A lot of great racing and drama played out on the oval track at Eagle River for the 2012 World Championship Snowmobile Derby. Although a full race report can be seen here, this highlight video also recaps the action from the race.

Check out the highlight video of the 2012 World Championship Snowmobile Derby.

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MEDINA, MN – Just after 4 p.m. CST on Sunday, January 22, the T&N Racing Facebook page featured a historic status: “We WON the WC!!”

Nick Van Strydonk (T&N Racing) had just driven his lucky No. 13 Polaris race sled to victory in the Eagle River Snowmobile Derby World Championship, which he won by 0.025 of a second ahead of Matt Schultz, who led most of the race but was passed by Van Strydonk in the final turns of the last lap.

Dustin Wahl (Jimmy John’s/Wahl Bros./Polaris Racing) finished third on his Polaris-powered Wahl Bros. race sled, and his teammates Jordan Wahl and Brandon Johnson finished ninth and 10th, respectively. All three are from Greenbush, Minnesota.

Van Strydonk, who is from Tomahawk, Wisconsin, and has long dreamed of winning the Eagle River World Championship, took the lead by diving inside of Schultz entering turn three on the final lap of the 30-lap race. Van Strydonk ran that lap in 19.314 seconds, 0.319 second faster than Schultz.

Van Strydonk, 21, won the 49th running of the title race in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. He works at Erv’s Sales and Service, his family’s Polaris dealership in Tomahawk. The champion’s parents, Alan and Stephanie Van Strydonk, own the dealership and the race team.

Polaris racers were fast all weekend in World Championship qualifying and related events such as the Friday night Champ 440 final. Also known as the Sweet 16, the race featured the 16 fastest racers from World Championship individual time trials. Brandon Johnson won the Champ 440 title under the lights, finishing 2.3 seconds ahead of Van Strydonk. Johnson posted the race’s fastest lap at 71.856 mph, and the victory earned him an automatic entry in the World Championship, so he and his sled sat out the Saturday qualifying.

Van Strydonk, who topped the individual time trials with a qualifying lap in 17.873 seconds (74.526 mph), won his semi-final on Saturday to earn a spot in the World Championship, as did Dustin Wahl.

Sunday afternoon’s World Championship was a start-and-stop affair, with one mandatory red flag at lap 10 for an equipment and track check, and several additional stoppages after crashes. Van Strydonk ran in second place for much of the first half of the race, then fell back to around fourth until the final 10 laps.

With three laps to go, Van Strydonk regained second place and was gaining rapidly on leader Matt Schultz, who was on a Ski-doo. Van Strydonk was right on the leader’s snow flap for the final two laps, and the eventual champion dove low in turn three on the final lap for the decisive pass. Van Strydonk won the drag race down the home stretch to win the title by the length of a ski.

Snocross: Kody Kamm Wins Again

In other racing at Eagle River during World Championship weekend, Polaris snocross racer Kody Kamm (Hentges Racing) continued his incredible string of success in the 2011-2012 season. Kamm has won four of six Pro Lite finals on the ISOC circuit this winter, and he won the title at Eagle River. In the Pro Open snocross final, Ross Martin (Judnick Motorsports) finished second at Eagle River. Martin is the current Pro points leader on the ISOC circuit.

About Polaris

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicles accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polarisindustries.com.

MEDINA, MN – Upgrade your snowmobile jacket and feel good doing it during the Pure Polaris “Donate for a Discount” Sales Event that runs Jan. 9-Feb. 9, 2012. Bring your old jacket and bibs into a participating Polaris snowmobile dealership along with a coupon available online and you’ll receive up to $50 off when you purchase new riding gear. You get new gear at a discount and you help someone in need stay warm this winter.

The “Donate for a Discount” sales event is being held at participating Polaris dealerships in the United States and Canada and runs Jan. 9-Feb. 9, 2012.

To download the coupon you need to receive a discount when donating, visit: www.polarisindustries.com/en-us/snowmobiles/pages/2012-jacket-donation-coupon.aspx

Donate a used jacket – any brand – and receive a $35 discount on a new Polaris snowmobile jacket. Or donate a jacket and bibs – any brand – and receive a $50 discount on the purchase of a new Polaris jacket/bibs set. The collected jackets will be distributed to local and regional clothing distribution charities such as regional branches of Goodwill Industries International.

Learn more about Pure Polaris jackets, bibs and other apparel 24/7 at www.purepolaris.com.

About Polaris
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2010 sales of $1.99 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles (ORVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.

Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory and Indian motorcycle brands.

Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road ultra-light electric/hybrid vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) and Goupil Industrie SA, and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships.

Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicles accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polarisindustries.com.

MINNEAPOLIS, (December 2, 2011)—Polaris has chosen Progressive® Insurance as its preferred ATV, Side x Side, snowmobile and neighborhood vehicle insurer. By joining forces, Progressive—one of the country’s leading insurance providers—and Polaris—a leader in the power sports industry—are making it easier for riders to get coverage that protects them and their vehicles, both on and off their property.

“We’re working together so it’s not only easier for Polaris owners to buy affordable insurance, but to really understand what they’re buying,” said Progressive Product Manager, Charlotte Elek. “We’re available anytime by phone; and our website is filled with information to help Polaris owners make even smarter choices about coverage that protects them and their vehicle.”

“We are very excited to partner with Progressive,” said Polaris Financial Services Manager Kelly Clawson. “They will be able to serve our riders with years of power sports knowledge and experience.”

In addition to making it easy to understand and buy coverage, Progressive helps Polaris owners save and manage their money through a variety of features:

A variety of discounts—Customers save if they own a home, have a clean driving record, complete a safety course, pay in full—and more.

Disappearing deductibles—Customers reward themselves with a 25 percent reduction in their deductible for each claim-free renewal period. After four claim-free renewals, the deductible disappears altogether. Progressive offers this currently in 24 states, and will roll it out to all states in coming months.

Easy payment options—Customers can choose to pay in full; or pay in installments by electronic funds transfer, mail, online or over the phone.

To learn more and get a quote with Progressive, Polaris’ preferred insurer, visit http://www.progressive.com/polaris, or call 1-800-895-2880.

HALF MOON BAY, CA – GoPro today announced the release of its new HD HERO2 camera. Twice as powerful as GoPro’s original HD HERO camera, the HD HERO2 enables consumers and professionals to capture and broadcast their lives’ most exciting moments in professional quality 1080p HD video and 11 megapixel photos. The new HD HERO2 is now available at GoPro.com, specialty retailers around the world, and at Best Buy for MSRP $299.99.

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For more information, go to: www.gopro.com

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) applauds U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) for introducing a bill that calls for new research into the effects of certain ethanol-blended gasoline.

“The research sought by Representative Sensenbrenner is badly needed to ensure that new ethanol-gasoline blends won’t damage motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) engines,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “We are urging all concerned motorcycle and ATV riders to contact their lawmakers to ask them to support Representative Sensenbrenner’s bill: H.R. 3199.”

On Friday, Oct. 14, Sensenbrenner, who is vice chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, introduced H.R. 3199. The legislation would require the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek an independent scientific analysis of the effects of E15 — a new gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent alcohol by volume — on engines.

“The EPA’s decision to allow E15 into the marketplace will impact every American who owns a car, lawnmower or boat,” Sensenbrenner said. “Automakers insist that using E15 will void warranties, lower fuel efficiency and cause premature engine failure. In off-road engines, the effects can even be dangerous for users.

“There are serious concerns that the EPA used only one Department of Energy test and rushed E15′s introduction into the marketplace,” Sensenbrenner said. “This test was limited in scope and ignored a plethora of evidence — albeit inconvenient evidence for the EPA — that shows E15 gasoline has a negative effect on engines.”

The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle and ATV engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15 when the new fuel becomes widely available.

In a July 11 letter to the U.S. House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, the AMA, along with its partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), asked “that on- or off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles be part of any scientific study” into the effects of E15 sought by the subcommittee.

In October 2010, the EPA approved the use of E15 in model year 2007 and newer light-duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). Then, in January 2011, the EPA added model year 2001-2006 light-duty vehicles to the approved list.

No motorcycles or ATVs are currently on the list.

The AMA and ATVA have expressed concerns about E15 being mistakenly used and damaging engines in motorcycles and ATVs, and about the continued availability of gasoline that has no ethanol, or gasoline with only a 10 percent blend, that is safe for use in motorcycles and ATVs.

The organizations have also expressed concerns about the possibility that “blender pumps” that dispense multiple grades of gasoline through a single hose might introduce enough ethanol into gasoline to be used in a motorcycle or ATV to damage the vehicle; and that ethanol absorbs water, which could be harmful to motorcycles and ATVs.

To contact your federal lawmakers to urge them to support H.R. 3199 go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

DENVER – Applications for the 2012-2013 Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) State Trails Grants are now available. There is $4 million in grants available for projects related to the use of OHVs on lands open to the public. OHVs include trail motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and four-wheel drive vehicles. The grant application deadline is Dec. 1, 2011. The grant applications are available online at http://www.parks.state.co.us/OHVsandSnowmobiles/Pages/OHVsSnowmobiles.aspx

The grant funds are generated by OHV registration fees through the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Fund. OHV projects are also eligible for funding through the Federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP). Last year, $4.2 million in grants were awarded to 50 projects statewide.

The completed application packets should be submitted to Tom Metsa, OHV Program Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, at 13787 South Hwy 85, Littleton, Colorado 80125. The fax number is 303-470-0782. For additional information, contact Tom Metsa at Thomas.metsa@state.co.us

The Colorado State Trails Committee is composed of nine volunteer members appointed by the State Parks Board. The Colorado State Trails Committee includes a representative from each of the seven congressional districts, one at-large member each from the off-highway vehicle and snowmobile community and one member from the GOCO board.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife gets everyone outdoors! Attracting more than 12 million visitors per year, Colorado’s 42 State Parks are a vital cornerstone of Colorado’s economy and quality of life. Colorado State Parks encompass 224,447 land and water acres, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a leader in providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, protecting the state’s favorite landscapes, teaching generations about nature and partnering with communities. Colorado State Parks also manage more than 4,300 campsites, and 63 cabins and yurts. For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit www.parks.state.co.us.

Arctic Cat will celebrate the brand’s 50th Anniversary as thousands of loyal Arctic Cat enthusiasts converge upon Thief River Falls, MN on July 29th and 30th. The celebration will be open to the public and all events are free.

Arctic Cat’s 50th marks a major milestone which began in 1961 when Edgar Hetteen founded Polar Manufacturing in Thief River Falls. There he began producing snowmobiles that reflected his dreams. One year later he changed the company name to Arctic Cat, and began a series of innovations that transformed hulking snow “machines” into small, playful snowmobiles.

Arctic Cat has two days of non-stop activities planned with the central location sharing space between the Pennington County Fairgrounds and the REA Huck Olson arena complex.

MINNEAPOLIS — Two new mobile phone apps from Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) have hit the market for Apple iPhone/iPad and Android phones/tablets. Developed in partnership with Broadcast Weather, LLC, the new mobile apps combine Weather Nation’s interactive weather services with Google-based maps to enhance the riding experience for snowmobilers (the “Snow Trail” app) and Victory Motorcycles riders (the “Victory Rides” app).

Highlight features:

- View current location on snowmobile trails (Snow Trails) or U.S./Canada road maps (Victory Rides), with detailed weather conditions and forecasts

- Search for food, gas, places to stay, and Polaris/Victory dealers

- Track ride routes and share via Facebook and Twitter

Polaris is excited to continue developing innovative technology to equip and encourage riders as they pursue “The Way Out” on trails and the open road.

To learn more and to download the apps, visit the Android Market and the Apple Store online:

Snow Trails for Android
Snow Trails for iPhone

Victory Rides for Android
Victory Rides for iPhone

Blueribbon Coalition urging for input on Yellowstone Draft for winter use. See the full release below:

SITUATION
The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a Draft Winter Use Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft Plan/DEIS) for Yellowstone National Park. The purpose of the Winter Use Plan is to establish a management framework for Yellowstone’s unique and valuable winter recreational resources.

This plan will determine whether motorized winter use of the park (including wheeled motor vehicles, snowmobiles, and snowcoaches) is appropriate, and if so, the types, extent, and location of this use. A Winter Use Plan is needed at this time because: the NPS is deciding whether snowmobile use should continue, and if so, under what limits and restrictions. The EIS will evaluate the environmental effects of winter use on air quality and visibility, wildlife, natural soundscapes, employee and visitor health and safety, visitor experience, and socioeconomics.

The public comment period for the Draft Plan/DEIS ends July 18, 2011, and it is extremely important that the National Park Service hear from you.

SNOWMOBILERS YOU NEED TO COMMENT BY JULY 18.

NOTE: Comments may be submitted through the NPS web site, by mail, hand delivered to park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs, WY, or at one of the public meetings or webinars. (See schedule below.) Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.

PUBLIC MEETING SCHEDULE

Tuesday, June 7, 2011     6:30 – 9:30 p.m. MDT
Holiday Inn, 315 Yellowstone Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Wednesday, June 8, 2011     6:30 – 9:30 p.m. MDT
Holiday Inn, 5 Baxter Lane, Bozeman, MT 59715

Tuesday, June 21, 2011     6:30 – 9:30 p.m. MDT
Sheraton on Union, 360 Union Boulevard, Lakewood, CO 80228

Thursday June 23, 2011            6:30 – 9:30 p.m. EDT
DAR Presidents General’s Assembly Room, 1776 D Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006

The National Park Service intends to have a final EIS, a Record of Decision, and a final rule guiding winter use in place before the start of the 2011-2012 winter season.

For up-to-date information on the Yellowstone Winter Use Issue, go to our website www.saveyellowstonepark.com

For questions and other information, contact Al Nash or Dan Hottle at (307) 344-2015. More info is also available on the web at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/YELL

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
BlueRibbon  has formed the Yellowstone Task Force which is made up of state and national snowmobile leaders, the snowmobile industry, commercial tour operators, representatives from the affected gateway communities, and elected official at the county and state level. These groups have reviewed the plan and DEIS, and have suggested comments. Snowmobile enthusiast NEED to comment on the DEIS, and if you have ever been to Yellowstone, we need you to comment regarding your experience.

BRC’S THREE-STEP ACTION ITEM
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS:

NOTE: Please be polite and, if possible, make your comment letter as personal as you can.

STEP 1: Click on the following link, which will take you to the NPS comment webpage. http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?parkID=111&projectID=29281&documentID=40801
Read and follow the instructions for completing the Comment Form.

STEP 2: Use the comments suggestions below as a guideline for your comments. Cut and paste is okay, but try to make your comment letter as personal as possible.

STEP 3: Take just a minute to add a bit about where you live, any winter visits you have made to Yellowstone, how often you go, how long you have been riding in the area and/or how important the area is to you.

Once you have completed your comments, click the “Submit” button.

Optional:
You may also comment by mail to: Yellowstone National Park, Winter Use DEIS, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone NP, WY 82190.

NOTE: Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.

 

COMMENT SUGGESTIONS:

*Snowmobiles have been used to access Yellowstone National Park for over 45 years and should continue to provide a special form of Winter transportation.

I understand that when the National Park System was created by Congress there was a dual mandate that the Park Service: “promote” and “provide for the use and enjoyment” of park resources, and “leave unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” These are coequal, yet sometimes conflicting, mandates that require the NPS to balance both interests when making management decisions.

The Park Service needs to be more user friendly for both snowmobile and snowcoach operators and visitors.  The proposed preferred Alternative 7 is too limiting and more restrictive than in the past.  This seems to happen with each new EIS process.  What is the true goal of the Park Service for Yellowstone National Park and it’s Winter use?

*In the preferred Alternative 7, the number of daily entries into the Park ranges from 110 to 330; these numbers are too low.  A range of 400 to 480 would be more reasonable.

The current recommendation of variable limits with a maximum of 330 daily entries is too low.  If the Park Service wants to provide opportunity for both commercially guided and non-commercially guided snowmobile access to the Park the range of daily entries should to be increased to between 400 to 480 per day. Per the DEIS this daily entry range shows no adverse effects to the Park resources.

An entry cap creates actual lower daily entry numbers. How does the daily entry cap do this?  It is nearly impossible to fill to the last snowmobile when there is a cap.  If the cap were 20 per operator for West Yellowstone, as an example in 2010-11 season, and if the fill rate on average was only 77% of the 20 cap or 16 resulting in a loss of 4 entries into the Park, it would appear that the demand for entry into the park was down. However, the reason could be a group of five riders wanted to go together and you had only 4 machines left.

*Non-commercially guided access to the Park needs to be considered. The final alternative with increased daily limits needs a system to allow individuals to become certified non-commercial guides.

Not included in the preferred alternative is non-commercial guiding. Many potential visitors would like to guide their own family and not be forced to pay a commercial guide.  The cost of renting snowmobiles, most likely rental of clothing and the cost of a commercial guide, limits the affordability for many families.  If you remove the guide fees the family Yellowstone trip becomes more affordable, if the family has BAT machines and clothing it is very cost effective.

Looking back at an earlier final EIS decision for the 2004 season the Park Service had a system including reservations and on line training for non-commercial guided groups. That decision was never given a chance. The reason it never had a chance to work was a court action that enjoined the decision for the 2004 season and forced a special regulation to reopen the Park.

*Limiting daily entry into the Park to before 10:30 am will not work and could provide a negative experience for Park visitors.

I feel this will cause bunching, which could lead to a crowded condition.  It causes concentration of snowmobile and snowcoach traffic.  It seems that the resources would be protected better by dispersing traffic rather than consolidating it.  I would like to be able to enter the Park with a group for a half day trip starting at noon.

If I have to enter the Park before 10:30 am this would limit my options to see the Park. I want to have the option of arriving later that 10:30am: so why inflict one more limitation and reason not to come and visit the Park in winter.

*The variety of use levels concept with a range from 110 to 330 daily entries a day is too difficult for winter visitor to plan their trips.

Snowmobile and snowcoach operators need to be able to select peak-use days and non-peak-use days according to supply and demand, not the National Park Service variety of use levels concept. In addition, the winter visitor would have great difficulty in planning their winter vacation trip to Yellowstone with the variety of use concept.

The variable use limit concept is too restrictive, and it will result in a loss of 5,728 visitor snowmobile machine days compared to last year.  I figured last year’s limit at 318 and variety of use levels concept of 110 to 330 as proposed in Alternative 7, both at full usage of the available entries; the difference was 5,728 less machines in the Park, therefore a major decrease.