It wasn't quite LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach, but in a way it was the Snocross equivalent: Tim Tremblay, the defending AMSOIL Pro Open Snocross champion, signed this past offseason with Scheuring Speed Sports, an already formidable team.
And to do so, Tremblay had to move his professional base to Aurora, Minn. -- also known jokingly as "one mile from the end of the world," by team owner Steve Scheuring. Truth be told, the northern Minnesota outpost is a great place for a snocross team to be headquartered. And so far, uniting Tremblay with Robbie Malinoski -- third overall in points last year -- and reigning Pro Rookie of the Year Darrin Mees has proven to be a fruitful match while also making the competition "scared to death," Scheuring said.
"My biggest concern was how all three would meld together, but it's been a blessing this year," said Scheuring, who has watched his racers finish in eight of 12 available podium spots so far in the young season. "If one is sore from testing, another will step up to the plate. They talk about the racetrack. It's been phenomenal to this point."
They hope it continues at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, where the series heads Friday and Saturday for two days of racing. Malinoski swept first-place finishes during the series-opening two-day event in Duluth in November, while Tremblay and Mees finished right behind him in the Sunday event for a Scheuring podium sweep.
"The competitors right away feel like they don't have to deal with two but three of us. And it brings the levels of all of us on the team up. Everyone wants to be the best," Malinoski said. "We keep it pretty light. We're all there for a common goal. We all know we aren't all going to win every race. We just want to make sure we're all up there every week."
That could happen at Canterbury. The big question: How many people will be there to see it on Saturday? The event caught a tough break that day, with pro racing starting at 5 p.m. and the Vikings/Packers playoff game slated for 7 p.m.
"They'll have TVs out there," said Malinoski, a native of Stacy, Minn. "But there's nothing you can do -- I'm happy for the Vikings. People should still come out and see us."
AMSOIL CHAMPIONSHIP SNOCROSS
Where: Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino, Shakopee
When: Friday -- Gates open at 10 a.m., amateur racing begins at 11 a.m. and pro racing begins at 5 p.m. Saturday -- Gates open at 9 a.m., amateur racing begins at 10 a.m. and pro racing begins at 5 p.m.
Tickets: General admission tickets are $15 for Friday and $15 for Saturday and $25 for a two-day pass. Children 5 and younger are free. Tickets are available at the gate and online at www.isocracing.com; More information: www.canterburypark.com