The Blue Goose Inn, in Garrison, Minnesota, has a long standing history of great food, live music, fishing, thirst-quenching drinks, and the list goes on. Also included in the history of the Goose is their role in playing host to a wide variety of motorsport races. The last weekend in February was no exception, as ATV’s, bikes, cars and snowmobiles (modern, vintage and kids) each had their own track on the ice. Nestled in the center of the small racers village were the O.R.A. snowmobile races. The Oval Racers Alliance, in conjunction with the Garrison Commercial Club and Blue Goose Inn, hosted the last race of their season.
Racing began Saturday with the sounds of vintage sleds warming up and shaking the cold from their dated, yet well-kept chassis’, while eventually emitting a maintained purr. (I’m told such vibration and sound in sleds of this age is quite normal, but who doesn’t like a little personification?) The modern day warriors nobly mounted their tested machines, and hit the track for an icy battle in the shape of an oval.
Not unlike the last O.R.A. event at the Ogilvie Raceway, Jacob and Matt Goede dominated the field. Jacob, from Shakopee, Minnesota, won all four of his classes on his Polaris, which included IFS Sno Pro 340X, Super Mod Open, Super Mod 440 Liquid Cooled (LC) and Free Air (FA). Matt, from New Germany, Minnesota, did the same exact thing as Jacob as he won Super Mod 300, Super Mod 250LC, Super Mod 340LC and Super Mod 340FA.
Other vintage success stories include Dan Kacures, who won Super Stock 300 and Pro Stock 400 in both the trophy and payback divisions. Jordan Johnson, of St. Joseph, Minnesota won a total of four classes on his Ski-Doo, while Mike Pappenfuss, Troy Lange, Jeff Karrow, Clint Nouis, Jeffrey Schmidt and Mark Barrett all enjoyed multiple class wins as well.
With all the vintage sleds trailered up, Sunday was left open to an all modern day of racing. In the Pro Champ class PJ Wanderscheid set the pace but had a hard-charging group of competitors behind him, waiting for the opportune moment to attempt a pass. No such moment came and Wanderscheid won the class, with Trevor Fontaine and Matt Ritchie finishing second and third. In Semi-Pro Champ, Trevor Fontaine got a win with Matt Ritchie and Lance Relf finishing behind him, in that order.
Dan Iskierka pegged multiple class wins after taking the checkered in F-500 and Sportsman 600. Meanwhile Tyler Schmidt followed suit and won both Limited 500 and 600. Max Hoglund separated himself from the field in both classes he entered, and won both Pro and Semi Pro Sprint.
Morgan Hoglund ended the season on a high note, as he was victorious in Junior Novice, Junior I Stock, Junior I Sprint and Junior II Sprint. As if that record weren’t enough, he became the youngest person in O.R.A. history to win the 25 lap Dash for Cash race. The thirteen year old from Forest Lake, Minnesota led the race from beginning to end on a 600 Sprint sled. Adding even more excitement to the win is that Hoglund left some impressive drivers in his snow dust wake, including four-time world champion PJ Wanderscheid (who was riding a Limited 600 sled).
The Oval Racers Alliance ended their season on an equally high note, after hosting a successful string of events in their second year as an organization. The world of ice oval racing will now travel to Beausejour, Manitoba the first weekend in March for the 49th Annual Canadian Power Toboggan Championships. For a complete list of results for this event, as well as more information about the O.R.A. please visit www.snowmobileracing.mn or http://www.facebook.com/SnowmobileRacing