Attendance soars at Snowfest – 60 degree weather brings fans

DSC_0097By Steve Landon
Correspondent


Photos by Seth and Steve Landon

Bitter cold temperatures in 2015, near bathing suit weather in 2016 and 2017, one fact is clear, old mother nature is obviously screwed up. She simply can’t make up her mind as to what she wants these days. One thing is certain those who love winter sports are getting fedup. For the last two years people wearing spring jackets, t-shirts as well as women clad in shorts have become common sights at the Marion Snowfest as February tempeartures continued to soar into the upper 50’s and low 60’s.

While the weather has hurt area skiers and snowmobilers due to the vanishing snowpack, this past Saturdays spring like weather only helped increase attendance at Snowfest 2017.

Presented by the Marion Snowmobile Club, the Marion Snowfest continues to be one of those must attend events for winter sports fans who love snowmobiles, history, racing and more.

Sunny skies greeted fans, racers, swappers and vintage snowmobile collectors who began arriving in the predawn hours looking to get in a little early shopping and visiting in with fellow sledders before racing action began on the ice oval at 11:00 a.m.

Ryan Blain of Lake Mich., stepped in to help direct the vintage snowmobile show. Working with several volunteers Blain put on a first class event featuring rare and common snowmobiles. This years feature machine, Rupp Snowmobiles along with several other makes were judged by five volunteer judges consisting of college age interns, volunteers from the Springs Camp in Gladwin and an employee from a regional snowmobile dealership. They had the unenviable task of picking winners out of a field of beautifully restored and unrestored snowmobiles. When judging was all said and done awards were given to the following classes; Odd Ball – Scott Havercroft – 1966 Arctic Cat, Best Original – Jeff Johnson – 1973 Herter›s, Best Display – Jeff Montella – RUPP Display, Best Race Sled – Bernie Blain- 1973 ThunderJet, Best RUPP – Kyle Cole – 1973 Rupp Magnum, Best of Show – Jeff Montella – RUPP, Don Niver Memorial – Austin Stamper – Wolverine, Marty Sembach Memorial – Katherine Harwood – 1973 Scorpion Super Stingerette. Best Restored award went to Kelly Welling for a 1971 Scorpion.

U.S. Army Veteran Ryan Blain introduced something new and much appreciated to this years pre-race opening ceremonies. Moments after the local honor guard lined up for the National Anthem Blain led a group of vintage sleds, many carrying American flags to the front of the grandstand where they parked for the ceremonies. It was truly a beautiful sight, one may hope will become a Snowfest tradition for years to come.

For the second year in a row poor weather led to the cancellation of other Michigan vintage races, as a result entries were up, in fact close to 250 race sleds took the green flag on the wet oval of ice. Other than the normal warm weather slush build up and a little water, the track held up incredibly well. Speeds appeared up a bit from last year, perhaps due to frequent grooming by the plow team who kept the track smooth and safe throughout the event.

Eric Williams, Marion, was the top local winner posting victories in; Obsolete on a Rupp, 440 Trail Stock Liquid on a Yamaha and 340 Twin Fan Improved on a Rupp.

Other area winners were; 120cc Super Stock – Bailey Lockhart, Kids 8-12 – Joe Stewart – Marion, Mich., 340 Twin Stock Fan – Ed Williams, Marion, 59 & Over – Larry Davidson, Falmouth, 340 Twin Stock Free Air – Colton Rawson, Marion, 440 Twin Stock Free Air – Ken VanPolen, Vintage Pro and 340 Twin Free Air Improved – Dan Chapel, Leroy, 440 Twin Fan Improved – Don Williams.

Once again Thanks to hard working volunteers, contributing sponsors, and the best racers and winter sports fans in Michigan the Marion Snowfest was a huge success.  Next up on the clubs agenda is the Marion Snowmobile Swap Meet in October of 2017.

The Marion Snowmobile Club is an all-volunteer organization whose efforts and hard work make the Snowfest happen, without them the event would not be possible. They are always in need of volunteers, to get involved contact Dale at 231-510-3286 or Kelly at 231-825-0166.


RESULTS

Kitty Cat
#12 Easton Ness, Beaverton, MI – Arctic Cat
#245 Lincoln Furman, Shelby, MI – Arctic Cat
#54 Deegan Lickfelt, Midland, MI – Arctic Cat
#1 Carissa Baker, Lake, MI – Arctic Cat
#7 Alexis Miske, Harrison, MI – Arctic Cat

120cc Stock
1. #3 Brayden Sikkema, Marion, MI – Arctic Cat
2. #45 Lincoln Furman, Shelby, MI – Arctic Cat
#5 Levi Welch, Luther, MI – Arctic Cat

120cc Improved
#822 Zander Miske, Harrison, MI – Arctic Cat
#45 Lincoln Furman, Shelby, MI – Arctic Cat
#12 Mirada Hess, Beaverton, MI – Arctic Cat

120cc Super Stock
#B-83 Bailey Lockhart – ski-doo
#88 Easton Ness, Beaverton, MI – Polaris
#145 Wyatt Furman – Arctic Cat

Kids 8-12
1. #66 Joe Stewart, Marion, MI – ski-doo
2. #1 JD Buzuin. Marion, MI – Arctic Cat

HR Single Stock
#99 Tim Havercroft, Greenbush, MI – Yamaha
#98 Paul Havercroft, Mikado, MI – Arctic Cat
#1 Aaron Laughlin, Marion, MI – ski-doo

340 Twin Stock Fan
#7 Ed Williams, Marion, MI – Rupp
#77 Eric Williams, Marion, MI – Rupp
#84 Steve Town, -Traverse City, MI – Arctic Cat

340 Twin Stock Free-Air
#4 Colten Rawson, Marion, MI – Arctic Cat
##5 Jake Huttenga, Marion, MI – Arctic Cat
#73 Conrad Tomes, Sterling, MI – Arctic Cat

440 Twin Stock Fan
#451 Steve Town, Traverse City, MI – Arctic Cat
#53 Greg Town, Traverse City, MI – Arctic Cat
#77 Darrin Bowers, Marion, MI – Scorpion

440 Twin Stock Free-Air
#8 Ken VanPolen, Marion, MI – Arctic Cat
#3 Mike VanPolen, Marion, MI – Arctic Cat
#451 Steve Town, Traverse City, MI – Arctic Cat

59 & Over
#17D Larry Davidson, Falmouth, MI – ski-doo
#61 Mike Allen, Sanford, MI – Arctic Cat
#29x Rick Chapman, Houghton Lake, MI – Sno-Jet

Two Man Race
#7x Brad & Jeff Fryer, Haslett, MI – Alouette
#1 Amber & Alex Beerman, Buckley, MI
#9 Pat & Brian, Lake B., MI – ski-doo
#3 Tina & Chris Fryer, Williamson, MI – ski-doo

Obsolete
#77 Eric Williams, Marion, MI – Rupp
#7 Eric Williams, Marion, MI – Rupp
#73 Brad Davidson, Cadillac, MI – Chaparral

Vintage Pro
#L25 Dan Chapel, Leroy, MI – Arctic Cat
#77 Dave Wright, Interlochen, MI – ski-doo
#4 Duane VanPolen, Marion, MI – Arctic Cat

340 Trail Improved
#41 Nick Givens, Midland, MI – Yamaha
#99 Mitchel Havercroft, , Greenbush, MI – Yamaha
#77 Dave Wright, Interlochen, MI – ski-doo

440 Trail Improved
#16 Joe Burch, Mt. Pleasant, MI – Yamaha
#407 Dan Chapel, Leroy, MI – Mercury
#666 James Gibel, Lake City, MI – Yamaha

340 Trail Stock-Fan
#777 Jeff Smith, Traverse City, MI – Mercury
#41 Cole Elkas, Tustin, MI – Yamaha
#5 Tyler Hacker, Roscommon, MI – Yamaha

440 Trail Stock Free-Air
#17 Garner Cusack, – Polaris
#777 Jeff Smith, Traverse City. MI – Mercury
#777x Patrick Siler, Kalkaska, MI – Polaris

340 Trail Stock – Liquid
#777 Jeff Smith, Traverse City, MI –Mercury
#18 James Bazuin, Marion, MI – Polaris
#52 Ryan Blain, Lake, MI – Polaris

440 Trail Stock-Fan
#83 Scott Stone, Ludington, MI – Yamaha
#777 Jeff Smith, Traverse City, MI – Mercury
#16 Ed Williams, Marion, MI – Mercury

440 Trail Stock Free-Air
#979 Dan Alcock, Saginaw, MI – Polaris
#777 Jeff Smith, Traverse City, MI – Mercury

440 Trail Stock – Liquid
#77 Eric Williams, Marion, MI – Yamaha
#27 Devin Dumont, Manton, MI – Yamaha
#151 Josh VanBuskirk, Falmouth, MI – moto-ski

440 Twin Fan Improved
#304 Don Williams – Rupp
#19 Ryan Eisinga – ski-doo

440 Twin Free-Air Improved
#77 Dave Wright, Interlochen, MI – ski-doo
#13 Cody Decker, Dewitt, MI – ski-doo
#33 Larry Decker –Dewitt, MI – ski-doo

340 Twin Fan Improved
#7 Eric Williams, Marion, MI – Rupp
#04 Ron Kuripla, Houghton Lake, MI – Yamaha
#33 Bob Timmer, McBain, MI – ski-doo

340 Twin Free-Air Improved
#L25 Dan Chapal, Leroy, MI – Arctic Cat
#13 Cody Decker, Dewitt, MI – ski-doo
#77 Dave Wright, Interlochen, MI – ski-doo

HD Single Improved
#51 Steve Town, Traverse City, MI – Arctic Cat
#K9 Karl Mihatsch, Traverse City, MI – Arctic Cat
Randy Wright, Interlochen, MI – ski-doo

HR Single Improved
1. #04 Ron Kuripla, Houghton Lake, MI – Yamaha
#1 Aaron Laughlin, Marion, MI – ski-doo
#117 Tyler Smith, Traverse, MI – ski-doo

Mikuni Single
#K9 Karl Mihatsch, Traverse City, MI – Arctic Cat
#01 Ken VanPolen, Marion, MI – Arctic Cat
#9 Gary Wenzel, Marion, MI – Arctic Cat



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One Response to Attendance soars at Snowfest – 60 degree weather brings fans

  1. Ryan Blain Reply

    February 25, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks so much to Steve and Seth for your awesome photo coverage of the Marion Snowfest! Thanks for the awesome article and all the photos! Your years of dedication to the sport is without equal! once again great job!

    Thanks Ryan

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