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Blair Morgan's First Season


(5/31/2011)

Blair Superman Morgan at Duluth 1997

I have GREAT memories of when Blair Morgan burst onto the snocross scene. In a sport littered with goofball nicknames, the monicker "Superman" was an accurate standout that truly fit the man.

I snapped the above photo at the 1997 Duluth Spirit National. It occured during a brief lull in the morning practice session. There was already a buzz flowing through the venue about the kid from Prince Albert, Sask., who was whipping around the track standing up, rather than sitting down as had been the accepted style of the time.

A handful people had seen Blair the previous March at the West Yellowstone snocross, and they were predicting big things from the motocrosser. But I don't believe that anyone fully understood how big Blair would quickly become.

When Blair nailed the superman move during the practice session, it literally stunned the crowd who was lucky enough to witness the event. Again, in hindsight it's easy to see the historical significance, and I'd say that day (and this jump/announcement) was a watershed moment in snowmobile racing.

Yep, Blair was abnormal for the era

Throughout the weekend the unknown upstart schooled the established names with a fluid, double-jump-over-everything style. He was so graceful and...diferent... that it seemed as if we all had to recalibrate our minds about what was actually happening on the track.

Blair Superman Morgan at Canterbury in 1998

Up to that point, there was very little trick or style maneuvers in snocross. When Blair started whipping off supermans and giant whips, it opened a door to a new level of excitement (kind of like when Jeremy McGrath started doing nac-nacs in supercross).

(Funny sidenote: after many racers began pulling jumps at the finish line, Blair quit with the antics.)

While the tricks were cool, it was Blair's absolute grace and skill on the track that made him so fantastic in competition.

While there were a few races that others would fairly beat him (I'm thinking Brad Pake taking a class at Duluth and Canterbury), Blair was clearly on a different level than anyone else that first season and the next.

Writing the post about Chris Vincent last week reminded me of the classic duels between him and Blair. Chris took a couple of the battles, but Blair dominated in winning the war.

I remember the first ESPN X Games snocross, in Crested Butte, Colo., in 1998, watching Vincent and Morgan on the starting line during the heats. In staging, Vincent was jumping on his running boards, rocking from side to side, swinging his arms and all but replicating an aerobics routine.

In contrast, Blair was calm, deliberate and so relaxed that it appeared as if he were on the verge of taking a nap.

Vincent was trying hard NOT to pay attention to Morgan, but he couldn't help himself. And the more he watched Blair out of the corner of his eyes, the more animated he became. It's safe to say that Blair had gotten "inside of Vincent's head."

Blair Superman Morgan at West Yellowstone in 1998

Actually, Blair had gotten inside of pretty much everyones' head. And for the next few years he would dominate snocross. It wasn't until Tucker Hibbert came along that Blair would be matched by someone of equal talent. And in many ways, that's when the fun REALLY began.

But that first full-season that he raced, it was all-Blair, all the time. And it was really enjoyable for Cat fans.

Blair Superman Morgan at Duluth 1997



Comments (17):

Jerry says:
5/31/2011 10:35:00 AM

Good stuff . the 1st year ESPN started nationally televising sno-cross . In Alaska before that time the only big time snowmachine racing to watch was in snowweek mag. ha ha. Thanks for the arcticle.
artdcat says:
5/31/2011 11:44:00 AM

Has any other racer revolutionized an entire industry and helped so many aftermarket companies the way Blair did?

Stand-up style rider-forward sled, bar risers, tall seats, wider running boards, Freestyle, suspensions able to withstand double & triple jumps, apparel, snow board style boots, etc, etc.

All can be attributed to one man. Blair Morgan.

He's right up there with Edgar Hetteen, Roger Skime & Carl Eliason if you ask me.
Todd Ulschmid says:
5/31/2011 11:48:00 AM

I was at the Duluth race when Blair made his pro debut. I remember walking through the staging area and pointed him out to my Dad. I told my Dad to watch that guy with the "choppers".... I went on to tell my Dad that Blair raced the last race out at West Yellowstone and finished 2nd to Hibbert(Kirk) in the final. I went on to predict that he would give all these guys a run for their money.... Blair made me look like a genius! After Blair did his first superman in practice, I remember my Dad saying "That 7c is nuts!" It was the inside pass on Vincent, on the last lap, in the final turn, during the open class final, that really started the rivalry! The only final he didn't win that weekend was the final that Brad Pake won. Can't remember if it was the 440 or 600 class....Great stuff!
Wayne Tweten says:
5/31/2011 6:47:00 PM

Blair Morgan was quite a driver. He was for sure the craziest sno cross driver I ever saw in action. However I always thought Tucker Hibbert was a better & smarter driver...Absolutely the best I ever watched!!! I beg to differ with putting Blair in the same class with Edgar, Roger & Carl. I did know Edgar & do know Roger. I never knew Carl. Still there is one huge difference between them & Blair; that being Mr. Morgan's GIANT ego. No person ought ever to think so highly of themself. I Do believe Blair was good for the sport & brought much enjoyment for fans including myself.
Kevin says:
5/31/2011 9:07:00 PM

Nice article on one of the best racers ever to throw a leg over a sled. I think it's quite amazing to see the equipment these snocross guys used to drive - nothing like the modern stuff. I view Blair and Tucker in the same class of snocross riders (the very best) - maybe giving Tucker a slight edge. I couldn't put Blair or even Tucker in the same sentence as Roger Skime or Edgar Hetteen but as far as the best racers ever in any given discipline, he certainly deserving of that recognition. I wish the very best for him and his family.
Alley Cat says:
5/31/2011 11:48:00 PM

I was working on a sled in the Pits in Duluth, and Terry Mattson came running over to me. Johnny Johnny You gotta see this guy Blair Morgan! I said to myself. Who could be that good. What?!!! Better then Toni, old man Hibbert, Pake,Jack...Come on. Until I seen that final in Duluth. I could see racing change before my eyes. I raise my cup and salute'."SUPERMAN".
John Zanon says:
6/1/2011 7:32:00 AM

It's great to see articles about such a great man. His stories should be brought up over and over again. I wish Blair would still attend events and be involved with the sport, but I also respect his privacy. He's a guy you like to see around!
jimu@sledracer.com says:
6/1/2011 8:59:00 AM

I disagree with the huge ego comment. And, as Blair would say, "Don't call us drivers, we're riders!"
John Sandberg says:
6/1/2011 11:56:00 AM

I agree with Jim about Blair's ego. I knew him fairly well BITD, and I can't remember ever seeing evidence of an inflated ego. On the contrary, he was pretty shy and reserved.

I too would love to see him at the races again. He was great for the sport.
Ryan Teach says:
6/1/2011 12:38:00 PM

Attend the HOF induction each year in St. Germain.

Blair ran through my mind last year. Do you expect him to enter the Hall as a Ski Doo driver, or a Cat driver? By reading the above the snowmobile of choice really does not matter...

Interesting YouTube video on where he is now...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7qzfiuq11g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDydxHOWbd0

94ZR580 says:
6/3/2011 11:01:00 PM

Blair is a bit of a home town hero, that's for sure. I seldom see him around town, but I understand he is doing well and that Go Riding video shows him out enjoying riding and ripping up his yard. It is good to see someone who can adjust so well to his situation. Nothing seems to be holding him back from living and enjoying life.
Rusty says:
6/4/2011 10:18:00 AM

John, I unfortunately got the opportunity to witness Mr. Blair Morgans "egotism" first hand,, PM me sometime on the site (or call) and i'll be glad to tell you EXACTLY what happened (or nearly did) that could well have "at that point" ended his career due to "accidental" (brought on by him being so "egotistical" himself) injuries had I not been so quick in response or he'd have likely been flattened like a pancake by the 3 of us,, again accidently.. All brought about because he thought his sh*t didn't stink!
flintstone says:
6/5/2011 12:20:00 AM

A friend of mine hosted sno x racing for a couple of seasons at his race track and I had the opportunity to personally watch blair and tucker race... unbelievable!!! those guys are super smart, talented racers.. if they were into music they would be the beatles..never seen it before and will never see it again..not in this lifetime
dilbon says:
6/7/2011 9:56:00 PM

I wish they would have said where he was from in this. Prince Albert Saskatchewan woo
teetee says:
7/9/2011 9:43:00 AM

legendary...i have zr 440 snopro 1999 mint condition.
Harjinder says:
10/9/2015 2:53:00 AM

We are interested in co-hosting a Green Dinner event here in Phoenix with Vegco, our local vegan skmarperuet. Please provide e-mail address to where we send our formal request. Thank you. Shelly Lurie, Director of Sales, ra-Apparel.
Harjinder says:
10/9/2015 2:53:00 AM

We are interested in co-hosting a Green Dinner event here in Phoenix with Vegco, our local vegan skmarperuet. Please provide e-mail address to where we send our formal request. Thank you. Shelly Lurie, Director of Sales, ra-Apparel.

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