Press Release –
The Avalanche Racing Team earned victories, podiums, and consistent finishes during the 2006-2007 WPSA PowerSports Snowmobile Tour season. A consistent run by its Pro, Semi-Pro, Junior and Sport riders resulted in 10 overall podiums and two victories on the season.
“This season went quite well,” said Team co-owner Bonnie Glefke. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but working with the fans makes it all worthwhile. Momentum is part of any sport, and I think we really set the tone early this season. We had some challenges, but this team never gives up. As a team, we really worked well together, and I think we can pronounce the 2006-2007 season a success on many levels.”
Avalanche’s Pro rider, “Monster” Mike Schultz (No. 5 Avalanche Racing Team/Polaris) fought injury and a bad cold to turn in a thrilling finish in the final WPSA Riders’ Championship. In his second full season as a Pro, Schultz finished sixth in the final Pro Open standings after earning one podium and fourth in Pro Stock with two runner-up efforts. Schultz finished 12th and 13th, respectively, in last year’s points.
“The season was excellent,” said Schultz. “Right out of the gate, we grabbed a podium at Duluth in Pro Stock. That really set the tone for the year and we began building momentum. Every weekend, we were in the hunt. I had one bad weekend at Canterbury, but we shook that off easily. That’s racing and we make no excuses. The team was excellent this year. They gave 110% all season.”
Schultz was pleased with his improvement, and hopes to continue that momentum into next year.
“Last year was my first year as a Pro,” said Schultz. “I wasn’t really prepared mentally to charge with the guys up front. During the off-season, I put my head down and told myself: ‘This is my time. I’m just as good as everyone else out here and I’m going to go for it.’”
Andrew Johnstad (No. 255 Avalanche Racing/Polaris) finished an impressive Semi-Pro season, clinching sixth in Semi-Pro Open on the merit of a single runner-up finish, and second in Pro Stock with three podium appearances.
“We started out strong, and maintained that throughout the year,” said Johnstad. “Every weekend, we were always in contention. You can’t complain about that. I’m planning to return to Semi-Pro next year. We never made the top step of the podium this year, so I have some unfinished business over here.”
Avalanche’s Junior 10-13 rider James Johnstad (No. 154 Avalanche Racing Team/Polaris) had an exciting season, which included two consecutive victories and an additional podium. James Johnstad is Andrew Johnstad’s younger brother.
“Getting my first win at Eagle River was just awesome, and to back that up with another one the next weekend made it even sweeter,” said Johnstad. “The Avalanche Team is just so competitive. They’ve helped me so much this year. I’m learning and having fun. I can’t wait for next season.”
The team’s Sport rider David Glefke (No. 147 Avalanche Racing Team/Polaris) continued to learn this season, and is looking forward to returning next year.
“This year was all about gaining experience, and I can say that mission was accomplished,” said Glefke. “We had some ups and downs this year, but that comes with the territory. The team worked so hard this year for me, and we were always competitive. I’m stoked about next season.”
Avalanche Racing Team co-owners Bonnie and Mike Glefke earned the Team Sportsmanship Award for their efforts in promoting themselves, as well as the PowerSports Snowmobile Tour this season.
Along with several special events, Avalanche partnered with the Tour on the popular Avalanche Racing Crew Member for a Day Contest. The Contest gave one lucky fan a chance to be a member of the Avalanche crew during each race this season, and awarded up to $1,000 to the winner.
Additionally Avalanche hosted a group of local 120 CHAMP racers from Winter Thunder Challenge as their guests during the Geneva event.
“Our hats are off to the Avalanche team for their efforts this season,” said PowerSports Entertainment CEO Rick Murphy. “The Avalanche Crew Member for a Day Contest was a unique and exciting concept that was extremely popular. Mike and Bonnie Glefke truly ‘get it’ when it comes to promoting racing, and they make the Tour better, simply by their presence.”