RUMFORD – Christal Treadwell can hardly contain her jubilation about this weekend’s motorsports excitement when Black Mountain of Maine hosts snowmobile competitions featuring more than 200 racers.

Only this time, Treadwell, 42, of Dixfield, a 2003 Rock Maple Racing Series SnoX Women’s Legend champion, won’t be competing. The owner of Studio 6, a photography studio in Dixfield, Treadwell will be watching from the sidelines while serving as a volunteer for the Rumford ski area.

“If people have never seen this race before, they’re in for a treat, especially with the semi-pro and pro racers,” Treadwell said Wednesday.

The Rumford ski area is hosting Round 2 of the 10-race 2007-08 Rock Maple Racing Central series snocross tour on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit http://www.skiblackmountain.org/.

The series started two weeks ago at Whaleback Mountain ski area in Enfield, N.H. The Black Mountain races are qualifiers for the Winter X Games in Colorado.

Treadwell said snocross is a form of snowmobile racing akin to dirt bike motocross, except it’s on snow. The year she won the championship and placed fifth in the 600cc class, she was 38 and competing in that class with people ages 16 to 25.

“It’s exciting and, the thing about it, even if you go out for one race and go out later for another, the track is totally different. So it was a challenge, an adrenaline rush, for sure. The semipros and pros make it look so easy, but when you try it, it’s like, Wow!” she said.

For more than 40 percent of the time, professional and semipro and professional racers are in the air, usually 30 feet above the ground.

“It’s a lot more difficult because you have to maintain a certain amount of speed, but you don’t want to fall off. There are a lot of bumps, so you have to get into a rhythm. It’s not like drag racing. It’s more of an obstacle course with turns and jumps and ruts,” Treadwell said.

She got into the sport, because she comes from a family of racing enthusiasts. Her dad, Harvey Treadwell, raced stock cars at Oxford Plains Speedway and, in the 1970s in Bangor, raced snowmobiles in ice ovals.

Her brother, Mike Treadwell, is a professional motocross racer of 20 years and currently competing in Florida. He also competed in snocross in either 1999 or 2000, Christal Treadwell said.

“I went and watched him and always wanted to try it. I did one race in 2001 at Island Pond in Vermont. They make it look easy, but it was tough. I think I held my breath the whole race and had to go do it again the next day,” she said.

But, she was hooked.

She did a few local races the next year. Then, in 2003, she bought a 2001 liquid-cooled 440 Arctic Cat, high octane fuel, equipment, and got sponsors.

One sponsor, Richard Jordan, owner of Jordan’s Lumber and Equipment in Kingfield, is providing a crew and special groomer to create the course at Black Mountain. They are expected to have it ready sometime Thursday.

About 350 racers and crews will begin arriving Friday.

“It was something I’ve always wanted to try and I’m glad I did … I didn’t expect to win. It was a bonus. I was doing it just for the fun of it,” Treadwell said.


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