Today, Mother Nature won the battle at the historic USCC Red Lake I-500, but the war this year was won by Brian Dick, the Arctic Cat engineer who won the title for his employer.
Wicked winds and falling snow caused multiple delays of the planned third and final day of the I-500 – it was scheduled to go off at 10 a.m. and was moved back to 10:30, 11 and then 11:30 a.m. Finally, as 11:30 came and passed, USCC officials gathered the racers and told them that the third day would be cancelled, making the results through the first two days the final results.
This is only the eight year in the long history of the event that it failed to fun the full three days, according to Don Jorstad on WTRF radio. Today’s horrific weather conditions include visibility at less than 100 feet and markers lining the race course have been blowing down, the radio station reported.
Take nothing away from the winner, however. Dick raced hard the first two days, posting the fast time each day, for a combined 4 hour, 57 minute, 5 seconds over the more than 300 miles. That placed him 4 minutes and 34 seconds ahead of second place Ryan Simons of Alberta going into this final day. These and all results in this story are unofficial, pending the technical inspection of the sleds, as per usual
Simons won’t get his shot to run Dick down, and neither will fellow snocross-crossover racer Zach Pattyn of Michigan. Both are on Arctic Cats as is fourth place Cory Davis from Alaska, giving Team Green the top four spots, with drivers from four different parts of North America.
Ross Erdman of Rochester, Minnesota, finished fifth, with Aaron Christiansen, Corey Davison, Justin Tate and Eric Gausen – all on Polaris sleds – finishing sixth through ninth. The final spot in the top 10 was claimed by Jesse Thelen on a Cat.
A total of 36 racers took the green flag in the Pro 600 class on Friday with temperatures double digits below zero. Four racers didn’t make it through the day, including Chad Dyrdahl. The other notable happening on the first day was the problems experienced by DJ Ekre, who started near the top but had mechanical problems and was the last Pro 600 racer to complete the 148 mile course.
There were still 27 pro racers in the field after day two, but the weather prevented the start of day 3.
Ryan Greening was a dominating force in Semi-Pro 600, running away from the pack in the first day, with a time more than 6 minutes faster than his nearest competitor. His domination continued on day two, again posting the fast time and holding a lead of more than 13 minutes heading into what was planned to be the third day. The Brainerd, Minnesota, racer gets the win on his Arctic Cat, with Ken Christiansen second and Mike Hedlund third, both aboard Polaris sleds.
Jolene Bute claimed the Women’s class, while Arctic Cat Snowmobile Product Manager Joey Hallstrom claimed the new and much-anticipated Vintage class ahead of lacing legend Brian Nelson.