COMPETITION TYPE: Ovals, Ice Lemans
BRANDS RACED: Arctic Cat
DATE OF INDUCTION: February 15th 2020
CAREER SPAN: 2002-2016
AGE AT INDUCTION: 36
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.
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.
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.
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)