Local speed demons making their marks in snocross races

Teresa Stoffle always wondered why her husband and children couldn't just go faster when she would command it of them during snocross races.

Last weekend, she learned it wasn't as easy as it looked.

"It was hard to go through turns, and it was hard on my arms," she said after racing in a mothers' race during the Mountain States Snowmobile Racing regional finals this past weekend at Grand Mesa.

It's not that Stoffle didn't appreciate her family's effort before; she just learned to appreciate it more.

"I won't say anything bad ever again," she said.

Stoffle didn't have too many bad things to point out about Craig racers during the weekend races.

Her son, A.J., daughter, Michelle, husband, Michael, along with Austin Corson and Tanner Hankins all wrapped up the season with top-three finishes.

A.J. is 7, but has been racing for three years now. He is the veteran of his family when it comes to earning sponsorships and winning races.

Stoffle won his third consecutive season points title in the 120 class. He won the last eight races of the season on his way to the title. In the final he lapped all of the competition.

He also raced up in the junior division, which typically includes races no younger than 10.

Race director and Craig native Phil Vallem had to request a special provision to allow him to race.

A.J. finished fourth with the overall points in the division.

Michelle finished one spot ahead of A.J. in the junior division. It was her first year racing.

"I was tired of just standing out there in the cold," she said. "My dad had been begging me to race so I decided to try it this year."

During the learning process, Michelle said that leaning into the corners the correct way was the hardest.

Michael finished second overall in the Master's division for the season. He finished third in the finals at Grand Mesa.

Corson was disappointed in his sled's performance at Grand Mesa but was satisfied with his overall performance for the season.

"My sled wasn't pulling good," he said. "But I only wrecked once the entire weekend."

Corson, who is 14, finished the overall season in first in the 14-15 division and second in the 16-17 division.

"There are some really good racers so I'm happy with second in the 16-17 division," he said.

It was Corson's second year to race competitively in snocross.

"I learned how to maneuver my sled in the air better this year," he said.

Corson also raced in the sport divisions, which include racers too young for the junior division but who aren't pros yet.

He finished fifth at Grand Mesa and ninth overall in the division.

Hankins, a Moffat County junior, dropped in the overall standings this season after sitting out some races with an injury.

But that didn't stop him from tearing it up during the season's last weekend.

He finished first or second in all of his races, including his two finals.

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