There aren’t too many shows or events around the country that feature such a wide variety of motor-head shenanigans. Started as a grass drags event some 51 years ago, Haydays has evolved a lot over the years, but the organizers still keep the show true to its roots. This year, Haydays still featured the grass drags, which is an event unlike any other. If you haven’t seen purpose-built racing snowmobiles drag race across grass before, well, then you should get your booty to Haydays to check out the controlled madness. To put it into words, we would say it’s “wow-tastic”! Or, something like that…
Surrounding the outside of the facility, there are many acres dedicated to “the swap”, which is, in essence, a massive swap meet. It takes an entire day just to walk the swap area, and, while we weren’t able to dedicate much time to checking it out this year, we know from experience that the swap is filled with some of the most nostalgic and hard-to-find snowmobile, quad, motorcycle, and UTV parts anywhere in the country.
As we made our way more towards the center of the grounds, we found the massive vendor area that is filled with UTV’s, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, lifted trucks, quads, a full freestyle course, a Terracross racing track, a demo ride track for multiple manufacturers, and SO much more. There is also a host of food vendors that take the term “fair food” to the next level! We loved it, well at least our taste buds did…
For those of you who want to see a little bit of everything at a show, whether it’s racing, the latest gear for any off-road market, cool trucks and trailers, or multiple celebrities, this is THE place to go each and every year. Plus, it only gets bigger with each passing event, which goes to show that the off-road and snow industries are only expanding. We can’t wait to go back!
One of the highlights of the weekend at Haydays is the cage-to-cage action of Terracross Racing. Spectators line the fences and fill the grandstands, eager to watch their favorite drivers and celebrities rip up the tough course in their Polaris RZR’s.
This year, some new faces graced the lineup, including Damon Bradshaw, and more names that have been around the Terracross scene for many years, including Andy Ives, Hubert Rowland, Sara Price, Jason Luburgh, James Hill, Jim Beaver, and many more. Needless to say, there was more than enough talent in the field to make the racing great!
The weekend started off with practice and qualifying rounds on Saturday, which set the field for Sunday’s races.
Sunday morning rolled around in a hurry, and everyone woke up knowing that the freshly prepped track was going to dish out a beating on race day. With the massive obstacles, packed field of talent, and stock machines, the scene was set for an epic day of racing. We were amazed by the jumps here – there were plenty of massive hills, sketchy dragon’s backs, table tops, whoop sections, and outside banked corners that made this Supercross-sized track tricky. As fans started sitting down for the day of racing, the engines fired up and racers strapped in with their 5-point harnesses. It was finally time to go racing…
Pro Am 1000 racers kicked the day off in their naturally aspirated (N/A) 1000-class machines, and Andy Ives put on a clinic at the front of the pack, taking the win over Jason Plouff and Jeff Scace.
The Pro XP Turbo class was next up in Round 1. With approximately 60 more horsepower than the N/A engines in the 1000 class, these guys were ripping around the track at a much faster pace. Ronnie Anderson put in consistent laps for the entire race, and ended up winning with a comfortable lead in his Turbo car. We noticed how smooth and calculated he attacked each corner.
The Pro Women’s class was next on the track, and this was a race to watch! Jolene Van Vugt, Jami Luburgh, and Sara Price put on a phenomenal show for the fans with their close battle. Jami and Sara would get a wheel close to Jolene, and Jolene would pull back out in front and expand the lead. She ended up taking the win.
One of the most interesting races of the entire weekend was the Celebrity X Turbo class – we say “interesting” because there was so much carnage in this class. All in the name of fun! Round 1 was a race of attrition in this class where Brett Turcotte would take home the win, with Jim Beaver and Damon Bradshaw rounding out the podium. Round 2 was a similar scenario where, this time, Hubert pulled the lead and took home the win over Jim Beaver and Nate Wessel.
Round 2 for Pro Am 1000 ended up similar to Round 1 with Andy Ives taking the win. In the Pro XP Turbo Class, Cole Cottew rebounded from his last place finish in Round 1 to finish first in Round 2, ahead of Ronnie Anderson and Chet Michelson. In the Pro Women’s class, Round 2 was another classic battle, this time with Jami Luburgh coming out on top.
Last but surely not least, the final race of the weekend was the epic Shootout – Turbo vs XP1000. With a fully stacked field of racers, this shootout pitted the top racers in Terracross all against in each other. The XP1000 field was all put together and started a half a lap earlier than the Turbo class. The first time everyone started, there was a crash in the first corner of the track, resulting in a red flag. Everything went smooth the second time around with Sara Price and Jami Luburgh jumping out to the lead and gapping the field. Through all of the carnage, flipped vehicles, missed jumps, and broken parts, Sara and Jami kept it clean and finished where they started, 1-2. Ross Robinson ended up completing the podium. In a valiant effort to overtake the N/A vehicles, Ronnie Anderson put on an incredible drive in his Turbo, but ended up just short in fourth place.
While it isn’t the main attraction at Haydays, Terracross racing sure is a fun event to see (for free, too!) in person. For those who want to see more, you can watch these rounds of racing on your TV soon. Keep an eye out – we’ll announce the air dates on our media channels.
Best Western Plus Accommodations
Here is your insider’s travel hint for Haydays… Sometimes all you want is a cozy bed to go home to at night, especially after a long day on your feet. In our case, we were carrying camera equipment, promo items, and more UTV Sports stuff – all in the name of fun!
We stayed at the Best Western Plus hotel in Blaine, MN and took advantage of the free hot breakfast, indoor pool, free wifi, and of course the hot tub to loosen up our muscles after the long days of shooting. We noticed that the gym, arcade, and business center were all being used, in that order, from local business professionals. Well, maybe not in that order, but we enjoyed the creature comforts and the very fair price of the hotel. We signed up for the rewards program so we can enjoy more of this Best Western love in the future – they seem to be everywhere these days with over 4100 locations around the world.
If you end up going to Haydays next year, we recommend giving this hotel a look. Just make sure they have at least 2 rooms left for us – we’ll be back!