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Cannonball Run 2024 Brings Mix of Youth and Experience to Storied Snowmachine Race

April 23, 2024

Ben Townsend, News Director

Lying flat on their backs, racers stare intently into the overcast sky over Nome. Their hearts pound in anticipation, envisioning the chaotic sprint to their snow machines. Each second their adrenaline levels raise as they mentally rehearse the mad dash through the powdery snow to their snowmachines. The start horn suddenly pierces the crisp 36 degree air as the 2024 Cannonball Race begins.

The Cannonball Snowmachine Race sponsored by the Bering Sea Lions Club returned to Nome Saturday, April 20 and drew enthusiasts and competitors from across the region. This year 14 racers ranging from 16 to 38 years old entered to compete. Kevin McDaniel-Farley was the youngest competitor, yet kept his nerves intact as he laid on his back waiting for the start horn.

“I was wondering what I was going to do once I got on my machine and just wondering when it’s going to start.” McDaniel-Farley said.

He said his strategy was to take it easy at the beginning, knowing he wouldn’t come in first on the first lap. Over the course of the five-lap race, McDaniel-Farley finished in third.

“It feels great to be the youngest one in this competition and getting third because I was going to do junior but it was only me. I was surprised to get third in the big boys class.” McDaniel-Farley said. 

Pit crews were on hand to quickly refuel oil and gas in the snowmachines operating at their limits. 

In the highly competitive Open class, 31 year old Nome resident Nicholas Reader claimed victory with his Polaris XCR 850. He was closely followed by Louis Green III and Wilson Hoogendorn, who finished second and third respectively. James Horner finished in fourth. 

The 0-600cc category saw 27 year old Casey Sherman taking the top spot, outpacing his competitors on his Skidoo Renegade 600. Haylen O’Conner secured the second place, with Kevin McDaniel-Farley finishing in third and Tony Haugen, Jr. in fourth.

Ryder Magnuson was the first to scratch from the race. Andy Peterson, Cody Sherman, and Taylor McDaniel also scratched. 

First-place winners in each class received $2,089 as well as ½ oz of gold, second place $1,566.75, and third $1,044.50. Fourth place finishers received $522.25. An additional $100 was awarded to the first racer in each class to navigate through the ‘hole’ in the breakwater, with Wilson Hoogendorn and Casey Sherman earning the Hole Shot award in their respective classes. 


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