NEWRY — For some, it’s enough of an adrenaline rush to ski or snowboard down a mountain in January when the snow is hard and the trails fast.

On Friday, getting to both snowboard and watch a truck race amounted to the perfect winter thrill for others.

“It’s insane. This is crazy. It’s amazing to shred down and then stop and watch this. It gets your blood pumping,” said snowboarder Chelsey Small, a sophomore at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston who drove up to Sunday River in Newry for the first Red Bull Frozen Rush truck race.

Friday’s event is believed to be the first-ever ski area truck race. And while Emily Connor, a spokeswoman for the sponsor, Red Bull, said future ski area truck races are uncertain, many among the thousands of fans who came said the spectacle was worth watching.

The race held Friday at Sunday River will be aired on NBC before the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

Liz Getchell of York took the day off from work to drive up. She’s not a racing fan, just a Sunday River skier. But Getchell said she wanted to see trucks competing uphill and over jumps at her ski mountain.


“This is incredible,” Getchell said. “It has a new appeal. I would think this is big for the sport (of racing). There was such a line of cars waiting to get in here at 10:30 to 11 (this morning). There was a huge line of traffic.”

Getchell, like many who lined the fenced-off spectator area, could not see much of the race. But nobody seemed to care.

The race drew 4,000 to 5,000 spectators, said Nick Lambert, Sunday River’s vice president of marketing.

Hundreds stood holding their cellphones and iPads up to video-record the trucks flying through the air. Children and adults sat on the shoulders of friends or family members.

Tim Stinchfield and Nick Brown of Mexico stood at the bottom of the ski hill, below the race start line.

They watched the trucks flying up the hill and then turned to the jumbo TV screens to catch the jumps. They said they were thrilled to be there.


Brown, the president of the Mexico snowmobile club, and Stinchfield, a fellow snowmobiler, are auto racing fans. To see a race on a 10-degree day outdoors in the sun was their idea of fun.

“We definitely would come if they held this again. And we’d bring a pile of people with us,” Stinchfield said.

Mark Damon of Poland and his 6-year-old son, Noah, had to move five times before they could see the trucks, and Noah sat atop his dad’s shoulders.

“This is the best place I could find,” Damon said from a spot where he had a view of the trucks passing.

Damon, who took the day off from work, said it was worth it. Noah smiled and nodded.

“I thought they’d both be racing from a line. But I like this,” Damon said of the time trial.


Six- to 8-foot walls of solid snow and concrete kept the spectators safe. The spiked studs on the tires helped the trucks hug the short track of ski trails and jumps.

Arthur Manzer put in for a vacation day at Hancock Lumber in Bethel to see his first truck race on snow. The motor-sports fan from Peru said it was well worth it.

“This could be a new sport. Definitely, it has the makings. It’s different,” said Manzer, 24.

Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: FlemingPph

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