Ski-Doo racers piloted their sleds to victory in 5 of 6 pro classes on the weekend in Salamanca, N.Y., continuing to win in dominating fashion as they’ve done all season. Headlining the weekend was Pro points leader Elias Ishoel sweeping the stop with two wins on the weekend.
Ishoel Doubles Down Again
Elias Ishoel (BOSS Racing) is finding another gear as the 2019-20 Snocross season turns down the home stretch. In Friday night’s main he launched down the front straightaway on his way to grabbing an early lead he would not relinquish.
Working hard to establish the pace was a little tricky for high-flying Norwegian, but once he found his grove the rest of the field was left watching his taillight.
“I struggled the first couple off laps to get the good lines,” said Ishoel, “but after I could find them, it was just get going from there. But it was so much fun out there.”
Fellow Ski-Doo rider Daniel Benham (Warnert Racing) put forth a valiant effort to track Ishoel down, but lapped traffic on the tight, technical course slowed him enough to allow Ishoel to ride to victory. Benham came across the line in second.
Lincoln Lemieux (Scheuring Speed Sports) recovered from an early get-off to claim the final spot on the Podium. Aki Pihlaja (BOSS Racing) made his way to the finals via LCQ and turned his back-row start into a fifth-place finish.
Saturday followed a similar storyline for Ishoel. Emerging from the pack with the lead out of the first turn, he put in lap after lap of smooth lines to distance himself from the field and claim his fourth straight win.
With temps well above freezing, the fast lines around the rugged track changed often. With a clear view in front of him, Ishoel made it look relatively easy, calmly clicking off each of the 22 laps in the final on his way to the checkers.
Benham delivered another strong run in the finals, finishing just off the podium in fourth. Pihlaja crossed the line with his second top-5 finish of the weekend.
With four rounds of racing remaining, Ishoel remains in command of the chase for the overall points championship. He leads Benham by 64 points. Lemieux currently holds the third position and Pihlaja sits in fourth giving Ski-Doo the top four positions in the overall standings.
Pelletier Holds Off Patenaude
Francis Pelletier (Warnert Racing) and Hunter Patenaude (Scheuring Speed Sports) are going toe to toe in a Pro Lite battle that’s turning into one for the ages. Patenaude had dominated the early rounds to build what seemed like an insurmountable lead in the overall points standings, until some recent challenges he has faced. Slowly, Pelletier has been turning the tide, finally taking over the points lead two weeks ago. Friday night’s action was just the latest chapter in their season-long dual.
Pelletier rocketed off the line, picking up the holeshot and establishing a pace that would prove too tough for the field to match.
Patenaude spent the first couple of laps fending off the field and eventually breaking away in second. He looked to be closing in on Pelletier, but lapped traffic thwarted his late-race charge and Pelletier raced to the checkers uncontested. Patenaude finished comfortably in second.
Max Taillefer (Taillefer Motorsports) finished a solid Friday night run in fourth.
Just about the only thing that can slow Pelletier and Patenaude down is themselves. Disaster struck in Saturday’s main when the two riders would come together, resulting in Patenaude finishing 11th and after a penalty was accessed for the incident Pelletier would be 15th. It marked just the second time in 12 rounds of racing that one of the racers didn’t occupy the top step on the podium.
The drama for the overall points championship between Pelletier and Patenaude shows no signs of slowing down as both enter the final four rounds of racing more than 100 points clear of the rest of the pack. The gap between the two remains a slim 4-point advantage for Pelletier.
Brodeur, Anderson Notch Wins
Friday night Pro Women’s action saw Megan Brodeur (Anderson Racing) run her win streak to 12 in a row, dating back to last season. She used a stellar start to grab a big, early lead on the field and never left the result in doubt. The Friday night win kept her undefeated for the season.
Brodeur’s perfect season would not survive the weekend, however. Known for her on-the-edge riding, even when she’s comfortably in front, has been the trademark of Brodeur’s impressive streak. After leading cleanly for the first three laps of Saturday’s action, that aggressiveness wasn’t as kind as a fourth-lap crash opened the door for fellow Ski-Doo rider Malene Anderson.
With Brodeur in hot pursuit trying to track her down, Anderson methodically picked her lines around the track and held off Brodeur to claim her first win of the season. Brodeur crossed the line in second.
Despite seeing her string of wins end at 12 straight, Brodeur remains comfortably in control of the overall points standings with just two stops remaining in the season.
Lebel Leads the Way
Ski-Doo Sport racer Jordan Lebel continued his own streak of impressive racing picking up two wins on the weekend. He’s now won four consecutive rounds and has eight wins overall on the season.
Jeremy Beaulieu claimed the top step on the podium in Friday night’s Sport Lite main. Drew Freeland took the checkers in Saturday’s Sport Lite final for his second win of the season with Beaulieu finishing off an outstanding weekend in second place.