North Adams-based team looks for big weekend in East Coast Snocross races
NORTH ADAMS -- Bruce Gaspardi Jr. started riding snowmobiles shortly after he started walking.
He still does, only now he rides them really, really fast.
Like his dad before him, Gaspardi, 25, is a pro snowmobile racer.
The two work together running both Southside Sales, a snowmobile dealership on Curran Highway in North Adams, and the Southside Sales pro snocross racing team. With 16 racers, it is the largest snocross team in the country.
"My dad started racing about the time that I was born," Gaspardi said. "As soon as I could sit on a Kitty Cat [snowmobile] I started racing. I was 4."
Snocross racers ride modified snowmobiles that can exceed 80 miles per hour. A 30-foot-high jump can send a racer 140 feet through the air.
The Southside team is ready to run in MVP Promotions' East Coast Snocross races today and Sunday. The gates open at 10:30 a.m. each day, and racing ends at about 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the gate.
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.
Gaspardi said no other sport gets to him like snocross.
"I was always into the ball sports -- baseball, football -- but it doesn't do what racing does," he said. "You can go as fast as you want and not get in any trouble."
The Southside team is made up of a wide variety of racers that the Gaspardis seek out and recruit from around the country and overseas. This team has racers from around New England and one from Sweden -- Elvira Lindh, a 20-year-old female racer that Gaspardi recruited to race for the last half of this season.
Lindh said she likes racing because of the kick.
"I like it for the speed and the adrenaline kick you get," she said. "Other sports don't do that for me."
Gaspardi said there are several Southside racers high in the East Coast Snowcross circuit standings this season who will be looking to improve their position this weekend.
Mike Pilotte is fourth in the Pro Open class, Jason Boron fourth in the Pro Lite class and Gaspardi and Cody Paolella are Nos. 1 and 2 respectively in Super Stock.
Last year, the Southside racers won eight championships, Gaspardi said.
Lindh said she is looking forward to her first race in America.
"It has been my dream to come here and race," she said. "I was surprised when they [Southside Sales] called me. Before I left, they announced it on the news."
To reach Scott Stafford:
On Twitter: @BE_SStafford
If you go ...
n What: East Coast Snocross racing event
n When: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
n Where: The Range on Curran Highway
n Cost: $20 per day; free for kids 7 and under
n 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.
n On the Web: www.eastcoastsnocross.com or on Facebook at The Range by MVP Promotions
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