Logan Christian on the Podium at Deadwood Shootout
It was something that had proved elusive so far this season for Christian Brothers Racing Pro Open snocross rider Logan Christian – a podium finish. Christian, a top qualifier at most every event so far this season, hasn’t been able to find a step on the box. But the ISOC National Deadwood Snocross Shootout this past Saturday, February 2, proved different. Christian came out second off the start and and quickly took the lead in Saturday’s Round 2 Pro Open final, setting the pace on the extremely rough, tight course set up in the middle of downtown Deadwood on the Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds. In setting the pace the first time around Christian did something no other rider had done all weekend – he doubled over “The Wall,” an intimidating, momentum-stopping wall of snow track builders had set up just before turn 3. It was a move every other rider behind him would have to attempt if they hoped to stay with Christian.
Seeing his example, other riders copied Christian’s leap over the The Wall. Three laps into the 16-lap race in Christian fell back to second place but began a charge to take back the lead and started putting time on the first place sled. But Christian’s pace led to him getting caught up with a lapped rider, his sled tipped on its side and he fell back to third place before he could re-mount and give chase again. The race went by quick on the small track and before any more drama could play out it was over with Christian finishing in the third and final podium spot.
“The track was difficult and had some new things we’ve never seen like the big wall,” said Christian. “Starts were critical because it was really hard to pass. Our crew had the sleds dialed in so I got a good start and that was key in putting it on the podium.”
It is Christian’s first Pro Open podium of the season and his first podium since he finished second at the Michigan National Snocross held inside the Pontiac Silverdome last season. It brings Christian’s career Pro podium count up to three. His first podium came at the Hayward National in 2011 when he finished second in Pro Stock.
“Logy, Garth and the crew worked hard to put that sled on the podium and it’s been a long time coming,” said Christian Brothers Racing co-owner Dwight Christian. “Now all we need to do is keep it there.”
Meanwhile, the Christian Brothers Racing cross-country riders Ryan Simons and Brian Dick were competing in one of the biggest races in snowmobiling, the prestigious Soo I-500 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Qualifying for the race started on Tuesday and the team arrived early in the week to start putting time on the sled. The team used the same simple formula that landed them second place in the race last year – take a stock Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600, install a Speedwerx mod engine, block the FOX shocks to lower the sled, install Stud Boy traction products and do little else other than basic cross-country/ice racing prep. They qualified 27th out of 42 sleds and, when the green flag flew to start the race on Saturday morning, lead rider Simons began moving the sled to the front of the pack. By the halfway point the team was in third place but a lap and a half later they had to drop out because of a mechanical problem.
“It was running good until we had a problem with one of the cylinders,” said Simons. “But that’s how this race goes, attrition is definitely a factor in success. Our team worked hard getting the sled ready and basically took the entire sled apart the day before the race, but you can only control so much and sometimes things happen that are out of your hands.”
“After finishing second last year we had high hopes this year,” said Dwight Christian. “But this isn’t a 10-lap race, it’s 500-laps, and that’s why it’s so hard to win. We’ll be back next year and we’ll be ready.”