Polaris’ Red Riders are on the pipe in Alaska
Following just weeks behind Polaris’ Iron Dog hat trick (three wins in three years) and Tyler Huntington and Chris Olds’ twopeat, Polaris scores big in Alaska begining with the Valdez Mayor’s Cup race on Saturday March 12. Big Lake Powersports and Marine racers took the podium in multiple classes: Winning Semi-pro aboard a 2011 Polaris Rush Pro R 600 was Cody Barber of Willow, AK. Ashley Wood of Soldotna, AK convincingly won womens pro aboard a Polaris IQr 600 while taking on double duty and placing tenth in Semi-pro Mens. Nick Olstad of Wasilla, AK took the third teir on the podium in Mens Pro aboard his 2011 Rush 600 Pro R despite multiple setbacks throughout the day. Other Red Riders included Nick Petito- 4th mens Pro, Nick Axhelm-5th Mens Pro, Scott Faeo-6th Mens Pro, Kody Worley-7th Mens Semi-pro, Brian Jurenka 8th Mens Semi-pro, Ashley Wood-10th Mens Semi-pro, Dani Levine-12th Mens Semi-pro, Bo Stanberry 15th Mens Semi Pro, Billy Long-4th Vets and Dani Levine-3rd in Womens Pro. The City of Valdez puts on a great race which racers come from afar to attend as it is one of the most anticipated races of the year in Alaska. The race route consists of a 22 mile loop that goes from sea level up to around 1,500 feet in elevation and proves to be a grueling race as the sun moves across the sky softening the deep snow and changing from lap to lap.
The site of the halfway point of the Iron Dog race and the finish of the Iditarod is also the location of one of the most prestigious races in Alaska: The Nome-Golovin cross country. The City of Nome and the Bering-Sea Lions Club raise money all year long to put on the greatest short race in Alaska, Leaving Nome southbound to Golovin and then back, a round trip of about 200 miles and leaving winners with checks as large as $15,000. Aron Loyer, 25 of Palmer, AK made the journey to Nome aboard a borrowed Rush 600 Pro R leftover from Iron Dog race. With minor preparations, 30 miles into the race, Loyer hooked up with Joe Fullwood of Nome, (also on a Rush Pro R)
and proceeded to pick off the competition two at a time. “Joe and I swapped positions 7 times throughout the race,” Loyer commented. Loyer gave respect to Fullwood who crashed passing Loyer, breaking his Femur and requiring a helicopter trip back to Nome, saying “Joe is an animal. This race was his to lose. I had nothing for his raw speed in the really rough stuff, but that raw speed bit him in the butt.”
Loyer won the 600 class by 5 minutes and 19 seconds, and won the overall prize by being the fastest to complete the round trip by 2 minutes 35 seconds over the next fastest sled which was in the open class. Other noteable finishes for the Red Riders are Evan Booth of Nome, AK 2nd Open class, Louis Warneke-Green of Nome, AK 3rd Open Class, Mike Morgan of Nome, AK 4th Open Class, Nicholas Reader of Nome, AK 4th 600, Gary Nanouk 6th of Kotzebue, AK Marlene Saccheus of Elim, AK 1st Womens, Sidney Mitchell of Selawik, AK 2nd Womens and Mercie McGuffey of Nome, AK 3rd Womens.
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