Northern Power Race Park,Michigan Snocross

Snowcross Racing in Michigan is Headed for Big Changes

Michigan Snocross and Northern Power Race Park See Massive Changes in Preparation for 2023-2024 Season

By Dominic Santina, Contributing Writer

It is officially that time of the year again. The first practice track for snowcross racing opened in Minnesota just after Halloween and racers from all over the country have flocked to get some practice in. Which means, it is officially snowmobile racing season! Soon enough snow will be flying in Mancelona, Michigan and racing will be under way in our state as well. This year with a whole different look and in more ways than one.

While there have been many story lines related to Michigan and Snocross this year, the biggest ones center in Mancelona. As the only Michigan based snocross series, has traded ownership and was rebranded this summer. What was formerly known as Michigan Sno-X, is now Michigan Snocross. They will continue to race at Northern Power Race Park. However, now park owner Marc Archambault takes over ownership, and with it comes some changes.

“Michigan Snocross is going to provide the opportunity for riders to improve their skills and provide a place for new riders to see what the sport is all about,” said Archambault.

Northern Power Race Park,Michigan Snocross

The biggest and most noteabale change for the 2023-2024 season, will be the event schedule. The series made the decision, with the help of numerous input from series riders to adapt the schedule to a national schedule. This means, the younger riders will take to the track earlier in the mornings, allowing them to get both heat races and finals out of the way, before the more experienced veterans and pros hit the track.

This will also allow track maintenance to tailor the track to the experience of the riders throughout the day. A track in the morning could have easier jumps and rhythm sections for younger riders or riding progressing to bigger snowmobiles. While, the track could be more technical in the afternoon to evening session of the day, for the older and more talented riders.

The change in the schedule also allows for possible shorter days for racers, as the younger riders can show up earlier and get their racing over with instead of waiting around and having every class go round by round, as was the case with former series in the sport.

Events

The Race Park will be busy again this winter, as they continue to build a busier schedule as the park continues to grow. The main event at the park this winter will be the Michigan Snocross series with a variety of practice days available starting on Tuesday, December 5 and running through the end of the snocross season.

Michigan Snocross itself will host 10 races throughout the 2023-2024 calendar year with opening weekend being on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10 for rounds 1 and 2 of the season. The series wil then have rounds 3 and 4 on January 6 and 7, followed by rounds 5 and 6 on February 3 and 4. The series will continue with action on Saturday, February 24 and 25 and finish the season with races on March 9 and 10.

Northern Power Race Park,Michigan Snocross

Northern Power Race Park,Michigan Snocross

However, the staff has done a great job of making sure there is plenty of fun to go around, when most of the racers are following the national circuit around the country. The park currently has 4 different ditch banger races on the schedule. Which continue to provide fun and enjoyment for racers of all ages, and to appease every snowmobile racing fan, they have 2 snow drags on the schedule as well.

The schedule is jammed pack with racing action and will be a must stop destination this coming winter.

“We have completely restructured our business and have a very solid team that all wants our park to succeed. Our goal is to provide a top tier race every time we host one. The park is for everyone to enjoy – the racers, crews and the community. We will continue to make improvements and adapt to what our business needs! We want Northern Power Race Park to be a destination in the north and help our small town of Mancelona to flourish, “ said Rene Maier, Marketing & Public Relations Manager for Northern Power Race Park.

Northern Power Race Park,Michigan Snocross

Upgrades to Race Park

With the increased event schedule and the increased traffic the park is going to see, they knew they need to make some upgrades to provide the park and all events happening the best conditions possible.

To say that Archambault made some upgrades is defiantly an understatement. Anyone who has visited the park before will be surprised with the work that happened this summer. The park was improved in a variety of different areas: from parking, to audio and visual equipment, to park equipment and even park layout.

Some of the biggest and most noticeable changes come with the retaining pond being relocated and upgraded to now hold two million gallons of water. Along with this came a totally new snow making setup, with new guns, booster pump, pump house and 8 new snow guns, which came from a former national teams set up, called All Finish Racing.

That was not all from the visual improvement or construction side either. A brand new entry way, with now a two lane entry and a designated exit lane, along with a ticket booth. A new registration and crew building and a 40 x 80 foot pole barn to house a new groomer for the track.

The park has also made some improvements for spectators and crews. Along with a bigger park means more fencing and gating for safety, but also brought about more bleachers for seating. A new public announcing system so you can hear throughout the entire park. Along with 20 new premier parking spaces after redesigning the pit location and having a permanent starting line and staging area. While also upgrading to a new timing and scoring system with transponders.

The park also added a couple of racing improvements with a new startling grid and lighting for racers. While also adding more security and track surveillance cameras. To also help increase safety, the track added at least 22 more track lights and 15 more parking lot lights. All of which are going to increase the experience at NPRP.

Northern Power Race Park,Michigan Snocross

Northern Power Race Park,Michigan Snocross

“ I am very excited about all of the improvements we have made to the race park. I purchased this property to create a space for my son, Tyler Archambault, to practice snocross when he was home in Mancelona. With him being on a Pro team and advancing to the Pro-Lite class on national series this year, I decided it was time to improve the facility for our community. That is what this is all about- providing a destination for the racing community and our community here in Northern Michigan,” said Archambault.

Archambault has put in a ton of effort to elevate snocross racing in the state of Michigan and has brought a new racing facility that is quickly growing to be a staple in the state of Michigan. The employees have the same passion as well as the owner.

“We have completely restructured our business and have a very solid team that all wants our park to succeed. Our goal is to provide a top tier race every time we host one. The park is for everyone to enjoy – the racers, crews and the community. We will continue to make improvements and adapt to what our business needs! We want Northern Power Race Park to be a destination in the north and help our small town of Mancelona to flourish,” said Rene Maier, Marketing Manager at NPRP.

If you are interested in attending a race or want to find out more information about Northern Power Race Park or Michigan Snocross, you can visit www.northernpowerracepark.com or visit Northern Power Race Park on Facebook and Instagram.

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