Polaris Snowmobile Racers Gunning For Titles: SnoCross Preview
“We direct a lot of resources toward winning in Snocross, and fortunately we’ve been successful there. But we are also committed to winning in other disciplines, and we really like the racers we have on Polaris sleds in ovals, cross-country and hillclimbs,” said Polaris Racing Manager Tom Rager, Sr.
Hentges Racing and Judnick Motorsports have formed a technical alliance so they will completely share sled data and will pool resources for sled construction. Tim Bender will serve as Technical Director for both teams, whose racers have consistently finished near the top of the points standings in recent seasons. The two teams are based in the Polaris Race Shop in Wausau, Wisconsin.
On the ISOC circuit last season, the Hentges Racing Pro racers finished 1-2-3 in Pro Open, and they finished in first and third in Pro Super Stock. TJ Gulla won Pro Open and was third in Super Stock, while Levi Lavallee won the Super Stock title and was third in Open. Brett Bender (left) took second in Open points and was named Pro Rookie of the Year.
Defending ISOC Pro Super Stock champion Levi Lavallee (right) is launching his own team this winter. The former Hentges Racing team member will be based in the Wausau shop with the Hentges and Judnick teams, and he will benefit from being part of the technical alliance that will have Tim Bender overseeing development of his race sleds. Team Lavallee Motorsports will have LaVallee running in Pro classes and Chris Kafka in the Semi-Pro classes.
Judnick Motorsports will be back at full strength this year with Ross Martin’s full recovery from a broken hip he suffered in a Winter X Games practice last winter. The past champion in the Pro Open class expects to be at full strength before the race season starts. Teammate Matt Judnick had a strong season last winter and is poised to rise in the Pro points races this year.
Scheuring Speed Sports has a new look with two new Pro racers, Robbie Malinoski and Andrew Johnstad. Malinoski is a past champion in both Pro classes and Johnstad is a second-year Pro two years removed from being Semi-Pro Racer of the Year, so the team is gunning for consistent podium finishes and points titles.
Dave Joanis (right) of the Bourque’s Polaris Snocross Racing Team will compete on the entire ISOC schedule after finishing second in both Pro classes on the CSRA circuit (both national and regional) in Canada last winter. The Ontario-based team dominated the Canadian snocross circuit last season. In his six seasons of racing, the 17-year-old Joanis has won national titles in the Junior, Sport and Semi-Pro classes, so a Pro title is his next goal.
Danny Poirier of St. Johnsville, New York-based Hulten Speed Sports/JoJo Energy dominated the Rock Maple Racing (RMR) circuit last season, winning both Pro titles and winning every Pro Open final he ran in. He plans to run the RMR circuit and compete on the ISOC circuit, as will his new teammate, Bobby LePage, who finished third in ISOC’s Semi-Pro Open last winter.
Idaho-based Leighton Motorsports will expand its schedule this winter and all three racers – Semi-Pro Colby Crapo, Stephen Edwards in Sport classes and Trevor Leighton in Juniors – will run the entire ISOC schedule. They will also compete in Mountain West Racing (MWR) events as their schedule permits. Crapo swept both MWR Pro titles last winter while Edwards won both Semi-Pro classes.
A strong force on the Rock Maple Racing circuit will be Team Southside Racing. The team operates out of South Side Sales & Service in North Adams, Massachusetts, and team owners Cathy and Bruce Gaspardi, sr., operate the Polaris Racing Support trailer that provides parts and assistance at race tracks. Their team fields racers in virtually every class, from Juniors to Pros.
The Star Performance team returns to racing after a brief hiatus. Jayme Cheney will manage the team and serve as crew chief. Derek Ellis and Kyle Fiebelkorn will compete on the ISOC circuit in the Semi- Pro classes while James Johnstad runs the Sport classes.
Two-time Women’s Super Stock points champion Kylie Abrahamson will resume her racing career as a privateer this winter. The former Avalanche Racing racer broke her wrist in last season’s second race, at Ironwood, Michigan, and she was out for the remainder of the season. Abrahamson won her national titles in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. Her father, Paul Abrahamson, will be her crew chief.