January 18, 2009
Thief River Falls, Minn.
Bryan Dyrdahl won the United States Cross-Country (USCC) Red Lake I-500 today, his fifth time winning the race. Dyrdahl’s total time on the 500-mile course was 6:19:44. Arctic Cat’s D.J. Ekre finished second with a 6:21:24 lap followed by Polaris’ Corey Davidson with a time of 6:21:54.
Day 3 started cloudy and overcast, which offered flat light and poor visibility. But shortly after the start, skies cleared, making for ideal racing conditions. “It was fun when the sun came out,” said Dyrdahl, who would rather race on a rough track with bright sunlight than drive a smooth course with poor visibility.
Dyrdahl started the third and final day with a 58-second lead and his day went well, he said, except for a drive belt that blew up while running wide open in a ditch. “It exploded, he said. The belt replacement went smoothly, but Dyrdahl was nervous after swapped the part, thanks to USCC President Pat Mach.
Mach was in his truck following Dyrdahl. When he saw the race leader was in trouble, Mach pulled over and offered words of encouragement to his racer. “Pat was behind me and he said, ‘there’s no one coming,'” Dyrdahl said. “But I thought I heard him say, ‘here they come.’ So I got on it and started haulin’ ass. I rode tight at first, but as soon as that belt blew, I hung it all out after that.”
Ekre started in third place behind Davidson. Once he got by the Polaris driver, he set his sites on Dyrdahl. “I just kept pushing. I crashed a couple times, but at least I knew I was trying to catch him,” Ekre said.
USCC reports that 100 professional and amateur drivers started the I-500. The race gets its “International” label because the racetrack crosses into land of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, which is a sovereign nation located south of Thief River Falls. USCC’s next race is January 31 in Ada, Minnesota.
2009 USCC Red Lake I-500 final results
Pro 600: 1. Bryan Dyrdahl (Doo); 2. D.J. Ekre (Cat); 3. Corey Davidson (Pol); 4. Brian Dick (Cat); 5. Dan Ebert (Cat); 6. Chad Lian (Cat); 7. Brandon Gerszewski (Cat); 8. Eric Gausen (Pol); 9. Phil Storlie (Cat); 10. Nathan Potucek (Cat).