February 24, 2018
2018 Iron Dog - Day 7 Update
After 2,031 miles of pushing the throttle as hard as they could, Mike Morgan and Chris Olds were first to cross the finish line, breathing a sigh of relief, and meeting waves of friends and family for countless high-fives and hugs. This win marked the third championship for Chris Olds out of 16 Pro-Class starts and the first win out of 8 Pro-Class starts for teammate Mike Morgan. By all accounts this was a 'ho-hum' race for Team 10 with noting notable in the way of equipment damage, wrecks, mishaps, or anything else that is all but 'certain' for a race of this length. It was reported that the leaders had to change a jackshaft on one of their sleds but it only took these veterans roughly 20 minutes do do so. With a little bit of luck, some great running machines, and 24 years of Pro-Class racing between the two riders, all the stars aligned for an early lead that they were able to hold, all the way to the checkered flag. Team 6 arrived into Fairbanks a scant 4 minutes behind the leaders, looking tired and reporting to have had quite the battle on the trail with everything from weather to mechanical issues, to simply running out of fuel at one point. Its interesting to note that Brad George of Team 6 is 24 years old in contrast to Chris Olds who is 22 years his senior at 46, meaning that racers could be in championship contention in this event for decades and decades with age having little to do with the likely outcome of the race. We expect to see George and Schachle as familiar faces in this race as they plan to continue to fight for a win in what is dubbed as 'the world's longest, toughest snowmobile race', and won't stop until they've had the number one spot. Rounding out the podium was Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad of Team 16 finishing just four minutes behind Team 6 and eight minutes behind the leaders. Its quite incredible to see that over 2,000 miles of racing we saw the top three teams finish with just over an 8 minute span between them. Photo Courtesy Harriett Hamilton Fenerty Despite overheating machines causing other mechanical issues, Team8, Tyson Johnson and Tyler Aklestad finished in 4th position and were greeted with the best 'pit crew' you could ask for! An update from Team 20 on Facebook read: 'Unfortunately team #20 had to scratch in Tanana. Chads sled caught on fire multiple times and finally blew up. They are still in good spirits and most importantly...they are safe and healthy. Thank you everyone for your support. Better luck next year boys....but without this new mapping on the sleds.' The posts mentioned 'mapping' which is in reference to a new 'fuel mapping' that was flashed onto the ECU of the machines shortly before the race. This is apparently one of the issues that was causing an overheating issue on the Ski-Doo machines across the field of racers. We had previously mentioned the only ladies team which were back on the trail leaving Nome after having previously replaced a jackshaft of their own. Unfortunately one of their Polaris machines suffered a blown chain-case which forced them from the race. You can see from this aerial footage posted to Facebook that they were towing and were unable to continue onward toward Fairbanks. Out of the 28 of the Pro-Class teams that started the race in Big Lake, 21 of them were successful in traveling the entire distance to Fairbanks, with seven of them forced from the race due to either mechanical issues or personal injury. See the final results of the race here on the official Iron Dog website.
Hey Jesse. I think this may be the jackshaft that was also mentioned? I’m not sure but that may make sense
Kyle April 17, 2021
Winning Team #10 was towing through the Chena flood plain and onto the Chena River by Moose Creek Dam. Kind of contradicts the first paragraph here … any info on why?
Jesse Davis April 17, 2021