Pro racer Daniel Benham (Warnert Racing) clinched his first Pro class win of the season and the rest of the Ski-Doo snocross race teams continued to dominate the ISOC Snocross series in Deadwood, SD, this past weekend, remaining undefeated in Pro classes.
Benham set the pace with incredible quickness off the line all day Saturday going 1-1 in his qualifying heats to emerge as the No. 1 qualifier. When the green flag dropped to start Saturday night’s main event, he continued his string of strong starts taking the holeshot and never looked back.
The incredibly rough track conditions took no prisoners, so the strong starts were paramount to Benham’s success.
“The holeshot makes everything easier,” said Benham. “I had clear vision for maybe half of the race. I picked up lines and stayed smooth.”
The win helped Benham firm up his grip on third place in the overall points standings. Ski-Doo racers now hold the top three spots in the chase for the overall points championship. Sitting just ahead of Benham in second is Vermont native Lincoln Lemieux (Scheuring Speed Sports). Both are trying to chase down defending champion Elias Ishoel (BOSS Racing) who was able to extend his points lead with a third place finish on Saturday and a win on Friday night.
Ishoel Continues To Lead The Way
Ishoel had his own version of perfection on Friday night, winning all his heat races. It took some world-class determination to fight his way past some of the top challengers in the Pro class finals. Once he finally made his way to the front, a red flag restart kept the pack nipping at his snowflap, but Ishoel rode smooth and held strong for his fifth win of the season. He’s won at least one round of racing at every stop on the circuit as we near the halfway point of the season.
Patenaude, Pelletier Remain 1-2
There may be no better dual on the track this season than that between Ski-Doo Pro Lite riders Hunter Patenaude (Scheuring Speed Sports) and Francis Pelletier (Warnert Racing). The pair has finished 1-2 in some fashion in six of the eight rounds of racing so far. Only a judge’s decision kept that from happening in Friday night’s Pro Lite final.
Patenaude made his way through the qualifying rounds in familiar fashion as the top qualifier. Pelletier was not far off the pace, qualifying second. Patenaude took the holeshot in the final, squeaking by on an inside line, eventually building a 10-plus second lead over the rest of the field as the race neared its finish. With two laps remaining, near-disaster struck as he was launched off his sled trying to make his way around lap traffic. Amazingly, he was able to remount his sled and still sprint to the finish ahead of the field for what appeared to be a remarkable win.
Patenaude’s determined effort was eventually nullified by race officials’ decision that he had jumped during a yellow caution flag. The ensuing penalty dropped him three spots to fourth place.
One rider’s misfortune usually turns into another’s good fortune. A strong run from Pelletier turned him into the benefactor of that officials’ decision and turned him into a 2-time winner this season.
Saturday’s Pro Lite action had the same familiar feel. Patenaude was able to battle through soreness from the previous day’s incident to return to his winning ways. He picked off riders early and cruised with clean lines to the checkered flag. Behind him—the only rider who’s been able to top Patenaude so far this season—Francis Pelletier came across in second.
Brodeur Runs Streak To 8
Megan Brodeur (Anderson Racing) grew her season-long win streak to eight straight wins over the weekend, but it was not without challenges from the track or the field.
In recent years Brodeur has not always seen her typical standard for dominating success in Deadwood. Friday night, she looked like she finally had the difficult track’s number as she confidently picked her lines and looked every bit of the racer who has yet to be beaten this season.
Saturday’s challenge came from the field as Brodeur had to fight to get around the competition, but she would eventually prevail landing her in the only place she’s stood after a race all season—on top of the box.
Youngsters Show Strong In Deadwood
The future for the Ski-Doo X-Team looks bright as Sport and Jr. Class riders continued their run of success on the season.
In the Sport class, Adam Ashline finished second on Friday night. Current Sport overall points leader Jordan Lebel held strong for two top-5 finishes on the weekend.
Emeric Legendre Perron took home third place in Friday’s Sport Lite action and followed it up with a win on Saturday. Drew Freeland showed strong finishing third in Saturday’s round.
Perron also took home wins in both Jr. 16-17 class and Jr. 14-15 classes on the weekend, leading podium sweeps in both classes for the Ski-Doo youth racers.
Snocross action continues Jan. 31-Feb. 1, as the series heads to Dubuque, IA.