Fast & Fashionable
No big surprises in the just-finished Speed & Style seeding round as Levi LaVallee, Joe Parsons and youngster Cory Davis secured the top three berths for tonight's final.
LaVallee posted the fastest overall time, but Parsons scored highest in the freestyle score. Scores and times were not immediately available, even among the riders. "I wish I knew my times and scores because I know Levi was faster than me, but I was six points ahead of him on style," Parsons said after all eight riders made their seeding runs. "Bottom line, I guess I've got to be faster. But I felt really good, definitely the best laps I've put in on the track so far."
Youngster Cory Davis, an up-and-coming freestyle rider who races in the semi-pro on the National snocross tour, stitched up the third qualifying spot - even though he doesn't have a flip in his bag of tricks. "I'm way stoked," said Davis, whose dad, Scott, is a 7-time champion of the Iron Dog race in Alaska (and longtime Iron Dog partner of AK's First Dude, Todd Palin). "I thought coming in I was super under-tricked, and I am without a flip, but everything else I've got is pretty solid."
The rest of the field came in like this: Heath Frisby 4th, Steve Martin 5th, Chris Burandt 6th, Sam Rogers 7th and Paul Thacker 8th. In tonight's final, it's No. 1 vs. 8, No. 2 vs. 7, and so on.
Daivs thought he finished second overall in time. "It's hard to feel fast on this course because it's so tight. So I'm trying to go as fast as I can through the corners, that's my main goal," he said. Most of Davis' tricks, he said, are the fruit of an intense three-day training session with friend and fellow racer Brett Turcotte back in Minnesota before WX.
"I learned all these tricks in three days - in 40 below weather so cold we had to ride with huge mittens on. Turcotte's great because we're able to keep pushing each other along into harder stuff," Davis said.
Paul Thacker's run ended on the first super-kicker jump with the first notable "get off" of the WX weekend. Thacker ditched his sled in mid-air, landing on his feet at the top of the landing, while his sled slammed down tail-first on its tunnel. Thacker walked away but his sled stayed put.