Travis Temple and Chad Moore, both of Soldotna, finished third in the 5th Annual Skwentna 200 XC Snowmachine Rally on Saturday.
Temple said the result was an important step in restoring high level cross-country racing on the Kenai Peninsula once again. Temple said this was the first cross-country snowmachine racing trophy brought back to the peninsula since Soldotna’s Cory Davis won the Iron Dog in 2017.
“It was me and Chad’s first team race podium,” Temple said. “It was really big for us, and it should be big for the community. We’re trying to reach out to people to see what we could do to get a cross-country race set up down here next year.”
Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad were first with a course time of 3 hours, 16 minutes and 10 seconds. Tyson Johnson and Bobby Menne were second in 3:29:09, while Temple and Moore were the first Polaris and race rookie riders to cross at 3:38:53. Soldotna’s Bradley Kishbaugh, riding with Kelly Sommer of Fairbanks, was fifth of seven racers at 4:08:05. The other two teams scratched.
Temple said the top four finishers train in the Skwentna area frequently.
“They spend a lot of time out there riding,” Temple said. “They’re some of the fastest guys in the state. For me and Chad to do what we did, I felt like that was huge.”
Aklestad won the Iron Dog in 2020 and 2016, while Olstad won in 2020, 2014 and 2009.
Unless Motor Madness is held at Alyeska, Temple said this will conclude the cross-country season for peninsula riders.
After the peninsula didn’t have any riders in the Iron Dog, Temple said it was nice having three riders in the Valdez Mayor’s Cup and Skwentna 200.
“We got huge confidence boosters in both races,” he said.
Temple thanked sponsors Yellowjacket Oilfield Services and Team Barber racing. He also thanked his wife, Crystal, and Moore’s wife, Janee, for supporting the effort.