Nelson Racing Secures First Ever Win at 53rd I-500 Race

SAUL STE. MARIE – After taking the lead on lap 280, Nelson Racing, ridden by Justin Tate and Andy Wenzlaff captured the checkered flag for the team’s first ever win at the I-500 snowmobile race on Saturday night.

The #28 Nelson International (Polaris) team made their third straight appearance at the I-500 race in the U.P. and finished in third place in 2020.

For Justin Tate, a 45-year-old from Scandia, MN and 28-year-old Andy Wenzlaff, form Stevens Point, WI, it’s a satisfying win after years of competing near the top of the leaderboard.

“It was close, but it’s pretty incredible to get back here. Like I said a couple of years ago, we were third so we could do better, but not by much. We managed to come out here and make it happen. It’s incredible. You know, it’s a race that everybody that races snowmobiles wants to check off their list to win. And to be up here in the winner’s circle. And having just done it, it’s crazy. We’re incredibly happy,” said Wenzlaff.

Nelson Racing started the race at the 17 spot and went on to post a winning time of 08:11:36.420 and recorded a lap’s best on 12 with a time of 00:43.840.

It was all Polaris machines in the top five as well with the #44 WV Performance Racing finishing with a career high second place over the #2 Team BLU Racing.

The #18 Nelson Racing entry gave team owner, Ryan Nelson, a first and fourth place finish. #19 Tommie Bauer Racing rounded out the group in fifth place.

For the full results of the final race of the 53rd edition of the I-500, click here.