After a series of mild days and then rain, a cold front blew in and sent the third event on the USXC schedule, the Willmar Area Lakes 100, into a deep-freeze.
While the front meant a stiff, bone-chilling wind blew all day during race day on Saturday, January 12, it also brought clear skies in its wake meaning good visibility for racers and fans.
The USXC crew laid out roughly a 10-mile course on the frozen surface of Foot Lake just outside downtown Willmar, racers set up shop at the Kandiyohi County fairgrounds and fans lined up on the ice along the shore Saturday to watch the action from the warmth of their vehicles.
Arctic Cat rider Zach Herfindahl started the day off by claiming the first Pro win of his career in the Speedwerx Pro Open class. The 16-year-old rookie Pro is spearheading the youth movement in cross-country snowmobile racing and laid down the fastest time in the 5-lap, 50-mile race (47:37.106) besting his teammate Ryan Simons (47:42.328) by over five seconds. Brian Dick, another one of Herfindahl’s teammates, finished in third with a time of 47:44.148.
Riders left in flights of two in the 10-lap DRIFT Racing Pro 600 class. After the 100-mile race that included a mandatory fuel stop, Brian Dick claimed the win with a time of 1:34:40.222, seven seconds faster than second place finisher Herfindahl and over a minute faster than the third place Arctic Cat of Wes Selby. Just behind Selby was Simons and rounding out the Top 5 was the Arctic Cat of Chad Lian.
Arctic Cat rider Cole Nymann won the Polaris Semi-Pro 600 class finishing the 5-lap, 50-mile race with a time of 49:33.223, nearly 38-second faster than second place Polaris rider Travis Faust and 46-seconds faster than the third place Polaris of Spencer Kadlec.
Faust won the AMSOIL Semi-Pro Improved race logging a five-lap time of 49:22.355 besting the Ski-Doo of Cale Anseeuw and the Polaris of Alex Hetteen by just over 30-seconds.
“The Willmar Area Lakes 100 was a special event for me since it is so close to my home town and the headquarters of USXC, Spicer, Minn.,” said USXC owner Brian Nelson. “The city was a gracious host and being able to hold a race so close to the center of town made for a great event.”
The next USXC event is the Oslo 100 in Oslo, Minn., January 26, 2013.
For complete results visit www.usxcracing.com