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My Story: Dale Lindbeck's Thrill & Agony at the Last Watercross of 2013


(9/25/2013)

Even when you're the four-time World Champ, snowmobile racing can deal some serious blows to your sled, ego and pocket book.

Grab a box of tissue as Dale Lindbeck takes us through the thrills and agony of the last watercross race of the 2013 season, held in Brainerd, Minn., Sept. 14-15:

Team Arctic's Dale Lindbeck, aka "29er"


Saturday

Heat 1, Pro Open: I’m up against points leader Howie Steenberg and two other guys. Howie pulls the holeshot and cuts me off in the first corner. I sink.

Go back to the pits, dry the sled out in time for the next heat.

Heat 2, Pro Open: This time I’m running again Nick Gustafson, Polaris engineer with a super-fast sled. Of course I want to show him who’s the boss, but he gets the jump and nails me in the first corner.

The result: Broken titanium A-Arm, sheared handlebar and Dale goes flying off sled with no beauty or grace.

With a downed sled (again), it’s back to the pits. Somehow we fix the handlebars, splinted the A-arm, dried out the sled and made it to the third heat.

Heat 3, Pro Open: Victory!

Heat 4, Pro Open: Another win, just barely qualifying for Sunday eliminations! This watercross stuff is pretty fun when I’m not feeling like a pinball.

 

Sunday

Elimination 1, Pro Open: Howie again... I beat him to the first corner, ruining his chance of cutting me off again. I’m in second place, playing it cool. Things are looking good, sponsors will be proud.

Then I get greedy and decide to make a move and pass for first place. Grab a handful of throttle to make the move and… drive clutch spider grenades, blowing up the clutch guard, side panel, hood, bellypan, skidplate, exhaust pipe, driven clutch and crank.

Nice.

But… the guy I was about to pass apparently jumped the start so I’m awarded second place and a trip to the Semi Final.

Somehow we gorilla-tape the sled back together, borrow some clutches and just barely make it to the Semi in time to run.

Semi Final, Pro Open: Wow, the race starts and I’m in the lead!

Wow, when my motor blows up it sounds horrible! But that sound is only the beginning of my sadness as I discover a wobbly crank and dented/leaking pipe. Enough mud runs through the freshly redone engine to make any motor guy sick.

The sled and I are done. Out. Neither of us can take it anymore.

We miss the final and our shot at getting enough points to win the championship. Ouch.

But wait! Apparently there truly is salvation and redemption… I somehow come through the Pro Stock race unscathed and with the win!

And guess what? I earn enough points to win the Pro Stock Championship for the third year in a row. Hope is restored!

 

Epilogue

Racing is equal parts “Thrill of Victory” and “Agony of Defeat.”

This season I won a lot of races, took my fourth World Championship title at Grantsburg and snagged the Pro Stock Championship.

I also destroyed my sled and my budget. And I lost the Pro Open Championship to my arch nemesis Howie.

Six months from now I will have forgotten the “agony” part, while the “thrill” part will still be fresh and motivate me for another season of racing.

That is (and has always been) my story. Thanks for reading.

-29er

Dale Lindbeck showing the thrill part of watercross racing



Comments (10):

Tom Rowland says:
9/25/2013 11:55:00 AM

Wow, your last weekend does sound like a wild roller coaster ride. Good news though Dale: between now and March 31st you can get a new clutch guard for only $39.95!
ESPO says:
9/25/2013 10:42:00 PM

Good job keeping on digging DL, you da man!!!!!
Auggie says:
9/26/2013 11:32:00 AM

Dale, call Tow Below for help. Ha Ha
jim butler says:
9/26/2013 2:26:00 PM

dale, new nick name grenade lindbeck?
AllenO says:
9/27/2013 1:18:00 PM

Are these the updated clutches that are still blowing?
Flintstone says:
9/28/2013 11:07:00 PM

The water x racing is some of the funnest stuff I've ever seen and Dale is arguably one of the best in the biz and very down to earth. I hope that sponsors will contact him and help keep him in the winners circle where he belongs.

If a sponsor wanted to throw some green at dale or other racers so they can get their sticker on the winners sled, arctic insider should provide contact info.
Dulpher says:
9/30/2013 2:55:00 PM

Way to go 29er!!!! You're still the best!
Jumpin92 says:
9/30/2013 7:22:00 PM

I am almost glad I missed that misery. But really would have liked to see the victory part. I bet you will be putting all those mills and lathes to good work. You really were having an awesome season before that. Good luck and keep on keeping on. It's lonely at the top any way, Macker always said.
Sergio says:
10/9/2015 1:34:00 AM

Matthew -- And that sounds ideal to me. When tignhs work and are still good why change?Jason -- Amen to that! There is too much to be thankful for to let our lives get burdened down with negative crap.Yvonne -- I don't understand why you must deal with this pain, but I'm sure you will manage until the situation changes--I hope it does. You still have many blessings for which to be thankful.Stephen --It's important to maintain the status quo to some extent, but I'll bet I know something you'd be thankful for this time next year though it probably won't happen the way you'd like. Election year and another let down if tignhs go as usual.Lee
Sergio says:
10/9/2015 1:34:00 AM

Matthew -- And that sounds ideal to me. When tignhs work and are still good why change?Jason -- Amen to that! There is too much to be thankful for to let our lives get burdened down with negative crap.Yvonne -- I don't understand why you must deal with this pain, but I'm sure you will manage until the situation changes--I hope it does. You still have many blessings for which to be thankful.Stephen --It's important to maintain the status quo to some extent, but I'll bet I know something you'd be thankful for this time next year though it probably won't happen the way you'd like. Election year and another let down if tignhs go as usual.Lee

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