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USXC racers speed across countryside

A snowmobiler gets some air during the USXC Sunday race that looped around the Paul Bunyan State Forest. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

USXC Racing returned this weekend to Park Rapids for the Heartland 106.

Saturday, racers faced a mix of ditches, woods and lake running. Sunday, a continuous 106-mile route around much of the Paul Bunyan State Forest had racers running at high speed and snaking through trees and ditches toward the finish line.

For anyone growing up riding groomed trails in the woods of Minnesota or Wisconsin, Sunday was a dream come true, according to a USXC news release. Almost the entire route was groomed prior to the race, so while speeds were high, driving skill had to be higher. Saturday’s race had technical challenges with deep holes.

Although temperatures were frigid for onlookers, it was perfect for racers, with sunshine providing good definition for riders. The cool temperatures kept riders from overheating.

Aaron Christensen, with Polaris, took top honors over the weekend in the Pro Stock class.

In the Semi Pro class, Timmy Kallock (Cat) topped the rest of the field, while the Drift Racing Super Stock class has been owned by Ski-Doo that last couple of weekends, with Robert Nichols and Nick Roehl grabbing the top two spots.

Day two of competition proved Christensen’s day one performance was no fluke. Looking for a breakthrough weekend, Christensen worked hard for a victory.

As for the Semi-Pros, Cole Nymann (Cat) took the first spot. Nick Roehl (Ski-Doo) ended up capturing the top spot in Super Stock.

With only two weekends left in USXC competition, March 1, racers travel to Warroad for the Seven Clans Warroad 100.

According to USXC, the complete recap of day two winners from Park Rapids include Yamaha Pro Stock: Aaron Christensen (Pol); Speedwerx Pro Open: Aaron Christensen (Pol); Semi Pro: Cole Nymann (Cat); AMSOIL Semi Pro Improved: Casey Pries (Cat); Drift Racing Super Stock: Nick Roehl (Doo); Polaris Expert 85: Gerard Reinking (Cat); FOX Expert 85 Improved: John Langaas (Cat); Ski-Doo Masters 40+: Jon Arneson (Cat); Red Lake Outdoors Legends 50+: Jim Sobeck (Doo); Carver Performance Sport 85: Hunter Houle (Cat); Woody’s Sport 600 Stock: Austin Reinertson (Pol); Action Graphics Sport 600 Improved: Chase Nordstrom (Cat); C&A Pro Trail: Thomas Junglen (Cat); TEAM Industries Classic IFS 18-50: Tom Clement (Cat); On Snow Magazine Women’s: Jolene Bute (Cat); Mattracks Junior 14-17: Thomas Junglen (Cat); Applied High Performance Products Junior Girls 14-17: Savannah Landrus (Cat).

USXC Racing is the largest cross-country snowmobile racing organization in North America.

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