Craig If the winners of the youngest divisions in the Warrieor Snowcross and Freestyle circuit are any indication, the future of snowmobile racing in Northwest Colorado is bright.
Both 13-year-old, Austin Corson, and 6-year-old, A.J. Stoffle, of Craig won their respective age groups in the overall point standings of the seven-race season. This is Stoffle's second year to win while Corson was a rookie on the racing scene.
"I really didn't think I was going to do was well as I did," Corson said. "It was a fun season."
Corson won the Junior 10-13 age division and also finished second in the Junior 14-15 group in the point standings. Stoffle won the 120 Stock and 120 Champs divisions.
This was Stoffle's first year to race a modified sled. The faster sled taught him several new skills.
"I learned to jump and find the better line," he said.
Corson won his division narrowly against Allen Ratkowski of Gypsum.
"I've known him for a long time," Corson said of his nearest competitor. "We used to be friends but now it is more of a rivalry."
Stoffle has gained a couple of rivals as well. Paige Lloyd and Darla Murphy both challenged Stoffle all season. He didn't win a race in the stock class because of the competition. Since Lloyd isn't a member of the World Snowmobile Association, her points didn't count in the overall standings.
"It would have been really close if she was in the WSA," said Teresa Stoffle, A.J.'s mom. "Paige had a fast sled this year and beat A.J. in a lot of the stock races."
Stoffle struggled in his stock sled the second half of the season. He said it didn't have any speed on the corners. In the last race of the season at Grand Mesa, Stoffle borrowed a sled from Action Motorsports and it improved his time.
Corson had few equipment worries throughout the year and he thanked Action Motorsports for their assistance.
"My mom and my coaches Phil Vallem and Bo Lyons also helped me a lot," he said. "The Stoffles were great too."
The guidance must of helped because was named the Rookie of the Year on the WSF series.
To train for next year Corson hopes to test his talent at motorcross racing.
Stoffle isn't about to give up on finding spots to use his sled.
"There's still snow around," he said. "I can still ride at Black Mountain, Freeman and Grand Mesa."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org