Professional Snowmobile Racing Team Bringing relatives and friends together to go fast
ERIC, MITCH, MATT, CHRIS, JOEY, SHANE
livestream.com 52nd Annual I500 by Lake Superior State University on Livestream - Livestream.com
On February 1st in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the 52nd I-500 Snowmobile Race took place. 31 teams attempted to complete the longest snowmobile race of its kind, while die hard fans watched from the hill.
Race fans, we figured we would post some info about drivers, race team changes, and news this year for you race fans, as well as a little info about each (as much as this writer knows anyway) team. Corey Davidson and Eric Gausen have teamed up with 57 year old legend and iron man, John Bosek. If Bosek can finally win, he will retire he says. Isaac Wolfgang is back with Dewald and Spencer for Cadarrette Collision Racing, they have now won ten races in a row on the Enduro circuits, unreal! Greg Cadarrette said this may be a good way to retire from the sport with another I-500 win. Alaskan Bill Wilkes has moved to Tommie Bauer Racing, he will be riding with Tyler Nickles and Cody Bauer, look for them to be fast as usual, especially at the beginning of the race. KMW Racing had an unreal qualifying effort and will be starting in the front row with Krenz, Schwandt, and Trout. Our guess is by adding Schwandt and Trout to the team, this team should be very strong throughout the day with their cross country experience. The Faust brothers are teamed up with Hetteen again, two years ago they were the fastest sled on the race track the last 100 laps, making up lap after lap at the end of the race. Bell racing looks stout as usual, just going to need a strong consistent run tomorrow with the addition of Eichenberg this year who is making his return to the SOO. Early in the year Gabe Bunke said he will start the race, then hand the reigns over to Aaron Christianson and his son Taylor Bunke. Can Gabe get the most wins of all time? RnK Motorsport qualified great, looked strong all week with their very experienced drivers Skea and Terrill. Yovich Racing, they are always well prepared, fast all day and have two great drivers in Burch and Hicks. HC Racing, named after their phenomenal mechanics Hector and Corey, have added young talent David Brown to the power house team of Herfandahl and Selby. This is Arctic Cat’s factory team, right out of the race shop. A surprise this year is the addition of Brian Dick, out of retirement, for I-500 to Langaas Racing. Ben Langaas, Canadian Cale Anseeuw, and Dick bring a ton of experience to the SOO. Countryside Motorsports, what can you say about this iconic race team? They have top notch equipment, as many laps as any race team at the SOO and the legendary Vermeersh’s as well as Churchill and Arnold are hungry this year. Piche Racing, always ready, always here, usually running at the end. They’re kind of an underdog, but that #13 could just pull it off! Kolbus Racing, lead driver Derek Kolbus is originally from the Munising, MI area but he makes the long haul all the way from Louisiana each year to compete in this race. They’re a small family operation, got some good equipment and have some talented drivers in Kolbus and the Downing’s. They found some speed in qualifying, posted around the 6th fastest time in race trim on Thursday when everyone else was in race trim, so you just never know. Next Is the Little Caesar’s team and the iconic Tank Mayer #9 piloted by Larry Young Jr., Aaron Mayer and Bryan Ball. This race team, if anyone deserves to win it, this is the team. So many heartbreaks through the years, and a fan favorite. They certainly have the talented drivers to win this thing, they just need a smooth and trouble free run all day. Last years runner up was Hoos Racing, like many other teams, they will be right in there again. Last year they were within striking distance and needed the race to go green the rest of the way to pull it off, look for them to be right in there as well. Team Torture, these guys sure give it their all, they have the speed, but durability has been an issue through the years, they sure are fun to watch though! Kovar Racing is another very experienced team with top notch equipment with great drivers in Maki and Town. Once again, this team just needs a trouble free day to be in the running for the win, could be a sleeper pick. Team Blue, pretty much the same as Kovar Racing’s prediction, great equipment, great drivers and just need a trouble free day to have a shot. Team ECR? Well, feel free to post about them, this writer don’t know much about them so please fill the fans in, in the comments. Nelson Racing #18 features top notch equipment, as well as an up and coming brother duo of riders in Charlie and Dan Revering, nephews of John and Tom Bosek. They’re kind of new to the SOO track, but once it gets rough they will come into their own being cross country riders. Team Scream? How many years has Ted Ritchie been racing anyway? Countless. On an Arctic Cat this year, it should be interesting to see how they like the new machine. For sure a local favorite team! Bouchard Racing, the 4-Stroke Arctic Cat team. Chad Lian and Ross Erdman will be on separate sleds this year. Erdman will be teamed up with Semi-Pro cross country racer Dylan Stevens and Michigan’s own Andy Shoemaker. Great sleds, great team, just need to be there in the end. Chad Lian has since talked friend and former I-500 winner Steve Olson out of retirement. These guys have 4-5 I-500 wins between the two of them and their third rider is a young up and comer Dalton Fredrickson who has been winning a lot lately on the oval circuit. Gainforth Racing is a small lower Michigan race team also running a 4-Stroke. Keith has been here a few years but hasn’t had much luck, look for that to change with Matt Town as his running mate. These 4-Stroke teams will be hoping for long green flag runs with their custom built bigger fuel tanks and great fuel mileage. This should allow them to go from plow break, to plow break without refueling, while the 2-strokes will have to pit around 70-80 laps. R & S Racing didn’t qualify well, but they can work their way through the field with Booth and Roe pulling the trigger when needed. Dalsky Motorsports, don’t know much about this new team, but they do have an experienced Naithen Joseph with Dalsky and Stebleton. We love it when new race teams try this race out, best of luck, you’ll be hooked! MLM Motorsports, once again, don’t know much about them, but you never know who will come out of the woodwork and surprise everyone at the SOO! The #28 Nelson Racing team of Tate and Wenzlaff could be the team that starts deepest in the field and finishes the best. Top notch equipment, very knowledgeable race team and Tate and Wenzlaff love deep holes on a race track. Look for them to be airing it out in the top five in the end. Last but certainly not least, the Hetteen Heritage team of Kallock, Gradzielewski and VanSlyke are a young cross country based race team. These kids can ride, just need to tone it down to be there at the end of the race.
This field of race teams is stout. One thing you’ll notice is that they have more than two riders on their teams impaired to years past. There are a few reasons for this. The first is they have to go all out now, there is no sandbagging and much saving equipment. Years ago, they could let the “rabbit” go, save your sled and wait for the rabbit to break down. Now that rabbit is about 18 different race teams that can go basically all out for 8-9 hours, and a majority can make it to the end without breaking down. Since they go all out, they need a third driver to give the other two more than a 45-60 minute break through the day. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are in shape, very good shape, but fresh arms really make a difference out here these days.
Often this race comes down to pit stops and pit strategies. Much like Nascar, these guys can change two skis, put ten gallons of fuel in, switch drivers, and be gone in 12-15 seconds, it’s unreal.
Well folks, these are just the opinions of a washed up old racer. Hope it helps give you a little background on each team to help you get to know them. It’s a lot for the announcers to cover so this should help the average race fan. These aren’t opinions of the I-500, just that of one person so don’t take it to heart please. We wish all of these race teams the best of luck, and most of all we want you to have a SAFE race.
In about 24 hours from now, someone will he wrote into the history books forever, who is your pick to take it all? Who is your top three?
Have fun up on that hill, and be sure to check in online form wherever you are tomorrow.
It’s all left turns from here 🏁🏁
Starting in 16 position tomorrow with the #3 sled.
Well another season is coming and the work is in full swing. Listen to some exciting news!
Get to know Les Pinz, Vintage Expert for American Snowmobiler. Check out the first video in a series on one of our favorite people in the industry. Enjoy!
We gave it a good run
For a group of guys that only get together once a year, our pit stops are top notch!
Mitch Russell, Matt Russell, Chris Dickson, Adam Hess, Bromely Hall.
Eric Gausen, Dillan Dohrn.
The scoring system shows it. Even our worst stop put Dillan back out ahead of where Eric was when he came in. I've spent the last few evenings going over lap times ( including yellows) and comparing our team to the top teams as they have finished in recent Soo I-500s.
We know we have the best lead driver. We know we have co drivers that focus on the sled and the track, not just the competition. We know what we have overcome and not backed down. We know we have either finished in the top five or not finished (due to circumstances beyond our control).
This year our plan was working as discussed prior to the green flag. The sled was as fast and efficient as it has ever been. And after 378 laps of record pace we were in the top five on the lead lap. AND our lead driver was fresh, rested and ready for the last 100 laps, unlike the last several top 5 finishes.
We did what we needed to do and we did it calmly, with focus, humor and as a team. Don't let one bolt failure get you down. You are a great bunch of guys and I can't wait til next year.
John Kalchik. #3 Soo crew
Rough spill on Saturday.
And that was the end of our 2019 Soo run.
So bummed about this weekend, Wes and I had such a good sled under us and felt like we could have drove it to the front. This race is a once a year deal And to make a mistake and end it early is a tough one to take but will be back next year.
Thank you to everyone that helped us leading up to this weekend, we couldn’t do it without you.
Home town proud!
Fairgrove Oil and Propane ( Sunoco Race Fuels) is the Official Fuel of the 51st Annual International 500 Snowmobile Race Week.
We’ll give-er the onions
See you at the Soo
We're getting the band back together...
This is a great group of guys executing an text book yellow flag pitstop at last year's running of the Soo I-500.
Please pass this along if you know anyone that may be interested!
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Contact here or 715-323-4055 for more pictures or questions
May be willing to help with delivery
Race day at the I500
3rd place finish today with Corey Davidson and XLT Engineering
Tomorrow’s starting lineup
Snowy afternoon today in the Soo as teams prepare for another round of qualifying
Happy retirement to JF16, we had a blast at the Soo with you and the crew.
Warm up stand JF 16
Won’t be long
Todays qualifying JF 16, Janson Equipment, Amity Technology, Woody's Traction, CURVE INDUSTRIES - High Performance Aftermarket Snowmobile Products -, Thumb Cellular, Fairgrove Oil Co. XLT Performance, XLT Engineering, Polaris-365, Daylight Enterprises, Felegy Racing, LRM, Polaris Racing, Extreme Sales and Service
1st in 440 improved
More pics at Lucky Thumb
Vintage Racing Today
Time to get serious
The 38th entry filed for the 50th Anniversary - International 500 Snowmobile Race is also the most successful rider in International 500 Snowmobile Race History: Corey Davidson (Corey Davidson Racing).... The 47-year-old legend from Holt, Minnesota is the all-time career wins leader in #SooI500 history with eight victories... The first came in 1998 (With Steve Olson) as his last win in the most prestigious snowmobile race in the world was in 2011 with co-rider, Travis Hjelle on the #3 XLT Engineering / Polaris Snowmobiles sled owned by 1987 I-500 Race Winner, Mike Staszak.... Davidson is back in 2018 after missing the 2017 I-500 due to an injury and will be in search of coveted win #9, along-with co-riders, John Anetsberger and Erik Gausen in the 2018 edition of the event on Sunday-Saturday, January 28-February 3rd....
Corey Davidson Racing
Merry Christmas from CD3 Soo Crew!
Russell Racing Team XLT Engineering
50th Anniversary Of The International 500 Snowmobile Race Set For Monday-Saturday, January 29th-February 3rd, 2018 #SooI500 http://i-500.com/2017/06/27/50th-anniversary-of-the-international-500-snowmobile-race-set-for-monday-saturday-january-29th-february-3rd-2018/