The WPSA PowerSports Snowmobile Tour will run its first double national of the season this weekend as it hits Brainerd International Raceway for the Polaris BIR Championship. The event runs Friday, Jan. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 14 with Pro finals on both Saturday and Sunday, and qualifying on Friday, as well as a full Amateur and Pro-Am show during the weekend.
Saturday's race will be telecast on SPEED on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. EST, and will re-air on Feb. 7 at 3 a.m. Sunday's event will be telecast on Feb. 7 at noon EST, followed by the re-air Feb. 15 at 2 p.m.
The race marks a milestone for the PowerSports Snowmobile Tour. Though the Tour has run many successful regional races at BIR, this weekend's race will mark the first time the Tour has brought its National Tour here. Sophomore pro sensation Ross Martin, and his No. 837 Judnick Motorsports/Polaris, comes into Brainerd after recording a dominating performance at Duluth in Round 1 of the 2006-2007 Tour. The Pleasant Prairie, Wis. resident swept the table at Duluth, winning both the Pro Stock and Pro Open finals. Martin is by no means alone at the top, as the Hentges Racing squad has come on strong this season with new equipment, new riders and a new drive for excellence. Hentges riders TJ Gulla and Levi LaVallee both had an exciting weekend in Duluth and are in the thick of the points in Pro Open.
Garth Kaufman had an extremely successful weekend in Duluth and hopes to build on that success here. Kaufman (No. 48 Arctic Cat) finished third in both the Pro Stock and Pro Open finals at Duluth. Avalanche Racing rider Mike Schultz landed on the podium in the Pro Stock final at Duluth in the No. 5 Parts Unlimited/Polaris. Currently second in Pro Stock points, Schultz, from Pillager, Minn., is looking for continued momentum here.
Though he's spent the last three years running AMA SuperCross races, Tucker Hibbert knocked the rust off at Duluth and showed he's back and ready for Snocross. Hibbert hails from Goodridge, Minn. Ever-present 11-time WPSA Champion Blair Morgan returns this season, healthy, and ready for No. 12. Morgan, who started last season with a severely broken thumb, essentially threw out the first two races, but performed well at the midpoint of the season, winning four races and his fifth Winter X Games Gold Medal.
Defending Pro Stock and Pro Open Riders' Champion Robbie Malinoski joined the Boss Racing squad in the off-season and will ride a four-stroke Yamaha during the 2006-2007 Pro Open campaign. Malinoski is teamed with Japanese rider Yuji Nakazawa.
Meanwhile, Mathieu Morin returns to the Tour this season with a year of experience under his belt. Morin, who rode his rookie campaign last year in the Pro Stock class, is competing in both the Pro Stock and Pro Open classes this year.
Duluth, Minn. resident DJ Eckstrom will attempt to bounce back here from minor injuries suffered in an off at Duluth.
The Crapos, Shaun and Kurtis, will also return to competition after achieving success last season. Younger brother Shaun will pilot a new Polaris sled for Sheuring Speed Sports, while Kurtis will remain in familiar livery on an Arctic Cat.
Ryan Simons, Dave Allard, Steve Martin, Carl Schubitzke, Aaron Christensen, and the rest of the top names in Snocross racing are also scheduled to compete.
The Polaris BIR Championship kicks off Friday, Jan. 12 with Amateur racing and Pro qualifying. Pro finals, as well as a full Amateur and Pro Am racing card are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.