HERMON, Maine (Jan. 29, 2018) – Vermont veteran Leo Patenaude swept the Pro class finals over the weekend, as East Coast Snocross (ECS) completed Rounds 3 and 4 on the 15-race 2018 campaign at Del Merritt’s famed Speedway 95.
Patenaude (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) slotted into second at the start of Saturday’s final and took the lead from Mike Pilotte (Team Southside/Polaris) at lap five. Pilotte settled for second, while former national Semi-Pro champion Montana Jess (Triple 9 Optics/Arctic Cat) filled out the podium.
On Sunday, Patenaude grabbed the Holeshot and led all 16 laps to complete the sweep. His margin of victory over Pilotte was over eight seconds, while Jess, of Westminster, Mass., capped a strong weekend with another third-place finish.
“The track was bigger this week with more room to pass,” Patenaude said. “I got in some pretty good battles, but I’m still just trying to have fun with it and stay in that frame of mind.
“After my bad wreck in practice on Saturday, I didn’t think it was going to be a good weekend. I just put it in the back of my mind and pushed myself through it. I feel better and better on the new sled every week, and I’m having more fun now than I’ve had in the past few years.”
Bradley Tatro (SBT Racing/Arctic Cat) notched his second Pro Lite win of 2018 on Saturday with another strong effort. The 18-year-old Stamford, Vermont, native edged Marco Travaglini (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) by two seconds for top honors, while Wade Acker was rock-solid in third.
On Sunday, Travaglini bounced back with his first Pro Lite win riding for longtime series team owners Ingles Performance/Ski-doo. Acker, of Bristol, Vermont, brought his No. 172 entry across the stripe in second, while Jared Gessner filled out the podium in third.
“I’m getting used to the new Ski-doo and am very comfortable on it now,” Travaglini said. “I know exactly what the sled is going to do. It felt awesome to get a win on an Ingles Performance machine, and I hope to earn many more in the future.”
In Pro Women’s action at Speedway 95, Alissah Ashline (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) continued her winning ways from Round 1 in Winchester. The Hartland, VT, athlete held off veteran Janell Smith for top honors on Saturday, while 2017 champion Kassie Thibodeau (Team Southside/Polaris) was third.
On Sunday, Ashline completed her first clean sweep of 2018 with home-state favorite Thibodeau settling for second. Smith capped another strong outing with a solid third-place performance. The Pro Women racers always fight hard for position, and Speedway 95 saw plenty of notable battles.
“I had a great weekend in Maine,” Ashline said. “I did well in qualifying and went into the Finals with a desire to win. I have some stiff competition in my class this year, so I was happy to get out in front early and stay there.”
Action in the Sport classes was exciting once again in Hermon. Connecticut-based veteran Connor Roscoe turned heads in his return to snocross, winning Saturday’s Sport Super Stock 600 final over Adam Levi (SBT Racing/Ski-doo, just .805 seconds back) and Matt Simonson.
On Sunday, Levi slotted into third at the start but took the lead at lap five and held on for top honors. Jesse Kirchmeyer settled for second, while Nathan Bourassa (Team Southside/Polaris) put in another strong effort to claim third.
Adam Ashline (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) was the man to beat in the Junior classes at Bangor. Ashline powered his way to victory in Saturday’s Jr. 16-17 Stock 600 final over Dillon Powles (SBT Racing/Ski-doo) and Chance Tietjen). Tietjen crossed the line in second on Sunday, while Kolton Gillilan filled out the podium in third.
Ashline prevailed in Saturday’s Jr. 14-15 Stock 600 final as well, with Powles and Eddie Trottier crossing the line in second and third, respectively. On Sunday, Tietjen settled for second while western Massachusetts racer Bryce Little came home with a solid third-place finish.
Other final round winners over the weekend at Speedway 95 include Nathan Bourassa (Plus 25/35 Sat./Sun.); Wesley Ganchou (Jr. 7-14 Improved 200 Sat.); Aiden Reynolds (Jr. 7-14 Improved 200 Sun.); and Matt Simonson (Sport Super Stock Weekend). Congratulations to all of our final round winners, we know the competition was stiff across the board last weekend.
East Coast Snocross would like to thank the Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) Foundation for hosting our series once again in the greater Bangor area. Officials would also like to extend a special thank you to local sponsors Lane Construction and Dysart’s, who made it all happen. A big thanks also goes out to Nick Huff and Speedway 95, which proved to be a great venue for snocross.
The East Coast Snocross Conx2share Series, presented by Woody’s Traction and FXR, is an ISR-affiliated sanctioning body for snowmobile racing in the northeastern United States. ECS maintains a regional circuit intended to keep grassroots snocross racing healthy in this part of the country, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow’s factory-backed national Pro teams.
After a well deserved weekend off to rest and recharge the batteries, the series returns to action on Feb. 10-11 at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Warrensburg, New York, for Rounds five and six.
For full results from Speedway 95 or more information, please go to www.eastcoastsnocross.com.