Rounding out the podium on his Polaris was Justin Tate, 2 minutes 16 seconds out of first. In fourth was David Brown (-4:27.9) and in fifth, one lap down, was Taylor Bunke. Revering and Paul Brown were the only two sleds to score as DNFs during this final.
Spirit Mountain was not only Cor Powersports’ venue for its season finale also its year-end banquet. It crowned all of itspoints champions as well as some people’s choice awards. In the Pro Open class, Zach Herfindahl claimed the top spot with Davis Brown in second and Paul Brown in third. In the Pro Factory Stock class, Zach Herfindahl earned his second title of the season with Dan Revering taking second and Taylor Bunke in third. This made Herfindahl a seven-time Pro Stock champ and three-time Pro Open champ. In the Semi Pro Improved class, Boe Bunke won the title with Brandon Wolter in second and Luke Van Lyssel in third, an all-Polaris podium. In the Semi Pro Stock class, Evan Peppel took the championship with Jesse Hallstrom in second and Caleb Nymann in third. After winning a Sport or Semi Pro class championship, the following season, you must move into the next highest rank class. This puts Boe Bunke and Evan Peppel into the Pro ranks next season and Lydia Sobeck and Derek Kloety into the Semi Pro ranks.
The circuit also named its specialty awards at the year end banquet, with the winners being decided by votes by fans.
“Rider of the year”: Zach Herfindahl
“Team of the year”: HC/Team Arctic
“Rookie of the year”: Jesse Hallstrom
“Most improved rider”: Dan Revering
“Sportsman of the year”: Charlie Revering
“Venue of the year”: Nisswa, Minnesota
Cor Powersports wants to thank its venues, sponsors, racers, and most of all its fans for a great 2022 season! We will see you all next year for the 2023 season as well as at Hay Days in 158 days!
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