Martin, Mich. – Driver Jeff Kerridge and the Kenneth Smith/Mott Motorsports team broke the ¼-mile asphalt world record four times in two days at American Snowmobiler’s Super Sled Shootout in late September.
Kerridge out of Greenville, Mich., was already the world record holder aboard the Mott Motorsports prepared 2006 Yamaha Apex. Kerridge had established the record on a run in Georgia last fall, clipping off ¼-mile in just 7.59 seconds on the sled, which is owned by Ron Smith, owner of Kenneth Smith Inc.
But Kerridge, 43, eclipsed that with a 7.565 run in the first round eliminations of the Outlaw Shootout class, on day one. He beat Maine’s Keith Wood who had been the No. 1 qualifier on his Yamaha Apex and Wood posted a 7.67 mark in the race with Kerridge.
“Who’d think you’d get knocked out with a 7.67,” Wood shrugged after the race.
A year ago Jeremy Hannen aboard Canadian Jim Rogers’ custom-built sled had thrown down a 7.80 at US 131 Motorsports Park during the Super Sled Shootout to set a new world record, edging the old mark of 7.84.
Kerridge and crew weren’t content with just edging out that record. They blew it away by bettering their record run in later rounds and then in a friendly grudge match with Wood on Sunday. Kerridge ran a 7.492 at 182.8 mph to win the Outlaw Shootout on Saturday. He came back on Sunday in two heats, side-by-side with Wood, to post a 7.443 at 182.88 and then mid-afternoon on an overcast 55-60-degree day, set the new high mark at 7.399 at 183.59 mph. The crowd was electric on each run Sunday and Wood posted a solid 8.1 in the first matchup that day, but cracked his engine’s block after 500 feet in the second run.
Both days Kerridge was all grins after each run and his team was ecstatic that after five years of working toward the record and setbacks at each of the last couple AmSnow Super Sled Shootouts, they’d made their mark. Last year they set fast times in the Outlaw Class, only to have their engine detonate.
The Smith/Mott team made some key chassis adjustments after Kerridge’s first few squirrelly practice runs and his qualifying run too. But the Smith/Mott crew tuned back the power to get more traction.
“This exceeded our expectations by far,” Kerridge said as he accepted congratulations from the team after the Outlaw win. Ironically, the Outlaw Shootout was sponsored by Smith and Mott, so they kept their winnings in-house.
More top sleds!
While the record-setting Outlaw runs stole the show, there were other great runs and close-fought wins at AmSnow’s 21st Annual Shootout, which this year was presented by Eaton Corp.’s Aeroquip division. Racers this year competed for a record $21,000 in prize money and ran in four other classes, two each on Saturday and Sunday, plus separate bracket races each day. There were a record 191 participants from as far away as Nova Scotia and Maine.
On Day 1, DynoPort’s owner Rich Daly, aka the Mad Scientist, turned in a strong performance to win the Pro Stock Shootout, sponsored by Pro Stock. Daly, of Union Springs, N.Y., beat No. 1 qualifier Louie Wirbel with a run of 8.36 seconds at 157.43 mph aboard his Ski-Doo Mach Z. He won it with a .099 reaction time.
Daly credited crew chief Vince D’Arrigo who was analyzing the computer results for him to see where he was having difficulties on earlier runs, particularly spinning the track at 100 feet or so.
“This is my first new track in four years,” Daly said, so once it was broken in and D’Arrigo helped him make some ignition adjustments the fast times followed. Daly also said he used Millinium recoated cylinders too. Daly built his own suspension with help from ProLine and fabricated most of the sled, along with building his own motor.
Saturday also saw a new race, the Pro 9.0 Index race, sponsored by ProLine Performance, where racers were trying to get as close to 9.0 as possible without breaking out into the 8s.
Brian Werner, Hubbard, Ohio, took the win aboard a Yamaha with a time of 9.03, winning on his reaction time. He edged world-record holder Kerridge, who was piloting Dave Dunn’s supercharged Ski-Doo, in the race.
Werner’s sled was tuned by Pat Klingeman of Northeast Ohio Dyno and featured a custom motor with stock cylinders. The sled’s chassis also has been lightened and Werner says he has turned an 8.95 with it.
Race day was challenging due to the 50-degree temps, a sometimes slippery track and gusty headwinds, but Werner was a master of consistency. He says he has had a good season too, making 15 finals and posting half a dozen wins.
Saturdays’ bracket race, sponsored by Woody’s, featured 74 racers and produced a winner who was positive he was overdue.
David Alberson of Crown Point, Ind., took the win aboard an Arctic Cat ZR, edging Rick McQuaid. Last year Alberson was runner-up in both bracket races and he’d made the semi-finals the year before too.
“I was due and I was focused,” he said, admitting he had little sleep the night before too in his chilly trailer. Alberson made the run on a Cat he’s been racing for five years. In the final heat he found himself at the 1,000-foot mark and didn’t see or hear his competitor, so let up to avoid breaking out of his dial-in time. On Sunday he was into the final 8 and red-lighted by .002, which he said was awfully tough to take.
With Alberson slipping, the bracket race door was opened for Daniel Kuntz of Green Bay, Wis. Kuntz said he had a fairly easy run to the trophy, with two competitors red-lighting and one breaking out. There were 67 racers in the Sunday bracket, sponsored by Bellman Oil.
Still, Kuntz had to be consistent aboard the DWK-sponsored 1996 Ski-Doo Mach Z that’s owned by Ken Ziats, also of Green Bay. “It’s a consistent reliable sled,” he said, crediting sponsor Simonar Sports of Luxemburg, Wis., with helping him keep the sled performing in top form. Kuntz edged Scott Donby of Whitmore Lake, Mich., who was aboard his Poor Boy Racing machine. Kuntz winning run was 10.24 seconds on a 10.20 dial-in.
The only repeat winner from last year’s AmSnow Super Sled Shootout was That Girl Racing’s Tiina Duncanson, who surprised everybody, including herself, by taking home the All Motor Shootout, sponsored by Supreme Tool. Duncanson of Acton, Ont., set a mark of 8.161 seconds at 155.21 mph.
But even she admitted to being the underdog in the finals. Earlier in the day Tyler Fisher aboard Fish Racing’s naturally aspirated Ski-Doo hit 7.91 at 160 mph, which had been the quickest all day. Fisher’s sled is the first Ski-Doo to break the 8 second barrier and is the seventh member of the “7-second club.” Jamie Bellman helped tune the sled and used his own designed and CNC billet TRA drive clutch to help it achieve its record.
But in the final, Duncanson got the better hole-shot with a .096 reaction time to hit the line first, even though Fisher was .003 sec. quicker. Duncanson rode a gorgeous custom sled with a Jason Gateman paint job and a rebuilt 1000cc MRE motor.
“We had hopes of running faster, but then we were getting greedy,” she said after the race. Duncanson owns the sled and she credited Peter Duncanson, her crew chief, for getting it to run to her liking. She also noted this was a good capper for the year as she won five Wallys in NHRA races this season too.
Glenn Hall returned to the Shootout winner’s circle after several years, which included a second-place finish in the Outlaw class last year. This year the Gordon, Wis., native was Big Twin champ with a time of 8.55 seconds and a speed of 145.29 mph in the race sponsored by Kenneth Smith/Mott Motorsports. He beat Jeff MacDonald, who was aboard a sled sponsored by Gord’s Sport Center of Nova Scotia. Gord, his dad, drove 30 hours to get to the race and Jeff flew in on Saturday morning, making them the folks who came the furthest to participate. They also ran at last winter’s AmSnow Adirondack Shootout in New York.
Hall rode a lightened 2011 Arctic Cat Z1 owned by Billy Howard of Coudersport, Pa. He gave thanks to John Wheelock Of ProLine who helped them dial in the suspension on a crisp day, along with Jim Czekala of DynoTech Research who helped them earlier in the week.
“We turned up the boost and lightened up the chassis a bit,” Hall said. Howard chimed in that Hall is a good 40 lbs. lighter than him, which gave the sled a bit of an advantage too. “We struggled all day to get it to go straight, but we finally did,” Hall said.
A new trophy, for the Best Appearing Sled, was sponsored by Eaton’s Aeroquip division, with the staff of American Snowmobiler picking the winner. There were some good lookers to be sure, but we gave the nod to Scott Krueger’s Pro Power Motorsports prepared white and blue custom-built sled with a turbocharged Yamaha Apex motor.
We liked the color scheme and professional look of the team, which wore shirts mimicking the sled’s design. That certainly didn’t hurt their chances. Krueger is from Minneapolis and the Pro Power team, made up of Chuck Krueger, Joe Wadney and Jim Laniel, is out of Harrison Township, Mich. The sled features a 76mm turbo, Big Stuff 3 fuel ignition and Supreme Tool clutching. Pro Power built the sled.
Michigan’s World Record Beater
What more could Michigan’s Jeff Kerridge do?
It was late Sunday afternoon at AmSnow’s Super Sled Shootout and he had set a new world record for a ¼-mile asphalt run on his doctored 2006 Yamaha Apex, not once, but four times.
His 7.39-second run at better than 183 mph had the crowd buzzing and the motorcycle racers who also were at the event in awe. He was quick and stabile and, well, virtually a black rocket on the smooth US 131 Motorsports Park’s asphalt.
But the weekend hadn’t started out looking like a record-beater. Saturday “was the worst day of the year. For the first half of the day in the first 100 feet we went right toward the wall,” said Kerridge, a long-time grass and ice racer. The track was cold, he had too much spin and, imagine this, too much power.
That’s possible when you have 600 horses being pushed through a 1000cc motor with a Garrett GT35 turbo strapped to it. So the crew throttled back the power and with more traction they were literally off to the races and record books.
The Kenneth Smith and Mott Motorsports team has been cranking up the power on its stable of Yamahas for about five years, but have suffered setbacks the last few seasons at the AmSnow event, despite often being very quick. The team was the No. 1 qualifier last year. But the crew feels it has the sled handling well and the power under control now, and “the Yamaha chassis is pretty stout to begin with,” says Dennis Mott of Mott Motorsports.
Ron Smith owns the sled and Mott has prepped and tuned it. That includes a Big Stuff 3 ECU, Supreme Tool clutches, Micro Belmont shafts, Camoplast track, a VP Import fuel system, Fox shocks and ProLine rear suspension and skis.
Other sponsors include One Stop Performance, Hackers Yamaha, Supreme Tool, Cargills Portable Welding, ProLine Performance, Fast by Gast and Circle Oil.
At presstime Mott was undecided on whether the team would make more speed runs in Georgia this fall. But he said they definitely would crank it up again on the asphault next summer. He thinks something in the 7.2-second range is possible with this sled!