Thursday Wrap-up 2013

Photos From Thursday's Events

LBM Speedshop Dominates Woody's Challenge

There was no stopping the No. 5 LMB Speedshop Polaris during the Woody's Challenge pro-am race Thursday night at the International 500 Snowmobile Race track. Kevin Gainforth lapped all but six of the 16 entrants during the first 20-lap portion of the race and led the second-place sled by more than 26 seconds. Once the field was bunched up again and the top drivers took over, Eric Bouman gained 9.693 seconds on the second-place No. 32 Piche Performance Polaris to get the win and the $1,000 prize from Woody's Traction. Gainforth will drive Saturday with the No. 12 Countryside Motorsports team that starts on the pole. He rode the LMB Speedshop machine just once before the Challenge and said it "was just a slow practice session. “It was turning through the corner real good, was great down the straightaway and there was a clear track so I could see where I was going,” Gainforth said. “ The winning snowmobile is not a “Soo Sled,” but a purpose-built sled for MIRA races, said Bouman, who praised his fellow driver. “For (Gainforth) to come out here after riding this just once, that just shows how good of a driver he is,” Bouman said.

I-500 Starting Line-up

(Click here for complete Starting Line-up table)

Place No. Team Drivers Sled Time Speed
1 12 Countryside Motorsports Grant Vermeersch
Keith Gainforth
Tom Bell
Yamaha 40.593 88.69
2 11 Wuppett Wace Team John Bozek
Ryan Flynn
Cameron Rittenour
Tom Bozek
Polaris 39.920 90.18
3 21 Cadarette Collision Troy DeWald
Ryan Spencer
Todd Krikke
Arctic Cat 40.784 88.27
4 20 R&R Racing Josh Ware
John Giffel
Chris Ryan
Matt Ryan
Polaris 40.831 88.17
5 19 Tommie Bauer Racing Cody Badour
Tyler Nickels
Chad Bauer
Arctic Cat 41.431 86.89
6 3 XLT Engineering/ Woody's Corey Davidson
Eric Gausen
John Anetsberger
Polaris 41.768 86.19
7 32 Piche Performance Larry Young
Bryan Ball
Scott Rutledge
Polaris 41.898 85.92
8 311 Yamaha Racing Ross Erdman
Re Wadena
Jacob Muller
Yamaha 41.997 85.72
9 85 Eichenberg Racing Kris Eichenberg
Kirk Ringler
Yamaha 42.064 85.58
10 10 Countryside Motorsports Cam Vermeersch
Ben Lindbom
Brent Vermeersch
Yamaha 42.067 85.58
11 35 Team Torture Scott Odom
Greg Town
Cody Shinualt
Jeff Wilcox
Ski-Doo 42.329 85.05
12 74 Bunke Racing Gabe Bunke
Aaron Christiansen
Spencer Kadlec
Polaris 42.470 84.77
13 22 Beard Motorsports Mike Haynes
Joe Burch
Jesse Wezensky
Polaris 42.523 84.66
14 02 Team Blu Joel Diamond
Cardell Potter
Duane Baur
Polaris 42.535 84.64
15 131 131 Racing Mike Babcock
Bobby Menne
Ivan Hansen
Polaris 42.687 84.33
16 18 Dunn Racing James Hicks
Dustin Fierek
Dale Dunn Jr.
Ski-Doo 42.725 84.26
17 537 Bunke Racing 2 Ryan Faust
Travis Faust
Polaris 42.756 84.20
18 29 DL Racing Justin Tate
Mike VanDolder
Jeff Leuenberger
Ski-Doo 42.801 84.11
19 14 Gentz /Bouchard Racing Chad Dyrdah
lBrady Dyrdahl
Jason McArthur
Mike Gentz
Polaris 43.001 83.72
20 67 Hoos Racing Bill Wilkes
Steve Spence
John Hoos
Dave Nelson
Polaris 43.046 83.63
21 16 Russell Racing Shane Felegy
Joe Fjerstad
Mike Dolezal
Polaris 43.068 83.59
22 1 Blue Team Racing Rod Bell
Brandon Vermeersch
Mickey Kandle
Brad Green
Yamaha 43.205 83.32
23 167 Mohan Racing Darrell Howard
Matt Hoos
Brad McConnell
Arctic Cat 43.484 82.79
24 5 LMB Speedshop Kevin Bouman
Eric Bouman
Polaris 43.593 82.58
25 52 Christian Bros. Racing Ryan Simons
Brian Dick
Arctic Cat 43.652 82.47
26 X1 KingKat Racing Isaac Wolfgang
Eric Rouland
Arctic Cat 43.678 82.42
27 9 Mayer Racing Aaron Mayer
Anthony Mayer
Mike VanSloten
Polaris 43.683 82.41
28 407 Yovich Racing Brian Anderson
Eric Zellar
Tim Hall
Nate Woodward
Polaris 43.695 82.39
29 17 R&S Racing John Booth
Lance Tremblay
Terry Wright
Arctic Cat 43.790 82.21
30 26 Top Secret Racing Lance Kalbfleisch
Kyle Strieter
Kyle Roe
Arctic Cat 43.802 82.19
31 42 Millenium Motorsports Andy Shoemaker
Grant Lynch
Polaris 43.805 82.18
32 57 Felzke Farms James Heiler
Gary McNeil
Polaris 43.866 82.07
33 86 Team Traction Tim Gregory
Jason Fountain
Greg May
Dan Minta
Polaris 43.896 82.01
34 34 Kovar Racing Jim Erickson
Dan Maki
Rich Autterson
Polaris 43.922 81.96
35 63 Eckert Racing Antero Tarvudd
Kyle Eckert
Zak Mason
Polaris 44.046 81.73
36 72 Applebee's Racing Karl Schwartz
Jeremy Piippo
Rich Spranger
Polaris 44.310 81.25
37 36 K&K Racing Walt Komarnizki
Dan Crimin
Fred Lupintz
Ski-Doo 44.578 80.76
38 66 Moyle Racing Gary Moyle
Chad Lian
Andrew Terrill
Arctic Cat 44.585 80.74
* The No. 73 Holeshot Motorsports team did not qualify

NOTE: EVENT UPDATE - #72 Applebees Racing, #36 K & K Racing & #66 Moyle Racing will be in the field for the 45th running of the SOO I-500. 38 teams will take the green flag.  An updated line up is listed above.

The No. 167 Mohan Racing team escaped the bubble Thursday, clocking a lap of 43.484 seconds at an average speed of 82.79 mph to move up to 24th place to start Saturday's 45th Annual International 500 Snowmobile Race. The Anchorage, Alaska-based Arctic Cat with lead driver Darrell Howard entered the final day of qualifying in 38th place with 42 teams vying for an I-500 spot. This is the first time since 2004 more teams registered for qualifying than there were spots in the field. Positions are unofficial until final registration Friday. If teams drop out or choose not to register for the I- 500 for any reason, the teams that did not make the top 38 will fill out the field. Missing the cut for now are the No. 72 Applebee's Racing Polaris with 1984 I-500 champion Karl Schwartz, Walt Komarnizki on the No. 36 K&K Racing Ski-Doo out of Sault Ste. Marie, Gary Moyle on the No. 66 Moyle Racing Arctic Cat out of Houghton, Mich., and Billy Skea on the No. 73 Holeshot Motorsports Polaris out of Traverse City, Mich. There were no changes to the top 10 as the track is a little torn up after three days of qualifying. The snow Wednesday prevented track officials from being able to water the track overnight. Grant Vermeersch of Unionville, Mich., riding the No. 12 Countryside Motorsports Yamaha, will start first, with John Bozek of Garfield, Minn., riding the No. 11 Wuppet Wace Team Polaris, will start second. The No. 32 Piche Performance Polaris out of Sault Ste. Marie posted the best time of the day in 42.164 seconds (85.38 mph).

Two-Time Indy 500 Champ to Wave Green Flag

Gordon Johncock, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, will be the honorary flagman to start the race Saturday, the I-500 confirmed Wednesday night. Johncock won the Indianapolis 500 in 1973 and 1982, with his second win coming in what was at the time the smallest margin in Indy 500 history. He retired from racing in 1992. Johncock is a special guest of Team 131 Menne Racing and crew chief Ivan Hansen, a past I-500 winning driver. Team 131 invited Gordon to be part of the team this year. This is Gordon’s first experience with snowmobile racing. He is excited and looking forward to Saturday’s race. The I-500 has its roots in Indy lore. The original race rules and qualifying format for the inaugural race in 1969 were modeled after Indy 500 rules. The I-500 considers itself the Indy 500 of snowmobile races, and we are honored to have a true racing legend at our track during Raceday.

In Memoriam of Leroy Lindblad

The I-500 Committee is dedicating the 45th Annual race to one of its original stars, Leroy Lindblad. The Roseau, Minn., native died on Oct. 13, 2012, in Salina, Kan. He was 72. "He helped me when I was starting out, racing out of Pro-5," said racer Mike Staszak. "He was one of the smartest men I've ever met when it comes to snowmobiles. "We're going to miss him. I've never met a guy who didn't like Leroy. If you find one, I'd like to meet him." Lindblad won the 6th Annual I-500 in 1974 on a Polaris and was the first driver to win the race from pole position, which he also won in 1975. Lindblad was inducted into the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in January 1992. "I remember standing here on the bluff when I was 13 years old and watching him," Staszak said. "He was a legend. We're going to miss him."

The Rookie Roundup

The Rookie Roundup finally got underway this morning when 23 sleds took to the track for race officials to determine whether they are allowed to race Saturday. The rookies took 17 laps and practiced the harrowing two-abreast stars going into Turn 1.

Coming Up - Friday

The Miss International 500 Pageant will be held at 6 p.m. in the vendor tent. The Kids Mini-Z Race gets underway 7 p.m. in the I-500 parking venue. Teams will be off the track Friday as they are busy registering and setting up their sleds to withstand the abuse of 500 miles.

Media Director: Ric Federau, 989-808-5266

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