SALAMANCA, N.Y. (Feb. 9, 2016) – Pro Open point leader Danny Poirier and defending Pro Lite champion Cody Paolella each notched key final round wins Saturday, as East Coast Snocross (ECS) joined the AMSOIL Championship Snocross (ACS) series for the U.S. Air Force National, presented by Allegany Resort and Casino.
Poirier (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo), 36, of St. Theodore, QC, slotted into second at the start of Saturday’s 12-lap Pro Open final behind early leader Tyler Adams. Both Adams and teammate Mathieu Morin came off their sleds on the opening lap, handing Poirier a gift he converted into his fifth victory of 2016. Morin recovered nicely and charged his way back up to second, while Pieti Puhakka (Team Southside/Polaris) filled out the podium in third.
“I was surprised to see both Tyler and Mathieu come off their sleds in the early going,” Poirier said with a smile. “I knew it was a gift, so I took off and tried to hit my marks and run a good pace. My Ski-doo is running so well this season; to win the ISOC Pro Am final along with this victory makes it a very good day. I’m thankful to Ski-doo, Ingles Performance and our great partners for the support.”
Paolella (Team Southside/Polaris) led an impressive 1-2-3 sweep for the North Adams, Mass.-based team, as top qualifier Emil Hansson powered his way to second ahead of Scott VandeBorne. The Team Southside gang celebrated several times on Saturday, as Kassie Thibodeau claimed the Pro Women final and Bruce Gaspardi Jr. swept the Plus 25/35 Combined class. It isn’t often that one team enjoys that much success across the board at one event. Congratulations to all on a huge weekend.
Jared Gessner (Team Southside/Polaris) kept the theme of team success alive in Sport action, grabbing the holeshot in Saturday’s final. Minnesota invader Taylor Cole played the role of spoiler and powered past, yet Gessner hung on for second at the finish. Quebec native Raphael Lemieux capped a strong day with a solid third-place finish. Michael Newman (Kislowski Racing/Arctic Cat) was fourth in another strong performance.
Other final round winners on Saturday in Salamanca include Tucker Kierstead (Kislowski Racing/Arctic Cat, Jr. 14-15 Stock 600 and Jr. 16-17 Stock 600 Finals); Taven Woodie (Women Jr. Novice Stock 600); and Benjamin Wilbert (Jr. 10-13 Stock 600). It should be noted that Kierstead had a nine-second margin of victory in one of his wins. The young man has consistent speed, and it shows.
East Coast Snocross would like to thank ISOC President Carl Schubitzke and the staff at the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino for having ECS a part of this event. The record-setting crowd on Saturday was easily the largest this series will ever see here in the east. The venue is world-class, and we’re delighted that ISOC has an agreement to race here through 2018. We are proud to be included.
Teams and officials will now prepare for a trip across the border this coming weekend, Feb. 12-14, as Pro, Pro Lite and Sport teams get to compete at the prestigious Grand Prix Ski-doo de Valcourt, in Valcourt, Quebec. Last February, Poirier won the Marcel Fontaine Cup in Valcourt aboard a factory-prepared NSK-sponsored Ski-doo. Like the big show with ISOC in New York, a weekend in Valcourt is considered one of the true highlights of any snowmobile racing season.
East Coast Snocross, presented by AMSOIL, Woody’s Traction and FXR, is an ISR-affiliated sanctioning body for snowmobile racing in the northeastern United States. ECS maintains a regional circuit intended to keep grass-roots snocross racing healthy in this part of the country while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow’s factory-backed national Pro teams.
For full results from Salamanca or to learn more, go to www.eastcoastsnocross.com.