Cannonsburg, Mich. ~ The final chase for AMSOIL Championship Snocross supremacy is upon us as the final two weekends of racing kicked off Friday night in Cannonsburg, Mich.
Four nights and four rounds of racing will help determine the 2023 National Champions. With a new format for the Pro class (three races each night called the Triple Crown) and key battles across the entire spectrum of snocross racing, there are lots of laps left to see who stands atop the sport at the end of the season.
A Triple for Harr in Pro Win
The Triple Crown format unveiled in Elk River two weeks ago puts the Pro class on track for three timed finals, each finish counting towards that night’s overall. Simply put, the rider with the lowest points based on the finishing order wins the night.
Emil Harr made the math look easy on Friday night. Harr, who won the inaugural Triple Crown in Minnesota, was flawless in Michigan. He worked towards the front of the field early in each race, used his size and strength to absorb the roughed-up track, and cruised to three wins to take the overall.
“I had a lot of fun tonight, for sure,” said Harr. “My team, and Polaris, had my sled dialed in. My sled is perfect and, yeah, we had a really good day today with the three wins. I’m super happy with that.”
Harr faced challenges in the first two races from Ski-Doo’s Hunter Patenaude. The three-time race winner this season needed a little luck and a clean start in the third and final run of the night, but he was pinched off in the first turn and had to work his way back into a sixth-place finish. It was still a solid night for Patenaude, who finished second overall.
Several riders had a shot at the final podium spot on Friday night, but it was a pleasant ride in the third stanza that put former Winter X Games gold medalist Petter Narsa into third overall. Narsa, who finished 7-5 in the first two races, was smooth in the last race and reached his first podium of the year.
Pro Lite Leader Takes Twelfth Win of the Year
By the time the Pro Lite class lined up for their final on Friday night, the track and Cannonsburg had been beaten and batter from a full day of racing. Starts are always important, but line choice falls a close second and very few riders in the class see lines as well as defending champion Jordan Lebel.
The final was a perfect mix of a clean start and an expert reading of the track conditions. Lebel led from the start and with clear vision, was able to see the same lines that propelled him to a pair of heat wins earlier in the night. With the sun setting in the background, he would cruise through the Michigan air for his twelfth win of the season.
“I just tried to hold the same lines from my heat race,” said Lebel. “I had some really good lines in the heat races, and I thought they would be pretty good lines in the final. So, yeah, pretty happy with the final.”
If not for Lebel, Ryley Bester would be having an unforgettable season, but for the eighth time in 2023, Bester played the role of runner-up. He got around Evan Duadt on the second lap and kept in touch with Lebel before finding his rhythm and riding to a second-place finish.
Duadt, meanwhile, put together another strong race. The round 11 winner came through turn one even with Lebel but dropped back to third behind Bester. He was only a few sled lengths behind the second-place rider and finished on the podium for the fourth time this season.
Cottew Slips Past Woodie for Fifth Straight Win
Taven Woodie vowed to win the final four races of the year and was poised to do so until the final laps in Cannonsburg on Friday.
Woodie was able to sneak into the lead coming out of turn one, with points leader Malene Cottew getting caught up in the scrum. Woodie was smooth and stretched her lead out while Cottew had to work her way into the runner-up spot. The turning point of the race came over the final few laps as the leaders started navigating through lapped traffic, allowing Cottew to close in on Woodie.
With less than two laps to go, Woodie found the edge of the track and slipped off it. That put Cottew into the lead, where she was able to race uncontested for her fifth straight win. Woodie was able to get back into the race cleanly, finishing second. Tausha Lange finished third.
FXR SPORT: Craydon Dillon pitched a perfect game in Michigan on Friday, winning both of his heat races and taking the FXR Sport final win.
Dillon had to work his way around Emil Mikalsen on the second lap and then stretched his lead out to a ten-second win. For Dillon, he continues to lead the points after round 13, thanks to his now class-leading nine wins.
Round 11 winner Mikalsen never dropped below the runner-up spot on Friday night, earning his fourth podium of the season. Tyler Archambault started fifth in the final and worked his way into the third position with three laps remaining for his eighth podium of the year.
SPORT LITE: Points leader Brandon Nelson went wire-to-wire for his seventh Sport Lite win of the season.
Nelson grabbed the lead off the tight first turn and pulled away from the field for his second straight victory. Kenny Goike’s runner-up finish on Friday was his first trip to the podium since round nine. Round 12 winner Dylan Lebel finished third.
Transition 9-13 (Friday): Gavin Brault became the newest winner in snocross on Friday night, taking home a commanding win in the Transition 9-13 (Friday) final.
Brault led the field from the start and stretched his lead out to a 12-plus-second victory. Part of that lead came because of a three-way battle for third. Points leader Tavin Knudson was able to get around Wyatt Ohnstad on the final lap for second, and AJ Skogquist also moved up a spot on the last lap to finish third.
Rox Speed FX Stock 200 (Friday): Brock Wilson made his AMSOIL Championship Snocross national debut a successful one as he took home the Rox Speed FX Stock 200 win on Friday night.
Paul Richard also raced with the series for the first time in 2023, finishing second. Current points leader Jack Gelinas finished third.
Transition 8-10 (Friday): Ryan Shimanski moved into the lead on lap three and led for the duration, picking up his sixth win of the season in Transition 8-10 (Friday). For the second race in a row, Logan Bruch led early, before finishing in second. Noah Gillis made his first appearance on the Transition 8-10 podium by finishing in third.
Jr. 14-15 (Friday): Dylan Lebel has closed the gap in the Junior 14-15 (Friday) points race thanks to his second straight win. Lebel led from start to finish as he picked up his third win of the year.
Kamden Duffy followed Lebel around for the entire race, picking up his first podium of the season in second. Caiden Pflipsen finished third, just ahead of points leader Isaac Peterson, who now holds a three-point lead over Lebel.
Up next for AMSOIL Championship Snocross: Cannonsburg Snocross National in Cannonsburg, Mich. on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
You can watch all 16 rounds of the AMSOIL Championship Snocross season plus the AMSOIL Dominator live on FloRacing with a subscription. For more information on how you can follow along this season, click here.