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Flashback: Jan. 17, 2010. The Day Ekre (Could Have) Won the I-500


Team Arctic Cat's DJ Ekre, 2010 USCC I-500, photo by

Who: DJ Ekre

What: Day 3 of the 2010 USCC I-500 cross-country.

When: January 17, 2010.

Where: One mile from the first fuel stop just outside of Goodridge, Minnesota

One of the best cross-country racers of the era, Ekre was on the cusp of what would have been his first-ever win in the I-500 XC. He led after day one, and again after day two. Heading into the first of two fuel stops on the final day, Ekre’s lead was several minutes. But his date with destiny would soon unravel, in the form of track failure.

In a cruel twist of fate, the Ripsaw track on Ekre’s sled ripped lengthwise in two areas,effectively ending his race at the halfway point of the final day. The same fate befell his teammates Cory Davis, Ryan Simons and Chad Kyllo.

It was a heartbreaking end to Ekre’s I-500, a race that he was never able to claim during an otherwise storied career.

Comments (9):

Mike Feil says:
9/24/2018 6:19:00 PM

A really bad day....thank god Dan Ebert was there. Still makes me sad...he earned that.
Brian H. says:
9/25/2018 5:41:00 AM

I remember that and still wonder if anyone figured out why it happened. Due to my intense hatred of the Quiet Drive lugs, I suspected they were the culprit. I wonder if the factory guys ran a different track in 2011. (I had a 2011 SnoPro XC and I'm pretty sure it had the same track.)
mark says:
9/25/2018 11:27:00 AM

I wonder how many miles Eberts track would have lasted?
Gord MacDonald says:
9/25/2018 3:51:00 PM

Word in the casino was Ebert was running a different track than the rest of them Team Arctic boys.
Rick Schafer says:
9/26/2018 8:11:00 AM

Were they not running a single ply track that year?
Chad Colby says:
9/26/2018 8:52:00 AM

Yes, that was a sad day indeed. I have photos of it somewhere.
DJ was flying at the I-500.
I Bleed Green! says:
9/26/2018 9:04:00 AM

I believe they figured that the studs in those tracks that had issues were in too much of a line, and not staggered enough. That, along with the low-snow areas that year caused issues. That was 8 years ago though, i may be wrong. It's too bad that happened to him, but racing is racing and bad things happen to good people.
John Sandberg says:
9/26/2018 9:05:00 AM

Thanks for the comments guys.

I added a hyperlink to the story about what exactly happened with the tracks. Click on it to get the back story.

Ebert was running a Cobra because it was the only track they had available at the shop when they were building his sled. Another twist of fate.
mike F says:
9/26/2018 10:23:00 AM

How in the heck can that be almost 9 years ago already???

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