Kuskokwim 300 race committee announces 6-race Delta Championship Series

The Delta Championship Series by the K300 Race Committee
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 5:50 PM AKST
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BETHEL, Alaska (KTUU) - The Kuskokwim 300 race committee has announced a new season long series called the “The Delta Championship Series” which includes six different races on the Kuskokwim river (excluding the Kuskokwim 300 and the Akiak Dash).

Points will be assigned based on how well an individual kennel performs in these six races throughout the season.

  • The Season Opener - Dec. 3rd
  • The Holiday Classic - Dec. 17th
  • The Bogus Creek 150 - Jan. 14th
  • The February 50 Doubles - Feb. TBD
  • The 100 Mile Challenge - February/March TBD
  • The Campout Race - March TBD

The reason the points will be assigned to a kennel and not an individual, according to the K300 Race Manager Paul Basile, is because many of the kennels on the river are family affairs and they didn’t want to add any pressure from one week to another about who would be running the team.

“It’s exciting without really changing anything that we are already doing, we are just assigning points. Already since we announced it last week we are already seeing an incredible response from fans” said Basile.

According to Basile, the idea came up in a K300 board meeting just a few months ago — but they were too excited to wait a year, so they have put it into play for the upcoming race season.

“There are a lot of incredible mushers that only race on the Kuskokwim,” Basile said. “They are not household names outside of our region, so I really hope this just shines a light on some of the great mushing that’s going on out here.”

The reason that the K300 and the Akiak Dash are not including in The Delta Championship Series is because the two races are contested concurrently and the committee didn’t want to make mushers choose which race would help them in the standings.

The first place finisher in a race will receive 10 points, second place will receive nine points and so on, with that process going for all six races. At the end of the season when all the points are tallied, the top three finishers will win the prizes listed below.

  • 1st Place: $5,000 feed order from Underdog Feeds $1,000 freight credit with Northern Air Cargo
  • 2nd Place: $500 freight credit with Northern Air Cargo
  • 3rd Place: $250 freight credit with Northern Air Cargo

As far as the K300 goes, the race is looking even stronger than usual with a list of names that includes Iditarod regulars. Currently there are 25 teams signed up with a total of 30 spots available.

1. Josh McNeal - Ester, AK

2. Matthew Failor - Willow, AK

3. Richie Diehl - Aniak, AK

4. Nicolas Petit - Girdwood, AK

5. Pete Kaiser - Bethel, AK

6. Gabe Dunham - Willow, AK

7. Lev Shvarts - Willow, AK

8. Jeffery Deeter - Fairbanks, AK

9. Tony Browning - Nenana, AK

10. Isaac Underwood - Aniak, AK

11. Travis Beals - Seward, AK

12. Sarah Stokey - Seward, AK

13. Jessica Klejka - Bethel, AK

14. Reese Madden - Nome, AK

15. John Snyder - Akiachak, AK

16. Will Rhodes - Two Rivers, AK

17. Michelle Phillips - Ten Mile, YT, Canada

18. Brent Sass - Eureka, AK

19. Cim Smyth - Big Lake, AK

20. Dave Turner - Fairbanks, AK

21. Paige Drobny - Cantwell, AK

22. Kevin Hansen - Kotzebue, AK

23. Jason Pavila - Kwethluk, AK

24. Twyla Elhardt - Bethel, AK - (R)

25. Jacob Witkop - Salcha, AK

The 2023 Kuskokwim 300 is set to start on January 27th at 6:30 p.m.