The SOO I-500 is a prestigious race to win. To those who race at the SOO I-500 they will tell you, "this is the place to be - it's the big one, and the one to win."
The SOO I-500 is the GRAND DADDY of them all. The worlds longest, toughest, fastest and most exciting snowmobile endurance race, bar none. The prestige of winning the SOO I-500 is what drives these outstanding professional drivers. They want the HARDWARE - the trophy is visible proof that confirms their respected physical abilities and the way their sleds perform. The teams and sponsors know know that racing her means "we are proud of our accomplishments at the worlds greatest snowmobile endurance race."
Not ALL of a full field of 38 race sleds can win the coveted I-500 hardware. Therefore, the I-500 project goes beyond issuing a trophy to the top 15 places, drivers and teams are presented additional awards which are equally important and no less prestigious.
To participate within any capacity at the SOO I-500 is an honor. Each driver, team and sponsor can be proud to have raced at the worlds greatest snowmobile endurance race. There is a common bond and mutual respect for their place in snowmobile racing history. Every SOO I-500 driver is in a class of professional racers second to none in any type of professional racing. ALL hardware and awards presented by the I-500 Directors represents a tribute to the respected efforts and integrity of each driver, team member and sponsors, who race at the SOO I-500 are presented as follows ...
- The Soo International 500 race presents a trophy to each of the first 15 places
- Each driver has the opportunity to receive "Lap-Leader" payment for their sled leading each lap
Additional prestigious I-500 awards are presented for the following:
- Ladi Filipcheck Award is presented to the driver that moves UP the most from starting position i.e. starts in 22nd position and ends UP 2nd. "Ladi" was a driver that died a long time ago as a result of injuries he received from an accident in another race.
- Joe Burch Memorial Trophy presented for the "prettiest" sled. Joe passed away while driving his race sled with a massive heart attack. This award is presented by the members of the Joe Burch family.
- Lynwood-Skid-Roe Sportsmanship Memorial Award. Lynwood was one of the past race directors. This award recipient is selected by race officials for outstanding sportsmanship.
- Rookie Talentino Memorial Mechanic Award. Presented to a pit-crew for sportsmanship. The recipient is selected by race officials and is usually presented by Jim Talentino or someone from the Talentino family.
- Keith Rutledge Memorial Plaque. This award is kept at the SOO I-500 track center and is displayed at various events attended by I-500 staff. The plaque proudly displays past SOO I-500 winners. A history making award drivers know will be on hand throughout the future of this world class event. An award held in high regard by every driver(s) who has won the SOO I-500 as they know their name is etched in the snowmobile endurance ice-oval racing history books. Prestigious? You bet. It says it all ... WE WON THE SOO I-500!