SALAMANCA, N.Y. (Feb. 9, 2015) – Defending and four-time Pro Open champion Danny Poirier and Pro Lite veteran Wade Acker notched final round victories in their respective classes Saturday, as East Coast Snocross (ECS) completed Round 5 at the Seneca Allegany Casino and Resort.
The regional points races were part of International Series of Champions’ (ISOC) U.S. Air Force Nationals, stop No. 5 for the AMSOIL Championship Snocross series. A record crowd gathered to see Tucker Hibbert (Pro Open) and Ryan Springer (Pro Lite) sweep their classes on Friday and Saturday.
Poirier (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) went wire-to-wire in his fifth victory of the season. The cagey veteran grabbed the holeshot and checked out, while Swedish star Johan Dahlgren (Team Southside/Mystic Lubricants Polaris) and teammate Lucas Brunelle filled out the podium.
“That was a big, technical track, with different snow conditions than we are used to running,” Poirier said. “Yet as the weekend progressed, I felt better on it. My sled ran very well as it does each week, and my Ingles Performance team’s hard work paid off once again. I’m happy with our results.”
Acker (daSilva Racing/Ski-doo) slotted into third at the start of Saturday’s Pro Lite battle, while red-hot rookie Cody Paolella snagged the holeshot. Paolella’s time up front was brief, as he came off his Team Southside/Mystic Polaris on the first lap. Chris Coleman (Southside/Polaris) took over the point until Acker powered his way into the lead, and the Bristol, Vermont rider hung on to prevail.
Fellow Vermonter Leo Patenaude (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) made a late-race charge on Acker but settled for second, while series newcomer Andy Bristol (Ingles/Ski-doo) rounded out the podium in third. Paolella rallied back from his early off-sled experience to finish fourth.
“After Cody came off in the whoops and Chris took over, I did my best to run him down,” Acker said. “I tried to build a gap because I knew Leo would be coming. That track was super fun, you had to really search for lines to get an advantage. I’m thrilled to win for our team and great sponsors.”
In Sport action at Salamanca, Marco Travaglini continued his hot streak with another victory, yet it almost didn’t happen. Series veteran Bruce Gaspardi Jr. (Team Southside/Mystic Polaris) had the race in hand until a slight bobble coming to the stripe allowed Travaglini to slip by for the win.
Gaspardi crossed the line in second, while Dalton Jacquier was rock-solid in third. The huge, technical track created for these U.S. Air Force Nationals presented quite a challenge, yet from Sport on down through the ranks, ECS riders met that challenge like the dedicated racers they are.
Other final round winners Saturday include Janell Smith (Pro Women); Rafael Lemieux (Jr. 14-15 and Jr. 16-17 Stock 600); Kassie Thibodeau (Women Jr. Novice Stock); and Bruce Gaspardi Jr. (Plus 25/35 Combined). Congratulations go out to not only our ECS winners, but to every rider who did double duty (like Poirier and Dahlgren) and qualified for an ISOC final, as well.
ECS officials would like to thank ISOC president Carl Schubitzke and his staff for allowing us to be part of this great event. We’ll also thank the Seneca Allegany Casino and Resort for bringing ISOC to the east again this season. It is a pleasure to compete at such a modern, accommodating venue.
East Coast Snocross, presented by AMSOIL, Woody’s Traction and FXR, is the eastern regional affiliate of ISOC. ECS strives to maintain a healthy level of competition in grassroots snocross, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow’s factory-backed national teams.