2024 AMSOIL Snocross National at Spirit Mountain

Snocross Rookie's Highlight Friday Night Opener In Duluth

Snocross Rookie's Highlight Friday Night Opener In Duluth

Winning in Duluth has always set the stage for a championship season, but it will be the backdrop to crown the sports champions this season.

Apr 6, 2024 by Haley Shanley
Snocross Rookie's Highlight Friday Night Opener In Duluth

Duluth, Minn., ~ It has been five years since AMSOIL Championship Snocross has tackled the picturesque yet demanding track in Duluth, Minn., but the old met the new at the birthplace of North American snocross on Friday night.

Historically, the AMSOIL Duluth National, presented by Hayes Brakes, has kicked off the Snocross season, being held on Thanksgiving weekend. Winning in Duluth has always set the stage for a championship season, but it will be the backdrop to crown the sports champions this season.

On Friday night, racers and fans reminisced about the great races big names, blizzards, and fog that have made Duluth a pillar of Snocross. At the end of the night, one thing was clear: the future of the sport is in good hands. A pair of rookies stood tallest on a day that featured more than 100 hundred races.

Lebel Leaps to Second Straight Pro Victory

Emil Harr entered the night in control of the Pro class from a points perspective, but rookie Jordan Lebel would command the top spot in the premier class.


Lebel used a pair of clean starts and world-class speed to secure his second straight win, which dates back to ERX. On a track that opened up deep holes, handlebar-shaking hills, and enough slippery turns to limit the sports top riders, Lebel found clear vision and repeatable rhythm to win the first and third rounds of the Pro Triple Crown on Friday night.

He held off Francis Pelletier in round one and Harr in round three. Harr made a mad dash and nearly caught Lebel at the line as the pair hit the big finish line jump side-by-side. But Lebel won the night thanks to a hard charge through the field in round two after he found himself in ninth of the long, uphill start. 

For Lebel, it marked his second straight win and fourth in a great rookie season. He is third overall and has a puncher's chance of catching Harr for the crown.


"I got good starts in the first and last rounds, and in the second round, I got third, so I was just aiming to win the last one and be P-1 overall," said Lebel. So, everything went together. I had some good lines and just made the track work for me."

Pelletier found himself in control of the overall heading into the third round after he followed up his first-round runner-up finish with a wire-to-wire win in the second. He would finish fourth in the night's final race, just edging out Harr by one point for second overall.


In the championship race, Pelletier is second overall and 43 points behind Harr with two rounds to go (Lebel is four points behind Pelletier in third). Harr has the opportunity to clinch on Saturday, but if Friday is any indication, the points leader is looking to finish the season on a winning note. Harr overcame a slow start (12th) in round one to finish fourth, pressured Pelletier throughout the second round, and made a last-lap push to catch Lebel at the checkered flags in round three, finishing third overall.

Dillon Dominant in Title Clinching Win

Crayden Dillon's rookie season may look back at his rookie season in the deeply talented Pro Lite class and think of it as both fantastic and frustrating, with long winning streaks mixed with a few challenges. It's more likely that he will remember it simply as a championship-winning effort.

Dillon entered the weekend with an 85-point lead over Nick Lorenz. He got there thanks to his seven straight wins to open the season and another two in Elk River two weeks ago. He would add a ninth to the scoresheet on Friday, outlasting a mob of riders on the first lap and powering away from the field for a 20-second win on a track that promoted tight racing all day long.

Dillon's third straight win gave the Ski-Doo rider enough points to secure his first career Pro Lite championship, with two rounds still on the weekend schedule.

"I told myself I wanted to (win the championship), and with the help from Thene Motorsports and every behind me, we got it done in our rookie year," said Dillon. "We're looking forward to next year, and hopefully, we can do it again, but just a huge thank you to everyone who backs me. I couldn't be up here without them."


Topi Posti was up for the challenge of unseating Dillon on Friday night. Posti was one of the top qualifiers after finishing with a win in qualifying. He was bar to bar with Dillon off the start and held off several competitors for the rest of the race, finishing second. It was the round ten winner's third podium finish of the season.

Lorenz's night ended a lot better than it started. After starting in the back row, the two-time winner was buried off the start, coming through the first lap in ninth. But Lorenz had fast lines picked out and maneuvered his way through the field, positioning himself into third on lap eight when he got past Emeric Legendre for the final podium position.

Champion Cottew Keeps Churning Out Wins

Malene Cottew is not interested in riding out the weekend in parade-like fashion after clinching her fourth straight championship at ERX Motor Park two weeks ago. Instead, she put together another winning effort that included an unexpected comeback late in the contest.

Cottew took control of the Pro AM Women's final the second time around the big Duluth track and was on her way to her 13th win of the season. But with ½ a lap remaining, she caught an edge that vaulted her off track and allowed Inanna Hauger to storm past and into the lead. Cottew quickly returned to the race surface but had only a few turns left to catch Hauger. The champ blitzed the final downhill section and got by Hauger right before the finish line for her fifth straight victory.


Hauger was in position to get the late lead after she got around Cerissa Blessum with two laps to go. Hauger, who sits second overall in points, would finish in the runner-up spot for her second straight podium finish. Blessum would cross the line third her sixth straight trip to the podium.


Todd Takes Win in Pro AM Plus 30 Final

Nineteen riders filled the starting line for Friday's Pro AM Plus 30 final, including past snocross heavyweights Earl Reimer, Bobby LePage, and defending champion Andy Lieders.

At the end of the night, another former Pro, Corin Todd, would stand atop the podium. Todd entered the night with a 25-point lead over Adam Johnson for the championship. He would add to that with a wire-to-wire win, leading from start to finish for his fifth win of the season.


Johnson would keep his title hopes alive with a second-place finish after he got around Ryan Frank on lap three. Danny Dolecki, who had not raced in the series since 2019, finished third.

The final round of Pro AM Plus 30 will be on Saturday.

ROX SPEED FX STOCK 200: Henry Dillon has only raced four rounds of Rox Speed FX Stock 200 this season, but he has now won 50 percent of the races he's entered.

Dillon took his second straight win (he won Friday night at ERX one week ago). Meanwhile, Jack Gelinas may have wrapped up the Rox Speed FX Stock 200 championship last weekend, but he still pushed hard to the front in Duluth, finishing second behind Dillon. Blake Van Damme finished on the podium in third, his first trip to the top three this year.

JUNIOR 14-15: The Skogquist brothers nailed the start in Friday's Junior 14-15 final, with Wyatt grabbing a narrow holeshot and an early lead.

Wyatt Skogquist led from start to finish, edging out AJ Skogquist for his second win (and first since round one in Ironwood). AJ Skogquist stayed in front of Kamden Duffy for the second spot on the podium. He now leads Duffy by 16 points with one round of racing remaining on Saturday.

Showdown at Sundown

Every season for over a decade, AMSOIL Championship Snocross has brought the sport's top amateur riders from across the nation together at one venue for the ultimate showdown. 

This year, the venue was Spirit Mountain in Duluth, and 269 racers registered across 18 classes. Although there were no season points on the line during Friday's action, the racing brought championship vibes throughout the day.

Here's a rundown of the top three finishers in each class from Friday's Showdown at Sundown. (Ordered from first to third.)

120 Champ (6-12): Kody Krantz, George Boettger, Koy Maruska

120 Stock & Improved Stock 4-8: Russel Walsh, Otto Walli, Rhett Roed

Pro 206 6-12: Koy Maruska, Harrison Skar, Jade Bidinot

120 Improved Stock 4-12: Russell Walsh, Ellie Houkom, Samuel Popehn

Stock 200 8-10: Jack Gelinas, Everett Storlie, Caleb Reinhofer

Junior Girls 9-13: Ava Kruschke, Eleanor Schmidt, Charlie Buteau

Stock 200 6-12: Eli Pallin, Rene Chartrand, Noah Kuhn

Transition 11-13: Tavin Knudson, Bryce Powers, Carter vanHorsigh

Junior Girls 14-17: Shyann Gosselin, Hailey Jo Brown

Stock 200 6-7: Easton Green, Ryan Kuehl, Harrison Skar

Pro AM Plus 30: Adam S. Johnson, Ryan Frank, Scott Doll

Sport Lite: Derek Gosselin, Jacob Begin, Will Schmidt

Transition 8-10: Tripp Knudson, Holden Kuhn, Kody Krantz

Junior 14-17: Colin Taggart, Derek Gosselin, Brady Black


Full Friday Replay


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Pro AM Women 14 & Up: Hailey Belanger, Kendall Rose, Shyann Gosselin

Transition 8-12 Combined: Ryan Shimanski, Logan Bruch, Beckum Pete

Junior 10-13 #1: Easton Kuhn, Lincoln Meyer, Ryder Hayes

Only two days of racing remain for the 2023-2-24 AMSOIL Championship Snocross season. Saturday, April 6th, will feature a full day of points racing, with several classes wrapping up their championships. The Pro classes will run on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

For more information about the 2023-2024 AMSOIL Championship Snocross season, visit www.snocross.com. You can tune in all season long, live on www.FloRacing.com.