Whooped-out ditch, winding river and carnage-causing rough conditions made their first appearances of the 2012 cross-country season at the USCC Grafton 100, and Team Arctic responded by delivering a whooping of their own, including 13 of 17 victories, seven podium sweeps and victory in both Pro classes.
Leading the charge in the Pro classes was Christian Bros. Racing’s D.J. Ekre, who started the day by winning the Pro Open class ahead of teammates Ryan Simons and Cory Davis. After the 20-mile course was transformed into a rough, half-dirt minefield by the many classes of competition throughout the day, Ekre lined up for the five-lap, 100-mile Pro 600 final as the favorite to win. Combining his blazing speed with the excellent handling of his Sno Pro 600 in the ProCross chassis, Ekre fulfilled the expectations with a winning time of 1:48:36, nearly two minutes faster than second place.
“This was one of the roughest courses I’ve seen in years, with more than half the field unable to finish,” commented Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “D.J. put himself into the lead early and then ran the perfect pace to preserve his win. Unfortunately Ryan Simons hit a rock halfway through the final lap, otherwise he’d have taken second in both Pro classes.”
Highlighting Team Arctic’s depth and the strength of the 2012 Sno Pro race sleds, 11 different racers claimed class wins at Grafton.
While the cross-country corps was tearing up the terrain in North Dakota, Team Arctic snocrossers delivered a solid performance at the ISOC National at the Pontiac Silverdome. Logan Christian notched his first podium of the season with a second in Pro Open, while Tucker Hibbert had to settle for third following a rare tip-over while passing for the lead.
Other top performances by Team Arctic in the abbreviated Pontiac event included Tyler Adam’s second in Sport, Samantha Tarnowski’s third in Pro Women and the one-two finish of Reid Runkel and Nicholas Horstman in Transition Limited.