Sno-cross racers don’t mind August racing (W/VIDEO)

By Darrin Clark • Last Updated 6:46 pm on Tuesday, August 30, 2011

By Chip Burch
Daily News sports writer

GREENVILLE - Even though the weather suggests baseball, there was snowmobile racing going on in Greenville Saturday.

Sno-Motion 2012 at Nelsons Speed Shop was packed with racers, onlookers and snow for the Michigan Sno-cross Association racing event.

The event attracts racers of all types, including professional factory racer Mike Bauer of Ironwood.

“We don’t get to see much snow in August,” Bauer said. “The track is smaller but it’s an opportunity to have some fun.”

Bauer, who represented the only Polaris machine in the pro open field, won the first heat race, did not finish the second heat race and ended up third in the final. But that was secondary to the real goal of the event, he noted.

“It’s all about having fun, trying to get people to buy snowmobiles and keeping the sport alive.” he said.

This was Bauer’s fourth year of coming to Greenville.

“Every year it seems to get better,” he said. “Jack (Nelson, the owner) puts on a great show, and he’s a heck of a nice guy.”

Agreeing with that sentiment was Kyle Rau of Lawton, who raced in the Semipro Open class with an Arctic Cat.

“They took some time and cleaned up some of the jumps,” he said. “They did a great job.”

Rau is in his second year racing at Greenville.

“It’s awesome,” he said of racing snowmobiles. “It’s a huge passion of mine. It’s the best sport I’ve ever done.”

Because of that passion, he was glad to race in August.

“I love sno-cross,” he said. “Any chance I get I like to ride my sled. It’s unheard of to have snow in August. There’s nothing else like it.”

Paul Banerly of Milaca, Minn. was the winner of the main race in the pro open class, beating Cody Thomsen of Nisswa, Minn. .

Dalton Wallace of Manitou Beach, Mich. was the winner of the Sport A class, winning both heat races and the main race over Brad Baron of Hart, Mich.

The only female to win a race was Rachelle Fountain of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., who won the main race in the Sport B class over Zak Gentz of Durand, Mich. and Tom Dufore of Lake George, NY.

And the Semipro Open class main race was won by Rau, who finished ahead of Ryan McQuestion of LeRoy, Mich. and Wallace.

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