Sledding the County - World Series of Snowmobile Racing in the County

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:14 AM EDT
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While the trail system of Aroostook County is the biggest draw for snowmobilers from across the country, there once was a time when the County drew the attention of professional racers. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has this week’s Sledding the County.

33 years ago Kevin Freeman and Randy Norsworthy, Co-Chairs of the Crown of Maine Snowmobile Races attempted to make Presque Isle a regular stop on the World Series of Snowmobile Racing Circuit. Ahead of the inaugural race both appeared on a WAGM program titled Spotlight hosted by a young Rene Cloukey to discuss the race.

“First of all, let’s touch a little bit on how Presque Isle was selected as the site of the snowmobile races.”

“It all started Rene about 2 years ago we were approached by the North American Snowmobile Racing Association about hosting an event in the northeast, on the stateside” said Norsworthy.

“Presque Isle is actually one of 5 or 6 sites that were vying for this event and thanks to the Chamber of Commerce’s packet of material and Randy and I being able to talk with the right people at the right time we were able to convince them that Presque Isle was THE best location for the 1990 world series.” said Freeman.

The races were held from February 23 to the 25th in 1990 at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds, drawing a significant crowd and talented racers from across the country. Presque Isle was one of 11 stops on the circuit that ran through the united states and Canada.

“It was a very hectic weekend, as the hours went by and we’re done with the hustle and bustle, it was a lot of fun, it was a very successful event. The crowds on Sunday turned out to be very, very good.” said Norsworthy.

The races catered to multiple classes including Formula One and Formula Three snowmobiles, some of the fastest and top of the line at the time.

“In addition to the formula one and formula three sleds however, we will be having some amateur class racing. Amateur class racing will be in 2 classes they will be both be held on Saturday and it is open to any racer that might be watching this show tonight or any person that has never oval raced before” said Freeman.

The races returned in 1991 however the World Series of Snowmobile Racing ultimately did away with the circuit, instead deciding to hold races at the World Championship Derby Complex in Eagle River, Wisconsin. So while professional snowmobile racing may never come back to the county, riders can certainly still feel the thrill of an open throttle on the thousands of miles of trails that run through the county.

Brian Bouchard, Newssource8