NEWRY — An estimated 10,000 people watched the third annual Red Bull Frozen Rush races Friday at Sunday River Ski Resort’s South Ridge trail.

Driver Bryce Menzies won his second Frozen Rush in a row, going head-to-head with other professional drivers racing off-road trucks. Taking second was Ricky Johnson and third was Rob MacCachren.

Red Bull broadcast all of Friday’s race live on their Frozen Rush website.

A helicopter commissioned by Sunday River flew over the course, filming as the trucks sped up the hills, kicked up snow going around corners, and rocketed back toward the finish line.

The races, which kicked off at 11:30 a.m., had a thrilling start after driver Scott Douglas took a turn too fast near the finish line and flipped his vehicle onto its roof. Douglas was not injured.

Shortly after, Ricky Johnson was racing against CJ Greaves in the quarterfinals when Greaves, who had been behind for most of the race, nearly made a comeback in the waning seconds.


Johnson, who won the event in 2014 and was the runner-up to Menzies in 2015, made it back to the finals to face off against Menzies.

However, it was Menzies’ deft hands at making sharp turns and a minor mistake by Johnson that led to Menzies taking first place for the second year in a row.

Thousands of people were lined up in the spectator area to watch the head-to-head races, with some children being lifted into the air on their parents’ shoulders to see over the sea of spectators. Electronic and rap music pulsing through the speakers would give way to AC/DC and other classic rock between races.

Buzz Buzzell, a retired paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and a master engineer with Central Maine Harley-Davidson in Hermon, said it was his first time attending the Red Bull Frozen Rush, and the excitement was enough to encourage a return visit if Sunday River brings the event back next year.

“I took the day off from working on Harleys to come down to Newry and watch the cars race,” Buzzell said. “It’s been really cool to watch. It seems like a good event for the area.”

Buzzell said he enjoys outdoor activities such as riding motorcycles, snowmobiles and four-wheelers, and the Frozen Rush race fit perfectly into his repertoire of interests.


“Oh, I’ll definitely come back if they do this again next year,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Dana Willey, who grooms the trails for his snowmobile club in Newburgh, said he also enjoyed the races but wished the spectator area was “graded a little higher.”

“For those of us standing in back, the ground is lower, which makes it hard to see over the heads of everyone else,” Willey said. “If they graded it a little higher, we’d be able to see the race better.”

Rumford resident Eric Giroux, who was watching the races with his son near the start line, said he enjoyed the race and it reminded him of the New England Forest Rally race in the summer in northern Oxford County, as well as the snowmobile races at Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford.

“I feel like something like this should be held at Black Mountain,” Giroux said. “It’s an amazing event, and it could be good for Rumford if they had an event this big.”

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