The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 20 - 1/11/01
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
One Lunger 100 a big hit!
by Rob Shaul
They called it a race, but it was really a war of attrition. Of the 10 vintage snowmachines that started the first ever One Lunger 100 at the Sagebrush Downs Oval Track in Cora last Sunday morning, just four were still running at the finish. And the winning machine was the only Arctic Cat to enter, and the only one with the hood still on it!
Pinedale's Troy Bredthauer gets credit for coming up with the idea for the race, which was sponsored by the Pinedale Snow Explorers.
The rules were simple. The only machines that could enter had to be year 1973 or older and have a single cylinder (hence "one lung"). The machines could be modified as much as the teams wished.
The race consisted of 100 laps around about a 1/2-mile long track. The front side of the track had several turns, the back side was a long straightaway.
By 11 a.m. Sunday morning, the race had attracted 10 entries with teams of 2-3 drivers. Seven of the entered sleds were yellow old Ski-Doos, two were blue Sno-Jets, and one was a black-hooded Arctic Cat piloted by the team of Wes Allen and Aaron Koch.
Troy's machine was a Ski-Doom named "The Streak." "I modified my machine to the max," said Mr. Bredthauer. "I bored it, milled it, piped it, put in different clutching, used racing fuel, everything." Troy even lucked out and found a machine with a slide rail suspension, which he says was really rare back in those days. Most of the machines had the less comfortable and less reliable roller suspensions.
Survival of the Fittest
The race kicked off at 11:15 a.m. with a ten yard sprint for the drivers to their machines. Mr. Bredthauer's modifications paid off early in the race. He clearly had the fastest sled on the track, and quickly grew a large lead on the rest of the pack.
Further back, it was survival of the fittest as the old, noisy and slow sleds with their drivers in modern snowsuits and shiny helmets banged each other while fighting for position on the turns. Later on, after the racers had stretched out along the course, I heard one of the riders say that the first two laps were the most fun, because of all the banging and fighting on the turns.
On the 21st lap, hoods started coming off so the old machines could keep cool, get air, and keep running. First one of the Sno-Jets lost its hood. Following in quick succession were two of the Ski-Doos.
The first sled to have to quit the race was a Mickelson machine driven by a Big Piney team including Wink Winkelman. The old Ski-Doo quit on the 49th lap.
At 72 laps, just three sleds were running on the course, two were being worked on, and another two were out for good.
Mr. Bredthauer's yellow "Streak" was "struck" by bad gas all day. During all of his modifications, "I never thought to get the rust and crap out of the gas tank," says Troy, smiling. He was done at lap 69.
Wes Allen and Aaron Koch took the lead at about 72 laps and never gave it up. The old lucky #7 black Arctic Cat carried the two to victory. They completed the 100th lap at 2:20 p.m., approximately three hours after the race had started, and got ninety bucks and a cool trophy for their efforts.
Three-quarters-of-a-lap back were the father-son team of Brent and Scotty Cheeney riding their hoodless Ski-Doo. Burke Steele finished third, quite a ways back.
They'll Be Back
The race drew a large crowd, and it seemed that both teams and fans had a great time. There were some administrative hitches. The checkered winner's flag got left in the garage by mistake and the winner's trophy also was forgotten, but no one cared. "Everybody loved it," said Troy. "We're doing it again next year." He added that one of the great things about the race was that just about anyone can ride these old sleds. He especially complimented 12-year old Scotty Cheeney who muscled out several older riders on the corners, and Marie Lundberg, the only lady to race. The emphasis will always be on the fun, not the racing, Troy says.
For his own part, Troy plans to race the same sled next year, but he'll clean out the gas tank this time.
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