New ISOC Series Well Received At Duluth Opener
by Scott A. Sumner
When the word came out this past summer that the former snocross series was folding I'm sure many wondered what to expect next. We all found out this past weekend in Duluth when a professional new snocross series called ISOC put on a tremendous event with over 36,500 spectators on hand to witness the excitement. The new series wasn’t really new as it had a good track record under the previous and current owner John Daniels.
ISOC was an idea of John Daniels a former cross country racer and avid snowmobiler who has a love for the sport. He took the best in in cross country then and put them under the ISOC brand. John Daniels wanted to form the Racers Circuit for the racers- good clean racing with good payouts and lots of track time. He started the Canterbury racing which was the first snowmobile racing at horse tracks. MRP was taking on the reins of snocross at the time and then WPSA took over. John had a long haul trucking company and sold ISOC but it later disbanded. He was asked by the OEMS and race teams to get involved again in the sport and ISOC came back on the race scene this season.
“ I first started racing when I was 12 in cross country in my younger days. After racing for quite a while I retired and the next year started ISOC in Albertville and after that created the series. When my trucking company got bigger ( 250 units on the road) I decided to sell the series but it did not work out for the next guy. WSA started up around that time as well so I left the series dormant for awhile but did get the ISOC name back,” said John Daniels. “ A few years later we started Sledhead 24 -7, a television series. We had the televised softball series I had started and a television production crew so we felt we needed a show in the winter. Sledhead 24 -7 has gone well. We are in 60 million homes in North America. We have great sponsors and 6 new HD Cameras and editing decks. It is a major investment getting back in the snowmobile racing game. I have a great team with some prior people and some new people. Our goal is good strong race tracks and teck with longer races featuring more endurance and skill for the riders.”
“ I love the sport and being a former racer I like competition. It is fun to get back in snocross racing. Some people came back into the sport this year that I had known many years ago. We want more seat time for the racer. In the old days if you got the hole shot you probably
won.Our series will bring more of the rider skill into play. I am listening to the riders. We have an advisory committee and we are getting in the right direction,” smiled Daniels. “ It can be a dangerous sport. We want to have a big enough race track where guys can spread out and pass and cooler heads will prevail. With a longer chance to race it is not life or death to pass right away. There will be more passing, it will be safer with less dire need to make it happen right away.”
“ We are doing a lot of things the same because the old series has had a lot of good things. We are looking at ways to make it better for the racers and then it will be better for fans. Increasing paybacks, lowered entries fees and more track time with longer finals is our goal,” said Pat Bourgeois, Director of Communications for the ISOC series who has previously worked for Polaris 6 years, Harley Davidson 2 years and a publishing company doing snow publications for 9 years so 19 years in the business. He grew up near Rainy River at Baudette, MN. near the Polaris plant and near Thief River Falls.
“ On 4 of our events this year we will run all of our Pro finals on Saturday. We want to have a main event, a focus for the fans. Saturday is better for families with no school the day. So the big teams can go home on Sunday after their races and it is more affordable. SledNeck
24 7 will do the television coverage. Each race will be a 30 minute show and there are 22 episodes of which 10 will be devoted to racing. The Sledneck Monster Energy Invasion Tour will be at all races with a freestyle event as well. They will be another part of the event, with
a 60 minute show Fridays at 7 pm.There is a jumbo screen with scoring and onsite TV. This is going to be a great series,” said Bourgeois.