Fargo, N.D. ~ The AMSOIL Championship Snocross series opener was met with whipping winds and a dominant showing at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in Fargo, N.D.
The All Finish Concrete Snocross National kicked off the new season with three full days of racing, including a Friday night return of the popular AMSOIL Dominator. The head-to-head event features the sports top Pro and Pro Lite riders in a winner-takes-all format that has historically opened the racing season.
The track at Fargo is one the largest, and longest, racers will encounter all year long. With only two drivers on track at one time during the AMSOIL Dominator, there are ample opportunities to find new lines and to change up riding techniques.
The first round saw 2021 winner and 2022 Pro Rookie of the Year Adam Peterson advance, as did Daniel Benham (def. Narsa), Emil Harr (def. 2022 winner Jordan Lebel), Francis Pelletier (def. Andy Pake), Hunter Patenaude (def. Jacob Yurk), Oskar Norum (def. Cole Cottew), and Kody Kamm (def. Logan Christian). The big upset of the evening came in the night’s first race, as Travis Kern stormed back and passed defending Pro champion Elias Ishoel with two turns to go.
Peterson slipped past Kern in round two, followed with wins Patenaude (Benham), Norum (Pelletier) and Kamm, who was head-to-head with Harr. It was Harr who might have had the highlight of the night, getting kicked off his sled while attempting a quadruple jump.
In the third round, Kamm continued to showcase a finesse riding style as he fought off the strong riding form Peterson. Patenaude would get the edge over Norum when Norum tried to sneak a ski past the race leader as they stormed into turn one. (Norum would best Peterson in the runner-up race, putting Norum into the final behind Kamm and Patenaude.
For Kamm, who won the event in 2017, he quickly ditched his smooth, finesse-driving style for a more aggressive, full-throttle attack. With a $10,000, winner-takes-all check on the line, he would need it to overcome Patenaude’s clean start. The two would briefly bump, but it was enough to knock Patenaude off his line and push Kamm into an unforgiving lead.
The physical final was a good omen for Kamm, who is looking for a return to the sports top rung.
“I made a couple of changes this preseason and I went back home and stayed home for a little bit more time with my family,” said Kamm after the win. “I just enjoyed it and gave my body a rest. I wasn’t feeling the best in practice. I was just uncomfortable, I guess. But I had the fast-time and here I am number one, so I can’t complain too much.”
Patenaude would finish second, holding off Norum on the final lap of the shoot-out.
Cottew Crawls Back for Opening Round Win
Taven Woodie looked strong, but the Closer, Malene Cottew kept pounding through the big rollers to notch the opening round win, her third straight Pro AM Women’s final victory.
Woodie took over the lead after railing around hole shot winner Ava McCurdy. Woodie was on point for much of the race, but Cottew found some big air and fast lines late in the race, overtaking the race leader on the start of the final lap. From there, Cottew seemed to find another gear as she cruised to the win.
“I was struggling finding my lines, but I just gathered myself and put my helmet down and kind of just went for it, and it worked out,” said Cottew.
Inanna Hauger moved up from a top five start to finish third.
Transition 9-13: The newly formed Skogquist Racing team started the season on a winning note as AJ Skogquist took the season opening Transition 9-13 class win on Friday night.
Skogquist grabbed the lead right away and was smooth all the way through as he picked up his first career class win.
2022 Transition 8-10 champion Riley Johnson took control of the runner-up spot for his first class podium. Jimmy Stanisich started tenth but was able to find his way around the pack on the final lap, holding off Carter Meyeraan at the finish line for the final podium position.
Rox Speed FX Stock 200: Tayte Blasey was a fist time winner in Stock 200 last season, and he now leads the points race after his opening round win in Fargo on Friday night.
Blasey led from the jump, stayed clear of the bumper cars behind him to cruise to the victory. Sammy Sheldon took hold of the runner-up spot with George Boettger crossing the line in third.
Jr. 14-15: After finishing second overall in the Junior 10-13 class last season, Brady Freeland moved up to challenge the Junior 14-15 class this year. It was a good move by Freeland who took over the lead on lap two before finding his way to the winner’s circle.
Freeland was pressured for much of the race by Dylan Lebel and defending (Friday night) class champion Isaac Peterson. Peterson was able to get around Lebel to put a late charge on Freeland before finishing second. Lebel would cross the line in third, edging Trenton Hilmerson for the final podium spot.
Transition 8-10: 2022 Stock 200 championRyan Shimanski took control of the Transition 8-10 final on the second lap and stretched his lead out over the field for his first win of the season. Trip Knudson finished second and Hudson Kuhn used a last lap charge to get through traffic and into third.