Professional race teams, manufacturers, and drivers arrive a week prior to the main event. Time trials commence on the early days and are held on consecutive days up through mid-week. The official race is hosted on the only one-mile ice oval snowmobile track in North America. Drivers reach speeds around the 100mph mark, as they attempt to complete the full 500 miles and take home the coveted title as “Winner.” The green flag is dropped promptly at 10:00a.m., to begin the race.
You can check out all the official rules of the I-500 by downloading the 2016/2017 Race Rules through International Snowmobile Racing.
2016/2017 ISR/USAC Membership insurance program. Mandatory for drivers, optional for crew members!
For the 2016/2017 season ISR/USAC is providing excess medical insurance for all drivers at a reasonable rate for the coverage afforded. Please be aware you must have this coverage in place before you can participate in any ISR affiliated event.
Each year ISR works very hard to provide both promoters and drivers with the best coverage available and considers the following factors:
- High quality medical supplement insurance for drivers,
- Reduced liability costs for promoters,
- Best protection possible for potential litigation issues,
- Universal, uniform protection for everyone at all ISR affiliated events,
- Keeping the Sport we love safe and fair for all!
There is a 90-day period to file an insurance claim, and all claims must include an incident report from the event race director. For more information, click on the icon below:
Woody’s Challenge is a mid-week racing event that will see the very best pro riders go head to head in a 25-lap sprint sponsored by Woody’s and titled “The Woody’s Challenge.” It provides plenty of excitement, as experience and raw talent combine to create an unforgettable race! In 2018, the race will be the 23rd running and will be a part of the exciting 50th Anniversary of the I-500 on Thursday, February 1st, 2018.
Woody’s Challenge Rules (2018 rules coming soon, below is the 2017 format)
- Qualifying takes place on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 from 6:00-6:30p.m., and on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 from 12:00-12:30p.m. – The 25-Lap Woody’s Challenge Race is on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017.
- One (1) Qualifying Attempt / Top 16 locked in from Qualifying
- Woody’s Challenge – 25 laps with the “Sweet 16” riders, the very best pro riders in the world
Woody’s Challenge History
Year / Winner (Team/Rider) / Race Location
2017 – Cadarette Collision Racing (Troy DeWald) / Sault Ste. Marie, MI
2016 – Christian Brothers (Wes Selby & Lance Efteland) / Sault Ste. Marie, MI
2015 – Flannery Racing (Jeff Leuenburger & Bradee Mlaskoch) / Sault Ste. Marie, MI
2014 – LMB Speedshop (Eric Bouman & Kyle Eckert) / Sault Ste. Marie, MI
2013 – LMB Speedshop (Eric Bouman & Keith Gainforth) / Sault Ste. Marie, MI
2008-12 – Woody’s Challenge was not contested
2007 – Karl Allard / Malone, NY
2006 – Matt Boron / Malone, NY
2005 – Canceled due to rain / Seneca Falls, NY
2004 – Wayne Legge / Birch Run, MI —- 2004 – Todd Serra / Kalkaska, MI
(Note: 2 Woody’s Challenges were contested in 2004)
2003 – Todd Serra / Kalkaska, MI
2002 – Dan Kelly / Kalkaska, MI
2001 – Elden Kuehl / Oconto Falls, WI
2000 – Bryan Bellman / Appleton, WI
1999 – Gary Querel / Oconto Falls, WI
1998 – Todd Serra / Oconto Falls, WI
1997 – Gary Querel / Lewiston, MI
1996 – Bryan Bellman / Lewiston, MI
1995 – Paul McLeod / Arbor Vitae, WI
1994 – Paul McLeod / Lewiston, MI
1993 – Dave Trygstad / Cedarville, MI
1992 – Dave Trygstad / Selkirk, MAN
1991 – Dave Neumann / Rice Lake, WI
In 1991, the first Woody’s Challenge debuted at the ISR World Series of Ice Drags in the 800 Open class. At that time, 800 Open was the largest high-performance class in ice drag racing. The Woody’s Challenge was held during the ISR World Series of Ice Drags from 1991 to 2004. In the summer of 2004, the Woody’s Challenge moved to grass drag racing in the 1000 ProStock class, the largest high-performance class. The 2005 Woody’s Challenge had been scheduled to take place in Seneca Falls, NY; however, the event was canceled due to rain. For 2006 & 2007 in order to keep this prestigious race going, it was determined to move the event to snocross. Years 2008 through 2012, the Woody’s Challenge was not contested.
In 2013, the Woody’s Challenge was rejuvenated and for the first time was run in oval racing at the I-500 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. This change required some modifications to the format, which included having two drivers as a team; one pro and one ‘amateur’ to each run 20 laps for a total of 40 laps.
In 2017, due to the revised schedule implemented for I-500 Race Week by the I-500 Board of Directors, the Woody’s Challenge format was changed to a 25-lap Shootout. Teams participating in the Woody’s Challenge went through a series of qualifying sessions to lock in the top 16 riders that comprised the “Sweet 16″ which set the field for the Woody’s Challenge that was held Thursday night, February 2, 2017.
The newly revised format saw Pro riders battle for $1,000, special Champion embroidered Woody’s Pit Coat, trophy to keep and their name added the Woody’s Challenge Trophy and of course bragging rights. Under the new format, AuGres, Michigan’s, Troy DeWald in his #21 Cadarette Collision Racing / Arctic Cat went to victory lane as the new format drew rave reviews from competitors, fans, officials and sponsors.
If you ask snowmobile racers “What’s the one to win?” They’ll tell you its the I-500!
It’s the world’s longest, toughest, fastest and most-exciting snowmobile endurance race, bar none! The I-500 is a prestigious race to win. Winning the race takes nothing but the most outstanding performance of even the most skilled, professional drivers. Everyone wants the HARDWARE, but there is only one way to get it. The Directors of the I-500 present trophies to the top 15 teams, as well as other prestigious awards to various teams and finishers.