**Day 7 Update**Iron Dog race officials have released a statement as to help clarify the decision making process after Team 8 had been disqualified, and from their perspective, it is fairly cut and dried. Our Iron Dog Oracle was at the finish line in Fairbanks and has reported that "Most of the people that I spoke to at the finish line understand why the decision to DQ Team 8 was made. They don't like it, but the do agree with it. " The online community of spectators and individuals following the race do seem divided on the issue, with some calling the ruling a disgrace and on the other end acknowledge that if a rule was broken, and that a disqualification is the penalty, then the ruling must be followed. What do the racers think? I spoke with Kyle Conner, who has raced in the Pro-Class of the Iron Dog four times and he said that 'The cool thing about Tanana is that all the racers are in one big room at the checkpoint, so you know everyone is talking about this, and discussing the decision'. A photo on social media has cropped up which is a petition written and signed by all the racers stating their disapproval of the disqualification, which could speak volumes as to future rulebook changes, tweaks, or clarification. A video from Rebecca Charles, below, at the finish line is the interview with Tyson Johnson regarding this petition [video width="854" height="480" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-Iron-Dog-Tyson-Johnson-Interview.mp4"][/video] With Team 8 officially out of the running, Team 41 was scheduled to leave Tanana at 8am. In what seems to have been a declaration of rider unity, the two teams left Tanana and rode nearly the entire last portion of the race as a group. Team 41 and Team 8 raced toward Fairbanks from Tanana until roughly 10 miles from the finish line. The first three sleds went across an ice shelf in the river and the third sled broke through the ice, which was ridden by Tyson Johnson of Team 8. His Ski-Doo slammed into the ice shelf and ripped the right front side of his sled off. Team 41 stopped and helped them get the sled out of the river and back on the trail. With Team 17 gaining on them rapidly, Cory David and Ryan Simons jumped back on their sleds and raced toward the finish to ensure that they didn't lose their lead position in the race. [video width="854" height="480" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-Iron-Dog-Crash-Finish.mp4"][/video] Team 41 crossed the finish line in Fairbanks at 1:56:25pm. Ryan Simons has become the first person to claim the Iron Dog Championship that was not an Alaska resident. Team 17 finished 1 minute 4 seconds later Team 8 physically crossed the finish line in third, position, but were still officially disqualified Team of Huss/Sottosanti have officially rounded out the podium of the 2017 Iron Dog crossing the finish line in Fairbanks at 3:09:02pm Cory Davis is seen below in a post-race interview. You can clearly tell that Davis is hesitant to discuss the decision for multiple reasons, and gives his take on how they ran the race. [video width="854" height="480" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-Iron-Dog-Cory-Davis-Interview.mp4"][/video] The feeling at the finish line was that, ultimately, the racers and fans alike are now just glad that the race is over. Team 41 has been declared the winner. KTUU has reported that "Galena resident and longtime Iron Dog fan Peter Aloysius tells KTUU that he and his father have gone up and staged fuel for riders for many years, but it was the first time for the two spectators who pushed on the sleds. Aloysius continues, "Tyson and Tyler both noticed and asked them to stop. Which they did. Now the picture doesn't do it justice for what all happened. A picture is a split second. These guys are professionals at this sport and are where they are by knowing and following the rules. They had no intentions of cheating as this gave them no possible benefit." Rebecca Charles released a video shown below of Tyler Aklestad of Team 8 at the finish line. See his response to the disqualification and what he hopes comes after the race has ended. [video width="854" height="480" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-Iron-Dog-Tyler-Aklestad-Finish.mp4"][/video] Tyson Johnson also gives further explanation of what had happened and gives expanded clarification surrounding the photo in question [video width="854" height="480" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-Iron-Dog-Tyson-Johnson-Clarifies-Photo.mp4"][/video] The feeling of the racers and many of the spectators discussing the situation are firmly in the camp that there was some predisposed feeling that Team 8 was not running a clean race. Tyson Johnson gives us a bit more information on the history with the current race marshal and the feelings of what they may do if something doesn't happen o change the outcome of the 2017 Iron Dog. [video width="854" height="480" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-Iron-Dog-Extended-Tyson-Johnson-Interview.mp4"][/video]
Im trying to follow this race from In. really need video to prove something is wrong here
TnT is not mad at the race officials. They are mad at the Rules that were enforced, as are many supporters of TnT.
Actually this unclear rule allows any person plus a photographer to touch machines and photograph it in order to disqualify teams and pick a winner. All the teams were verbally told when discussing this rule that they would not be penalized for a random instance such as this and told not to yell at locals. This rule was put in to stop people getting sleds repaired on the sly etc. All racers already signed a petition stating this.
What a SAD ending to THE IRON DOG! NO EXCITEMENT!
Nope they were not topping off their tanks at this point just adding a few gallons they didn’t need the tanks topped.
It looks to be a very expensive decision made by iron dog that will taint the race forever. I can’t see how they could possibly win this after reading all the rules that apply to this situation. I hope they have a large backup cash reserve
If there wasn’t a race official present to witness it, sure doesn’t seem like the judges should be making a ruling based on a bystanders photo. Just sayin.
They didn’t gain an extra half gallon as they were not filling their tanks
There was no official there! Just a photo sent to officials. I have seen how a photo can be staged in an instant.
So if that’s the case…even the oil cap and the team that got the bungie cord should be dq’ed. If you apply the rule to one team it should apply to all teams.
I do not think the team would cheat.
They aren’t looking at the back of their rigs, they’re fueling up their tanks by themselves. The racers are so full of adrenaline to win the race, it’s hard to notice everything.
What is the difference between this picture and the one in your day five article taken in Unalakleet? What is the purpose of rule 13.2.3 for this stop but not follo,wed in the check points.
Key works “No other assistance”. The exception is they can receive outside help for fuel between Ruby and Tanana. It seems to me that’s what happened. Did they do anything else than fuel up? What I see in the photo is allowed per the rules.
Rule 13.2 says they can receive help only between Ruby and Tanana….my assumption is that this “help” was received somewhere OUTSIDE of that, thus violating rules in section 13.
They are pushing te snowmachine down to be able to get the maximum of fuel.
Irondog does a terrible job covering this race so fans are posting pics and videos so people can actually enjoy parts of the race they couldn’t otherwise and iron dog is using them against racers now? A dq for this is completely out of line how about a 15 min penalty what did it save them 1 minute versus having their partner push down on the back? Why did the irondog list them as scratched when they were dq’d. That smells to me
You need to add in rule 13.2. . If you are going to write a story, put everything out on the table. Rule 13 contradicts itself also it is not very clear. If this is taken to court, I believe a Judge would rule in favor of Team 8, because the rules are not straight forward.
Well written piece. Your coverage and updates of this awesome race are second to none. I also dont believe these guys are cheaters by any stretch of the imagination. Theyve run a great race and my hats off to them and all these teams. As an avid rider myself, it baffels me that they wouldn’t know or feel the rear suspentions of their sleds being compressed as they were fueling but I wasn’t there. I’d rather give them the benefit of the doubt. Also, those spectators should have know better and kept their hands off! If I was a conspirator I’d maybe think they were trying to get the team disqualified by touching their sleds without permission…? Things in this situation aren’t adding up. But I agree. Rules are rules and they were upheld. It was the right call. An unfortunate one, but the right one.
It appears team 41 and team 8 both left Tanana and are riding together!!!!! Classy move, boys!
Well written…thank you.
While I agree that it is an unfortunate disqualification, and I don’t believe #8 was explicitly looking to cheat, rules are rules, and gaining assistance to get that “extra” half gallon in by employing outiside help is, simply, against the rules…end of story.
I do feel for Aklestadt and Johnson, but don’t tell me they didn’t notice two guys burping their machines while they fueled up…that’s ludicrous.
Team 8; You’re great riders… no one believes you were trying to cheat or skirt the rules, but sometimes unfortunate things happen….man up, and go get ’em next year!
I looked at the picture again and neither one of them was looking back and i do not think they even know the 2 men were at the back of the machine their attention is on fueling and did not even took back and see the 2 men pushing on those sled . Not a fair judgement at all
Well written I agree with the desicions. Always remember when you are winning out front you will be watched closely.this goes for rules and charector. It goes with any sport and always will. It’s not necessarily what the athlete wants or needs. It’s just there. Officials will take heat for months on this I’m sure. If you don’t agree go be a official. Find out the glory in being one. Hats off to all that put this extraordinary event on officiate it and above all participate in it. You people are are extraordinary,tough,unique individuals. God bless all
I do not believe these 2 guys would ever cheat on any race ever. . The rule is all wrong and should be changed . If anything it looks more like a set up not a breaking of a rule. The Iron Dog is really going to suffer on this one . People are going to leave and sponsers will with draw. . What went on I doubt if the boys even realized what was going on. They w both intent on gassing not talking . Not a fair thing being done here