Amsoil Snowcross Draws Large Crowds

By KBJR News 1

November 28, 2010 Updated Nov 29, 2010 at 9:38 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's Newscenter) From the junior level to the Pro's,from Minnesota to Sweden, racers have come to try their luck, make their mark and get their names in the history books.

Today is day TWO of the Amsoil Snowcross Series at Spirit Mountain.

Many say the Amsoil Snowcross Series in Duluth is like the Daytona 500 for the snowcross world.

This year marks the 19th championship event and with more snow on the track than last year, officials say it's the biggest turn out they've seen in six or seven years.

"It's kind of nice to have cold weather and some snow around Minnesota, said Tucker Hibbert, 2010 FIM Snowcross World Champion. "Sometimes during this event, it's like summer still."

Ben Lindbom is a Semi-Pro rider and describes the importance of the event.

"We've been preparing for this all summer, training and riding motocross, this is the start of the year, everyone is ready to go and waiting for this event," Lindbom said.

The race track this year focuses on right turns, forcing the racers to ride in a clockwise rotation.

"The athletes make a sharp right hand turn and just go into a series of cliff jumps if you will," said Robi Powers of ISOC. "Once they get down to the bottom of the track, they come wrapping out of a Polaris into a Ski-Doo corner. And then it's a sling shot through the Amsoil finish and lap zone area with a 110 foot launch pad area."

The track was also designed to create a lot of excitement for the crowd right out in front of the chalet.

"I've snowmobile in the past, and I still do today, and it's kind of fun to see a little bit more competitive aspect of the sport, because we do a lot of it in the winter," said fan, Miranda Schwartz.

Races are competitive in nature and these athletes come to this first race of the year expecting to put the past years practice to the test.

"My goal for this race, just like ever race is to win," Hibbert said. "You know we come here prepared and we gear our team to come to the races and win. That's our number one goal."

Immediately after finishing a heat race, the top three participants are expected to go directly to a tech center. Racers sleds are checked for safety and mechanical standards.

"Check the sleds to make sure all safety factors are met. That inlcudes wearing the right gear, running stud heights, carbide heights, everything up to 'spect of what we need," said tech assistant, Scott Erlandson.

Winners of each race will continue to move on throughout the year,with the ultimate goal of getting to the Nielsen Enterprises Grand Finale, held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in March of 2011.

Written and posted to the web: Jennifer Walch