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Hay Days 2018 Recap: They Came, They Saw, They Loved It


(9/14/2018)

 

The 2018 edition of Sno Baron's Hay Days extravaganza came in like a '03 Firecat and left like a 9000 turbo. And somewhere in the midst of the high speed whirlwind of horsepower, thousands of snowmobilers paused long enough to soak in a just a bit of the sport's biggest, loudest, rockingest, stinkiest, drinkingest, coolest, craziest and mostest event.

Here's just a sampling of what happened in the first three minutes of the weekend...

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

People came...

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

...and came...

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

...and they for sure came to the Arctic Cat booth. Where in addition to every 2019 snowmobile and some 2019 dirt products, fans of the brand talked with engineers, racers, company personnel and some guy dressed in a clown suit.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

I grabbed this shot before the gates opened on Saturday. Here and at the Epping, NH, show, Tucker Hibbert will be at the Arctic Cat booth with some of his historic sleds. It's a chance to say hello, goodbye, thanks and anything else you want to express to the sports biggest star as he leaves the snocross racing world behind to begin new life adventures in white-New-Balance-shoe-propelled retirement.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Of course, there were other famous Cat race sleds in the booth, like the 50th Anniversary Soo 500 winning ripper of Zach Herfindahl's and Wes Selby's.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Eternal Sunshine came to Hay Days this year and got her photo taken with the legend, Roger Skime.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Lots of people got the photo taken with Tucker.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Lots of people also tried a demo version of the new 2019 Arctic Cat iACT system of suspension adjustment.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Arctic Cat's Joey Hallstrom (L) and Ride365's Gary Walton stole a few minutes to chat about the upcoming race season.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Arctic Cat unveiled three new 2019 snowmobiles at Hay Days.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

The all-new ZR 6000R SX snocrosser (which clearly inspired the other brands' race sleds for this coming season...LOL), the ZR 6000R XC cross-country burner, and the...

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

...and an all-new M 6000 ALPHA ONE, shown here leaned over by Arctic Cat Snow VP Craig Kennedy.

If I had a dollar for every time someone leaned over one of the ALPHA sleds in the booth at Hay Days, I'd be the Alpha-Male bank deposits.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

After the unveilings, fans were treated to the new video edit Destination Elevation featuring the Black Cats riding through some of the coolest terrain in North America.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Many Team Green racers were chatting, signing posters and otherwise plotting to take the podium for the upcoming race season.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

This guy didn't get in on the autograph session, but he was sporting this year's Team Arctic race gear (the same stuff the racers will wear as they tear it up on the track this winter).

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

My favorite part of Hay Days is hanging at the Cat booth and talking with other riders. Steve and Emily LePinnet came to Hay Days from Cortland, New York. It was their first-ever Hay Days experience, and they were pumped! So cool.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Ditto for Robert Palmer (L), another easterner who came to Hay Days for the first time and was gracious enough to have his pic taken with Mr. Stinksalot.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Outside of the Cat booth, there was major traffic and commerce happening. Country Cat's footprint continues to grow, and they make Hay Days their ground zero of deals and displays.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Check out this sweet Model 101 at the Thomas Sno Sports booth.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Sledders can get SCREAMING deals at Hay Days, where cash is king.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

The FOX booth is another happening spot at Hay Days, helped in part by the sweet assortment of cool product and sweet sleds on display, including the new ALPHA ONE.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Lot's of cool cats hanging at the FOX tent, including Rocky Mountain Rob Kincaid (black jacket) and other western rippers.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Outside of the business vending area, the swap meet still holds the greatest intrigue and "holy-crapeth" opportunities for those who are willing to walk a few rows.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Yes, there are party bus options complete with swirly slides (and mattress protection).

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

But there's also the widest range of sleds you'll find anywhere on the planet. And if you're an Arctic Cat fan, the options are nearly limitless.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Of course there are always the last-minute repair sessions, usually involving carburetor cleaning, to help command top dollar.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

 And helmets...

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

And there are slednecks.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

And model snowmobiles...

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

And model trucks...

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

And still one of (if not the) quickest lake rocket ever made: an '03 F7 Firecat.

 

 

 

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

You will even find a Polaris Cutlass SS with a Yamaha Nytro front end, a motorcycle seat and an answer to the question nobody thought to ask.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

On the other hand, this modified Phazer looked like fun. #pastels

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

This looked like trouble.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

Pat "Credibility" Bourgeois looked like he was gonna get all Tony Hawk with the sweet board.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

The custom crowd looked like they had a few beers prior to building this 3-wheeler.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

And anyone who wanted a bike, vine wrap and water dispenser were completely satisfied.

The swap is the swap, and it's what makes Hay Days such a trip.

 

Cash performance at Hay Days.

Cash performance at Hay Days.

The Cash Performance team raged through the mud races, taking wins and trophies aboard their Cat/Textron wheelers and side-by-sides.

 

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.

It was another slaughterfest by Team Arctic at the grass drag portion of the event, with Team Green winning three of four Stock classes and taking wins in the crazy-mod/fast Outlaw and Lakeracer classes.

Whew!

So all that is what happened in the first three minutes of Hay Days 2018. Want to know what goes on the rest of the weekend? Show up next year and find out.

Thanks for reading, see you there next year.

2018 Hay Days. Arctic Cat, snowmobiles and people.



Comments (11):

Joe Rainville says:
9/14/2018 12:54:00 PM

Hey John,

Sorry to have missed you, but had a great time at HD18! Even scored a pair of awesome NOS 76 CCC windshields and had the legendary Mr. Skime autograph a sweet Cat poster.

I did not buy a new sled this year, which made Cari Deerest happier than Reane Rowland, but you can't please everyone :>)

Later Liquidator!
-JD Joe
Andy says:
9/14/2018 1:13:00 PM

Hey John, what class did AC lose in the Stock classes for the drags?
stevooo says:
9/15/2018 1:53:00 PM

Not sure dip **** why don't u tell us
Rodney Dragan says:
9/15/2018 10:46:00 PM

Dammit, I missed that pastel Phazer. That thing would be sweet for banging the cornfields past the big bratwurst plant in cheeseland. The S.T.I.C.S. contingent had a good time as usual tailgating at their official motel in a non disclosed location. Even had some strange passer by with an air mattress under his arm stop for some scintillating conversation. We offered him food, but he didn't trust us Sconnies. Maybe next year. Oh and you Sno Barrons, keep up the good work. I love the swap. I need oil filters for my quarter million mile Suburban just as much as I need a pint of Stihl oil for my Wankster Panther or a Hamm's sign for my living room. I even read on the innerwebs that some people think the swap should be divided up into Yamaha, Polaris, Skidoo, and Arctic Cat sections. Really? What about a Sno Blazer, Herters, and Ski Daddler section?
Bobby Flame says:
9/17/2018 11:37:00 AM

Do you know who I talk to about my application to join the Black Cats? I sent a video and everything.
John Sandberg says:
9/18/2018 8:02:00 AM

Andy: Cat didn't get on the podium in Stock 600.

Rodney: You won't always see me walking around a hotel parking lot carrying a blow-up mattress, but when you do I hope you offer me a pickled egg and a half-drank can of Old Style.
Tom Rowland says:
9/19/2018 12:29:00 PM

Bobby Flame: If i'm not mistaken, its Helen Waite that handles the Black Cat applications. Next time you want to check your approval status, it's safe to say you can go to Helen Waite.
Tom Rowland says:
9/19/2018 12:33:00 PM

Is great to see the recap images as I didn't get to walk around too much. Business was great at our vendor site and it was fun talking to everyone all weekend about the cool stuff that was seen out-and-about. I hope the Snobarons continue to make tweaks each year but all-in-all it has to be one of the grandest events of all time. Am fervently looking forward to next year!
Andy says:
9/19/2018 1:37:00 PM

John... Thats not good. Is the stock 600 not quick enough for the new 600R?
Eli says:
9/19/2018 2:28:00 PM

I don't know if it was just me, but I thought Cat had the coolest setup of the big 4 this year. (Heavily Biased). It's just really cool to see how much effort they put into it every year and to be able to visit with the Cat engineers is so cool!
142 says:
9/19/2018 8:11:00 PM

Andy, the kid that wins the 600 class . Is running the older Ski-Doo SX . That was made out of recycle beer cans . They where junk on the SX track . But a great drag sled, because the filed weight is so low. Probably 80 pounds lighter than a cat SX . I would love to run that class . But you need a lot of HP to make up the weight difference . Race One took a great pic of my M . Only problem the sled coughed when I hit the gas . Wish they took the pic in the next heat . It was a reversed scenario . Team Arctic

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