Taking a Look at Snowmobiling International I-500

The first Snowmobiling I-500 race took place in 1969 and is a volunteer based organization located in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. The site is constructed of gravel and clay on an old creek which was originally used as an ammunition dump in WWII. The track is made up of 1,800,000 gallons of water, which takes 3 weeks to be transported in by three 8000 gallon tankers. In 1996 the temperature was -31 Fahrenheit, which made it the coldest race day in history.

Thrill of the Sport

The I-500 can be compared to watching Nascar as drivers race at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. Some of the facts are:

  • The track is a one mile ice track and the I-500 is the largest event in the Upper Peninsula.
  • There are approximately 38 drivers.
  • Insurance Required
  • Membership Insurance Program is mandatory for drivers, however it is optional for crew members.
  • The ISR/USAC provides medical insurance for all drivers at great rate and coverage must be in place prior to the event.

Coverage also includes protection for any legal issues that may arise, promoters receive a reduction in liability costs, uniform protection, and keeping the event safe and fair.


Drivers must arrive a week prior to the race to qualify in the time trials until approximately mid week.

Emergency Vehicle

It is mandatory to have a licensed and equipped emergency vehicle at the I-500 event to apply onsite medical care and transport injured persons to a medical facility.

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