Press Release –
Cory Davis Captures Semi-Pro Open Crown; Carly Davis Wins Pro Women; Justin Tate Gets Long Awaited Championship in Pro Plus 30;
After coming up just one point shy of winning the year-end title a year ago, TJ Gulla (Polaris) who came into the Pro Open final Sunday afternoon with a 15-point lead over teammate Brett Bender (Polaris), was not about to let history repeat itself.
One day earlier, Gulla’s teammate Levi LaVallee had brought home his first championship in Pro Super Stock to the Hentges Racing Team. Now it was Gulla’s turn to do the same on what would be the final race of the year in the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series.
One thing was for certain when the top riders in Pro Open came to the line late Sunday afternoon at the base of the Mountaintop Ski Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Polaris would win the title as Levi LaVallee (Polaris) joined his teammates Gulla and Bender atop the point standings. The mission for Gulla however was simple, finish 13th or better and the title was his.
As racers grabbed a handful of throttle at the start of the 14-lap final, it was Bender who emerged from a turn one tangle involving three sleds at the top of the hill to take the lead as he plummeted back down the hill.
Close behind was Ian Hayden (Yamaha) who along with his teammate Steve Taylor (Yamaha) used the Yamaha four-stroke power to slingshot to second and third respectively. Following the Yamaha duo was Brett Turcotte (Arctic Cat) in fourth, Gulla in fifth and Garth Kaufman (Arctic Cat) in sixth.
In the early going, Turcotte was all over Taylor like a blanket as he tried to take over the bridesmaid position. But soon the blanket turned to a battering ram, as Turcotte pushed Taylor up and over the berm coming into the finish line jump, thereby shuffling Taylor well back in the mix and earning Turcotte a black flag for his efforts.
The exit of Turcotte gave the third place position to Kaufman, who had worked his way around Gulla and had his sights set on a podium finish. Not long after, Kaufman got by Hayden for second and settled into a groove behind leader Brett Bender, who continued to lay down a consistent pace up front.
While the championship was virtually secured for Gulla, he wanted more and executed a beautiful inside-out pass at the bottom of the hill to get by Hayden. The move by Gulla settled the top of the field into their final finishing order, with Bender nabbing back to back wins in as many races, Kaufman coming home second and the 2008-2009 Pro Open Champion, TJ Gulla grabbing the final podium spot in third.
“I knew exactly where I had to finish,” said Gulla as he celebrated his year-end title. “The year started out a little shaky but we stuck with it and got stronger near the end of the season. After losing the championship last year by one point I really didn’t care if I won it this year by one point or twenty.”
Davis Captures Semi-Pro Super Stock Title; Salemark Wins Final
The task for Cory Davis (Arctic Cat) was simple as the Semi-Pro Super Stock final came to the line. Keep Tim Tremblay (Ski-doo), the winner of the Semi-Pro Open championship on Saturday, behind him. In doing so, Davis would assure himself the year-end crown in Semi-Pro Super Stock.
Lining up on the far outside of the starting grid, Davis was along side Dan Ebert (Arctic Cat), while Quebec rider Tremblay chose the opposite side of the grid for the long up-hill charge towards the first turn. As sleds launched from the line, it was the green of Ebert and Davis cresting the hill first. Tremblay looked to disappear over the top on the fly-away jump in sixth, but a parking lot at the top of the hill saw Tim loose more ground as he made his way back down the hill in ninth place.
At the front of the pack, as the field sorted itself out, was Matt Pichner (Arctic Cat) followed by Dan Ebert in second, Cory Davis in third and Swedish rider Christian Salemark (Arctic Cat) in fourth. But just two laps into the 12-lap final, Ebert unloaded while negotiating one of the treacherous downhill portions of the course. That shuffled Davis and Salemark up behind Pichner.
Not long after, Davis slipped past Pichner for the lead, and Salemark followed suit one lap later. Much deeper in the pack, Tremblay was putting on a clinic of passing prowess, working his way up from ninth to fourth by lap seven. As he had for so many times this season, Tremblay was forced to overcome a bad start and was executing the fastest laps on the track by as much as 2-seconds a lap.
With Davis apparently content to ride smart, Salemark tucked his Ski-doo up under Davis with a smooth crossover pass near the starting grid to take over the top spot. Tremblay also had one more pass in him, slicing under then third place rider Logan Christian (Arctic Cat) for the final podium spot. At the line it was Salemark with the win; Davis in second for the year end title; and Tremblay in third.
“Coming into the final I knew where I was at in the point chase,” said Davis after the race. “I was thinking about the championship the entire time I was out there. I was so nervous and Christian (Salemark) was so fast, I just wanted to stay clean.”
Carly Davis Wins Pro Women Title; Justin Tate Claims Pro Plus 30 Championship
In other action on what was the last day of racing on the national tour for the 2008-2009 season, young gun Carly Davis (Arctic Cat) from Soldotna, Alaska took home top honors in Pro Women with another win on the season. In Pro Plus 30, long time pro racer and fan favorite Justin Tate (Ski-doo) won his first year-end championship and notched another victory in the Plus 30 class with a win Sunday afternoon.
The Season Lives On
While there is a lot of summer between now and the start of the 2009-2010 AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series in Duluth, Minnesota, you can stay abreast of all the latest news, rumors and changes in store for next winter at www.isocracing.com
About ISOC – The International Series of Champions (ISOC) is the premiere snowmobile race sanctioning organization in North America and sanctions a national snocross tour in addition to three regional circuits.