Cannonsburg, Mich. ~ In show business, the idea that the “show must go on” comes from the belief that no matter what problems may persist, the performance will continue to entertain.
For round 14 of AMSOIL Championship Snocross, heavy rain was present when fans and competitors awoke in Cannosburg, Mich. on Saturday morning. While it would dissipate as the day inched towards night, the water left behind meant a completely different track set-up that racers saw on Friday night.
No matter for the top professional snocross racers in the world, who put on a spectacular show for the Cannonsburg crowd. With just one weekend of racing now left on the 2023 calendar, a successful Saturday in Michigan would go a long way toward becoming a snocross champion.
Harr Has Triple Crown Format Figured Out in Michigan
Either the new Triple Crown agrees with Emil Harr, or racing in Michigan is just like racing back home in Sweden. Either way, Harr held a masters class on how to win Pro-level snocross races this weekend.
No matter what the night through at him, Harr was once again unbeatable in Cannonsburg on Saturday night. Just one night after sweeping the Pro Triple Crown races, Harr went undefeated in all three races in round fourteen.
He had pressure from Kody Kamm and Elias Ishoel in all three contests but used his size and strength to put his sled in difficult positions and pull out of close calls that the wet, shifting track continuously threw at him. His three wins on Saturday, coupled with the three he took on Friday, pushed Harr into second overall and ate away 34 points from Ishoel’s overall points lead.
“This is just unbelievable,” said Harr. “I had fun the whole week. The speed was there, and all the time my sled was super-fast, and the suspension was awesome. The team took care of everything, and I just had fun out there.”
Both Kamm and Ishoel were in line for the overall on Saturday night, and both had opportunities to win any three of the races. Kamm would take second overall after finishing 3-2-2. He charged hard in the first race and pressured for the race win in the third. Despite this being only his third podium appearance this season, Kamm still sits third overall.
Ishoel continued to attack as he tries to lock down his fifth straight championship. He was second in the first heat and was leading in the second race before his hand came off the sled and he almost toppled over the handlebars. He was able to get back on his sled and finished third, the same finishing position he took in the final race of the night.
Pake Picks Up Pro Lite Win
Andy Pake came into Saturday night’s final with a major amount of momentum. He earned the pole as the number one qualifier and vaulted off of the start line and into the lead.
But like so many of the challengers in this year’s Pro Lite class, he quickly had to deal with Jordan Lebel. The defending champion hasn’t gotten every hole shot in 2023, but he has led more laps than any snocross racer on the planet. That trend continued on Saturday as Lebel found a small opening on the second lap and stormed past Pake.
Lebel looked comfortable out front and Pake kept pace in second for much of the race. But the unexpected happened late in the final when Lebel was doubling down the ski hill and he suddenly augured his sled into the downslope, likely due to a broken belt that halted his momentum.
With Lebel down, Pake moved up and into the lead. He would run out the remaining 1:30 on the clock and run clean on the extra lap to take home his first win of the season while becoming just the second rider to best Lebel in 2023.
“On the start, I kind of had a plan and Jordan got around me right away,” said Lebel. “I was trying to follow him and unfortunately, he went down. After that, I was just trying to keep upright and kind of had my own race.”
With Pake out front, there was a spectacular race between Baily Forst and Marcus Ogemar. Late in the race, Forst was able to inch away from Ogemar and moved into second after Lebel’s crash. But the pressure on Forst wasn’t done as Anson Scheele came screaming in from the back. Scheele actually hit the first turn before any other sleds, but he was pushed wide and off the track. He went on a tear after getting back into the race and screamed towards the leaders, first getting past Ogemar on the final lap and then catching Forst in the final turns. But Forst locked down the runner-up spot by keeping Scheele in his roost. It marked Forst’s first podium of the season, and just the third trip to the box this season for Scheele.
Cottew Completes Weekend Sweep
It was another dominant night for Malene Cottew in Michigan. The defending four-time champion pushed her winning streak to six and added her career win column, bringing her total to 39 career Pro AM Women wins.
Cottew set the pace off the start, grabbing the hole shot and taking a lead she never relinquished. Behind the points leader, Inanna Hauger and Tausha Lange went bar-to-bar to the bitter end. As the checkered flag came out, it was Hauger in second, just ahead of Lange.
From Last to First for Lieders
Andy Lieders made something extremely difficult look extremely easy in the Pro AM Plus 30 final on Saturday night.
Lieders came into the final as the number one qualifier and had an optimal starting position on the far inside of the line. But Lieders would jump the green light and have to quickly check up to let the entire field ride by before he could reengage in the race.
Lieders went to work in a necessary hurry. He passed four sleds on the first lap and was able to click past defending champion and race leader Devin Denman with two laps to go. It marked Lieders sixth win of the season and helped him extend his points lead over Denman, (who finished second), to 21 points with one round remaining. Scott Doll picked up his second podium of the season by finishing third.
FXR SPORT: Cameron Cole got the hole shot, but Crayden Dillon found the smooth way around to take the lead away on the second lap of the FXR Sport final.
Dillon navigated the rough track with ease as he pulled away for his class-leading night win of the season. Dillon was also able to extend his points lead over Drew Freeland to 71 points. Freeland finished third on Saturday after putting pressure on second-place finisher Cole.
SPORT LITE: One night after just missing the podium with a fourth-place finish, Brady Freeland left little doubt about who was going to win the Sport Lite final on Saturday.
Freeland was first to turn one and then found a quick line on the second lap to pull away from the pack. The win marked his second win of the season.
Dylan Lebel, meanwhile, picked up his second podium finish of the weekend. Kenny Goike also hit the podium twice in Cannonsburg, crossing the line for an uncontested third on Saturday.
120 CHAMP: Coming into Michigan this weekend, Ryan Shimanski had not finished below second in a 120 Champ final this season. That streak continued on Saturday night as Shimanski took home his fifth win of the year by leading from start to finish.
Kody Krantz held off the challenge from Lila Hemmer for second to pick up his fourth podium of the season. Hemmer’s third-place finish was her second podium in a row.
Rox Speed FX Stock 200 (Saturday): Jack Gelinas came into the weekend with the points lead in the Rox Speed FX Stock 200 (Saturday) class, and he gave himself a bit of buffer after picking up his third win of the season on Saturday. Paul Richard made his class debut in Michigan, finishing third. Noah Kuhn crossed the line in third, his second podium finish in the past three races.
Transition 9-13 (Saturday): It was a three-sled drag race for the win in the Transition 9-13 (Saturday) final. When the checkered flag dropped, Ryder Hayes grabbed his first class win of the season. Wyatt Skogquist was one second behind Hayes at the finish line, and Sebastian Horton was right behind him in third.
Transition 8-10 (Saturday): Tommy Roy made his season debut a success by taking the Transition 8-10 (Saturday) win. Roy started third and moved into the lead on lap three, then pulled away from runner-up Logan Bruch for the win. Points leader Tripp Knudson finished third.
Jr. 14-15 (Saturday): Dylan Lebel won his fourth straight Junior 14-15 (Saturday) final on Saturday, and in doing so, he also took hold of the points lead from Isaac Peterson. Kamden Duffy gave Lebel a race-long challenge before finishing second. Colin Taggart finished third.
JR. 10-13: Ryder Hayes got the lead off the start and held off a hard-charging AJ Skogquist for his first win of the season. Skogquist ran the fastest lap of the race on the second to last lap, but it wasn’t enough to get past Hayes. Round one winner Jimmy Stanisich finished in third.
Woodies Racing JR. Girls 9-13: From start to finish, Avery Hemmer led the Woodies Racing Junior Girls 9-13 final on Saturday. Hemmer set the race’s fastest time on the last lap as she picked up her fourth win in 2023. Current points leader Victoria Dillon worked her way into second place with two laps to go to earn the runner-up spot. Rilee Nowaczyk finished third.
Up next for AMSOIL Championship Snocross: The season finale, Theisen’s Snocross National in Dubuque, Iowa on April 1-2, 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.