Polaris cross-country snowmobile racers started the 2014-15 USXC season off strong as Ryan Faust (Faust Racing) won the Pro Stock final and Justin Tate (2-Eight Motorsports) reached the podium twice in the Pro classes this past weekend. Polaris racers also earned podium spots with top-three finishes in Semi-Pro and Women’s classes near Gonvick, Minn.
In the Pro Stock class final that Ryan Faust won, all seven Polaris racers in the final scored top-10 finishes. Justin Tate (2-Eight Motorsports) finished third in Pro Stock, Gabe Bunke (Bunke Racing) was fifth, Travis Faust (Faust Racing) was sixth, Bobby Menne (131 Racing) – who missed most of last season with an injury – was seventh, Spencer Kadlec (Bunke Racing) was ninth, and Mike Morgan (Bunke Racing) finished 10th. Morgan is racing selected USXC events before returning to race in Alaska, where he teamed with Chris Olds to finish third in last winter’s Iron Dog race.
Tate earned a second podium finish when he finished third in Pro Open. He was one of five Polaris racers in the top eight, as he was followed by: Ryan Faust in fifth, Travis Faust in sixth, Gabe Bunke in seventh, and Nicholas Jahnke in eighth.
Alex Hetteen (131 Racing) and Taylor Bunke (Bunke Racing) ran well in the weekend’s Semi-Pro races, and they earned two top-four finishes in both finals. In Semi-Pro Improved, Hetteen finished third and Bunke took fourth, while Grant Weber (Faust Racing) was eighth, and Nels Wicklund finished 13th. In the Semi-Pro 600 final, Bunke reached the podium with a third-place finish and Hetteen took fourth.
Polaris racer Jill Tangen won the Women’s class, and Kelsey Pladson (Bunke Racing) took third. Anne Pladson (Bunke Racing) finished fourth, Brittany Christensen (Christensen Racing) was sixth, and Kalley Bardson was seventh.
Polaris racer Robert Loire won the Sport 600 Stock race and finished second in Sport 600 Open, and Andrew Diekmann took second place in the Trail class.
The next race on the USXC schedule will be held Jan. 3, 2015, at Detroit Lakes, Minn.