AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series interview: Polaris’ Ross Martin

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Trouble @ ERX sets Martin further back of o/a point leader Tremblay, but does not deter Martin’s hunger to sweep Lake Geneva this Fri/Sat 

For more information contact:
Pat Schutte, PR Director, ISOC Racing

MINNEAPOLIS (March 13, 2012) – The 2011-’12 AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series’ premier Pro Open class championship looked to be going doing to the wire this weekend in Lake Geneva, Wisc. But a freak occurrence with Pro Open class Ross Martin’s Polaris sled on the opening night at Minnesota’s Extreme Motor Park (ERX) may have all but dashed the hopes of another championship for the former ACSS Pro Open class title holder.

Running up near the front in pursuit of then race leader Robbie Malinoski, Martin’s sled – in an instant – came to a stop on the side of the track, almost as if he’d pulled up to a red light. But on Martin’s sled there was no lights … given there was now no spark, as he’ll explain here in a bit.

Martin tore his goggles off and chucked them in disgust, understandably extremely frustrated with what just occurred. In the fickle world of motorsports title hopes can be dashed – even when all systems seem to be ‘GO!’ and you’re running well, putting up hyper-fast lap times.

And that’s just it … the ACSS Pro Open title is Tremblay’s to lose now. Both Martin and Malinoski had a legitimate shot at it, but with Malinoski’s DNF on Saturday (crash), Tremblay – for now – appears to be in the clear. That said Martin feels he has something to prove this weekend as he prepares to do battle with the aforementioned riders – along with defending champ, Tucker Hibbert. In fact it was Hibbert that Martin handed the overall win to on Saturday at ERX with an innocuous tip over late in the race after he and Hibbert put up some of the best back-and-forth Pro Open racing fans of ACCS have seen all winter long.

Martin was gracious enough to field a few questions from the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series, not only explaining what happened on Friday at ERX – and what was going through his head at the time – but also how pumped he is to race this weekend at his home track in Lake Geneva.

ACSS: Ross, great race on Saturday between you and Tucker … that had to be one of the most intense battles we’ve seen all year on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series. Was it as fun to race as it was to watch?

Ross Martin: This was definitely one of the funnest battles I can remember. I felt really good all day and I knew that I was ready for the final. I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that I could run the pace, I just needed to put smooth lines together. This was definitely my kind of track. I like the technical tracks because it separates the riders more.

ACSS: Rewind to Friday night. I think every fan at ERX in Elk River (Minn.) – and the thousands watching the event live on line through – had a lump in their throat when your sled broke. As hard as it is for you, take us back to that moment and tell us what was going through your head.

Ross Martin: I was really bummed when my sled broke because I knew it would put me farther back in the championship chase. I knew what I had to do at ERX and that was win. I positioned myself to do just that and then the unthinkable happened. My sled quit running while I was in second place, with the first place spot in reach.

ACSS: Your Polaris had run flawlessly up to that point – and did again on Saturday. Have team officials figure out what happened to cause your sled to malfunction on Friday?

Ross Martin: The magnets on the flywheel flew off and took out the electrical wiring in the stator which meant that my sled had no spark. In all our years of racing, our team has never seen anything like this happen.

ACSS: That’s tough, man. Between Tucker and his kill cord incidents, Robbie Malinoski’s crash and your bad luck on Friday, seems the title chase came down to a bit of luck in the consistency department. Is it fair to say that, if Tim Tremblay holds on to win the ACSS Pro Open title, that he was the most consistent – vs. being the fastest – racer this season?

Ross Martin: I believe that racing has a lot to do with consistency and luck. I feel like the things that took me out of the championship this season were beyond my control and are all a part of racing. The fastest guy doesn’t always win when it comes down to it.

ACSS: Well put. Tim’s said he has no plans to play it safe at Lake Geneva. That said, if it comes down to holding his line – and maybe getting punted over a berm – in all likelihood he’ll back ‘er down a bit. So the battle up front at Lake Geneva should come down to you and Tucker again, with Robbie right in there as well. Would a 1st/1st Ross Martin sweep this weekend lessen the sting a bit from the Friday incident at Elk River?

Ross Martin: Two wins this weekend in my home town at my favorite track would definitely make things exciting. Our team knows it is very possible and that’s what we are going there to do. It should be one heck of an experience racing Snocross in 70 degree weather. I can’t say I have ever done that before but we will see how it goes. I’m going for the wins this weekend!

ACSS: Right on. Good luck to you this weekend, Ross.

Ross Martin: Thank you. And thanks to all my sponsors, including: DuPont, Jack Links Beef Jerky, Amsoil, Polaris, Motorfist, SSI, Fly, Fox, EVS, Factory Pipe, Stud Boy, Renton Coil Springs,  Jeff Foster Trucking, C&A Pro, HMK, C-Tech, Link Ford, Camoplast, Champion, Mitsuboshi and Sportech.

Next up …

Who: World’s top snowmobile racers, including Wisconsin’s own Ross Martin, hard-charger Robbie Malinoski, Canadian Tim Tremblay, defending ’11 champ Tucker Hibbert and New Year’s eve snowmobile jumping legend Levi LaVallee

What: Final rounds of the 2011-’12 AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series

When: March 16, 17 & 18, 2012

Times: Friday’s amateur day. Pro class racing begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, noon on Sunday

Where: Grand Geneva (Wis.) Resort & Spa …

ISOC/ACSS photos by Gary Walton

About ISOC Racing

The International Series of Champions (ISOC) is the premier snowmobile race sanctioning organization in North America and sanctions the national AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series, in addition to affiliating with nine regional circuits. Visit for more information, fan and racer memberships, schedule details and more.