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2015 Super Sled Shootout Recap

Best snowmobile drag racers in the world converge, set world records
Kyle Shilts Bikeman Performance Pro Stock Outlaw
Kyle Shilts ran double duty in the Pro Stock and Outlaw classes on his Bikeman sled and smashed an Outlaw 1/8-mile E.T. record!
Photo by Jake Forstall
Martin, Mich. – The 26th Annual Super Sled Shootout shook the stands on a perfect Indian summer day this September. Bluebird skies, 75 degrees and very little wind made for absolutely perfect conditions for two days in a row at US 131 Motorsports Park in western Michigan. We all joked that the main sponsor (Aeroquip, a division of Eaton) must have paid race director Jamie Bellman a little extra to order up a stellar weather weekend. Once again, world records were broken at this event … read on to see how it all went down on Sunday afternoon!

Saturday pregame
So what did people get for entertainment? Some of the fastest, wildest, loudest, and most professional snowmobile drag racing in the world!

Saturday saw the majority of the action. In the first final of the day, Wisconsin’s Glenn Hall won the Pro Stock class with a time of 8.22 seconds at 157.07 mph in 1,000 ft. on the Bray Racing Arctic Cat. Smoking fast! And yep, you read that right … Ron Bray, the legendary Ski-Doo drag racer and the man behind the NSSR (National Straightline Snowmobile Racing) ice race series worked with legendary Arctic Cat and D&D Racing drag racer, Glenn Hall, to put this Cat on the podium. No doubt there were plenty of good jabs given and taken for Ron to have his name on a winning sled that wasn’t his own Ski-Doo X-RS. But no worries; Ron has seen success many years at the American Snowmobiler Super Sled Shootout, and he and his wife Stacey are sure to be back again next year, faster than ever!

Unfortunately, Rick Woodruff from Elmira, N.Y., who had been running well all day and made it to the final against Hall, had some sled issues near the start in the final, so the door was wide open for Glenn to secure the victory.

In the Saturday Bracket, there were nearly 80 sleds that duked it out round after round. Many of these sleds using tried-and-true rear drag racing skids from ProLine performance. John Wheelock and his Minnesota crew know how to make these rear suspensions to make a drag sled go fast and straight. More info: www.prolineperformance.com
AmSnow Super Sled Shootout logo
The last two standing in the bracket were Bill Chesney from Whitby, Ontario, lined up against Dwayne Thomas of New Middleton, Ohio, and it was Chesney who came out on top. The Canadian was on his white 1100 Turbo Arctic Cat, and he had a dial-in of 9.62 seconds at 116.22 mph in the ¼-mile. He did well to be very consistent while still being very fast with a sub-10-second dial.

The Pro Index class was new at the Super Sled Shootout. Racers could choose their index, so a 9.0 index racer could be lined up against a 10.0 index racer. Nerves were getting rattled for sure, and the final was not without entertainment. For some reason, the wrong starting tree was put up for this race, so it had to be run twice. Talk about “icing the kicker” (aka racer)!  

The finals came down to Andy Heath on his Yamaha SRX versus Mike Miles on his 1995 Vmax 4. Both chose the 10.50 index, which seemed to be the sweet spot for this class. It was a close final, but Miles won with a 10.65-second run at 108.33 mph versus Andy’s 10.84-second run at 95.40 mph. Heath actually had the better reaction time off the start, but it was not to be. Miles hails from Saugatuck, Mich., and as the owner of more than a dozen Vmax sleds, he is admittedly a Vmax maniac.

The big news for Saturday, though, was the run-off final straight-up 1,000-foot drag race between Michigan’s Motor City Mafia and Smith/Mott Racing. Driver Tony Morabito piloted the all-black Ski-Doo that had some help from Dunn Racing and as always was surrounded by the Detroit crew.

Ron “Big-R” Smith and Dennis Mott watched anxiously as a stone-cold smooth Jeff Kerridge drove their monster turbo Yamaha 4-stroke to a victory, clearing the line just 0.10 seconds in front of Morabito. The official time: 6.20 seconds, at 168.86 mph! Leading up to this fantastic final, we saw even quicker times, and folks were fighting with traction as the sun began to set on day one.
Gary Bueno maroon silver Pro Stock snowmobile
The Best Appearing Sled award doesn’t always go to the most expensive or flashiest sled, or to the person offering the best bribe. Nope! We like our sleds clean, precise and oozing with style. That’s what Gary Bueno’s sled epitomizes. This maroon and silver Pro Stock beauty sled from Youngstown, Ohio, equipped with Klingeman race pipes, is not a trailer queen. She pulled some nasty-mean speeds and times. 147.25 mph shows this sled is not being babied, and being competitive in the 8.0-second range in 1,000-feet is impressive for any sled and driver.
World records set!
Sunday turned out to have the most entertaining and exciting racing of the weekend. With just two classes being decided, there were lots of eyes on just a few people. One man who rose to the challenge was Kyle Shilts from New Richmond, Wis. His dad, Kerry Shilts, has “just a little bit” of racing background, and the Bikeman-sponsored Arctic Cat Turbo was flying. Owner Boyd McGarry of BCM Performance was a huge part of this team, and his efforts were shown during the Pro Outlaw 1/8-mile drag race. Shilts held off veteran racer, Jeff Kerridge (and winner of the Saturday Outlaw class), posting a 4.699-second 1/8-mile at 148.03 mph. A quick fact-checking in the tower by announcer Chris Riley, and it was confirmed that this was a new world record for this class. What was even more impressive was that in the semifinal run, Shilts went 4.70 seconds, and THAT was a world record. The old record was 4.72 seconds, held by fellow racer and shootout winner Glenn Hall. So Shilts broke the record twice in less than an hour!

Leading up to that incredible final run, Todd Serra and the entire crew from Pro-Stock Inc. were celebrating another number. That was the 156.96 mph top speed record that Serra posted on the El Diablo sled in the second round of 1/8-mile eliminations. Just incredible racing!

Finally, the last race of the weekend saw Jeff Jaquish (aka Jerry Jacuzzi) take the win in the Sunday Bracket class aboard his new 2016 Arctic Cat ZR 8000. Jaquish has more bracket wins at the Super Sled Shootout than any other bracket racer, and the AmSnow crew sees him all winter racing locally on the ice and snow. Year after year, he has his Cats dialed in to perfection, and this new sled did not disappoint. Jaquish edged out Karl Kridler from North Lima, Ohio, who ran a 10.68-second run at 119.05 mph in the final. Jaquish ran 10.55 seconds on a 10.50-second dial-in at 106.94 mph. Jaquish had phenomenal reaction times throughout the bracket, with his worst RT being .0233. Now that’s a quick draw!
Supreme Tool Successes!
It is hard to find a winning sled at the Super Sled Shootout that doesn’t have some work done by STM Powersports and owner Mark Beyer. Jeff Jaquish, Sunday’s bracket sled winner, has run drag races on all surfaces for more than two decades, and he made sure to mention STM in his elation over another bracket win on Sunday. It’s important to note Jaquish’s winning sled is truly a trail sled. When he backed it up for the winning photo session, I asked if he wanted help pushing it back into place, and he said, “No way buddy, this is a trail sled, we drive these!” I mention this because STM does not just do clutching and parts for high-end racers, but many trail and off-trail riders. More info: www.stmpowersports.com
Photo by Mark Boncher
Lining up at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Mich.
EVENT SPONSORS

TITLE SPONSOR: Aeroquip Performance Products

CLASS LEVEL:

  • 1,000-ft. Outlaw – Kenneth Smith Inc./Mott Motorsports
  • Pro Stock  - Supreme Tool, Inc.
  • Pro Index – Proline Performance
  • 1/8-mile Outlaw – OSDRA/Vertical Technologies of New York
  • Bracket Challenge #1 – Woody’s Traction
  • Bracket Challenge #2 – Jamie Bellman, Rich Stumpf, Maureen Getner

PRO LEVEL:

  • Richmond Master Distributors
  • S. Abraham and Sons, Inc.
  • Kenneth Smith Inc
  • Mott Motorsports
  • VP Racing Fuels
  • Wahl Bros. Racing
  • Camoplast
  • Dunigan Racing
  • San Marino Racing
  • BP North America
  • Pro Temp Mechanical
  • Lincolnway Mart BP
  • Howard’s SKI-DOO/Arctic Cat
  • Marc / Michael Fricke
  • Vertical Technologies of New York
  • Woody’s Performance Yamaha
  • Bellman Oil Co.
  • Pro-Stock Inc.
  • Fox Powersports
  • Bray Racing

ASSOCIATE LEVEL:

  • The Crank Shop
  • Melling Performance
  • Dunn Performance
  • Northeast Ohio Dyno
  • Bullet Racing
  • PCS Performance
  • That Girl Racing
  • Hagen Racing
  • Nick and Carla Washburn
  • Tony Morabito
  • Petschke Motorsports
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