Polaris snowmobile hillclimber Rick Ward won the coveted Stock King of the Hill title at the 31st annual World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb held March 23-26 on Snow King Mountain overlooking Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Ward set the pace for Polaris as he dominated the Stock competition, winning the World Championships in Pro Masters Stock and Pro 600 Stock. He went on to compete for – and win – the overall Stock King of the Hill title.
Ward made the two fastest Stock runs up the mountain, the fastest coming on a sled with a Liberty 900 Cleanfireâ„¢ Injection (CFI) engine, and the second-fastest on a sled powered by the Liberty 600 HO.
â€œOur strong showing was the result of a total team effort that was led by Rick Ward, one of the best-organized and most-successful competitors in hillclimb history,â€ said Polaris Racing Manager Tom Rager, Sr. â€œOut West, Rick is in charge of our hillclimb program, and this World Championship success is testimony to his leadership skills.â€
Along with Ward, from Sugar City, Idaho, the Polaris team effort claimed five World Championships. Hillclimb legend Kirk Williamson, from Logan, Utah, finished second behind Ward in Pro Masters Modified, and he led a 1-2-3 Polaris sweep in the highly competitive Pro 600 Modified class. Williamson won Pro 600 Modified followed by Sandy Sletten of Pinedale, Wyoming, and Brook Beckstrom of Spanish Fork, Utah, in second and third, respective.
In the Women’s class, Shannon Barngrover of Spring Creek, Nevada, won the World Championship on a Polaris.
Polaris also took three of the top four spots in Pro Masters Stock. Ward took first followed by David Sharp of Moxee, Washington, and Brad Sharp took fourth. Polaris also finished 1-2 in Pro Masters Modified with Ward winning and Williamson taking second.
Polaris racers won 18 Pro podium spots, led by Ward, who earned podium positions in three classes. Both Shane Hart and Kirk Williamson finished in the top three in two classes.