Triple winners

Local snocross racers dominate season

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It didn't take Michelle and A.J. Stoffle long to respond to the question, "What was one of your memorable experiences?"

"It's probably when A.J. beat me at Granby," Michelle said. "The race directors made sure everybody knew about it."

"Yeah, that was cool," A.J. said with a big smile.

It was the only time during the eight-race Mountain States Snowmobile Racing circuit season that 8-year-old A.J. beat his 13-year-old sister.

It was a season full of highlights for the Stoffles as well as 15-year-old Moffat County High School student Austin Corson.

"I earned my first paycheck," Corson said. "That was one of my highlights that didn't involve wrecking."

Corson finished in the money in his first semi-pro race of the season.

Corson said other highlights included wrecking his sled six times during one race at Walden.

Among the memories were more than a few victories for the three young Craig racers.

Corson dominated the sport classes, winning the season title in sport stock and sport performance classes. He also finished fourth in the sport open class.

A.J., who has been racing since he was 4 years old, won the Junior 7-10 class and finished fifth in the Junior 10-13 class.

Michelle finished third in the Junior 10-13 class and fifth in the Sport Womens class.

Consistency was a major contributor to the season titles for the three racers. None of them missed a weekend of racing.

"We have a lot of support from our families," Corson said.

Michelle started racing after traveling to watch her brother. Last year was her first full season. This year, she started winning.

"I've improved a lot on the jumps," she said. "I'm also able to keep my speed better now."

A lot of their improvement can be attributed to race time. Every weekend the three racers would compete in an average of 22 races.

"Sometimes I would race in two races, get a one race break and get back on for the next race," Corson said. "After that third race I would collapse when I got off my sled."

The MSSR is starting to receive competition from the Mountain West Racing circuit.

"A lot of the pros are going up to those races," Corson said. "No offense to Phil, but the MSSR is hurting."

Phil Vallem, a Craig native, is the director for the MSSR. Corson and the Stoffles said he has been a huge help to them during their racing careers.

"None of my racing would be possible without Phil and his wife," Corson said.

The Stoffles said they plan to stick with MSSR next year. Corson, on the other hand, said he might try to do more semi-pro races around the region.

Two other Craig racers competed in the circuit this season. Michael Stoffle, A.J. and Michelle's dad, finished second in the 40+ Open class, and Bobby Hankins finished fifth in the Pro Stock Class.

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