If you are a snowmobile racing fan within an easy drive of Minnesota’s Twin Cities, shame on you for missing a fabulous event.
The WSA Pro-Ice season opener December 19-20 at Shakopee, Minnesota’s Raceway Park was a really good racing event at a really cool facility. Sadly, it was missed by most, as only a small crowd was on hand to see some very exciting racing, particularly in the Champ 440 class.
Sixteen of the very best drivers in the Upper Midwest, including World Champions PJ Wanderscheid (2002, 2003, 2006), Gary Moyle (2005, 2007) and Bryan Bewcyk (2008, 2009) battled it out on the ice-covered blacktop racing track, but in the end the winner was a second-generation driver that many are expecting to be a future World Champion.
Dustin Wahl of the Greenbush, Minnesota-based Wahl Bros. Racing Team opened the season on top, first claiming the super-exciting 600 class Saturday afternoon and then the event-closing Champ 440 final Sunday afternoon in front of a fast field.
Wanderscheid got the holeshot and held the point for the first half of the race, but standing trackside it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before the talented Cat racer gave way to the faster Polaris-powered mod being driven by Wahl. Just past the halfway point, Wahl claimed the lead by driving under Wanderscheid on the front stretch, then he pulled away. Wanderscheid finished a solid second. Moyle was mired back in traffic on his new, tubular chassis machine, and Bewcyk didn’t make the 12-sled final.
Wahl’s victory was more dramatic Saturday, when he used a last-lap pass to slice past Mike Schultz for the victory.
After the race, Dustin’s father Dave Wahl reported that the sled the team was using was actually last year’s chassis. A new chassis has been completed, but “we thought this one was fast enough,” said the retired three-time champion. We guess so.
Check back with SnowGoerRacing.com later this week – we took a ton of photos and will upload a bunch from snowmobile oval racing, ATV racing on the same surface and, yes, even lawn mower racing. Stay tuned.