MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan (Feb. 29, 2016) – Massachusetts-based Jess Racing enjoyed another solid outing on the national snocross tour over the weekend, competing in ISOC's annual Ram Trucks Snocross National at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
Pro Lite rider Montana Jess kicked off the weekend in fine fashion by winning both of his qualifying heats on Friday night. In the 14-lap final, Jess grabbed the holeshot and set sail over the big track which featured an elevation change and huge rhythm section. At the finish, Montana recorded his eighth podium of the season with a solid third-place run.
On Saturday, Jess carried the red plates once again into a competitive Pro Lite battle. Round 1 of qualifying brought a fourth-place finish, while he stepped it up to second in Round 2. In the grueling final, Montana slotted into second at the start but took the lead after two laps. He had a brief scare at one point, but managed to stay on his machine and salvage an impressive second-place finish.
"I tried going to the inside on that one lap and it didn't quite work out," Jess explained during his podium interview. "The sled went nose first and I had all I could do to stay on it. After that, I just tried to keep calm, stay on the sled and finish the race without incident. This has been an incredible season; I'm anxious for these last two events and hope to take those red plates back home with me."
In the Pro Open class, New York native Jake Scott continued his steady charge against the world's top snocross athletes. On Friday evening, Scott was forced into the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) after finishes of sixth and eighth in his heats. He may not have gotten his usual rocket-ship launch off the line, yet soldiered on to record a solid eighth-place finish. For Round 12 on Saturday night, it was another trip to the LCQ followed by a rough-and-tumble run to 12th in the 18-lap final.
"I didn't ride at my best level Friday night, but still managed to salvage a top-ten finish," Scott said. "The roost was probably the worst I've seen in years because of the wet snow. Visibility was tough all weekend, and the track was rough and bombed out. It was a challenge just to survive this place."
Team owner Carl Jess is proud of the effort his riders and mechanics are making in 2016.
"Montana is not taking any unnecessary chances out there, but he keeps hitting the podium and staying focused on the big picture," the elder Jess said. "I know how badly he'd love to win a final, but he also realizes he can win the championship without one. Jake didn't have quite the weekend he was after, but he and veteran mechanic Mike Bauer continue to make gains. I'm sure they'll bounce back stronger and ready for battle next weekend."
Jess Racing would like to thank its fine group of marketing partners for their continued support, including Arctic Cat, Central Mass Powersports, Woody's, Arctic Wear, That's Great News, Rox Speed FX and Ski Nautique Boats. We simply could not compete at this level without their assistance.
Rounds 13 and 14 on the 2016 ISOC ACS tour are set for Mar. 4-5, at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.