Over the weekend of February 4, 2011 the Oval Racers Alliance teamed up with the Ogilvie Raceway (in Ogilvie, Minnesota) to host the 2nd Annual O.R.A. U.S. Nationals. With close to 400 class entries and over 90 drivers the raceway stands filled with fans and the event kicked off with the Friday Night Country Cat Spectacular.
Despite the fact that he is still recovering from a broken hand and toes, Dustin Wahl dominated the Friday Night Pro Champ class by winning both rounds and the final while reaching speeds well over 90 miles per hour.
Although Wahl walked away with the win he earned it by fending off reigning World Champion P.J. Wanderscheid, who finished with a close second each time they met one another on the track. Finishing third in the final was Trevor Fontaine.
Also demonstrating their dominance during the Friday Night Country Cat Spectacular were Jacob and Matt Goede, each of whom won all three of their finals. Both piloting vintage Polaris sleds, Jacob took the checkered flag in IFS 440, Super Mod 440 Free Air and Super Mod 440 Liquid, while Matt swept Super Mod 250 Liquid, Super Mod 340 Liquid and Super Mod 340 Free Air.
When racing began on Saturday so did some of the most epic battles I have ever seen on a track. Dale Stanger and Dan Kacures had many questioning if they were sharing a tether, hooked at the skis or just evenly matched as they raced side by side throughout the day. Ultimately Kacures won Pro Stock 440 Single and Super Stock 320 Single Cylinder while Stanger was able to get around him for the win in Super Stock 300.
Jacob and Matt Goede, along with Jeff Karrow, Nate Westlund, Chuck Zech, Mike Pappenfus, Curt Pederson and Justin Marthaler all displayed their talent and dedication as they each won multiple finals.
In the IFS SnoPro 440X feature it was Dave Neuman, aboard his Ski-Doo, who set the pace for the ten lap race. Still un-passable after the staggered restart one lap into the race Neuman continued to lead and win the race. Finishing behind him were Jacob Goede and Travis Hilmerson.
The Modern feature of the day was Pro Open, where once again Dustin Wahl situated himself as the one to beat. With Wahl taking his second win of the weekend, Wanderscheid once again finished second and was followed by Curtis Boivin.
Rounding off the action for Saturday was an exciting Semi Pro Champ final, in which Lance Relf came from the back of the pack to claim his first ever win in the class. Visibly excited, Relf literally hopped off his snowmobile at the end of the race back in the pit area. Matt Ritchie finished second and Trevor Fontaine rounded off the top three.
In an all Modern day of racing on Sunday, there was definitely no absence of Max and Morgan Hoglund from the winners circle. Winning every class they entered, Morgan took the checkered in Junior Novice, Junior I Sprint 380 and Junior II Sprint, while Max won Pro Sprint.
Back with a vengeance, Wanderscheid finally gave Wahl an opportunity to stare down his taillight as he won two of three qualifying rounds in Pro Champ and went on to win the 20 lap feature. Finishing second was Wahl, with Nick Van Strydonk taking third.
Jordan Wahl added a win in the F-500 class to his list of accomplishments as he swept that class along with F-500/F-340/Sportsman 600 Combo all weekend.
Representing the female population, Becky Kobow raced her modified vintage sled to a victory in the Powder Puff class and I was able to get the win in Womens 380.
The Oval Racers Alliance will host their next event February 19-20, 2011 in Grey Eagle, Minnesota. For a complete list of results and other race information please visit www.snowmobileracing.mn.