NORTH ADAMS -- With the weather cooperating and the track just about built, professional snowmobile racers are poised to gun their engines this weekend at The Range, a miniature golf course and driving range on Curran Highway.
MVP Promotions is hosting the East Coast Snocross racing event this Saturday and Sunday. The gates open at 10:30 a.m. each day, and racing ends at about 4 p.m.
Snocross involves modified snowmobiles that can reach speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour and hit 30-foot-high jumps and as a result travel up to 140 feet through the air. At race time, there will be 13 racing teams and about 100 professional snocross riders, along with their pit crews and support staff, ready to go.
Jamie Zdon and Peter Greenbush, the principals in MVP Promotions, have everything lined up from food vendors to shuttle buses to ferry hundreds of spectators from parking fields to The Range and back again.
Last week, before the snowstorms rolled through, MVP promotions hired a snow-making crew who made so much snow that mild temperatures expected for this weekend will not threaten the snow supply.
"We have so much snow," Greenbush said, "we're actually going to build snow bleachers."
Zdon said the weather will actually play in their favor: It's been so cold and snowy lately, many people are feeling a touch of cabin fever taking hold. A warm sunny weekend outside will likely seem appealing for many local folks.
"The weather gods have definitely looked out for us -- we should have exactly what we hoped for," he added.
East Coast Snocross is a professional snowmobile racing circuit in which the racers are graded on points. The most points at the end of the season result in the championship title.
East Coast Snocross point leaders Danny Poirier, Jesse James Bonaduce, Steffanie Bell and Cody Paolella will be in North Adams looking to build on their results for the 2014 season. In fact, Poirier is a three-time regional pro champion (2004, 2009, 2012) from St. Theodore, Quebec, and has won five finals in 11 starts this season. Bonaduce is riding through a career-best season, but sees a challenge from Vermont-based Leo and Hunter Patenaude for the 2014 title.
Trucks and trailers will start arriving today, bringing equipment and crews not only for the racing teams, but for the vendors and other crews needed for an event this size.
"By Friday morning they should all be on site," Zdon said.
MVP Promotions hopes to see 2,000 spectators show up, but they expect many more than that given the weather forecast and attendance at other East Coast Snocross events.
The event will include local food vendors.
Parking for race day is at the former North Adams Plaza, Air Tight Holding, McCann High School, the North Adams skating rink, and Joe Wolf Field. There will be two buses with capacity for 50 passengers shuttling spectators from their cars to the race course and back.
The gates open at 10:30 a.m. The first 100 through the gate can have their kids take a low-speed ride through the course with a pro rider, as long as they have a helmet and their parents sign the waiver.
As a side event, a radar-measured speed trial, in which local riders will try to hit the highest recorded speed, will be held to benefit POP Cares, a Williamstown-based nonprofit group that awards grants to families of cancer patients.
"This town has never seen anything remotely like this," Greenbush said. "It will be crazy fun."
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If you go ...
What: East Coast Snocross racing event
When: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: The Range on Curran Highway
Cost: $20 per day; free for kids 7 and under
Parking: Shuttle buses will transport spectators to the course from parking lots at the former North Adams Plaza, Air Tight Holding, McCann High School, North Adams skating rink, and Joe Wolf Field.
On the Web: www.eastcoastsnocross.com or on Facebook at The Range by MVP Promotions