Its official, the 2009 ice oval racing season has begun. There were more entries overall at this season opener than there has been in many years past. In the Pro Formula 600 class alone there were twenty entries.
Matt Schultz, on his Polaris, was the man to beat today as he posted the top speed of 176 kilometers per hour (about 109 miles per hour for those of you reading from the U.S.) Winning two of his four heat races and finishing second in the other two. I think it’s fair to say that Schultz was on top of his game today.
The 10 lap final started but was ended abruptly when oval racing legend Jacques Villeneuve crashed on the back straight away before the first lap was completed. After Villeneuve was taken away in an ambulance and the race was restarted, Schultz was nearly untouchable. Chasing Schultz was Nick Van Strydonk, who held on to a tough second the entire race on his Polaris. Ultimately finishing third was Gary Moyle, on board his newly engineered Ski-Doo.
Some of the closest racing of the day was in the Semi Pro Champ 440 class. By the time the final rolled around, Joey Fjerstad had his Wahl prepared Polaris dialed in. It was close racing in the final between Fjerstad and Curtis Boivin, on his Polaris, who was fast in the corners but just not fast enough to catch Fjerstad. Finishing third behind the two Polaris’ was Travis McDonald, on his Ski-Doo.
The season opener will continue tomorrow with more racing, so be sure to check back for updates.