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Seneca Classic: Sun, Snow And Speed

SENECA – The sun was shining and the snow was crisp as snowmobilers from as far away as Boise and Portland gathered to race in Seneca last weekend.

The Seneca Winter Classic, staged by the Grant County Snowballers, featured two days of head-to-head races on the drag track, a stretch of the Seneca airstrip that was groomed to perfection for the event. Racers had a choice of starting from the snow or a starting board.

Racers ranged in age from 18 to 89. The oldest was Junior Saunders of Seneca, the Snowballers’ first president and still a volunteer. He spent many horus working on the oval track and the drag strip with fellow club members in preparation for the races.

He also joined in a good-natured competition for “old-timers,” which drew competitors age 60-89. Asked who won that division, organizer Howard Gieger didn’t hesitate.

“If anybody won that one, it was Junior Saunders,” he said.

The event is a revival of one that’s been on hiatus for several years. The Snowballers aim to hold it each year, and revive the tradition of ovals racing.

Gregg Haberly, owner of John Day Polaris, said he was pleased with the turnout and the weather. Spectators were able to view the races from a bluff above the strip and also mingle with the racers at the start area, with refreshments from Papa Rod’s Burritos and a blazing warming fire for comfort.

The Snowballers lauded the City of Seneca and their business sponsors for supporting the event.

Saturday Drag Race Results


1 - Megan McGlone

2 - Lexie Britt

3 - Lisa Audis

Men’s 600 Stock

1 - Jim Sproul

2- Garrett Carniglia

Men’s 700 Stock

1 - Jim Sproul

2 - Tim Nelson

Men’s 800 Stock

1 - John Gardner

2 - Duane Fritz

3 - Luke Goldsworthy

Men’s 800 Mod

1 - Bill Sproul

2 – Jonathan Cohey

3 – Rick Audis

Men’s Outlaw Class

1 - Ward Branstetter

2 - Dave Hannibal

3 – John Clapp

Sunday’s Results

600 Stock

1 – Megan McGlone

2 - Marty Holmstrom

3 - Andrew Hensley

700 Stock

1 - Luke Goldsworthy

2 - Jim Sproul

800 Stock

1- John Gardner

2 - Luke Goldsworthy

3 - Duane Fritz

800 Mod

1 – Bill Sproul

2 – John Gardner

3 – Jonathan Cohey

Outlaw Class

1 – Ward Branstetter

2 – Dave Hannibal

3 – John Gardner


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