By: ISOC Racing
DEADWOOD, S.D. (Jan. 20, 2017) – AMSOIL Championship Snocross returned to the historic Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds in western South Dakota for the U.S. Airforce Deadwood Snocross Presented by AMG Peterbilt, the fourth stop of the series this season. A near sell-out crowd filled the grandstands for some incredible racing action in both the Pro Lite and Pro Open divisions.
The small bull-ring track is quick and short, but very challenging for the riders. Current points leader Aki Pihlaja struggled in the first round of heats, where he went over the handle bars and finished with a sixth-place finish, but came back in the second heat with a win. Defending Pro Lite champion Montana Jess has had some bad luck this season, but was able to grab a win in the heats. Zak Mason, racing for Team LaVallee, found his rhythm and landed a first-place and a second-place finish in the heats, giving him the number-one qualifier for the night.
In the Pro Lite final, Mason took the inside line and the Stud Boy Holeshot. A big crash in the first turn threw four riders from their sleds, but all were able to continue. As the lead rider finished lap one, Kevin Wallenstein overtook Mason for the lead. Mason fought back, going bar-to-bar through the FXR Turn. With the inside line, Mason was able to move back into first.
Points leader Pihlaja, back in fourth, was working to run down the leaders and find a spot on the podium, while Jake Angove slid back to fifth. Jacob Yurk, with a strong start running in third, was able to hold off Pihlaja for a few laps, but the points leader made his move into third. Angove challenged Pihlaja and moved into third for a moment, but Pihlaja soon reclaimed third.
Up front, Mason checked out from the field. Wallenstein, running an incredible race, sat comfortably in second. Rookie rider Nicolas Lorenz, riding for Judnick Motorsports, also raced hard to overcome teammate Angove, but was unable to make the pass, finishing fifth, with Angove one spot off the box in fourth. Mason remained unchallenged and took the checkers, followed Wallenstein and Pihlaja.
Coming off his first win of the season, Kody Kamm was firing on all cylinders and walked away with two wins in the heat races, which landed him the top-qualifier spot on the night. Ross Martin, who is putting together a great season, knocked off two third-place finishes in the heats, while Tucker Hibbert landed two top-three finishes. Kyle Pallin was tossed off the sled in heat two, forcing him to the LCQ, where he transferred into the main with a second-place finish. Lincoln Lemieux also had a rough night and had to run the LCQ, but grabbed a transfer spot up to the main as well. Petter Narsa locked in the second qualifier for the night.
The riders were challenged to 24 laps of hardcore racing on the bull ring. On the line for the final, number-one qualifier Kamm was hoping to take the hat trick for the night and a clean sweep, while Hibbert was looking for his 125th win of his career. Ross “The Boss” Martin turned it on right out of the gate to grab the Stud Boy Holeshot, but Ryan Springer, the eighth qualifier, was on his tail and took the lead through the Polaris corner. As they crossed the AMSOIL finish line jump, five riders battled for the lead: Springer, Martin, Ishoel, Tremblay and Logan Christian. Out of the FXR Turn, Springer continued to hold on to the lead, but Tremblay found trouble in the Polaris corner and was thrown from his sled.
Hibbert had some work to do sitting mid-pack, but had plenty of time to reel in the leaders. Springer remained up front, while Christian made the move on Martin for second. Out of nowhere Corin Todd rocketed through the field and passed Christian and Ishoel, who was trying to move into a podium spot. Ishoel and Christian both would later have mechanical issues, putting them out of contention.
Top qualifier Kamm put together a solid run and found himself within striking distance of a podium finish midway through the race. Up front, Martin pressured Springer for the lead. With only four laps to go, Martin found the line to make the move and take over the lead from Springer, followed by Kamm, who was also able to put Springer back one more spot.
Up from 10th place with two laps to go, Hibbert made a hard run for the final podium spot as he drag raced Springer down the final stretch toward the AMSOIL finish line, but came up short with a fourth-place finish. Checkers in the air, it was Martin in first, Kamm second and Springer third.
Source: Amsoil Racing