Brian Bewcyk, the pole sitter at the 46th running of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby, emerged from the pack in the lead at the start of lap 2 and remained in front to the checkered flag. He defended the World Champion title after winning Eagle River last year on the same Wahl chassis Ski-Doo.
“Last name on the Snow Week Cup, first name on the Snow Goer Cup,” said team owner Jeff MacDonald. “I told him he was going to be the first name on that cup this morning.”
The new Snow Goer Cup is a traveling trophy that records the name of the winner of the Derby. On the cup already are the 45 previous winners. Bewcyk was the last winner recorded on the retired Snow Week Cup, whose permanent resting place is at the World Snowmobile Headquarters in Eagle River, WI.
Bewcyk’s first words after his win was a tribute to his brand. “Happy Birthday Ski-Doo,” he said, in honor of the company’s 50th anniversary. “My holeshots were working good,” he said, of the initial sprint to the first corner as well as the three race restarts after track incidents hauled out the red flag. “I was working to stay on the inside line,” he said. “If you bounced up into the snow, you lost a lot of momentum.”
Hooper/Arctic Cat driver Dan Fenhaus was in second from the first restart, but Wanderscheid worked around him out of turn four. Wanderscheid and Fenhaus had their lines cross in turns 1-2, and Wanderscheid spun out after the pair made contact on lap 7.
While Wanderscheid made several advances and moved his way through the pack in two separate runs, he couldn’t get back to the front for a spot on the podium, and finished fourth.
Bewcyk was unchallenged at the front. He had both the best lap time and fastest speed, 18.373 seconds and 78.376 mph, respectively.
Other News & Notes:
- On lap 5, Joel Fjerstad wrecked on the low line in turn three causing the first red flag. He was OK, but the sled was battered after tumbling into the infield.
- Gary Moyle and Dustin Wahl were involved in a lap 5 wreck after the restart. Moyle was transported to the hospital for evaluation, but we were told it was precautionary. Wahl restarted at the back of the field, and finished third.
- Wanderscheid spun out on lap 7 causing a third red flag. From his last-position status on the restart, he had a monster holeshot and blasted into third after the restart. He was back behind Fenhaus, and tried a different line in turns 3-4 but was too high in the snow and lost momentum. He was trying different things to find something to work. He had the speed – he recorded the second fastest speed.
- Eagle River native Nick Dolezal started in the back row. He advanced as far as fourth at lap 17, but he lost drive and finished eighth.
- #39 Brian Bewcyk, Ski-Doo
- #10, Dan Fenhaus, Arctic Cat
- #74 Dustin Wahl, Polaris
- #28 PJ Wanderscheid, Arctic Cat
- #13 Nick VanStrydonk, Polaris
- #22 Brandon Johnson, Polaris
- #33 Malcom Chartier, Ski-Doo
- #180 Nick Dolezal, Ski-Doo
- #58 Cardell Potter, Ski-Doo
- #2 Mike Poach, Ski-Doo
- #66 Gary Moyle, Ski-Doo
- #16x Joey Fjerstad, Polaris