Iron Dog 2022: A race anyone could win
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The pro class tech inspection took place this morning for the Iron Dog 2022 race, one of the only times that all 29 pro teams and their snowmachines will be under the same roof.
This year’s field is as wide open as it has ever been, with no clear favorite in the race. However, last year’s champions, Team 6, are as hungry as they have ever been.
“Honestly it 100% it doesn’t feel like a win. I don’t’ consider it a full win until I know I won when I cross the finish line,” said Brad George, a member of Team 6 last year. “It was definitely a dream come true, but I definitely — I wanna know I won when I cross the finish line.”
Last year the 2,500 mile race came down to the last 18 miles, when Team 14 had engine issues on both of their snowmachines and had to tow each other to the finish line. When Team 6 crossed the finish line, they didn’t realize they were in first place.
Team 14 of Bryan Leslie and Casey Boylan have come to terms with that moment and are ready to get back out on the trail.
“You know, there’s two ways you can do it,” Boylan said. “You can mope over it and be really sad, or you can just put it behind you and be happy that you got second, because there’s a lot of teams that race and never finished or never got a second. So it was an improvement for us. Yeah we’d like to win, I think we’re in a really good position to win, but you know what, there’s a lot of moving parts on these sleds so things happen.”
When both Teams 6 and 14 were asked about who fans should be watching out for, they both had the same answer: it could be anyone. This year’s race is full of veterans with over 15 Iron Dogs under their belt, but also a mix of a few race rookies including Steffan Booth, who will become the youngest person to ever run the Iron Dog at just 16.
The pro class race will leave Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb.19. Then the racers will head to Big Lake at a cautionary speed where the clock will officially start on Iron Dog 2022.
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