Sioux Falls, S.D. ~ The 2021 AMSOIL Championship Snocross, Powered by RAM Truck is now ten weeks old after a rousing night of racing at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The short-track still produced some of the biggest air of the season. But no matter what the conditions held at the Taylor & Martin Inc. Snocorss National, the best riders in the world showed up on Saturday night.
PRO: Ishoel Returns to Top Spot
Over the past three seasons, Elias Ishoel has proven that he knows how to bounce back after an off (relatively speaking) night. That trend continued in Sioux Falls where the Ski-Doo rider put in a clean final after a hard fought third on Friday.
Ishoel started the day with a second in his heat race but ran into issues in the second qualifier after a tough crash left him with a sixth place finish. The incident left the team scrambling to get ready for the final, but the BOSS Racing crew put the #200 sled back into winning condition.
From there it was all up to Ishoel, who got a solid start in second behind Hunter Patenaude, but quickly found his way into clean air by the end of lap one. After that it was vintage Ishoel, who led the field for what amounted to 25-laps in the ten-minute, plus to final. After picking up his seventh win of the season, Ishoel was quick to recognize his crew’s hard work after the heat race busted up his sled:
“This (win) was what I needed today. Thanks to my whole team. They were working so hard before the final just to get my sled out there. I made a big mistake in my second heat and got hit. My sled wasn’t really straight, but a big thanks for them for getting it ready.”
Patenaude’s Saturday seemed to get better and better as the day played out. After finishing seventh in his first heats, the Ski-Doo rider bounced back with a second in round two. In the final he used a great start to get the hole shot, and from there he kept pace with Ishoel before settling into his final finishing position of second. The runner-up finish was the rookies second trip to the podium in 2021.
Francis Pelletier’s day seemed to mirror that of Patenaude’s. A tough first heat was followed up with a third in the second round. In the final, Pelletier came out just behind the top two finishers off the start. He held off Aki Pihlaja early, then Kody Kamm (Polaris) late to finish with his second straight podium.
After starting eighth in the final, Kamm needed to work his way through some traffic on Saturday night to finish fourth. A pair of heat race wins has helped Kamm move into second overall behind Ishoel. Friday night winner Kyle Pallin rounded out the top five.
PRO LITE: Alread Alright in Pro Lite
Carson Alread is full of momentum. The Polaris ride has been inching up the leader board the past few rounds. Since Deadwood, the rookie has won five heat races and picked up his first two podiums of the season, including a third place finish on Friday night in Sioux Falls.
On Saturday, Alread was in control of the final after getting out front off the start and powering his way to his first career Pro Lite win. It marked the ninth different winner the class has seen in ten rounds this season, but for the Judnick Motorsports rider, it was a familiar feeling after a successful Sport career”
“(The win) felt pretty comfortable and I’ve been there before but it’s been a while, since the beginning of last year. Everything fell together tonight. Just getting past those first two heat races and getting a good, front-row start and not getting tangled with anyone. Then I just ran my laps and being consistent until the end.”
Ryley Bester had his best final of the season. After winning his second heat race, the Polaris rider was able to squeeze through a tight group on the start of the final and sat just behind his teammate Adam Peterson in third. By the next turn, Bester was in second and looking for the leader. After that, Bester didn’t miss a beat, finishing second and picking up his first podium of 2021.
Baily Frost put together a good day of racing in Sioux Falls on Saturday. The Polaris rider won his first qualifier and then worked through an early crowd in the final to get into the final podium spot. Frost held off Friday night winner Jordan Lebel for third, his first career Pro Lite podium.
Lebel was able to work his way through the field after starting 11th to finish fourth. Points leader Adam Peterson finished fifth.
PRO WOMEN: Andersen Gets Two in Sioux Falls
Malene Andersen may want to race in Sioux Falls every weekend. The Polaris rider picked up a pair of wins in South Dakota, including a dominant Pro AM Women win on Saturday night.
Points leader Megan Brodeur grabbed the hole shot, but the night belonged to Andersen, who raced to a 15-second win, her fifth of the season. Andersen was able to inch closer to Brodeur in the points race, now sitting just six points behind the defending champion. Inanna Hauger finished third.
Pro Snow Bike: Horbaty Gets Overall
He didn’t win a heat race on Saturday, but Friday night overall winner double down on Saturday by going 2-2 in Pro Snow Bike to take the overall.
Keaton Ward took the win in the first moto but finished third in Moto 2. That put him in a tie with Horbarty for the overall win, but Horbarty’s second place finish in the second moto was the tie-breaker.
Points leader Jesse Kirchmeyer gutted out a win in the second moto, but a fifth in moto one would put him into third overall on the night. Jacqueline Riess went 3-4 to finish fourth.
PRO AM PLUS 30: Lieders Adds to Streak
Andy Lieders has been nearly unbeatable in the Pro AM Plus 30 class this year, winning four of the five finals after another strong run on Saturday night.
Beau Tibbetts missed the podium on Friday by .25 of a second, but the Polaris rider made up for it by picking up his first win of the season on Saturday. Evan Christian finished second, with Kenny Mandryk crossing the line in third.
Points leader Kellen Chapuran made it a Sioux Falls sweep by winning the Sport Lite final on Saturday night. Kolton Krajicek finished second with Hayden Meyer rounding out the podium.
Avery Hemmer took home the 120 Champ win in Sioux Falls. Cody Moras finished second with Tavin Knudson in third.
Domenic Hegman won the Jr. 16-17 and the Jr. 14-15 finals on Saturday. Connor Campbell and Steven Maxx rounded out the Jr 14-15 podium. Tanner Zierden and Max finished out the Jr, 16-17 podium.
Tristian Hinton was the Stock 200 winner, finishing ahead of Aiden Beckmann and Ryan Shimanski.
Brady Freeland grabbed the Transition 9-13 win in Sioux Falls. Kenny Goike finished second and Isaac Peterson was third,
Freeland (second) and Goika (third) also found the podium Jr. 10-13, but it was Cameron Cole’s day as the points leader picked up his fourth win of the season.
Cerissa Blessum went wire-to-wire for the win in the Jr. Girls 9-13 final. Kendall Rose and Lainie King rounded out the podium.
Jimmy Stanisich won the Transition 8-10 final. Owen Eide and Rylan Nelson finished out the podium.
The series has just three weekends of racing left on the schedule. The national series heads back to Elk River, Minn. March 5-6. For more information, go to www.snocross.com.