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Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Postby CoryEwingdeactivated » January 29th, 2008, 7:10 am

[quote=WAVEY DOG #26 OSRF]Ovals Forever,
We didn't see much of Mike out east and if my memory serves me, Mike ran Formula 111 and stock classes until the early 90's. JV and Mike probably didn't race together that much. You Americans and the snowmobile hall of fame keep forgetting the Vessairs. Both Gary and Bruce could beat anyone and did, all the time!!! You only seem to know what went on in the US. Canada had the best racing with the biggest purses and driver turnout for much of the glory days of oval racing. I am not saying anything bad about the other associations, just oval racing history happened at other associations other than the ones in the United States. David[/quote]

Don't categorize us all. I have so much respect for what my fellow Canadian's Gary and Bruce Vessair, Andy, Peter, and Kris Van Dolder, Mike Weatherill, and Michel and Pierre Gingras did for the sport. As far as the Hall of Fame goes, Gary=YES, Bruce=YES, and Andy=YES!!! All of these 3 belong, NO QUESTION.
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Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Postby jhooper/HRE » February 1st, 2008, 6:46 am

This is a tough one. I guess to really crown a "King" we would need to agree on the various qualities that a King must have. We would never all agree on that either! I would crown Jacques "King" because of his longevity at or near the TOP of the sports premier class and his showmanship on & off the track. If you are giving a "BEST DRIVER" award J.V. would also be a contender BUT there are a few others that certainly qualify. Considering only driving talent and Huevos size, My choices would be: Mike Houle, Larry Day, Terry Wahl, Jacques and Gary Vessair. Other greats would be: Dave Wahl, Tim Bender, Brad Hulings, Guy Useldinger
One of the best ways I have found to judge a driver, is his ability to extract every bit of speed from his machine. When you have a Larry or Terry on your sled you don't really even need good comunication all you need to do is watch closely to what the machine is doing in the corners, they will drive it in deep enough to make the sled do something wrong and they will get on the gas earlier each lap until it does something wrong exiting the corner. Race drivers that have the ability to run a sled on the edge every lap are rare. A driver that drives reckless and far beyond his sleds capability is also not what you want. If you see a race sled that looks like it's handling fine but it's not out front, the driver isn't doing his job.
I cannot judge guys that raced before 1985 and the new crop have not had enough time to prove themselves yet.
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Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Postby diskvalve » February 1st, 2008, 7:33 am

I have probably been around this sport longer than most on here and watched them all since 1975 and would say that the best was: Steve Thorsen on the Woodys Cat ;followed closely by Gary Vessair; Brad Hulings; Jacques Villeneuve; Mike Houle ;Pete VanDolder; Larry Day ;Dale Loritz ;Bobby Donahue and Dave Wahl. Vessair was untouchable on the twin tracks most days. Larry Day might just be the best ever on a single track sled but the way Steve Thorsen dominated at the Kawartha Cup in Canada in 1980; I think it was ;had to be the most impressed I have ever been with a driver. --- mike
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Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Postby Team79 » February 1st, 2008, 1:19 pm

My choice:

Tim Bender;

Dave Whal;

Mike Houle; and

Jacques Villeneuve;

and my favorite choice, my husband wiht hooper sled: Carl Lessard.

Best Regard!
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Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Postby 124blizzard » February 1st, 2008, 3:19 pm

Maybe Jacques is the "INTIMIDATOR" of oval racing ??!!?!. I believe he is. I know that everyone gets really excited when Jacko drives out onto the track just like everyone did when Dale Earnhardt Sr. did in NASCAR...there are also alot of other drivers that deserve a ton of recognition but truely no one has the same "ability" like Jacko has at the same age as he is. He is to OVAL RACING that DALE SR. was in NASCAR. Go JACKO GO !!!! May you recover fully and be back racing :)
Brian
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Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Postby kh550 » February 2nd, 2008, 2:32 am

[quote=jhooper/HRE]This is a tough one. I guess to really crown a "King" we would need to agree on the various qualities that a King must have. We would never all agree on that either! I would crown Jacques "King" because of his longevity at or near the TOP of the sports premier class and his showmanship on & off the track. If you are giving a "BEST DRIVER" award J.V. would also be a contender BUT there are a few others that certainly qualify. Considering only driving talent and Huevos size, My choices would be: Mike Houle, Larry Day, Terry Wahl, Jacques and Gary Vessair. Other greats would be: Dave Wahl, Tim Bender, Brad Hulings, Guy Useldinger
One of the best ways I have found to judge a driver, is his ability to extract every bit of speed from his machine. When you have a Larry or Terry on your sled you don't really even need good comunication all you need to do is watch closely to what the machine is doing in the corners, they will drive it in deep enough to make the sled do something wrong and they will get on the gas earlier each lap until it does something wrong exiting the corner. Race drivers that have the ability to run a sled on the edge every lap are rare. A driver that drives reckless and far beyond his sleds capability is also not what you want. If you see a race sled that looks like it's handling fine but it's not out front, the driver isn't doing his job.
I cannot judge guys that raced before 1985 and the new crop have not had enough time to prove themselves yet.[/quote]

Good post -- thanks. What would this sport have been like without this list of names (and others). I think of "King" of the sport as only JV because of not only his love for racing but his longevity and fans love to watch him race. A "Best Driver" would be very very hard to pick because these guys were all so good and so professional. Tim Bender made those old Yamaha FIII sleds absolutely fly around the track. I loved to watch him drive. Brad Hulings had the whole package -- smart, detailed, great driver, and knew his sleds. He helped to raise the bar of what it took to succeed in this sport. [i](By the way, I noticed a couple years back the Brad was trying to get his son Aaron into Nascar. I know Aaron was a successful driver at the local and regional tracks -- has anyone heard how that is all working out????)[/i] Mike Houle was the same kinds of driver -- you almost expected him to win every time out. Still, as for the "KING" of the sport -- two guys come to mind first for me -- Dave Wahl and JV. But there can only be one king and IMO #96 you are the man! JV -- I once heard you say that you plan to race until you are 60. This could only come from the King of Ice Oval Racing.
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Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Postby Ovals Forever » February 3rd, 2008, 2:58 pm

Very well put.
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Who is the "The King Of Ice Ovals" ?

Postby sled_king » February 7th, 2008, 4:23 pm

96 has been running with the best for over 30 years. he's still a threat wherever he goes.
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