Featured Racer - Robbie Malinoski
Photos courtesy of OlahRacing.com
Racing at the top in the winter means chilling out in the summer for Robbie Malinoski. It's the good life.
"Yeah, you bet," he says.
He spent the summer of 2005 on and off of a dirt bike, after finishing the snowmobile circuit in third place in the pro stock national and fourth place in the pro open national. After two races this winter he's tied for second in pro open and a 15 point deficit means he's sitting in sixth for pro stock.
"We're actually right there. We're one point out from first in the open," he said.
The two races were both unusual after fog rolled in and cancelled the last day of the Duluth race. "It all got switched to Gaylord. They had two races in Gaylord. They finished up the Duluth rounds and then they went to the Gaylord rounds. We got to the track at 6 a.m. on Saturday and didn't leave until 11 at night. We got there again on Sunday at 6 a.m. and I didn't get out of there until 5. It was a long two days," he said. "It was definitely tough on the body and it was tough on the sleds, too. We had a lot of stuff go south on us but we got through it. Overall we did pretty good."
Malinoski has been fortunate and avoided injuries these past seasons. If that holds true and if he can make a lot of hole shots, this contender could be #1.
"I'm sitting pretty good in the options right now. It's pretty early to even be thinking about that. I'm getting ready for the Canterbury , which is on the 14 th . Hopefully we'll win some races and chase that championship," he added.
He'll race stronger this year, he said, because his team, Olah Racing, has had months to train in its new Minnesota facility.
"It's something else. It's huge," he said. "It's two snow guns and a groomer. And then inside we have a full gym. And then for the mechanics, we've got huge area for them to work on the machines. Then we have a wash bay for both semi trailers to drive right in and be washed up."
This all opened in the middle of last season and Malinoski said it's been smoother and stronger to spend time on it before this season. The off-season was spent weight training and riding motocross in Minnesota .
"We didn't do all the races, I just hit whatever and had fun with it," he said. "I did a lot of mountain biking, a lot of training." There was no day job and he didn't get back to his hometown of Humboldt , Saskatchewan often. It's Colorado that is looming in his mind. The X-games are waiting and pressure is high to win.
"It's the one that I always seem to have some bad luck in and I've never been able to do really well at it. And it's the one that the factories and teams put the most pressure on to win. I don't know if it's my favorite race, but it would definitely be great to win."
"He's finished third in Pro Stock overall and fourth in (Pro Open) overall, so that's pretty good for a first year as a full-out pro," said Terri Olah, co-owner of Olah Racing , based in Fergus falls, Minn. "This is his third year with us. He gets better and better each year."