Elias Ishoel dominant in round four as another rookie wins in Pro Lite
The track built atop Snow King Mountain in Jackson, Wyoming was fast on Saturday night. So was Boss Racing’s Elias Ishoel. The nimble Norwegian came into round four of AMSOIL Championship Snocross POWERED by RAM as the points leader. He is heading home for the holidays the same way.
Ishoel was clearly the alpha dog at the Jackson Hole National. He was dominant in his heat races, winning both and headed into he final as the clear number one qualifier. Behind him, the field was trying to find consistency.
Ishoel grabbed the hole shot in the main event, and besides a brief battle with teammate Aki Pihlaja, and early pressure from Lincoln Lemieux, the Ski Doo rider was in complete control of the huge ruts, fast downhill and whooped out rhythm sections. After he picked up his second win of the year, he was jovial and spirited about how the day played out.
“I just try to go out and there and have fun. I do my best, it works good. The team has been working really hard and they make it easy for me.”
The Scandinavian also had to make good on a promise to his mother, who was celebrating her birthday on Saturday.
“I said I was going to race for her, and I felt I did a good job there,” joked Ishoel after the race.
While he led the entire race, there was a lot of jostling of positions behind him. Ski Doo’s Lemieux seemed poised to make a run for the top spot early on, but crashed on lap nine, sending him deep in the field before finishing eighth. Kody Kamm overcame a mid-pack start and pushed past Artctic Cat’s Johan Lidman for second after Lemieux left the fray. But the former champion couldn’t keep pace as Warnert Racing/Ski Doo teammates Adam Renheim and Tim Tremblay were on a tandem charge towards the podium. Both riders got past Kamm on lap 10, and held position through the checkered flag.
Pro Lite Surprises Again
Four races into the Pro Lite championship, and all early season predictions have been thrown out the window. For the second time this year a rookie has stood atop the podium as Arctic Cat’s Trent Wittwer picked up his first professional win.
For the first four laps of the final, a tug-o-war broke out between the top of the pack as five drivers diced up the sugary hilltop of Snow King Mountain. Wittwer was the early race leader, grabbing the Stud Boy Hole Shot and leading for three laps before fellow Arctic Cat rider Nisse Kjellstrom took control. Wittwer wasn’t done, catching Kjellstrom on lap seven and setting a blistering pace the rest of the way. Wittwer had high hopes coming into the weekend, despite a tough start in Duluth.
“You know, I busted my butt. A lot of people don’t do this year-round and I’ve been doing that, so it finally paid off,” said Wittwer after the race. “We just kept grinding and kept a positive attitude.”
The pace set at the front of the field was matched several spots down the leader board on Saturday night. Behind Wittwer and Kjellstrom was Ski Doo’s Francis Pelletier in third. Friday nights winner Leo Patenaude came across in fourth and Evan Daudt capped off a great night of racing as the number one qualifier finished fifth.
Ryley Bester, who won the opening round in Duluth, is the other rookie to have a Pro Lite win this season. Patenaude has the other two Pro Lite wins.
Woodies Racing has built a major presence in AMSOIL Championship Snocross over the past few years, and the family-backed team stepped up again this year by supporting their hometown race as the presenting sponsor of Jackson Hole.
But the biggest news for the team from the weekend was the winning ride of Taven Woodie in the Pro AM Women final. The 15-tear-old Arctic Cat driver literally held off all challengers on Saturday night. For the first half of the eight lap final, Woodie and Malene Anderson were bar-to-bar every time they crossed the finish line jump. Woodie was able to stretch her lead on Anderson after that, but with just two laps to go, points leader Megan Brodeur ratcheted up the pressure.
Brodeur had a tough start, getting caught up with a first-turn accident that collected two other sleds. But the defending points champion was able to get back on track, and caught Woodie with one lap remaining. Woodie held strong, ran clean lines and powered through the AMSOIL finish line for her first win of the year.
“Meghan kind of surprised me at the end,” said Woodie atop the podium. “I thought Malena was behind me the whole time, but I pushed my way through and I’m happy to have the hometown win.”
Saturday Night Notes:
- Arctic Cat’s Matt Pichner continues to find success in the Pro AM Plus 30 class. Pichner held off former Pro Open points champion Steve Martin for the win. Zach Pattyn, who won twice in the Duluth opener, finished third.
- Bailey Forst grabbed the hole shot and never looked back in the Sport final under the Snow King Mountain lights.
- Colton Davis slid onto the SnowBike podium with a strong effort. Davis picked up his first podium of the season ahead of Harris Huizinga and Jesse Kirchmeyer. Both Huizinga and Kirchmeyer had slow starts in the final. Huizinga finished second for the second straight night after starting ninth. Kirchmeyer, who won on Friday, battled back from a 12th place start.
- Jordan Lebel piloted the 511 Ski Doo to two wins at Jackson Hole. Lebel beat Drew Freeland in both the Jr. 14-15 and Sport Lite finals. Dylan Lebel won the Transition 8-10 main by more than 10 seconds.
- Logan Frattalone was without peer in the Jr. 16-17 class on Saturday night. Frattalone nearly lapped the entire field on his way to victory.
- Kellen Chapuran went wire-to-wire in Jr. 10-13. Tucker Haala and Cameron Cole rounded out the podium.
- Cooper Park started third in Stock 200, before getting past Tristian Hinton and Riley Johnson for the win.
- Shane Beasley won the 120 Champ final by more than seven seconds. The race behind him was a three-way sprint to the finish line between three riders, with Brady Freeland, Carter Meyeraan and Victoria Dillon coming across the stripe together, finishing in that order.
AMSOIL Championship Snocross, POWERED by Ram will be back in action as the tour shifts back to the Midwest for rounds five and six in Shakopee, Minn. Coverage of the series can be found on CBS Sports Network.