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Most Entertaining Racers

Most Entertaining Racers

Postby CoryEwingdeactivated » June 1st, 2007, 8:25 am

Summer Topic:

Looking for the Most Entertaining Ice Racers of All-Time.

note: not necessarily winningest, but the guys who when they were on the track, you stopped what you were doing to watch.

My guys: (not in any particular order)

Jeff Ludwig- Cannot argue about him being one of the smoothest drivers of all-time, he would find lines that no one would on the track and make the sport look so easy to the average rube. His passing and coming from behind ability is right up there with the best.

Jacques Villenueve- Now obviously for opposite reasons then Jeff, Jacques was and always will be pound for pound most entertaining driver, he could fit a 45" sled in between a 40" opening without touching anyone (yes, sometimes he touched guys, but most of the time he didnt'). You never know what can happen when #96 is on the track.

and of course Darcy Ewing- I know this is a little biased but I don't think anyone can argue with what the guy could do with so little. Also, who in the history of the sport could ever race around the entire track with his right ski 2 feet away from the bales and still win? I tried and couldn't do it. And if someone was ahead of him, he would find a way to cleanly pass before the checkered was thrown.

*Now if my old man was still around, I know his vote would be for Larry Coltom, his favorite driver. I never got to see him race but the stories my dad told me about him were unbelievable.

Who are some of your favorites???
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Postby that 31 car » June 1st, 2007, 9:14 am

Mike Houle: Smooth, incredibly subtle, made everything look easy. Rougher the track the better Mike was.

John Dittbrender: Unmatched skill on Merc Twisters and later Yamaha's. In 76 John never lost a heat or a race in the 340 Twister class. Carried USSA's number one bib for a time but also raced as "31" . John is perhaps the winningest driver in snowmobile racing, had tremendous seasons in 76-77-78. Still see him at races each year, a fine gentleman.

Darcy Ewing: Strenght and ability along with superb chassis and clutch set up. Had the ability to drive in deeper and carry more corner speed than anyone. In the early Sprint days Darcy was sometimes faster in the corners than other guys were on the straights. Like Houle, Darcy knew that corner speed was the real answer.
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Postby kh550 » June 1st, 2007, 10:44 am

Good names -- they were great drivers and fun to watch. For entertaining I would definately agree with #96. A couple others I would add include Tim Bender (hard charging and amazing driver -- was always fun to watch in those old FIII races) and Dave Wahl (no matter where he started you knew he be at or near the front at the end).
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Postby CoryEwingdeactivated » June 1st, 2007, 2:31 pm

Tim Bender- no doubt, awesome driving ability. If you were to teach a young driver how to properly race a sled you would have him/her watch any footage of Mr. Bender.

Bobby Donahue- The battles between Bobby and Ted Otto on the starting line was always entertaining. And, if Bobby would end up in the bales he would play dead and Ted would stop the race, they would put him into the ambulance and as they were leaving the track he would come flying out like Superman ready to keep racing. Pure Entertainment.

Thanks Jerry for the compliments on my dad. You are right on. I can only imagine him still around to keep me on the straight and narrow.
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Postby 323Driver » June 2nd, 2007, 3:39 am

Chad Ramesh: He drove stockers how they were meant to be; fast and loose. He drove deeper than anyone else and then had the ability to make sled 15 feet wide in the corners.

Terry Wahl: A smoothness and clean racing style unmatched.

Dale Loritz: Hard charging, clean racing style. Could pass from anywhere on the track, and similar to #21, managed to find the smooth, fast line no ne else could spot.

Good topic Cory.
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Postby proton » June 2nd, 2007, 1:10 pm

Chad Ramesh: I loved watching him back his sled into the corner...when Chad and Mike H raced against each other in pro stock, it was a thrill watching those guys with completely different driving styles battle it out lap after lap.
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Postby Winterwizards » June 3rd, 2007, 6:27 am

Two of the best to watch , was from the era of the High Bank Oval, long before twin tracks and F3. and even twisters. In the hayday of Ovals when the OSRF was a major player in the sport two guys from Ontario used to pound the ovals like never seen before and ON LEAF SPRING SLEDS. Rick Clarke who ran the big iron Blizzards and Doug Hass a little guy from the North who just couldnt ride a sled unless it was at the top of the Bank. Before the arrival of the Flat Ice Oval 75/76 it was a quite a site to see sleds hit the turn at full speed and then turn on a 90 degree angle. Another was big Bob Elsner on his Cat, small sled but a big man in command of his "toy"

Brad Hulings was a sight, smart cool, fast,.........but after all the years,sleds and drivers.....old 96 is still the all time entertainer on and off the track.
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Postby xltwanab » June 4th, 2007, 2:32 am

I want to add Wayne Nicholson to the list. Great stock driver, very smooth, and also a great F-III driver.
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Postby CoryEwingdeactivated » June 4th, 2007, 6:58 am

When it comes to Stock Oval Racing Entertainment, there are 3 guys and 3 different Era's:

1970's = Todd Elmer

1980's = Jim Wergin

1990's = Chad Ramesh

No argument is needed on these three. I won't even listen, hands down the best of their day. I watched Jim and Chad do things on Stock sleds that were like no other. And my dad told me Todd was the best there will ever be.
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Postby snoracer128 » June 4th, 2007, 9:25 am

My pick for stock drivers would have to be Dan & Ed DeVault. They were always contenders for a win. The two had very different driving styles, Dan was the hard charger while Ed was very calculating and smooth. I will always remember the year they won almost every class at Eagle River.
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