By TONY GORMAN
For the Star 

200-mile race course challenges racers from Valdez and other Alaska cities

Anchorage man wins top honors in the Valdez Mayor's Cup snowmachine race

 

March 21, 2018

Photo courtesy Bob Benda

Chad Gueco of Wasilla was on fire Saturday – literally – as he competed in the Mayor' Cup Snowmachine Race. Despite the flames, Gueco finished third in the Pro Class.

Casey Boylan was a huge winner in this year's Mayors Cup snow machine race.

The Anchorage snowmachine rider raced to a 3.35.44 time to finish first in the Pro Class. At the awards ceremony at the Boardroom after Saturday's race, Boylan said it felt good to win in a race he has competed in several times since he was 15 years old. The win comes a month after he and Bryan Leslie finished fifth in the Pro Class of the Iron Dog Race.

"It's good to be back here," Boylan said. "I'm doing Iron Dog now. Coming off that and jumping into that is really fun."

He admitted that it was a tough course, but didn't mind the challenge.

"It's like a 200-yard snow-cross race. It gets really rough. The track is definitely not easy. There's no break points in it. You don't get a rest at all. It's fun," Boylan said. "I like the short-course stuff. The stuff that takes a little bit more timing."

Boylan took home a $3,500 check. He also took home and extra $500 and cases of Full Throttle Energy Drink for having the fastest lap of the competition. His first lap was clocked at 25.01.

Boylan knew that he couldn't drink all of those cases of Full Throttle by himself.

"I'll probably pass it out to be honest. I'll share it as much as I can if anybody wants a case," Boylan said.

The Mayors Cup is the last race for the season for Boylan. He's scheduled to have knee surgery and will be out for the rest of the season.

Rounding out the Pro class are Troy Conlon of Fairbanks, who finished second with a time of 3.46.57, and Wasilla's Chad Gueco, who finished third with a time 3.51.05.

In the Semi-Pro class, Adam Drinkhouse of Wasilla took home the top prize. He turned in a time of 2.54.55 to beat Healy's Zach Cizmowski, who finished second with a time of 3.01.28. Travis Kunkle of Fairbanks placed third with a time of 3.05.26.


Bill Johnson for Alaska House

Ed Frank was the top performer from Valdez. He finished first in the Veteran Class with a time of 2.09.21 and fifth in the Semi-Pro Class with a time of 3.16.30.

"I thought I would be competitive in the Vets. I didn't think I would be competitive in the Semi-Pro," Frank said, "The $200 entry fee is a way to support the race. This is something that I've always been a fan of and interested in."

The race was Frank's first competition in 15 years. He also had to battle slush condition throughout the race. Frank hopes his finishes will encourage other locals to take up the sport.

"It feels good and hopefully it will encourage more people from Valdez to buy race sleds and try this out," Frank said.

Two local riders finished second and third, respectively, behind Frank in the Veteran Class. Scott Benda placed second with a time of 2.11.46 and sixth in the Semi-Pro Class with a time of 3.20.48. JW Bogart finished third with a time of 2.21.48 in the Vet Class and 11th in the Semi-Pro Class with a time of 3.39.24.

In the Women's Class, Teslin Hoyem of Fairbanks beat Valdez's Jamie Winchester with a time of 2.16.28. She also placed ninth in the Semi-Pro Class with a time of 3.30.48. Winchester turned in a time of 3.48.38.

Other notable riders from Valdez include Jackson Kinnen, who finished eighth in the Semi-Pro Class with a time of 3.24.36. Clayton Harris finished 10th in the Semi-Pro Class with a time of 3.33.46.

Tony Gorman photo

Saturday's Mayor's Cup Snowmachine Race featured some of Alaska's top riders.

 

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