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Snowmobiling: Hot sleds setting out on Foot photo Brian Dick of Thief River Falls won the Detroit Lakes 200 on Jan. 5. The USX-Country snowmobile races start 9 a.m. today at the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds.

WILLMAR  — Just in time the weather forecast predicts the mercury dropping down, down, down to around 10 degrees today.

After two days of thaw, drizzle and soft rain, it’s just what the snowmobile racers needed: a firm course on west Foot Lake for the Willmar Lakes Area 100.

Racing starts at 9 a.m. off the northwest point of the county fairgrounds.

This is one of eight races on the new United State X-Country Snowmobile circuit. Former snow racer Brian Nelson, from Spicer, is director and owner of the organization.

Last night at driver’s registration at the Holiday Inn, Nelson said the graded, nearly 10-mile Le Mans-style course would be fine for racing. It won’t be real winter scenic, however, due to the rain that compressed what had been a foot of snow covering the ice.

“We are expecting about 120 sleds and up to 150 entries since drivers will run in more than one class,” Nelson said. “The weather up north probably will cost us 30 sleds.”

The snowmobiles will each carry a transponder on their sled to record times. That allows multiple classes to be out at the same time.

The next race is the Oslo 100 in two weeks. Later on many of the racers here today will compete in the Thief River Falls 500, a three-day event riding a different 180-mile loop each day.

Racing schedule


Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds

9.8-mile laps   

RACE 1, 9 a.m. — Juniors, 4 classes, 2 laps

RACE 2, 9:45 a.m. — Pro Open, Semi-Pro, 5 laps

RACE 3, 10:45 a.m. — Masters 40/Expert 85/Sports 600 Improved/Trail, 4 laps

RACE 4, 11:30 a.m. — Pro Women/Sport 85/Classic IFS/Vintage/Vintage Legends, 4 laps

RACE 5 12:15 p.m. — Sport 600/Expert 85 Improved/Masters 50, 4 laps

RACE 6, 1:15 p.m. — Pro Stock/Semi Pro Improved Pro stock 10 laps; Semi Pro Improved, 6 laps

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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