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Piche Racing,Chris Piche,Aaron Celestino,Collin Henderson

Under the Helmet with Piche Racing

Chris Piche, Owner

What got you into snowmobiling and when; what was their influence on you in regards to the sport?

My dad bought a Rupp 340 Sport when I was 7 or 8. I remember he got the silent treatment from my mom because he used the money they had been saving for a station wagon. We both agreed it was way cooler than a station wagon. Between our small in-town backyard and a school across the street, I must have put a million miles on that Rupp. My parents would take my brother, sister and I (along with my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins) out to Brimley, pulled in a caboose behind one of the sleds. With no groomers and no suspension, a trip that now takes 15 minutes was a full day adventure back then.

My dad never missed an I-500, and I went with him for as long as I can remember. I have so many great memories there and that is why I have tried to stay involved with volunteering at the track over the years. Owning a small local construction/roofing company has helped me be able to donate roofs or equipment for use at the Sault I-500 and Kinross M.I.R.A track.

Piche Racing,Chris Piche,Aaron Celestino,Collin Henderson

Piche Racing,Chris Piche,Aaron Celestino,Collin Henderson

When did you start racing and what is your proudest achievement so far at the track?

I had done some stock car racing over at the local Kinross track,  but snowmobile racing started pretty late in life. 46-years old late. I had always been an avid trail rider, but my first time on the ice came after watching Duane Piche’s #32 team practice one day. After a while, Duane let me take his race sled for a spin on the ice and that was it. It was over. I was hooked. I remember Dave Yovich asking me if that was me out there, and that it looked good for a first ride on a race sled. That was all the encouragement that I needed. I bought my first race sled the next year and haven’t been a spectator since. I might have qualified as the oldest rookie ever at my first I-500 race.

My proudest achievement so far is having the team that we have. Not only are we all good friends, but we keep getting stronger and better every year as a team. We have had some hard races, but we always come out with a good attitude and a plan for the next race.

Piche Racing,Chris Piche,Aaron Celestino,Collin Henderson

What is your career goal as an owner?

Our sled builder and mechanic, Ben Henderson, spends winter evenings working on the sleds and all year long thinking up new ideas to make our team and sleds better. Getting better and faster is every teams goal.

One of my main goals as a team owner is obviously to win more races and to be standing on the podium next to the best enduro teams in this sport. We would love to win the I-500, especially as one of the last local teams left.

What were the driving factors to start the race team?

I think once you get a little taste of snowmobile racing, you’re hooked. Being at the track…the sound of the motors, the smell of race fuel, the adrenaline. I could not give that up.

The next step was to have my own race team.

So a few years ago, and over a few beers, Aaron Celestino (who is now our lead driver) and I put together a plan to build a sled to race the I-500. The problem was neither of us were mechanics. We convinced Ben to do the wrenching and a team was born. From there we added Ben’s son, Collin, as a driver and filled the team out with a lot of great crewmembers. The rest is history.

Aaron Celestino, Driver

Who got you into snowmobiling and when; and what was their influence on you with regard to the sport? 

I got into snowmobile racing with some of my good buddy and current mechanic Ben Henderson along with one of my co-drivers Dan Minta. At the time we were racing in the GLASS Vintage Enduro series. I always expressed an interest in racing and eventually they invited me on board to race with them and over the years that turned into a passion that would progress into my current career as a professional enduro racer.

When did you start racing and what is your proudest achievement so far on the track?

I have been racing for around 10 years total, I got into enduro racing about 6 years ago. Since then, I’ve been with a couple different teams and have had some pretty decent finishes. Probably my proudest achievement so far in enduro racing has been a 6th place finish with Chris Piche and Brent and Kevin Vermeersch.

Piche Racing,Chris Piche,Aaron Celestino,Collin Henderson

Piche Racing,Chris Piche,Aaron Celestino,Collin Henderson

What is your career goal?

My career goal is definitely to win the Soo I-500, being able to take that trophy back to the Soo would be pretty surreal.

How did you become part of this racing team? 

I became part of the team through Chris Piche, I’ve been friends with Chris for a number of years and when he asked about me riding for him on his enduro team it was really a no-brainer, and so far, it’s been great. I am really looking forward to the upcoming season and I think we’re in a good spot to produce some good results.

Collin Henderson, Driver

Who got you into snowmobiling and when; and what was their influence on you with regard to the sport?

My Dad got me into snowmobile racing I was around 11 years old. We first started racing with vintage snowmobiles on a snow track just for fun, over the years that developed into ice-oval sprints and then eventually enduro racing. My father has most definitely been the biggest influence on me in regard to the sport and my life. We have had quite the journey together, from motocross throughout my whole life, to snowmobiles. he has been by my side as my mechanic, crew chief, and my mentor and I am forever thankful for that. Learning the sport of enduro racing with him has most definitely had its challenges but it has been great so far and I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else.

When did you start racing and what is your proudest achievement so far on the track?

I started racing motocross when I was around 7-8 years old, that progressed to snowmobiles when I was 11 then to ice-oval sprints at around 14 and then too my debut in the pro enduro racing field when I turned 18. I think my biggest achievement on the track has not come in just results but in just progression. I’ve learned a lot about myself as an athlete, person, and racer in the past 4 years of racing than I have in my whole career, and I think that’s been my most important achievement of them all and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Piche Racing,Chris Piche,Aaron Celestino,Collin Henderson

Piche Racing,Chris Piche,Aaron Celestino,Collin Henderson

What is your career goal?

You know of course I want to win races or do good, but I want to have more of an effect on the sport then just a statistic. In the long run I want to become someone that everyone knows when I head onto the track. That’s my goal, to produce a lasting impression, or to “write my name in the history books” if you will. And I am confident that I am on pace to do just that. The amount of improvement I’ve seen out of not just myself, but the team and the sport in general has been amazing. I am still young and most definitely have lots of drive going forward to make my goals a reality.

How did you become part of this racing team?

I became a part of the team through my Dad, Ben Henderson who is now the chief mechanic. The team owner, Chris Piche expressed interest in having us both join the team. Obviously, I had a lot of experience racing so the final step was to find a ride on a pro-enduro team and the rest is history. The past 4 years with the team have been awesome, I’m confident when I say we are on the direct path to becoming a dominant force and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

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