Montana Jess earns 2016 Pro Lite title at Neilsen’s Snocross Grand Finale
LAKE GENEVA, Wisconsin (Mar. 23, 2016) – Massachusetts-based Jess Racing capped an incredible season on the national snocross tour this past weekend, competing in ISOC’s Neilsen’s Snocross Grand Finale at the beautiful Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Pro Lite rider Montana Jess locked up the 2016 Pro Lite class championship on Saturday night, notching his 11th podium finish (third) in 15 starts. After earning first and second-place finishes during qualifying, Jess grabbed the holeshot in a hotly-contested eight-lap final. The track at Geneva featured the usual uphill and steep downhill sections, keeping Montana and his rivals on their toes every lap.
On Sunday morning, Jess completed the season’s final qualifying rounds with finishes of second (Round 1) and first (Round 2). In the grueling 10-lap final, Jess slotted into third at the start. With only two laps left in the season, Montana was passed and settled for fourth at the finish. While it wasn’t another spot on the podium, he was interviewed post-race as the newly-crowned Pro Lite champion.
“This has been just an amazing season,” a humbled Jess said to ISOC’s Carly Aplin. “I couldn’t have done this without a fantastic sled from Arctic Cat, my mechanic, Ziggy, and all of our great partners who make this effort possible. My father, mother, and even my grandfather are all here today. They found an old picture from when my grandfather used to race sleds, which is pretty cool. I’m proud of what we accomplished; I never thought I could do this in my rookie season. I’m just thrilled.”
As competitive as the Pro Lite class is on the ISOC AMSOIL Championship Snocross series, it truly is impressive for a rookie to win the title. To achieve that level of consistency (hitting the podium in 11 of 16 races is more like 10-time Pro Open champion Tucker Hibbert than a Pro Lite rookie) as a first-timer is this class is notable. All after a ruptured spleen in New York ended his 2015 season early.
“Montana displayed some incredible tenacity and focus as he tackled the ultra-competitive Pro Lite class this year,” team owner Carl Jess explained. “He was determined to advance into Pro Lite this year, and I felt he was ready. I did not expect things to go quite as well as they did; but we have the right ingredients in place; a dedicated mechanic in Ziggy, and a very talented rider in Montana.
“I say that not as his father, but as a team owner in a performance-driven sport. He’s already fielding offers from factory-backed teams; but no decision has been made on his 2016-17 plans at this time. We just need to go home, kick back and let this all sink in. We’ll announce his plans when they are finalized this summer.”
Earning a national championship in any form of motor sports competition requires dedication, talent and a never-say-die attitude. Montana Jess inspired other riders and fans alike during his stellar rookie season, but it would not have been possible without the help of many.
Jess Racing would like to thank its fine group of marketing partners for their continued support, including Arctic Cat, Central Mass Powersports, Woody’s, Arctic Wear, That’s Great News, Rox Speed FX and Ski Nautique Boats. We simply could not compete at this level without their assistance.