Patenaude Brothers sweep Pro finals in Bennington
BENNINGTON, Vermont (Feb. 20, 2017) — Vermont veterans and talented brothers Leo and Hunter Patenaude made a clean sweep of the Pro classes over the weekend, as East Coast Snocross (ECS) completed Round 3 on its seven-race 2017 schedule at Willow Park.
Leo Patenaude (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) kicked off his impressive weekend with a strong run in Saturday's Pro Open final. The older of this skilled brother act from Hartland slotted into fourth at the start, took the lead on lap seven and pulled away for top honors. Hunter finished three seconds back in the runner-up spot, with Kristoffer Holm (Team Southside/Polaris) filling out the podium in third.
Hunter Patenaude (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) found redemption with a win in Saturday's Pro Lite final over his brother. Rising star Marco Travaglini put in a huge effort to claim third in the highly-competitive class.
On Sunday, it was Hunter's turn to steal the show. The 2014 ECS Pro Lite champion held off Holm and last year's Pro Lite king Cody Paolella (Team Southside/Polaris) to claim Pro Open, and absolutely dominated the Pro Lite final to sweep the day. Ryan Dupont finished a distant second (over nine seconds back), while motocross veteran Jared Gessner completed the top three.
Alissah Ashline powered to victory in Saturday's Pro Women final, holding off Maine's Kassie Thibodeau for top honors. Sabrina Verville kept her strong start to 2017 intact with a solid third-place finish. On Sunday, Thibodeau (Team Southside/Polaris) prevailed over Ashley Baird and Verville. The Women racers continue to impress in 2017, having raised the standard of performance from last year.
In Southside Sales/Team Southside Sport class action, Wyatt Hoffman turned heads with a weekend sweep. The talented young athlete from New Berlin, NY, held off Jeff Roylance (second) and Nikos Soklaropoulous to win Saturday's Super Stock final. On Sunday, Hoffman outgunned veteran Bruce Gaspardi Jr. and rising star Tucker Kierstead to complete the sweep. The ECS Sport class is loaded with young guns on the rise, and it's a blessing for the future.
Action in the Junior classes was competitive, as well. Brandon O'Neill made it a clean sweep in Jr. 16-17 Stock 600, winning the finals on Saturday and Sunday. Trevor Parent (second) and Gavin Fleury (third) followed O'Neill across the stripe both days, with an identical podium roster.
Fleury bounced back to claim Saturday's Jr. 14-15 final, with Dillon Powles and Bryce Little second and third, respectively. On Sunday, Powles notched the win over skilled rivals Fleury and Little.
Other final round winners over the weekend in Bennington include Tristan Huey (Plus 25/35 Saturday); Nathan Bourassa (Plus 25/35 Sunday); Caden Dufour (Jr. 8-10 Fan Sat. and Sun.); Adam Ashline (Jr. Novice 10-13 Sat. and Sun.); and Ryan Earle (Transition 8-10 Saturday and Sunday).
East Coast Snocross would like to thank the local business owners and fans in Bennington for supporting our second annual visit to Willow Park. While keeping track conditions suitable for racing in such warm temperatures was a challenge, ample natural snow and sunshine made for an excellent weekend in Vermont. ECS would also like to thank the Woodford Sno Busters for their support, easily one of Vermont's biggest and well-respected snowmobile trail clubs.
Next up for ECS race teams is a visit to Plattsburgh, NY, this coming weekend, February 24-25, for two nights (under the lights) of racing at the Clinton County Fairgrounds. Gates will open at 4 p.m. on Friday and at 12 noon on Saturday.
The East Coast Snocross Conx2share Series, presented by Woody's Traction and 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 national Pro teams.
Race photos courtesy of Josh Sullivan/Papparazzi Imaging
“I was really happy to get the win on Saturday,” Brunelle said. “I got the holeshot, and never looked back. I just kept a steady pace the whole race, and it paid off. On Sunday, I had a couple of issues and decided not to push it. I'm thrilled with our results for my team and our great sponsors.”
Poirier, (Ingles Performance/Ski-doo) of St. Theodore, Quebec, slotted into second behind Dahlgren at the start of Sunday's final, but quickly found his way around the Swede and led from lap 2 to the finish. Dahlgren settled for second, while George capped a consistent weekend with a third-place finish.
Cody Paolella (Team Southside/Polaris) swept the Pro Lite class at Snow Ridge, nipping Wade Acker in a 10-lap tussle on Saturday while fellow Sport graduate Joe Bishop filled out the podium in third. On Sunday, local rider Andrew Bristol followed Paolella across the stripe for second while Acker powered his way to third.
“I think the weather was perfect and snow conditions were good,” Paolella said. “It was a little different to race on a ski hill. The downhill part made it challenging by having to use the brake to get through the bumps. The track was pretty wide with some good jumps, but I'd still say it was important to get a good start because the snow dust was pretty bad. I'm super pleased to sweep both finals.”
In Sport class action, Bristol held off a hard-charging Marco Travaglini and Dalton Jacquier for top honors in Saturday's Super Stock final. On Sunday, Travaglini found redeption as he outgunned Jamie Vanderaa and Jeff Roylance for top honors. This class is where tomorrow's Pro Lite stars hone their skills, and the 2015 season is delivering some great racing from these young athletes.
Other big winners over the weekend at Snow Ridge include Nykea Williams (Pro Women Sat. and Sun.); Bruce Gaspardi Jr. (Plus 25 Sat. and Sun.); Michael Newman (Jr. 16-17 Sat.); and Anthony Paige (Jr. 16-17 Sunday). Congratulations to all of our final round winners in Turin on a job well done.
East Coast Snocross would like to thank Snow Ridge owner Brad Horn, Russ Horn and the entire staff for hosting Round 4. The warmth and hospitality extended to our racing fraternity was second to none, and this facility is ideal for snocross on the famed Tug Hill plateau. While trail riders have frequented the Tug Hill region for decades, racers are quickly becoming fond of it, as well.
Teams will now prepare for a trip to western New York this coming weekend, Feb. 6-7, to join with ISOC at the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca for the Eastern Nationals. This is ISOC's only race in the east, and ECS athletes will be looking to impress the big teams.
East Coast Snocross, presented by AMSOIL, Woody's Traction and FXR, is the eastern regional affiliate of ISOC. ECS strives to maintain a healthy level of competition in grassroots snocross, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow's factory-backed national teams.