As one may notice, the majority of focal points in this publication tend to revolve around the ski and snowboard culture, that is so passionately supported by Ellicottville and its surrounding communities. We’d be remiss however, not to spotlight some of the other exciting happenings occurring just outside the village, which draw visitors into our communities from near and far. One of said activities, is the 2016/17 U.S. Air Force Snocross National, which roars onto the property of the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca, NY, February 3-4. For years, crowds have been treated to the sights, sounds and smells (race fuel!) of this exciting event, so let’s fill you in on the back story.
First things first, it’s important to shed some light on what snocross is all about. Of course, we all know a thing or two about snowmobiles, having seen them on the trails or fields of our region, and at the resorts we frequent. Now, imagine adding a generous amount of horsepower (like, hang on for dear life amount), mix it with the competitive, head-to-head racing of motocross, and voila! You have yourself the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series, which first caught the attention of viewers nationwide during the 1998 X-Games, as a never-before-seen exhibition event to many.
Born in the Midwest, snocross was known for the iconic (and cold!) tracks in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Not to the surprise of anyone who has attended previous Salamanca races, our local event is now spoken of throughout the industry as a favorite stop on the 8-stop tour, by both fans and competitors alike!
Now that you have the back story, we thought it would be a good idea for you readers to have just a little more information on what to watch for at the upcoming event. You’ll want to of course know, that these days start early, as there are a number of amateur divisions which compete prior to the big dogs, spanning men’s and women’s riders from 8 years old and up. These race days are long, so if you’d like to catch all the action, you’d best be trackside bright and early! Speaking of the big dogs, there are two divisions - the Pro Lite Division (smaller, more nimble machines) and the Pro Open Division (power, power, power). In the Pro Lites, you’ll want to keep an eye on Aki Pihlaja, Nickolas Lorenz, and Kevin Wallenstein, currently leading in the point standings. On the Pro Open side of the pits, Tim Tremblay, Kody Kamm, and repeated X-Games gold medalist Tucker Hibbert will have all eyes glued to their sleds. If you can’t make it during the day on Friday and Saturday, not to worry, the opening ceremonies and finals for all divisions start at 6pm each evening, wrapping up by 10pm, making this a family-friendly event.
So there you have it - you're now officially outfitted with everything you need to know to attend the upcoming U.S. Air Force Snocross National. There's just one thing left to do - purchase your tickets TODAY! You can do so through snocross.com, or through senecaalleganycasino.com as well, where you can also book some great stay & play packages to take full advantage of your visit. Don't forget, in addition to their massive gaming facility and mouth watering restaurants, they'll also have a vendor village relating to the event this year, which now features an all new Native American Craft Vendor section - complete details online, or call 1-877-8-SENECA for more info.