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Warm weather slows Paul Bunyan Snocross races

Warm weather slows Paul Bunyan Snocross races
Snowmobile racers kick off the racing weekend with mild temperatures.

 

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The revving of engines echoes throughout Bangor from the Bass Park racing arena.  The second annual Paul Bunyan Snocross

It's snowcross. We're all racing, we love snowmobiles, so we came to watch," said spectator Casey Neadeau.

"I came 100 miles for this," said spectator Joey Edwards.

Sunny skies and mild temperatures coaxed snowmobile enthusiasts outside for the Paul Bunyan Snocross weekend, but the lack of fresh snow made it tricky for riders.

"As you can see there's not much snow here. It's been pretty hard to get training in and stuff but we made what we could of it I guess," said Kassie Thibodeau, a racer in the Women's Pro Classic race.

"The snow's getting real soft. When it gets soft it gets wet so you get a lot of build up on your goggles and things like that and you gotta stiffen up your suspensions because the snow's so much softer you gotta stiffen it up it'll bog down the snowmobile," said Bruce Gaspardi, Jr, a racer.

For competitors like Bruce Gaspardi, Jr., warm weather has made it a challenging weekend to skate.  He said he has been snowmobiling nearly every weekend since he was 4 years old, but this winter has made it difficult.

"All over the northeast, all over the country really, people have to drive three to five hours just to go riding for a weekend and that puts a big damper on people. It's a lot easier if you can just leave from your backyard or up the road. To have to drive and have to get a hotel and the extra gas money, it all adds up," he said.

But less than ideal conditions for some riders means a bigger audience in the stands, already numbering in the thousands on the first day.

"I think because of the mild temperatures and having a nice little dusting of snow last night will help people say they want to come outside and see some snowmobiling today," said Jennifer Khavari, project coordinator of the race.

Participants are hoping for a little snow in their final races.