A Family Affair for Snocross Racers

If you’ve ever seen Snocross in person, you know it must take plenty of courage to go zooming around the course and flying over jumps.

And that’s just as true for the amateur races, including 8-year-old Livy Hentges. “I know I am brave and can overcome any nerves that way,” she said.

Livy is among a spate of racers who will be at Canterbury Park on Jan. 4-5 for Snocross racing. Pros are coming in from across the country to compete, but there’s also plenty of competition within Livy’s own family.

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Family Affair

Livy Hentges SnocrossHentges Racing, formed in 2000, includes Jonny, who started racing in 1999 and grew up being able to see Canterbury Park “from my bedroom window.”

“When the races were in town I would watch for the couple big rig semis to park and just lived for it,” he said. “My family did have snowmobiles and rode the trails but had no racing machines. I was 14 years old when I got my first race sled.”

That love of snowmobile racing extends to his brother Nate, and the two started competing in nationals and regionals, eventually securing a sponsorship from Skidoo.

“I would have to say I most always beat my brother, Nate,” Jonny said.

Young Racer

As for Livy, she said she enjoys traveling to different states, and meeting and riding with new people.

The 8-year-old, who says she wants to grow up to be a professional Snocrosser and Motocrosser, will be racing the morning of Saturday, Jan. 5.

That Friday and Saturday, she will also be “cheering on Kody Kamm and Petter Narsa,” two of the pro Snocross racers under the Hentges racing banner.

Part of a Team

Snocross 5Having family members as part of the racing team is a lot of fun, Jonny said.

“We traveled many miles in a large motorhome to the races seeing cool things like Niagara Falls and others while passing through,” he said.

Nate and Jonny Hentges piloted the two HR Snocross entries, while their father drove the motorhome and mother fed the team at the track. Their older brother, Jer, handled most of the logistics and sister Krystal also participated, racing herself a few times.

The team will hope to build on its success Friday, Jan. 4 and Saturday, Jan. 5 at Canterbury Park.

 

Kody Kamm: Snocross Champ Returning to Canterbury Park

Kody Kamm returns to Canterbury Park in January for championship Snocross.
Kody Kamm returns to Canterbury Park in January for championship Snocross. (Crystal Wallem Photography)

“I’ve just always been competitive.”

Those are the words of Kody Kamm, a professional snowmobile racer who will take to the track at Canterbury Park in early January for AMSOIL Championship Snocross.

Kamm, 23, started racing dirt bikes as a 5-year-old.

“And being from Wisconsin, it’s pretty snowy in wintertime, so I started on snowmobiles,” he said.

That decision has proven to be a good one. Kamm, under the Hentges Racing banner, took home the professional championship last year and stood in second place as he prepared for the Jan. 5-6 competition at Canterbury Park.

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“It’s taken me to where I am today,” Kamm said of snowmobile racing. “It’s fun. … I love it.”

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AMSOIL Championship Snocross is the No. 1 snowmobile race series in the world. The events at Canterbury Park will include professionals and amateurs on the track, which has been outfitted with massive snow hills.

Each event site on the ISOC circuit is different, with some competitions taking place on ski slopes, said Kamm, who practices in Elk River to get ready between races.

Pirtek Snocross National, presented by Jimmy John’s, features the top extreme snowmobile riders from across the country, all coming to Canterbury Park for two days of high-flying stunts and exhilarating racing.

Thrills are second nature to Kamm, whose father raced dirt bikes and owned a mud-racing car. Kamm also enjoys mudding in trucks, as well as mountain biking during warmer months. “Being out in the woods is a lot of fun for me,” he said.

His skills have recently translated to the snow bike, a vehicle that has a ski where the front tire would be and a tread chain on the back. Though he only took up the sport a few weeks ago, he qualified for an X Games event that’s slated for late January.

As for the Jan. 5-6 Snocross event at Canterbury Park, Kamm said he isn’t worried about his place in the overall standings–just the upcoming bumps, jumps and stunts.

“Take it weekend by weekend and try to win,” he said.

 

Photos by Crystal Wallem Photography