January 8th & 9th 2021 ERX Motor Park
Writing and Photos by Crystal Wallem Photography
Over the weekend, Amsoil Championship Snocross kicked off the season at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota—the first time in almost 30 years that Snocross did not hold the season opener in Duluth. Due to ongoing COVID restrictions in the state of Minnesota, no spectators were permitted to attend the opening race weekend. Thank goodness for the Livestream!
After an abrupt halt to the 2019-2020 season and a delayed January start to the 2021 season due to COVID restrictions, racers had an extended off-season providing ample time for prep and practice prior to the season opener. The 2021 season will be condensed, fitting 16 rounds of racing within only 12 weeks.
ERX dished out a massive track—one of the largest we’ve seen in the series—which was mastered by FXR athletes who brought home a whopping 41 medals over the weekend.
Easton Kuhn, aboard his Arctic Cat with #7 plates, placed 2-4 in his heat races Saturday morning. Kuhn rounded off the weekend in the #2 spot in the final.
Wesley Ganchou #81X had an exciting start to the season scoring a perfect 1-1-1 on Saturday.
Consistency is key, and Tavin Knudson #722 proved to be exactly that after going 2-2 in his heats on Saturday. With a sweet no-footer over the finish line, Knudson claimed 2nd in the final.
After a 10th place finish in her first heat, Avery Hemmer #415 had a massive comeback placing 1st in her second heat as well as in the final.
After going 1-2 in his heat races, Zach Miller #261 scored a 3rd place podium finish in the Transition 8-10 final.
Owen Eide #251 placed 2-1 in his heat races Saturday morning, moving on to score the big win in the final.
JR GIRLS 9-13
Ava McCurdy #42 started the season off strong, going 2-3 in her heats and placing 3rd in the JR Girls 9-13 final
After a 1-2 finish in her heat races Saturday morning, Kendall Rose #120 went on to score 2nd in the final.
No stranger to the podium, Cameron Cole #747 is back on the box with a 3rd place finish in Saturday’s Transition 9-13 final.
Quick and consistent, Brady Freeland #831 placed an impressive 2-2-2 in the Transition 9-13 class over the weekend.
Tanner Johnson #313 scored a perfect 1-1-1.
Back on the box for the second time in one day is Brady Freeland #831 with another 2nd place podium finish after going 1-1 in his heat races.
Tanner Johnson #313 had another perfect 1-1-1 sweep in the JR 10-13 class after scoring a perfect 1-1-1 in the Transition 9-13 class. Not a bad day!
Thomas Levi #708 placed 4-2 in his heat races and went on to take the #3 spot in the JR 14-15 final.
After going 2-1 in his heats, Domenic Hegman #113 claimed 2nd place in the final.
Domenic Hegman #113 made his second podium appearance of the day, placing 2nd in the final after going 2-2 in his heat races.
Chance Tietjen #500 looked strong and confident aboard his Ski-Doo, scoring a perfect 1-1 in his heat races. Tietjen kept the momentum going into the final where he took the win.
PRO LITE SNOWBIKE
Steven Max #42 claimed the #1 spot on the box in both Friday and Saturday’s Pro Lite Snowbike class.
In Friday’s Sport Lite class, Chance Tietjen #500 went 2-1 in his heat races and went on to score a 3rd place podium finish. After placing 5-1 in his heat races on Saturday, Tietjen was off to a great start in the final, leading off the line, when he unfortunately suffered a first lap crash resulting in the race being red flagged and a broken leg for Tietjen.
Kellen Chapuran #254 has been a familiar face on the podium over the past few seasons, and the 2021 season is proving to be no different. Chapuran went 1-3 in his heats on Friday and placed 2nd in the final. On Saturday, Chapuran scored a perfect 1-1-1.
Beau Tibbetts #223, aboard his Polaris sled, went 2-3 in his heat races and claimed the #3 spot in Friday night’s Sport final.
Kenny Mandryk #102 has a history of success in this sport with numerous podium finishes over the years. Mandryk scored the big win in Friday night’s Sport final after placing 5-1 in his heats. Unfortunately, Mandryk found himself in a first lap tangle in Saturday night’s Sport final resulting in a 10th place finish.
Eli Epling #530 rode strong and confident, placing 1-4 in his heat races on Saturday. Epling went on to snag the #2 spot on the box in Saturday night’s Sport final.
Kyle Kunstman #107 is the epitome of “hard work pays off.” This past weekend marked the start of Kunstman’s 13th season racing Snocross. Over the course of just the last year, Kunstman has spent 100+ days living out of his truck at practice tracks, putting in as much time and effort as he can with the help of his highly-dedicated dad. All of their hard work paid off over the weekend when Kunstman claimed double podium finishes—2 nd on Friday and the big win on Saturday.
PRO AM PLUS 30
Andy Lieder’s #57 dominated the Pro Am Plus 30 class over the weekend, scoring a perfect 1-1 in his heat races as well as 1st place in Saturday night’s final.
Troy Horbaty #157 had a successful weekend, snagging podium finishes both Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday, Horbaty placed 3-3 in his moto’s which resulted in 3 rd overall. In Saturday’s Pro Snowbike class, Horbaty went 2-3 in his moto’s and went on to finish 3rd overall.
Jesse Kirchmeyer #1, affectionately known as The Cowboy, had a perfect weekend. Aboard his Timbersled iron horse, Kirchmeyer scored 1-1 in his moto’s both Friday and Saturday, resulting in double overall wins to round off the weekend.
PRO AM WOMEN
Woodies Racing’s Taven Woodie #873 has always been a force to be reckoned with. Woodie started the 2021 season off strong, placing 3-2 in her heats on Friday and scoring 2nd in the final. Woodie kept her momentum going into Day 2, going 3-1 in her heats and landing in 3rd in Saturday night’s Pro Am Women final.
Norwegian native, Malene Andersen #93 is no stranger to success. Andersen went 2-1 in her heats on Friday and snagged a 3rd place podium finish in the final. After going 2-1 in her heats on Saturday, Andersen qualified #1 for Saturday night’s final where she raced fast and flawlessly, resulting in the big win. Andersen is currently second in points, only 3 points behind Megan Brodeur.
Taylor Cole #714 was smooth and confident, placing 2-1 in his heats on Friday and scoring an exciting 3rd place podium finish in the final. Cole is currently sitting 3rd in points.
Team LaVallee’s Adam Peterson #113 is shaping up to be a serious threat in the Pro Lite class after scoring impressively in his heat races over the weekend as well as double podium finishes. In Friday night’s Pro Lite final, Peterson charged hard, and with a huge heel clicker over the finish, claimed the win. Peterson kept the momentum rolling into day 2 where he snagged a 2nd place podium finish in Saturday night’s final. Peterson has a total of 80 overall points—sitting in 2 nd, only 1 point behind 1st place.
Sweden native Oskar Norum #40 rode a tough couple of races on Friday, going 8-6 in his heats, which sent him to battle through the LCQ for a back-row start in the final where he finished in 6th. On Saturday, Norum navigated through dense snow dust, accepting a 7th place finish in heat 1 and improving to 2nd in heat 2. In Saturday night’s final, the Hentges Racing rider’s Polaris sled propelled him to a good start. Norum rounded off the weekend with a 3rd place podium finish. Norum is now sitting 5th in points.
After a 1-2 finish in his heat races, Boss Racing’s Elias Ishoel #200 was off to a good start until first-turn turmoil ensued in Friday night’s Pro final, costing him greatly and resulting in 14th for the night. Ishoel walked away healthy, but unhappy. On Saturday, the two-time defending Pro champ was looking for better results, and he got them. Ishoel went a solid 3-1 in his heat races, setting himself up nicely for the final where he quickly charged into 2nd place. Ishoel was only a second behind the leader, narrowing in on the pass, when the leader was black-flagged, moving Ishoel to 1st which is where he remained to the checkers. Ishoel is currently 2nd in points.
We have a quick turn-around this week, heading straight to Dubuque, Iowa for rounds 3 & 4 on January 15th and 16th . Hope to see you there!