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Country Cat's PJ Wanderscheid To Be Inducted into Snowmobile Hall of Fame


(2/10/2020)

COMPETITION TYPE: Ovals, Ice Lemans

BRANDS RACED: Arctic Cat

DATE OF INDUCTION: February 15th 2020
CAREER SPAN: 2002-2016
AGE AT INDUCTION: 36

#28 PJ Wanderscheid

When P.J. Wanderscheid burst onto the professional snowmobile oval racing scene in 2002, the Sauk Centre, Minn., native made an immediate and massive impact at the sport’s most prestigious event. In his rookie season, 18-year-old Wanderscheid became the youngest racer to be crowned Eagle River World Champion. It foreshadowed a remarkable career in which he would win the discipline’s most significant race three more times, making him the only four- time champion in the event’s 56-year history. In total, Wanderscheid recorded 72 Pro wins and is easily recognized as one of the sport’s all-time great oval racers.

#28 PJ Wanderscheid

Growing up on his parent’s farm on the snowy central plains of Minnesota, it was inevitable Wanderscheid would become deeply connected to snowmobiling. His father Dick was a snowmobile racer. In addition, two of his three older brothers laid the ground work for a rise to racing fame when in 1991 they opened Country Cat, a then-small Arctic Cat dealership. Wanderscheid rode his first snowmobile at age 3 and began his racing career at radar runs at age 11. His racing aptitude blossomed quickly, capturing an ice lemans Junior Championship at age 15. From there the wins accumulated rapidly, escalating Wanderscheid to pro status and World Champion at age 18 in 2002.

Wanderscheid repeated his World Championship feat in 2003, 2006 and 2011. While his most famous wins came at Eagle River, Wanderscheid was a winner and champion at nearly every premier venue. He’s a three-time Wausau 525 Champion (2009, 2010, 2011); two-time CPTC Canadian Champion (2010, 2011); 2012 TLC Cup Winner; 2003 Woody’s Triple Crown Winner; and 2003 Snow Week Racer of the Year. He captured a remarkable 17 Year-end High Point Championship over the course of his career.

#28 PJ Wanderscheid

Determined and sharply focused, Wanderscheid was also a true athlete who worked tirelessly to ensure he was one of the most fit and resilient racers in the field, while his brothers and support crew worked equally hard to provide the best equipment on the track. His graciousness was evident as he often gave credit and accolades to the team over himself. For Wanderscheid, this team and family-first approach were key to his success and equally as important as the wins.

Throughout his career Wanderscheid was supported tirelessly by his parents Dick and Mary Lou, brothers Brian, David and Mark, and wife Jeni; and teammates Butch Von Wahlde, Dan Merten, Todd Kemper, Jeremy Kerzman, Brian Kuhlmann, and Jim Determan. Wanderscheid retired from racing in 2016. The family’s competitive spirit continues to drive the success of Country Cat, which is the world’s largest Arctic Cat dealer.

Country Cat Dealership in Sauk Centre, MN

4-Time Eagle River World Champion (2002, 2003, 2006, 2011) • 3-Time 525 Champion (2009, 2010, 2011) • 2-Time Canadian Power Toboggan Champion (2010, 2011) • Woody’s Triple Crown Champion (2003) • Snow Week Racer of the Year (2003)

PJ (L) talks with Roger Skime (R) at Haydays

#28 PJ Wanderscheid

#28 PJ Wanderscheid and 4th World Championship

 

 



Comments (7):

Cory L says:
2/10/2020 11:04:00 AM

Congrats P.J and well deserved! Your racing accomplishments are top of class and so is Country Cat.
Darin says:
2/10/2020 12:11:00 PM

Congrats to PJ!
We miss cheering him on at CPTC in bueasejour Manitoba
I still have his pit crew coat i won in the
Snow week auction from yrs back!
Gerry Osendorf says:
2/10/2020 12:18:00 PM

Congratulations, P.J. I'm proud of your racing career but more so proud of man you have become. Thankful that your dealership is right out my backdoor so superb workmanship and parts are always available.I look forward to many more years of friendship.
Robert Aasen says:
2/10/2020 1:55:00 PM

Congratulations PJ. When I first met you and your family I didn't pay to much attention to you. After all, you were just this very young person and I had Dick to deal with, you know what that means. In any case, as Country Cat grew , so did you. Not just in size but in attitude, determination and a strong desire to win on the race track. I saw a family that was 100% behind you. I saw that first Eagle River sled being hand built, I saw a Father determined to give you what was needed to win, I saw brothers taking time away from business to help put the team together and I saw Mother doing her thing to support you. This was truly a family effort
I remember every win at Eagle River. Dick trying to hold the tears of pure joy from showing. To be honest, many of us were having the same problem. You drove like the champion you are. You made your family proud, especially Dick. You gave Arctic something to cheer about. You made the Arctic fans look like a bunch of cheerleaders.
We all congratulate you on a job well done. We all congratulate your entry into the Hall of Fame. No individual or family deserves it more.

Kevin Hooper says:
2/10/2020 7:45:00 PM

The Wanderscheids did it right and represented the brand and the sport so well. I think few if any loved Eagle River as much as PJ and this track had so many defining moments in his career. I had the privilege to see them all. An unknown driver beating some of the sports all time great drivers in 2002 and after that we all knew who he was. Proving in 2003 that he was no fluke and using his own determination and fitness to run down what looked like the sled to beat. The heartbreak in 04 when leading and getting caught in traffic in the last two turns he got passed by Larry Day. The dead sled that can’t start the race - a broken tether switch. The year they ran a sled that didn’t perform or have the speed. The absolutely epic dual with Gary in 2011 - PJ running the rough low line and so determined willed that win. When he didn’t win he was usually right there and challenging the leader. So many highs and some lows as well. He was a great champion and always handled the heartbreak with class. PJ was a clean driver and an all time great driver. He raced the best and beat them. I also will never forget his brother Mark giving me a tour of their race shop.

PJ - you deserve this recognition and you are easily in the discussion for the best racers of all time. Congratulations!
Ronald L Parks says:
2/11/2020 9:05:00 AM

P.J. Congratulations! You are Arctic Cat's & my hero... You are Cat's shinning star.Its sad that your not racing any more.(saw you @ Eagle River through the years WINNING) My favorite was when you WON on the last laps @ Eagle running low_ line beating Gary on a Hooper prepared Ski-Doo engine....It was Awesome seeing 2 Hooper engines taking '1'&'2'! John's the best engine builder ever!!!P.J. your the best of the best!!
Glad2BGone says:
2/11/2020 11:46:00 AM

As a former dealer, and for those that don't know, when Bob Aasen, the best Cat DSM anywhere ever, gives such a ringing endorsement that speaks volumes. I hope you are doing well, my friend.

Heartfelt congratulations to PJ on such a great achievement!

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