Updated: December 01, 2019 08:35 AM
Dashing through the snow and defying gravity as they leaped from hill to hill, Snocross racers embraced the conditions at Spirit Mountain on the opening day of races Friday. On Saturday, however, their races had to stop early and on Sunday, their races had to be cancelled due to weather.
“We’re snowmobile people here at Snocross so we’re going to do absolutely everything that we can do to put on the races and put on a good show. We love snow, we pray for snow so we’re going to work through it and definitely want everyone to come out and enjoy it,” Miranda Litzau, VP of Marketing for the Series Amsoil Snocross Team said.
For most, it is not the first time they will race in difficult conditions.
“We’ve raced through some pretty crazy conditions before—you know, a couple years ago in Colorado, it was minus 20 with 20 mile per hour winds swirling around like crazy,” Lincoln Lemieux, Racer for Scheuring Speed Sports said.
Lemieux has been racing since he was six years old. He opened the 2016-2017 season with a win.
“It was the best start to a season I’ve ever had,” Lemieux said.
This will be Lemieux’s 20th season and he looks forward to getting out on the track with other racers, who have also weathered storms.
“I honestly prefer racing in snow than in rain because that has happened before too and just the rain on your goggles, it sticks but like snow on your goggles—it kind of just flies all over the place so it’s not bad,” Taven Woodie, Racer for Woodie’s Racing said.
Woodie is one of the top female Snocross racers in the nation. She is both the youngest ever and first female to win a rookie of the year award in the 2017-2018 season.
“This is a male dominated sport. It is like motocross or anything else—it’s definitely male dominated, but I enjoy it,” Woodie said.
Recently, Woodie began racing snow bikes in addition to snowmobiles, which is something her teammate Colton Sturm is familiar with. According to Sturm, the bikes handle snow well.
“We put a thermostat in them just to keep the proper engine temp, but other than that, I mean they handle the snow great,” Sturm said. "It’s more narrow than a snowmobile and since we only have one ski, we can turn a lot faster than sleds.”
Sturm too, began his career racing snowmobiles and eventually transitioned over to snow bikes. He has served as an alternate in the X-Games Snow Bikecross event. Over time, he has seen snow bikes become more popular.
“It’s a pretty big deal now that X Games has really ramped it up and they put a lot of effort into the snow bike game now, so a lot of people are getting into it," Sturm said.
For some racers, bearing difficult weather condition like racing, is foreign. Friday marked brothers, Mason and Brody Helland's first race with Mumbles Racing.
“It’s fun to get a lot of air on those jumps—just have to go full throttle the whole time—just don’t let off the throttle,” Mason said.
Brody also said that bearing the cold was a great time and something that had been passed down for generations.
“My dad’s dad—he always mumbled when he played golf and then when he passed away he thought of making up our own racing team, so now we just have our own family’s sponsor—Mumbles Racing,” Brody said.
All in all, racers say they are looking forward to the snowy weekend ahead, but they know the number one prize is everybody's safety. We will update viewers on whether and when races will be rescheduled.
Updated: December 01, 2019 08:35 AM
Created: November 29, 2019 09:09 PM
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