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2018-02-07 / News

Kovar Racing Takes Seventh in the 50th Running of the I-500

by Stephen King

The I-500 brings a crowd of race enthusiasts to the Sault. 
photo by Steve King The I-500 brings a crowd of race enthusiasts to the Sault. photo by Steve King On Saturday, February 3, the 50th running of the I- 500 snowmobile race took place in sault Ste. Marie. That day, there were 38 sleds that made the cut and 36 on the starting line when the race began. Almost nine and a half hours later, the #17 Arctic Cat, of Christian Brothers Racing, with driver Zach Herfinadahl on the sled, crossed the finish line first in his very first I-500 win.

Right on his tail, finishing just over three seconds back, were a trio of drivers who have all taken wins at the I- 500. They were Cory Davidson, Gabe Berke, and Troy DeWald, who combined have over a dozen wins to their credit.

However, on this night, it was Herfinadahl and back co-driver Wes Selby who became part of an elite group in all of snowmobile racing, by beating the best of the best for the win at the 50th running of the I-500.

Locally, there were two teams with significant local connections. They were Kovar Racing, with owner Brian Kovar of Engadine and lead driver Danny Maki from Newberry. The other team with local connections is Yovich Racing, with Eric Zellar, James Hicks, and Isaac Wolfgang driving.

When the race ended, the Yovich team came in fifth, down two laps. Kovar Racing finished in seventh, with a total of 494 laps in.

Team owner Brian Kovar stated, “We had a pretty good day. The sled ran great and the track was excellent. We’re very happy with out seventh place finish. We qualified in 28th. And, within 50 laps we had moved into 5th place.

“But, we had a couple miscues. First, we ran the sled out of gas early; that cost us two laps. Then, at about the 400 lap mark, we had to bring the sled in and change break pads. Normally, changing break pads isn’t that big of a deal. But, in a race like this, when they come in welded together, it’s a lot harder. The guys did a great job but we lost two more laps. This left us down four from where we should have been.

“Danny Maki was our lead driver. He rode about 350 laps. Our other driver was Grant Lynch, he rode the other 150 laps. The guys in the pits did a good job keeping the sled running and on the track. So, we all wish we would have won, but, we still had a good day.”

Top 10 Finishers:

1. #17 Arctic Cat Christian Brothers Racing

2. #74 Polaris Bunke Racing

3. #3 Polaris XLT Engineering

4. #21 Arctic Cat Cadarette Racing

5. #414 Polaris Yovich Racing

6. #537 Polaris Bunke Racing Sled 2

7. #34 Polaris Kovar Racing

8. #02 Polaris Team Blu

9. #67 Polaris Hoos Racing

10. # 28 Polaris DL Racing

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