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is a pretty proud accomplishment. It definitely makes winning sweeter when you finish 1 2, Bunke, a native of Moorhead, Minn., said of his two sleds grabbing the Converse Chuck Taylor 2 Grey top two spots. a testament to hard work and a good group of guys. I can't say enough about all of our drivers.
snow dust just kept hanging in the air, he said. had difficulty seeing from one flagman to the other flagman.
With Bunke in front, Faust retook the lead on Lap 440, only to give it back to Bunke 11 laps later.
Aboard No. 74, Bunke finished just 1.725 seconds ahead of the No. 537 of Faust.
just as happy had he won it, said Bunke. I'm sure he (Faust) feels the same way. Ryan is a tremendous driver.
While he agreed with the decision to end the race early, Bunke said he thought visibility definitely better than it was last year. Last year was tremendously hazardous.
almost sick about it, said I 500 race director Bill Cryderman, a Michigan Sault native. was a tough decision.
That, Cryderman continued, was unacceptable.
The winner of three I 500s as lead driver and one as a backup, Bunke also finished a mere 18.289 seconds ahead of Mike Babcock of 131 Racing.
Ironically, Bunke Racing also built Babcock's No. 131 Polaris and a member of Bunke Racing, Bobby Menne of Virginia, Minn., drove backup for Babcock on Saturday.
gave each other space, Faust, a Rubicon, Wisc., native said of the way in which the teammates competed hard, yet respected the other. made sure we didn't make any stupid moves in front of the other guy. And after that, may the best man win.
Though unpopular with some spectators, the decision to suspend the race apparently wasn't made in haste.
agreed it was too dangerous to continue, Cryderman added. is No. 1 for the racers and for my officials.
his third I 500 appearance, Faust spoke of how tiring the race was and how he wanted to win. But I'm happy for Gabe to have it. I've got a few years in front of me.
Gabe Bunke WINS I
safety threat for both drivers and officials.
Thirty six year old Gabe Bunke, the team owner of both Polaris machines, won his second consecutive International 500 snowmobile race edging 24 year old Ryan Faust in a shortened, 454 lap event.
Babcock also said he agreed with Cryderman's decision, but the 25 year veteran of the race added: weren't the worst conditions I've ever been in here. But when the flagmen can't see each other, it's dangerous.
The 36 year old spoke of how he consulted with other race committee members and polled numerous drivers.
Babcock, a native of nearby Rudyard, Mich., also completed 454 laps.
Bunke and Faust spent the final 200 laps jockeying back and forth for top spot.
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Cryderman explained how the wind began to die down once the sun went down.
their call, Bunke said of race officials ending proceedings early Saturday. do agree with it. I didn't want to see anybody get hurt. But the win would have been sweeter if we could have done 500 laps.
Under a yellow flag, the 45th annual race was suspended when it was determined snow dust on the track had become a Converse All Star Womens Size 8
Track conditions were soft and sloppy a year ago, the result of unseasonably warm temperatures. Mud splashed up constantly and drivers had problems with it sticking to their goggles.
Snow dust is made up of fine snow crystals driven by the wind.
Asked if the teammates offered each other assistance as they fought for the lead, Bunke said: we helped each other. We're pulling fuel out of the same barrel.
Bunke's backup driver, Aaron Christensen of Metiskow, Alta., said he thought visibility tough. It was way worse than it was last year. That snow dust just hangs in the air.
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