Occasionally the Twin Ports gets spared when the forecast calls for a monster storm.
This weekend certainly wasn’t one of those times as a storm of epic proportions swept through, putting the kibosh on this weekend’s 28th annual Amsoil Duluth National Snocross at Spirit Mountain.
Officials were still optimistic after cancelling the second half of Saturday’s racing program — due to visibility more than anything else — that Sunday’s program would go on, almost as scheduled. That wasn’t the case after 20-plus inches of heavy, wet snow was dumped on the region and Sunday’s racing was canceled early in the morning. Too much, too hard and way too soon to not only put on a good show, but to give race teams ample time to get their big rigs out of the pits and back on the road. The first two rounds of Pro racing were wiped out, without even firing up the sleds.
The crowd appeared a bit thinner than normal for Friday’s kickoff event, the $10,000-to-win Amsoil Dominator, despite Friday being a perfect night for racing for spectators and riders alike. Perhaps some fans knew planning an entire weekend trip to Duluth, with a potential weather monster in the works, simply wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t.
This isn’t the first time Duluth’s annual Thanksgiving kickoff to the snowmobile racing season has dealt with Mother Nature’s wrath. The Duluth National Snocross was postponed in 1999, 2001 and 2009, more due to a lack of snow, while the final day has been cut short due to fog three times, in 1998, 2005 and 2016. While the Duluth National has previously dealt with too much snow, it was never enough to wipe out two full rounds of Pro racing.