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Earlier this week, I took a quick trip to Thief River Falls (SEE TRIP REPORT HERE) and met up with Ben Langaas, who is an engineering lead on the High Performance snowmobile team.

When I’m around guys like Ben who are engineers, but also race the product they work on daily to develop, it makes me feel really good about Arctic Cat snowmobiles and those involved in R&D.

Ill digress a bit, but I recently watched a video from another OEM race manager who said they race for a couple reasons: Marketing (What Wins on Sunday Sells on Monday) and they race to develop the product for consumers (R&D).

After watching/hearing this, I thought, “Hell, Arctic Cat has been living that mantra for decades.” – And knowing passionate performance guys like Ben, and the Team Arctic racers he works with, that continues to give me the good feeling I mentioned about the brand.


Photo: – Ben brought me his newest race poster and signed it. (Its already on my wall of fame) Last season on the COR Powersports cross country circuit, Team Arctic swept the Top Ten Pro Open class year end high points. Ben finished 6th in that group.
On this morning, a recent blanket of fresh snow came through including Gonvick, MN – Home of the legendary Pine Lake cross-country race.
When I approached the Pine Lake landing, there were 5-6 trailers out on the ice, including a couple of Ben’s ZRs and a variety of others.
Inside Ben’s trailer, was Dalton Fredrickson (L), Chad Lian (R), Abe Olson (behind Chad) in Team Arctic coat, and Steve Olson in the front of the trailer.
Ben (L) was working with Abe Olson (R). The basic goal for everyone that day was to look at clutching, speeds and fuel mapping. Above, Ben cleaned up a portion of the fuel map and readied Abe for another test run.
It was pretty brisk outside…while waiting for Abe to complete his runs, Ben would discuss with Chad thoughts on going fast – And Chad practiced his best “Hand up on the Hip” pose for the camera.
When Abe would come in, the two would discuss what Abe felt/saw, discussing RPMs, speeds etc. Ben would confirm via computer, adjust and get after the process again. Last season, Abe finished year end points in 2nd for Semi-Pro Improved, and 4th Semi-Pro Factory 600. He’ll be jumping up to the Pro class this season. Abe’s dad, Steve Olson, is a multi-time winner of SOO 500.
#334 Dalton Fredrickson

You’ll want to turn your volume up to 11 as Dalton Fredrickson takes Chad Lian’s ZR Mod out for a rip…the idle was ear piercing, but the behind-the-trailer BRAAAAAAAP just echoed off the trees! Just wait for that glorious sound!! Last season Chad Lian finished year end points 8th in Pro Open and 6th in Pro Factory 600. He was also the winner of the 2019 Pine Lake opener.

Good Luck Team Arctic cross country racers this season! The COR Powersports Pine Lake opener is January 1-2. Look for the Team Arctic race releases on ArcticInsider this season. – Kale



  1. The 99 and Olsen sleds are running different front end plastics with no headlights. Chassis configuration might be a little different with handlebars further forward but hard to tell. Also tail lights are seat mounted.

    The RH side panel on the 99 looks gigantic, for some reason. And yes, it sounds fantastic.

    Some interesting stuff on display, to say the least.

  2. I think the side panel looks bigger because the sled has been lowered for ice racing. The taillight gets moved to the seat to prevent it from getting knocked out from behind during braking while entering corners.

  3. After watching/hearing this, I thought, ā€œHell, Arctic Cat has been living that mantra for decades.ā€

    need a new mantra. last to decades of that mantra just haven’t went cats way. or did it? cat won on sunday, and textron bought them on a monday.


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