Gear Grinder – The Black Flag


Levi Ensrud is a a former snocross racer and long-time tour mechanic who is currently Tim Tremblay’s go-to guy on the Scheuring Speed Sports team, as well as part-time truck driver. He is also one of the most opinionated guys on the tour who, often time, raises some valid points in his rants.  To add fuel to Levi’s fire, email  geargrinder@snox365.com

Well, I think it’s time to do something in our our sport that hasn’t been done. With every race season there’s always the same problem and that is the black flag; how to use it and when the call should be made, etc.

Once again this season, at the half way mark, we’ve had two huge black flag incidents. When oh when is the way we go about this change? This season things were gonna be different. The way it was going to be this year was if the situation happens let’s the race play out and evaluate the situation and then make a decision and penalize from there? I’m not standing up for anyone “starts with T rhymes with smucker and starts with K and rhymes with scam” haha – hey those were the two bugaboos this weekend right?

Anyway, we need to change how things are done because when these calls are made the repercussions are huge to the teams and puts them down a race. I’ve been on both sides of the coin on this one so my thought on this deal is why don’t we make it so there is a way to review it in an instant replay kinda deal with the Snox365.com’s biggest fan, race director Carl “side note there is no auto correct for polish spelling on the I phone so I’m not gonna spell it wrong lol” and let him make the call and then that’s final. Like the NFL reviews plays to make calls right. This would take the emotion out of who made the call and then the teams would have to try and plead their case to Carl? I mean what I’m saying here isn’t perfect but hey it’s an idea right. You guys be the judge, this should at least stir the pot eh?

Everyone sure doesn’t like the Deadwood track For the most part it’s small, not that many fans, etc. You know what? They’re wrong! It was by far was the two best races I’ve seen in snocross in a long time since all the racing happened amongst the leaders!! Friday night we had a new race winner, and a huge deal when Tremblay passed Kamm and ran into the back of #99. Then Kamm taking his second win of his career and T-Train black flagged for jumping under yellow. Then Saturday night Kamm black flagged and Tremblay leading only to be ran down by what was, in my eyes, the most amazing win I’ve seen Tucker take, that was unreal!!

In Pro Lite mayhem on both nights with leaders crashing, guys getting shuffled around. Crazy huh? So everyone doesn’t like the tight tracks and the fan base might not be huge as some other venues but hey, bar none, last weekend was wicked racing that all happened up front!! Hope it stays this way the rest of the season!!

Now come on people I’m dying to be able have someone email me a question to answer. I want to be able to say two things about the race weekend and have one or two questions on here for me to reply to. Come on now!! geargrinder@snox365.com


  1. Mike Parks

    February 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Watched the races at Deadwood via internet and thought they were great. Deadwood track is like Bristol for snowmobiles with all the bumping and grinding. The issue for watching over the internet was the feed that was erratic.

    Question: Are all the sleds the same with horsepower and torque? Can they be set up for either more horsepower or more torque? Thanks!

    • StevenZ91

      February 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Hey Mike,

      Yes and no to the sled question. The stock class sleds are pretty similar. Stock motors and the only other thing that is not stock is clutching, skis, and suspension work. The mod sleds are pretty much stock class sleds but with aftermarket dual pipes vs a single pipe, clutching, suspension, but in the mod class you can modify the chassis. But still no motor mods such as porting, over boring or any of that jazz is allowed. 🙁

  2. StevenZ91

    February 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I agree the black flag and it usage needs some revision. Like you said, it can cost the team a whole race which can be detrimental to a series points standing. There needs to be some kind of instant replay of how things go down or in really serious matters such as someone getting ejected off their sled as a result of a salty block pass, the helmet cameras from the riders involved should be examined and a call should then be made. Now as far as the black flag, I think they should enact a system such as in soccer. First time they believe you to be doing some overly aggressive riding, the rider gets a warning. If the rider does not back off and continues to be overly aggressive, then the black flag is brought out and the punishment occurs. Officials have to realize that with the conditions this past weekend of Deadwood being such a tight and small track that there was going to be some “interesting” riding that was going to take place. I don’t agree with the officials black flag of Kamm on day two because from my eyes I saw Kamm get rammed from behind into Hibbert which sent him flying off track. Now Hibbert’s black flag for accidentally jumping on a yellow is a little much, but still he knows not to jump on a yellow and he did so. Now another thing that would have to be looked into for a change in the black flag rulings is what constitutes “rough” or “overly aggressive” riding. If taken the wrong way, any rider getting within inches of another rider in a tight corner could be defined as such. Heck, even the 120 class riders could be black flagged haha. Now as far as the racing this past weekend. Holy bananas!!! That was some of the best racing this whole season. Kody Kamm beat Hibbert and Hibbert coming from dead last to first. Just plain awesome! Now some people are going to argue, no, I know they will argue on Kamm’s win on day one. But really it was only a matter of time before someone beat Hibbert and if it was anyone else every Hibbert fan and cat fan are going to get butt hurt over it regardless. Hibbert got beat, life moves on! As far as the track conditions, not every track can be large like the others. I think it was a nice break up of things and made for some great racing. Speaking of which Trevor Leighton holy crap!!!!! Boosting the wall!?!?!? I don’t know how that dude stands up with the kahunahs of steel he has between his legs haha. Ok done with my book long comment haha