It was only a matter of time before the AMSOIL/Scheuring Speed Sports team - snocross' version of the NBA's Miami Heat - put all three of their superstar racers up on the box in an AMSOIL Championship Snocross, presented by Traxxas, event.
And that time was Sunday at the AMSOIL Duluth National, presented by Bully Dog.
Wrapping up the CJ Ramstad Cup weekend at Duluth's Spirit Mountain in front of one of the largest crowds to gather for a snowmobile race in this hemisphere, Robbie Malinoski(AMSOIL/Ski-Doo) made it two-in-a-row by pulling the Stud Boy Holeshot and leading the weekend's final race wire-to-wire for the win. Malinoski was joined on the box by teammates Tim Tremblay (2nd), who also podiumed on Saturday (3rd), and a first-ever Pro Open podium finish for Darrin Mees (3rd).
Quite literally, there was no stopping Ski-Doo's Robbie Malinoski this past weekend at Duluth. The powerful veteran racer - who hadn't doubled up at an AMSOIL Championship Snocross weekend since 2006 - swept both Pro Open main events at Duluth in convincing fashion, taking the points lead into rounds three and four of ACS in Bessemer, Mich., along with making a serious statement in regards to whether Malinoski still had what it takes to win at snocross' highest level.
"With everybody up here from Scheuring Speed Sports - this is pretty exciting," said Malinoski. "Everybody came through. Darrin's up here with this first-ever podium. Tim raced great - again. My Ski-Doo pulled another great holeshot ... I'm speechless!"
When the green light shone on the start of the weekend's final even Malinoski was gone. Down the Spirit Mountain straight like he was racing against a field of stock sleds. Malinoski railed into the first turn and rode mistake-free, through countless lapped riders in the lack-of-snow-shortened race, and through cleanly to the checkers. There was never a doubt.
Behind Malinoski early were Mees and Polaris' Justin Broberg. Two relatively new guys up front in the pack, mainly because the usual front-running suspects - Martin, Hibbert & Tremblay - started outside the top four. Team AMSOIL/Polaris' Ross Martin, the winner of Friday's $10K AMSOIL DOMINATOR®, was all the way back in 12th qualifying position.
Tucker Hibbert (Arctic Cat) and Tremblay would collide on lap one, though both managed to rail back out of the turn where they got together. But this set the multi-time former ACS champ Hibbert back to 8th place early on in the 24-lap contest ... a position you don't want to be in on such a small track with so many sleds (15). Tremblay, who qualified back in the 9th position, had a much better run at it, moving up to 3rd before getting past Mees for 2nd on lap 13 of the roughly 24-second laps.
As the podium position leaders spread out, Martin put on the best charge at race's end as he moved past Broberg into 2nd and set his site on Mees. With two laps to go Malinoski had all but checked out and the fans' attention focused on Martin and Mees - with Mees holding off the hard-charging Martin for his first-ever podium. Hibbert then managed to round out the top ten.
"To get up here with my other two teammates - everybody crying - this is just so exciting," said Mees. "My adrenaline was going on the first few laps, then Tim (Tremblay) got by me and that was OK. But nobody after that was going to!"
"He (Mees) didn't let me get by him that easy. But no dirty stuff ... we're all teammates," said Tremblay. "I just held my line and the rest was pretty good."
Malinoski leaves Duluth with a 14-point lead over Tremblay in the standings. Martin sits third, with Tucker Hibbert and Mees roudning out the top five.
Rounds three and four of AMSOIL Championship Snocross, presented by Traxxas, will be at northern Michigan's Blackjack Resort, Dec. 7-8.