By Eva Potter
The AMSOIL Championship snocross series is once again making a stop in Salamanca this February with a lineup of crazy-talented, super-daredevil racers.
On Feb. 5-6, the U.S. Air Force Snocross National will take place at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, N.Y. This is the second of an eight-race national series of the ISOC-sanctioned AMSOIL Championship Snocross (ACS). In addition, the East Coast Snocross teams will be competing alongside ISOC national stars during the two-day, nationally televised event.
International Series of Champions (ISOC) crew will work their magic for several weeks, turning one million gallons of water into snow to blanket a plot of land the size of a football field to create a racecourse filled with wicked twists and giant ramps to allow more than a dozen competitors at a time to catapult dozens of feet into the air.
The track’s tight quarters offer thrilling bar-to-bar racing action with plenty of side bumping as the 400-pound sleds race shoulder to shoulder at high speeds.
More than 200 of North America’s top snocross racers and nearly a dozen from countries worldwide will compete in individual races that are broken down by age, gender and snowmobile type.
To date, Tucker Hibbert is the points leader in the Pro Open class (premier class) with a 32-point lead. He’s the nine-time defending Pro Open champion who is competing for his 10th title this winter.
“This season is going really good. It started a little slow, but I feel like we really found our groove at the third stop of the series and things are really clicking now,” he said.
Tens of thousands of adoring fans are expected to cheer for their favorite racers. Piercing bright lights wash over the track during Friday’s and Saturday’s evening races, the main events that will be taped for television by CBS Sports Network. You can even watch the races streamed online on U-Stream.
Various vendors, selling everything from promotional items and snowmobile gear to food and beverages, will also be on site.
Hibbert said, “Racing in New York is always exciting, because the fans are really passionate. Salamanca has done a nice job putting on the races the past couple years. The track was good last year, but I hope it’s bigger this year.”
Snowmobiling is a hugely popular pastime in the Southern Tier with close to 20,000 registered snowmobiles. In New York State, snowmobiling is a $1 billion industry, as evidenced by the turnout at each Snocross event held in Salamanca the past few years.
Snowmobilers in the area can now enjoy a recently constructed 1.5-mile snowmobile trail that connects Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel to Allegany State Park’s 90-plus miles of scenic trails, allowing fans to come and watch the events on their own snowmobiles. Of course, there will be generous parking available and shuttles will bring in spectators from nearby locations in Salamanca.
You can purchase tickets now and save $10 at the Logo Shop inside Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino or online at http://snocross.com/national/tickets. Advance sale daily passes are $25, all-weekend passes are $30, and children age 6 and under are free. A special four-pack of weekend passes is available online for $100. For more details, visit www.snocross.com.