When race teams make the trek to Maine's famed Northwoods region in mid-March, there will be much more at stake than trophies and bragging rights.
What was originally planned as a high-stakes exhibition race northwest of Moosehead Lake has taken on new meaning, as officials at East Coast Snocross (ECS) announce the inaugural Maine Northwoods Sno-X Challenge at Historic Pittston Farm on March 12-13 will now be a points race for Pro Open, Pro Lite and Sport classes.
"After a great deal of thought and discussions with team owners, we've decided it's best to go ahead and make Pittston Farm a points-paying event for the top classes," series owner Kurt Gagne said. "While I'm not a huge fan of the throw-away system, we will allow teams to discard their lowest finish from a race in the U.S. when the final tally of points is made.
"This way, we ensure everybody comes to compete in the Challenge. Yet if that or any other race weekend doesn't pan out well, it won't take them out of contention. I feel this puts the Sno-X Challenge on equal ground with all of our races, and I hope our teams have a blast up there. It's a beautiful area of northern New England that really has to be seen to be appreciated."
Pittston Farm served as a logging camp in Maine's famous Moosehead Lake region from 1908 to the early 1970s. It has been a sporting lodge since purchased from Great Northern Paper Company in the early 1990s, and now has a stellar reputation among sportsmen unsurpassed in the east.
ECS might just set an event record for entries in its popular Trail Stock class at Pittston Farm, since local club members are planning to compete. The Trail class is the ideal place for aggressive trail riders to test their skills on a race course specifically designed for snocross. A rivalry is building between clubs in Jackman, Greenville and points beyond to see which group can earn top honors.
One noteworthy benefit to the inaugural Maine North Woods Sno-X Challenge at Pittston Farm its potential economic impact. As race teams, trail riders who plan to attend the races, and other spectators descend on the greater Moosehead Lake area, they'll make a significant contribution to local cash registers with lodging, fuel and meals purchases.
After a successful season opener in Plattsburgh, New York, teams will now make their first visit to Maine in 2016. The second annual Paul Bunyan Snocross is set for Jan. 30-31 at Bangor's Bass Park.
East Coast Snocross, presented by Woody's Traction, AMSOIL, FXR is an ISR-affiliated sanctioning body for snowmobile racing in the northeastern United States. ECS maintains a regional circuit intended to keep grass-roots snocross racing healthy in this part of the country, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow's factory-backed Pro teams.