Arctic Cat rider Ryan Simons bested the field in the grueling three-day, 500-mile I-500 cross-country race.
The I-500 was hosted by Seven Clans Casino and USXC (United States X-Country Snowmobile Racing) in Thief River Falls, Minn., February 7-9. Riders left Seven Clans Casino each day on three different courses, each approximately 160-miles and each eventually bringing them back to the casino.
The Day 1 course brought riders to the fuel stop in Plummer, Minn., just south of Thief River Falls. After a race delay due to fog, riders enjoyed clear skies and excellent visibility. Simons set the pace with a time of 2:15:43.844, almost three minutes ahead of Arctic Cat rider Cody Kallock (2:18:25.460) and nearly four minutes ahead of Arctic Cat rider Wes Selby (2:19:28.806). After Selby came Aaron Christensen (2:20:30.707), Justin Tate (2:20:35.194) and Corey Davidson (2:22:15.360). Perennial favorite Gabe Bunke was mired in 10th position after leading out and breaking trail most of the day. Notable scratches were 2011 winner Brian Dick (engine) and Chad Lian (engine).