One of the most popular and long-standing racers in the sport of snocross has decided to hang up his helmet.
Ironwood, Michigan, native Kyle Pallin announced recently, through the Team LaVallee Polaris race team for which he has long competed, that he is ending his professional snocross career and transitioning to a role as a rider coach for the team.
Pallin broke into the Pro class way back in 2011-12 at the age of 20. That year, the top 10 in points were Tucker Hibbert, Ross Martin, Tim Tremblay, Robbie Malinoski, Dan Eberg, Garth Kaufman, Johan Lidman, Justin Broberg, Logan Christian and Bobby Lepage. Only Christian is still competing out of that group. Pallin truly raced through a transition.
Like most racers in the rough-and-tumble sport, he’s suffered some bumps and dents along the way that caused some missed starts, but overall he’s been one of snocross racing’s most consistent performers. He finished 6th in points in 2012, and followed that up with a 7th, 4th, 3rd, 5th and 6th. He missed more time in 2018 and stayed out of the points race, but then followed that up with a 9th in 2019, followed by a 6th, 6th and 9th. He was always competitive.
He did it all with his signature wide grin on a face – though that grin may have been at its widest on January 10, 2015, when he won his first snocross national. He did it in front of a massive crowd at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota, finishing directly in front of Tucker Hibbert and Ross Martin.
Many more podiums and close calls would follow, but his second victory can in February of 2021 at Deadwood, South Dakota. In all, he has 34 podiums on the national circuit. He was also one of those heart-and-soul racers the sport could count on, year-in and year-out.
Here’s the press release from Team LaVallee:
TEAM LAVALLEE’S KYLE PALLIN CLOSES WITH A FOND FAREWELL TO RACING & REOPENS WITH A WARM WELCOME TO COACHING
September 1, 2022 – Longville, Minnesota Long-time Team LaVallee Snocross Racer and Ironwood, MI native, Kyle Pallin, has made the decision to end his professional Snocross racing career. Pallin, who’s been with Team LaVallee since 2012, comments about this decision:
“I’m sad to not be lining up with my fellow racers this coming year. But at the same time I am really excited for a brand new challenge, and seeing the value I can bring to my teammates as a coach. I am really happy to be able to continue being a part of the sport that has given so much to me.”
Kyle Pallin, known to the National Snocross circuit as Señor Smiley, started out racing at the young age of 12. Pallin caught his break as a professional Snocross racer by Team Arctic in the 2011/2012 Season. When Team LaVallee was looking for the next big racer to join their forces, team owners, Glenn Kafka and Levi LaVallee were drawn to Pallin for his fun personality and catchable sense of humor. Pallin made the transition from AC to the Factory Polaris race team of Team LaVallee for the 2012/2013 season, riding as Pro and under the wings of Levi LaVallee, who was looking to transition out of racing.
“Kyle has that happy-go-lucky type of attitude and thought his personality would be a great fit on Team LaVallee. It’s hard to believe he’s been with us for 10 years as a racer. It’s always a difficult decision to stop racing professionally but with this coaching opportunity, I think it’ll be a great career transition for Kyle and we are really happy to have him.” – Levi LaVallee
Throughout his career, Pallin has earned multiple National Snocross wins, competed at the Winter X Games in both Snocross and Snowmobile Long Jump, and was named Snocross Fan Favorite four times.
- CAREER STATS:
- 2011-2012: First Year Pro (Age 20)
- 2012-2013: First year on Team LaVallee
- 2013-2014: First Pro Podium (Duluth, MN)
- and a total of 6 podiums that season.
- 2014-2015 Season: 8 podiums
- 2015-2016 Season: 4 podiums
- 2016-2017 Season: 3 podiums
- 2017-2018 Season: 2 podiums
- 2018-2019 Season: 2 podiums
- 2019-2020 Season: 3 podiums
- 2020-2021 Season: 5 podiums
- 2021-2022 Season: 1 podium
- 34 Total Pro Podiums
- 2 Pro Career Wins
- Two- 3rd place overall in ISOC National Pro Open Points Championship
- 4 time ISOC Fan Favorite Winner
- 4th Place Finish: Snocross at X Games at 19 years old 2010-2011 season
- 4th Place Finish: Long Jump at X Games | January 2015
As Pallin’s racing goals became accomplished, a shift in his next chapter in life was ready to be turned. LaVallee, Kafka and Polaris Race Director, Tom Rager Jr., joined together and brainstormed the opportunity of being a Rider Coach for Team LaVallee, if Pallin was interested. After conversations, Pallin accepted the opportunity. Congratulations to Coach Kyle, we’ll miss him on the track but excited to still see him track-side at the races.