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Levi Lavalle Trys World Record

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Levi Lavalle To Try World Record Snowmobile Jump New Years Eve

by Scott A. Sumner
     Well known snocross racer, Levi Lavalle will be doing a world record distance jump on a Polaris snowmobile for Red Bull New Years No Limits television show this year. It is sure to be an exciting event to watch.
   “I will be jumping a 300 foot water gap in downtown San Diego, not an ideal location for snowmobiling. Fortunately, we have been able to do a lot of testing to get a good baseline as far as what we are doing in the warm conditions with no snow. We have been running on an astro turf run up and landing on it which so far has been working very well. We run the same screws that we use for our free style jumping in the lugs of the track and it hooks onto that turf really well. Then we run a wheel ski set up similar to asphalt drag racing so that I can
control the machine coming in to the ramp,” said the always smiling Levi Lavalle in an interview at the 2010 Duluth Snocross. “ It took a little bit of getting used to as it doesn’t turn quite as well as on snow but once I got things figured out we started having some pretty
good success with it. I have been just outside of San Diego for 2 and1/2 weeks and have got some really good testing done. There were a lot of things we had to overcome. We thought we had a good grasp until we got here and then had some problems but were able to figure them out and now it is going really smoothly.”
Levi has been building distance with his jumps in practice. “We started shorter and then just began stretching it out further and further so we are now getting up to a pretty fair distance. I have one more test session coming up mid December and hopefully we will get to where we want to be before we get to the actual jump site,” noted Levi. “This is a very big opportunity for me, really a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Red Bull New Years No Limits is the biggest stage for anything we can do. Travis Pastrona did the car jump last year. It is a great opportunity for me, my sponsors and snowmobiling in general. It will put it out to a lot of different people and we arepretty excited.”
  The current world snowmobile jump record is held by Paul Thacker at 301 feet. It was set in  Brainerd,  MN. Very recently Thacker had a serious accident in testing and is lucky to be able to make a full recovery. “It sounds like he is on the road to recovery. He recently had a bad crash testing and messed up one of the tricks. It is unfortunate as Paul is a great guy. I was talking on the phone to him a couple days before the accident when we did a radio interview together. I wish him the best,” said Levi “Knievel” as I nicknamed him! “I don’t plan on doing this too often. I just though I was capable of doing the jump, Red Bull was there to support me and now we can try it.”
  In preparation for the big jump Levi, age 28, was not able to race  the first two ISOC National Snocross events of the season. He is the owner of the Levi Lavalle Race Team “I have been racing all my life and it is hard not being out racing here at Duluth but I think it will be a great thing and is something I have always wanted to do,” said Levi. “Our  snocross team is going well. We just signed Bobby Lepage, a great guy who works his butt off and pushes me so we work well together. I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses into the season. He was able to qualify for X Games which is great and had an up and down day
yesterday but I think he will do well today.”
Levi has already qualified for all the X Games event snowmobile disciplines including Snocross, Freestyle, Speed and Style and Best Trick this year. “I enjoy doing all the events at X Games. The freestyle is a lot of fun for me but at the end of the day snocross is where I find the most satisfaction. You put so much time and effort into this and for me, getting to a podium at a Snocross race is the best feeling you can have. That Pro Stock race yesterday at  Duluth was amazing. I think it showed signs of how the season is going to go,”smiled Levi. “It was great seeing my good buddy TJ Gulla up front at the beginning. He is coming back from a huge injury so to see him on the track in general is just amazing. Ross, Tucker and Trembley- those guys are flying like they did last year. It is going to be an interesting season.”
Another good friend of the well liked Levi is Mike Schultz,  who raced at Duluth again after suffering an above knee leg amputation while racing in 2008. “To have such a serious injury and turn it from the worst negative it could be to one of the most positive things that
could have happened is amazing. He is just a great guy. Really to overcome what he has is just incredible and now on top of that the guy built his own leg. He is an amazing fabricator to be able to do that. Hopefully that will lead to bigger things for him. I have seen what he
has been able to do on the dirt bike, snowmobiling and wake boarding. Hopefully it will turn into a profitable business to help people do things like that. I would gladly pay the cost of the leg (some $60,000) if I could go riding on my snowmobile again.” said Levi.“It has been a lot of fun starting our own team last year. It is a lot of additional work but it is fun because it is a lot more business for me but also it is doing something I love- racing snowmobiles. It takes a lot of money to run a team with your rig, hauler and wages for the mechanics and riders. Fortunately we have some good sponsors and we can deliver some exposure for them,” noted Levi. “It is a lot of fun being on both sides of the fence- being able to race and see the
business side of it and how it all works is interesting to me. I enjoy it a lot. Hopefully, I can establish the team and build myself into a Judnick or Scheuring team so when I retire from the sport I can continue to run the race team and do that for many years to come so I
can stay involved with the sport. I do think the time you can stay running in the Pro level is going to  be more and more. You see it in motocross. Fitness has come a long way as has equipment so it is not beating you up as much as in the older days. Kevin Wyndam just this
year won a National AMA Motocross race which is amazing. If it is up to me I would do this for the rest of my life but I know there will come a day I get too old.”
 Unfortunately Levi crashed in practice and woke up later in a hospital bed with broke ribs, lungs that were deflated and a broken pelvis. He is out for the year missing the entire ISOC series and X Games. Not good for him but the best news is he will recover fully to ride again. Also a practice jump he completed of 361 feet has been recognized as the new world record.

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