ArcitcInsider Forum
Follow ArcticInsider on YouTube Follow ArcticInsider on Facebook       

2015 USXC Park Rapids XC: Selby Gets His First


(2/4/2015)

 

2015 Park Rapids XC race course. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

The 2015 Park Rapids, Minn., cross-country marked the fourth race in the USXC season. Orginally intended as a trail, ditch and lake course until Mother Nature failed yet again this winter, the race was rebooted as a 10-mile loop on Fish Hook Lake.

With more than 200 entries, temps in the single digits and blue skies, the event was an outstanding success.

The more racers I talk with, the more I'm hearing that lake racing is pretty dang fun. Some racers even like the lakes better than ditch events.

Either way, it's a great element of cross-country's many forms. And during a winter like this, it's WAY better than staying home.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Keaton Black. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

In the Junior 10-13 class, Keaton Black proved fast, smooth and worthy of the win on his Sno Pro 500.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Savannah Landrus. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Savannah Landrus kept her winning streak going in the Junior Girls class.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Tyler Brown. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

One of the Brown family of Team Arctic racers, Tyler (above) scored a win in Sport 85 at Park Rapids, while his brother David grabbed second in Jr. 10-13.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Steve Martinson. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

There are still one or two original ZRs ripping around cross-country. The fastest one belongs to Steve Martinson, who won the Classic IFS again this past weekend. I think his seat flap works as an air foil, keeping the front of the sled planted around the corners.

 

Team Arctic Cat/Speedwerx's Hunter Houle. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Hunter Houle continued his streak of winning multiple classes, taking Jr. 14-17 and Expert 85 Improved. Rumor has it that Hunter is going to captain the ArcticInsider Factory Team next season, including procuring the 53-foot semi, special sponsor-approved sled wraps, umbrella girls and all the other fixings.

At the rate he's winning, I'm not sure if even the cash-flush ArcticInsider Factory crew will be able to afford him.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Ean Voigt. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Another multiple class winner: Ean Voigt continues to impress for both his speed and his stamina. He finished first in Expert 85 and Trail, and took second in Expert 85 Improved and Jr. 14-17.

Between Voigt, Houle, Dalton Fredrickson, Jeremy Grove, Andy Junglen, Tyler Brown, Garet Grzadzielewski and Ross Ilstrup, the Junior/85 HP classes delivered some of the best and most competitive race action in Park Rapids.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Todd Frischmon. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Todd Frischmon gets faster every week. At Park Rapids he scored a win in Masters 40 Plus, took second in I-500 Class and fourth in Semi Pro Stock.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Dylan Stevens. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Another guy making big tracks is Dylan Stevens, who captured the win in I-500 Class and came VERY close to winning the Semi Pro Stock class.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Zach Herfindahl wins Pro Open at Park Rapids USXC. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Zach Herfindahl kept his winning streak in tact by taking the Pro Open class. When it comes to speed and consistency, Herfindahl is a machine. He (almost) never falters, and he's always winning or in contention to do so.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Jordan Torgerson. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Jordan Torgerson looked especially fast at Park Rapids, setting fastest-lap times and taking second in Pro Open. Unfortunately, frozen hands would take him out of the Stock final.

Several racers battled frozen fingers at Park Rapids. Cold temps, low (but fast) windshields and 100-plus-MPH straightaways have a way of numbing the hands.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Mike Kloety running the radar.

I mentioned faster-than-100 mph speeds at Park Rapids...which I know to be the case because Team Arctic Race Manager Mike Kloety was there with the radar gun, recording speeds in all the classes.

All the sleds were fast at Park Rapids, but Arctic Cat found a few extra mph, with the fastest 600s running 106 mph on the long straights. By comparison, the Yamahas were 105, the Polaris's 103 and the Ski-Doos 101.

The ZR 4000RRs were running mid-90s, with the 50-percent throttle blocked versions hitting 82 mph.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Dylan Stevens. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

While all other classes were run as a time-trial format, the Semi Pro Stock and Pro Stock finals were heads-up events, with flights of racers starting just a few seconds apart and the finishing order determined by place, not time.

Dylan Stevens (above) led the Semi Pro Stock final from early into the first of five laps, with Polaris's Alex Hetteen close in second and Arctic Cat's Lance Efteland in third.

Stevens was on the gas and looked poised to add another stock class win this season (he won the opener at Pine Lake) as he head out for the final lap, but a Team Arctic teammate had other ideas.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Lance Efteland. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

That teammate was Lance Eftelandm -- riding a borrowed sled -- who patiently bid his time in third until halfway through the final lap. Efteland first got by Hetteen, then a few moments later overtook Stevens.

The moves came only a couple miles from the finish, giving Lance his second Stock win of the season.

 

Team Arctic's Dylan Stevens, Lance Efteland, Ryan Trout and Todd Frischmon

After the finish of the Semi Pro final many of the top racers stopped and shared stories of what happened while congratulating each other. L-to-R: Dylan Stevens (2nd), Lance Efteland (1st), Ryan Trout (5th) and Todd Frischmon (4th). Hiding behind Stevens was Hetteen, who finished third.

Finishing four of the top-5 in the class is a pretty dang great performance by Team Arctic!

 

2015 USXC Park Rapids Pro final. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

The start of the 10-lap Pro Stock final proved thrilling and safe, with Wes Selby taking the lead ahead of Ross Erdman (right) and Gabe Bunke.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Wes Selby and Zach Herfindahl. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

For the next four laps it was a dogfight between Selby, teammate Zach Herfindahl and Yamaha's Re Wadena. The three stayed within a couple seconds of each other, with Wadena leading at times but with Selby primarily at the front.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Wes Selby and Zach Herfindahl. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

By lap five, Selby and Herfindahl had distanced themselves from Wadena by around around 6 seconds, which is crazy-close compared to most cross-country races but somehow seemed like an eternity after the three had been within spitting distance for the first few laps.

What was definitely crazy-close was the space between Selby and Herfindahl, as they were within feet of one another!

 

Team Arctic Cat's Wes Selby and Zach Herfindahl. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

On the sixth lap Selby went in for fuel while Herfindahl stayed out and assumed the lead. The next lap Herfindahl came in for fuel and, upon exiting the fuel lane, came side-by-side with Selby (above). Selby was carrying more speed at this point and moved into the lead, with Herfindahl on his snow flap.

With three laps to go, it looked like it would be a 1-2 finish for Team Arctic, with the drama being WHICH racer would emerge victorious.

What the crowd didn't know at the time was that Selby was having a hard time hanging onto his handlebars, on account of fingers that had become numb from the cold. The situation was compounded by the fact that Selby was losing his brakes, making cornering even more difficult.

A few corners into the seventh lap, Herfindahl accidentally stuffed a ski into Selby's track. It wasn't so hard a hit that either rider crashed, but Herfindahl's ski carbide would break in half, a fact that Herfindahl would discover a couple corners later when it caused him to crash.

Herfindahl would remount, but would struggle for the next three laps with a sled that wouldn't corner well in one direction, and that scrubbed a lot of speed. He would eventually finish fifth.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Wes Selby wins 2015 Park Rapids USXC. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Despite hands so cold that he considered pulling off course (as other racers had done) and non-functioning brakes, Selby somehow managed to maintain his lead for the remaining three laps and score the first Pro Stock class win of his career!

For a guy who has had so many near misses, it was a huge win that was a long time coming. Talking with him after the race, I sensed he felt greater relief than he did jubilation.

Either way, there were a lot of people who were really happy for Selby, including his dad who had come all the way from Grand Lake, Colo., to watch him race!

Pretty cool!

 

 

Yamaha XC racer Re Wadena. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Re Wadena would finish second, 12 seconds behind Selby and 13 seconds ahead of Polaris's Ryan Faust. It was a great performance by a hard-charging, likable racer who has paid his dues.

Wadena's second-place is Yamaha's best Pro Stock finish in USXC: something the team has worked hard to achieve and (I hope) they are very proud of.

A couple blown corners by Selby, and Wadena/Yamaha might have had their first win in USXC.

I've been saying it all season long: right now in cross-country is enjoying the greatest parity between the brands that I've witnessed in 25 years of covering snowmobile racing.

Team Arctic Cat's Chad Lian. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Chad Lian would finish 7th for Team Arctic.

For the record, Team Arctic scored 13 wins in 19 classes, with 37 of 56 podium positions! (Arctic Cat will distribute their press release with full results soon, which I'll post.)

Congratulations to all the racers who competed in Park Rapids!

And thanks for reading.



Comments (8):

Mike F says:
2/4/2015 7:59:00 PM

So happy for Wes, and to have his Dad there is really cool! Good for Re as well, REALLY good guys! WELL DONE!
hugh says:
2/4/2015 8:42:00 PM

What I'd like to know more than anything is the part number for that Yamaha windshield on Wadena's sled so I could fit one to my El Tigre.
taperk600 says:
2/4/2015 9:27:00 PM

Thanks for the report John. Nice to read the new 6000 R-XC is proving itself to be a winner. As is the 4000RR.
Todd Frischmon says:
2/5/2015 4:34:00 AM

Thanks for another great article John! My snowmobiling buddys will probably slap me for saying this but I wont shed any tears if we dont get any snow this month. This ice racing is fun......and I dont need help to crawl out of bed on Monday morning like I do after a ditch race.
Paul Nadeau says:
2/5/2015 9:25:00 AM

Another great article John, excellant photo's as always. Wish i lived closer to see these great racers in action. Can't wait to see the 53 foot Arctic Insider Hauler, do you need a semi driver? I'll work for free if Hunter needs more wages!
Ryan W says:
2/5/2015 10:02:00 AM

Nice job Wes!! The forecast is starting to look a little better for traditional XC races later in the season!
Brian Hennel says:
2/6/2015 12:03:00 PM

Hey Mike, don't forget us knuckleheads in NY/NE running USCC East. We could use some info on what works and what doesn't. Show us the way!
Dale says:
2/7/2015 6:55:00 PM

That 15 sled took a big win today at the soo I-500, congrats on Cat going 1 and 2.

Leave A Comment


ArcticInsider Article Code
Enter the characters above: (all lowercase, no spaces)

SpeedWerx Dempsey Off Road Adventures

ArcticCat

Action Graphics

Royal Sports

Blown Concepts Custom Vinyl Graphics

on Snow Magazine

US X-Country Snowmobile Racing

American Snowmobiler Magazine

Route 12 Arctic Cat

Waconia Power Sports

Thomas SnoSports

SLEDHEAD 24/7
 International Series of Champions

Road Track and Trail

SnoX365

TA Motorsports
Country Cat
SUPERTRAX International

D & D power Sports
Carver Performance Snowtech Magazine Christian Brothers Racing