A Letter from Ric Federau – Chairman of the Board – #SooI500

Requiem: Defined as…. “An act of remembering” …. Who can forget the sights and sounds of the International 500 Snowmobile Race?

Since February of 2020, we’ve been held hostage to the invisible enemy. States throughout the country being bottled up and clientele cut in half. We’ve come to know the term “essential” which touches so many areas of life. We, who manage the #SooI500 were considered by many to be the group that hosts a race which would give so many the opportunity to get out and enjoy life.

The #SooI500 became the light of hope for thousands of winter sports enthusiasts. Throughout the past several months of restrictions people who’ve been affected the most were hoping that the #SooI500 was far enough into the winter months that it would be a life saver for people who enjoy snowmobile racing. Instead, the “Grand-Daddy” of all oval ice racing was the latest victim of professional sports to take a hit.

As expected, with race time getting closer, we knew that this was going to be a battle. Several weeks of increased Covid-19 cases were a sign that it was on the fast track (No Pun Intended), #SooI500 fast! It’s faster than our riders!

Finally, as we approached Race Week for 2021, Covid-19 caught us on our last lap. Taking control coming out of turn four and coming in Hot!

Every aspect of restrictions and guidelines established by Government Officials were complied with in order to host what would’ve been the 53rd annual #SooI500 Race Week. The worlds most grueling and prestigious snowmobile race.

Sadly, the enemy never sleeps. It creeps in on you and before you know it, it’s got you and you have to comply with its demands. It interrupts your objectives. Its efforts are to hurt and create havoc.

Covid-19 took us out…. We thought we had it beat and it caught us on the front straightaway, took over and we were done.

Today, as we were in the evening hours of Thursday, December 10th when the awful decision was made, we are felling hallow. The feeling of being slugged in the gut and having the wind knocked out of us took hold. Coldcocked us without the opportunity to defend ourselves and protect others. We have been brought to our knees and feel the impact that frustrates and saddens all of us who are in the oval ice racing arena.

The smell of fuel, sounds of sleds, the crowds, the exciting atmosphere and the feeling of being outside at the most unique racing atmosphere has bowed to the germ warfare known as Covid-19.

We now miss everything about this event, not just the #SooI500 itself, but all of Race Week. The fans, the teams, the riders, the sponsors, the list goes on. It’s tough to accept. We know we HAVE to come back in 2022. We know we are stronger than this evil, unseen enemy that moves at warp speed.

We’ve learned, we’ve gained knowledge and will be a better program for it. For every seed of adversity, there’s an equal and/or greater benefit. We as the #SooI500 Board of Directors have committed to finding the benefits, thus, we’ll reinvent enthusiasm and excitement commencing with the 53rd Running of the #sooI500 Race Week in 2022 (Monday-Saturday, January 31-February 5)

We’ll bring back the hype, the smell of fuel, the loud music of engines creating a racing symphony. The gathering of teams during down times, the meeting of old friends involved in the sport, the hoopla of city support and all that goes with hosting this outstanding event.

We’re feeling hallow without question, at this time of the year, we’re in full swing as we approach race week. We’re in race mode with the throttle wide open. We vow to be back full throttle, making left turns into history moving forward.

Eventual victory of such a worthy competitor will take its toll and we know we’ll prevail. This year we’ll miss our #SooI500 race family who visit us each and every year. The teams, riders, everyone. We WILL come back stronger and with more excitement and impact. We are Black-Flagging Covid-19. We hope anyone who supports the sport of oval ice racing will be as excited about the 2022 #SooI500 Race Week as we are. This is OUR opportunity to bust out with the most exciting race week ever! We will NOT be held hostage moving forward….

I just needed to find a way to vent. The postponing of the 2021 #SooI500 is a bitter taste to swallow. It’s tough for us to accept, but we’ve got this! We will overcame this together, full throttle, stronger, better prepared with a reestablished attitude that’s going to blow by Covid and take control of oval ice racing once again. Join us in 2022 as we take the victory lap in a race that takes Covid down….

The 53rd Running of the International 500 Snowmobile Race Week starts on Monday, January 31st, 2022 and ends with the most grueling and prestigious snowmobile race in the world, the #SooI500 on Saturday, February 5th, 2022.

500 miles of excitement and high energy impact within a sport that brings all oval ice racing enthusiasts together once again. The #SooI500 Michigan’s premier Winter Sporting Event! As yes, smell the fuel, we remember it well, Bring It….

From all of us within the #SooI500 Board of Directors, Management, Staff and Volunteers, we wish all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We’ll be back….

From the Chairman’s Corner….. All Left Turns From Here….

Ric Federau
Chairman of the Board – International 500 Snowmobile Race