Before the Nielsen's Grand Finale began to unfold, the battle for the year-end championship was a dead heat between Garth Kaufman (Arctic Cat) and Levi LaVallee (Polaris).
was not so fortunate, who crested the hill a sled length behind Levi and emerging from the top-of-the-hill turn in 7th place.
In the early going, Kaufman
picked his way through the pack, moving up to 5th and eventually 4th, giving himself a glimpse at the lead pack of LaVallee, Gulla and Simons.
Perhaps nowhere is that pressure cooker atmosphere more apparent than in the Pro Super Stock field, where Garth Kaufman (Arctic Cat) and Levi LaVallee (Polaris) enter the weekend in a tie for the year-end crown.
Close behind are Brett Turcotte (Arctic Cat) and Garth Kaufman
When the top guns on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series came to the line for the final race of the day, it was veteran rider Garth Kaufman (Arctic Cat) who held the number one qualifying position with TJ Gulla having the second pick at the line.
However the start of the race was marred with a red-flag incident, which saw DJ Eckstrom (Polaris) unable to continue for the day due to a damaged race sled.
At the green for the second go-around, it was Gulla who shot out for the early lead, and one he
would not relinquish.
Following the Vermont rider was Kaufman in second and Shaun Crapo (Polaris) in third.
Up front, Kaufman
made several runs at Gulla but was unable to complete a pass.
Crapo held fast to the third place position, and crossed the line 2-seconds behind Kaufman
That put Kaufman
in a dead tie with LaVallee for the year-end championship with one race to go.