Sub-zero temps no match for Ditchbanger National snowmobile race

It’s official, the inaugural ERX DitchBanger National held over the weekend in Elk River, Minnesota, has easily become the most talked about snowmobile event of the season. The run-what-you-brung and just have fun event saw more than 150 racers and hundreds of fans shrug-off the sub-zero temps and enjoy what many are calling the most fun you can have on two skis.

With a “tamed-down” track, racers of all ages and calibers showed up with sleds ranging from leaf spring single-cylinders from the early 1970s to thundering triple-triple lake racers from the late 1990s. While there were specific classes for vintage single-cylinder sleds and Yamaha Enticer 250 models, the premiere class was open to any sled — 2000 and older.

DitchBanger Class winner Bobby LePage.

“It was an idea that just grew into something pretty incredible,” said race organizer and participant Andrew Carlson. “I got together with Craig Wredberg, Joe Duncan and a few others and we just started throwing out ideas to hold a ditch banger race. The next thing I know my phone is blowing up with people who wanted to participate.”

Despite temperatures dipping down to -20 degrees, over 100 racers competed for a spot in the final field of 50, where they would battle for 20-minutes plus two laps to determine the winner. When that moment finally arrived, it was Bobby LePage first across the line, followed by Taylor Cole and Nick Lorenz.

In other classes, Dustin Fratzke took the win in HD One Lunger class; Sheldon Fratzke won the HR final; and Brady Mann was first across the line in the Enticer class.

Within hours of the conclusion of the race, the buzz across the internet was spreading like wildfire. Everyone was talking about the DitchBanger National and asking the obvious question — when is the next one?

“Yeah, we’re already planning on next year’s race. We’ve gotten lots of great feedback from racers and fans,” said Carlson. “We might change a few things, but we are going to make sure we continue to focus on having fun, that’s what made this race special.”

In addition to all the volunteers who dedicated their time to make the night special, Carlson thanked sponsors C&A Pro Skis, Woody’s Traction, Thomas SnoSports, Paramount Granite, Pit Viper, RSI, Fowler, Northern Crankshaft and FXR Racing.

While the DitchBanger National might be over, there’s still more fun on tap at ERX this winter with back-to-back Sunday Fun Day races planned over the next two weekends with classes similar to the DitchBanger along with youth and snowbike action.

The top pro snocross racers in the country will also be at ERX as the ISOC National returns March 5-6 — this time with fans in attendance. In addition, more grassroots racing remains on the calendar along with the year-end snow oval and the laugh-out-loud Levi LaVallee Tri-5 race on April 10.

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