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    USXC Logo

    Planning eight events over three months is one thing, seeing them all come true is another. When the first green flag dropped at Pine Lake, near Gonvick, Minn., December 14, who knew racers would have the opportunity to compete throughout an entire season of racing action. Eight events, eight venues, and eight Minnesota cities. Truly special.

    The recurring theme all winter was the brutal weather facing racers, crews, and fans, that is, until the final race of the year in Walker, Minn. No one in the United States seemed to be immune to harsh winter conditions in 2013-2014. As a result, it was hard to get anyone to feel sorry for USXC competitors. As always, though, the cross country racers endured below zero temps and storm laden driving conditions to and from the races to rock the courses at break-neck pace.

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      USXC Pine Lake Preview

      For over 25 years Pine Lake, near Gonvick, Minn., has been the scene for the start of cross-country snowmobile racing and 2013 will continue that tradition.

      Racers look to shake off the summer rust, find their favorite line, and get their pace back from last season. New machines go from crate to workbench to the fast ice surface of Pine Lake where clutching, jetting, and setups are tested in preparation for the new season. The Pine Lake 200, once again, kicks-off a highly anticipated, eight race USXC schedule for 2013-2014.

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        Arctic Cat Racing

        It seemed like just about every weekend this winter, we were writing about an Arctic Cat sled on top of a podium. With snowmobile racing all wrapped up until next fall, Arctic Cat says its racers have claimed more high-point championship titles than anybody else.

        “When you win most of the battles, you’re likely going to win the war,” says Team Arctic Race Manager, Mike Kloety. “In USXC cross-country especially, yet also in ISOC snocross and RMSHA hillclimbs, we won more than our share of the battles and, as a result, took home most of the championship high point titles.”

        Arctic Cat found its greatest success in the USXC cross-country circuit, where Team Arctic racers claimed high-point titles in 13 of 20 classes. Headlining the cross-country domination were Christian Brothers Racing Pros Ryan Simons and Zach Herfindahl, who finished 1-2 in both Pro 600 and Pro Open championship tallies. Other stand-out title performances in USXC belong to Benjamin Langaas, who won both Expert 85 and Improved 85 titles; And Jolene Bute, who won all 10 Women’s finals (and the Championship title) during the season.

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          Ryan Simons I-500

          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).

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            Tucker Hibbert X Games

            Tucker Hibbert and his team celebrate his sixth straight X Games gold medal. (photo courtesy John Hanson)

            It was a gold-medal weekend for Team Arctic Racing, with emphatic wins by Tucker Hibbert at the ESPN X Games.

            Hibbert’s historic seventh gold was also his sixth in a row, the first X Games athlete to achieve this feat. When the then-15-year-old catapult himself into the world spotlight by winning his first X Games gold in the year 2000, it was clear that Hibbert was destined for further snocross greatness. Including his seven gold medals, Hibbert has won 11 medals in his X Games career.

            Team Arctic racers Derek Ellis and Logan Christian earned eighth and 14th finishes in the Snocross final; Cory Davis took a silver medal in Speed & Style, a fourth in Best Trick and fifth in Freestyle; and Chris Heppding scored seventh in Snocross Adaptive.

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