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HomeNewsVingtage Goes Big at the 2011 I-500 XC

Vingtage Goes Big at the 2011 I-500 XC

Will an Arctic Cat emerge from the snowdust to win the vintage I-500?


Big Race, Big Names, Big Weekend

The glory days of the I-500 live on only in old photos, grainy films and stories told by those who were lucky enough to be there.

Arctic Cat race legend and '78 I-500 winner, Brian Nelson

Names like Brian Nelson, Doug Oster, Jon Carlson and Archie Simonson stir memories of the fierce competitors who braved frozen terrain aboard leaf-sprung machines. Those glory days are set to return once again January 22, 2011, when The USCC National Guard Cross-Country Snowmobile Championship presents the Legends of Cross-Country Vintage class during the second leg of this year’s Red Lake I-500.

Will Gerard Karpik show up on a sweet RV?

“Like so many snowmobilers my age I grew up idolizing these guys and I’m excited to see them race again,” said USCC President Pat Mach. “There are a lot of former racers contacting us about coming out to race and I have to say I feel like a little kid when race registrations come into the office with these names on them.”

Fans can watch these legends race the machines that made them famous or, if they think they have the guts, they can choose to match skills against them. There will be two divisions offered in the vintage class. The Vintage Legends class will be for racers 50 years of age and older, while the standard Vintage class will be for all other racers.

Arctic Cat, Deere, Polaris, Yamaha, Ski-Doo...hopefull all will be on the start

Vintage class sleds must be 1981 or older and no larger than 500cc for air-cooled sleds or 440cc for liquid-cooled. Vintage racers will run the complete 170-mile Saturday I-500 leg. The Vintage sleds will hit the course after all the modern sleds have left the starting line from the Seven Clans Casino in Thief River Falls, Minn.

The Saturday leg promises to be spectator-friendly with many opportunities to view the racers as they head north through Thief River Falls and then turn west towards the Northwestern Minnesota cities of Viking, Warren, Argyle and Oslo. The sleds will then head East through Warren and St. Hilare on their way back to the finish line at the Seven Clans Casino.

Gas-and-go for this Arctic Cat cross-country racer

“This is going to be an awesome weekend for cross-country snowmobile race fans.” Said USCC President Pat Mach. “Fans will be able to see today’s best racers along with the legends of the sport all in one day on one course. It should be a great day for cross-country snowmobile racing.

Click HERE for more information on the USCC National Guard Cross-Country Snowmobile Championship, the Red Lake I-500 and USCC Vintage racing.

All the photos shown here are from the C.J. Ramstad Archives, and can be purchased HERE.



  1. Are the vintage sleds running the full distance?

    What is the entry fee, and what about fuel stops. I assume they will be closer together than the 600 class sleds

  2. Hal check out the uscc website,, ther you will find all that you need to know and if not it has phone numbers to where you can get a hold of someone. Pat is the head guys so he would be a good start. And from what i understand the vintage sleds are gonig the entire 170 mile loop for the day.

    If I get passed by someone on a vintage sled I dont even know what I would do, even though there are going to be some of the best racers on them I would still be pretty embarrased, that is if I make it to the second day, ha.

  3. Yep, the vintage class races just one day (day two of the three day event). And as Clem states, all the info is on the USCC website.

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