Hayden Claims Eighth National Snowcross Championship

Team Rockstar Energy Polaris Racing’s Iain Hayden claimed his eighth Pro Open National Snowcross Championship this past weekend at Horseshoe Valley in Barrie, ON. Hayden all but dominated the final round of the ‘Triple Header’ Rockstar Energy CSRA Snowcross Series, with victories on Friday and Sunday and a second place on Saturday.  

 

Despite mild spring temperatures that went double digit on Sunday, there was plenty of snow to say goodbye to yet another exciting snowcross season, thanks to the hard-working people at Horseshoe Valley Ski Resort, ensuring first class racing conditions and great sledding action.

 

Hayden’s archrival in the series, Colby Crapo, on the Rockstar Energy Polaris Racing Piller’s satellite team, claimed runner-up in the series, making it a potent 1-2 finish for Rockstar/Polaris Racing. Crapo, who lagged just a few points behind the multi-time champ going into Barrie, had his share of problems on the slopes of Horseshoe Valley and was never really in a position to challenge an on fire Hayden.

 

The American did what he had to do, however, to keep the Norwegian, Stale Eggen – third in the points – from taking over runner-up in the championship.

 

“It was a great weekend of snowcross racing for us. As a Rockstar representative, having partnered with the company for nine years, I’m excited seeing Iain and Colby put the brand one-two on the championship box,” said team owner Andre Laurin of OTSFF Sports Management Group. “It doesn’t get much better than that. This is really rewarding for us. And it’s a true indication of Rockstar’s commitment to the sport in Canada and a proof-in-the-pudding demonstration of the top-flight quality of Polaris snowmobiles.”

 

Hayden’s teammate Dylan Hall – who missed a good deal of the season due to injuries – still managed to soldier his way into a 10th place final ranking in the last few rounds he was able to ride towards the end of the series.

 

In Friday’s action, Hayden took to the track with his dynamic 2017 Polaris Accent, snagging respectable 2-3 results in his heat races. In the final, he turned it up a few notches to battle with Corey Watkinson and Colby Crapo for first place. When the checkered flag was waved, Hayden led Watkinson and Crapo across the finish line. Hall, meanwhile, recorded 8-2 in his first heat races, to then go on and grab sixth in the final.

 

On day two of the Triple Header showdown Hayden stayed in form by logging 1-2 finishes in his heat races. This time out Watkinson beat Hayden – who had hammered down the holeshot – across the finish line in another frenzied final. Hayden settled for second place and an encouraging points lead going into Sunday’s races. Hall stepped up to the plate with third place. He had a good run in his heat races also, snaring 2-4 results.

 

On Sunday Hayden wrapped up the championship by claiming 1-2 in his heat races, accumulating an unbridgeable 24-point advantage over Crapo. All that was left for Hayden to do was just one token lap in the final. But the 2016 champ wasn’t about to ride one lap or finish the season in cruise mode. He started in second place and pinned the throttle to take over first a few laps later, finishing in that position some 12 seconds ahead of second place Crapo when all was said and done. 

 

“My results at Horseshoe Valley were a very gratifying way to claim the championship and wrap up the series. It’s still sinking in that this is number eight. I didn’t really know how this was going to pan out, with Colby just two points behind me when we got to Barrie,” Hayden said. “He was more than just a worthy competitor all season long and I’d like to congratulate him on his runner-up finish. At this point I want to thank Rockstar Energy Drink and Polaris Racing for their unwavering support. A huge shout goes out to all the team’s sponsors, your product is second to none! And last but not least I thank everybody, and I mean everybody, you know who you are, who helped make this happen for me.”

 

Hall stayed in the top five mix on Sunday by recording 5-4 finishes in his heat races and fifth in the final.

 

“For me the 2016 season was a bit of a disappointment, as I had to sit out too many rounds to achieve my objective, which was to finish top-three in the points. But injuries are part of racing and now, with the season behind us, I can properly regroup and hopefully take another shot at the title next year without having to deal with injuries,” Hall said.    

Tags: snowcross, otsff, polaris, iain hayden, csra, canada

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