From about 1973 on, Polaris has had strong 340cc race motors. But a few 340 Polaris race motors appeared to have been truly blessed by the gods of racing: Stan Haye’s 1974 340 only lost one race all year. Larry Rugland’s 1975 340 got much the same blessing. Jerry Bunke’s 340 in 1977 appeared to be the hot ticket, and Archie Simonson’s 77 TXL motor was radared at an astonishing 107 mph on a particularly long stretch of Balsam Lake Wisconsin. Brad Huling’s 1978 340 was nearly untouchable.
So why did these particular 340cc motors do so well? No one really knows. Polaris tried relentlessly to duplicate it all those years and never could. It just happens.
Over the last couple of seasons, Jacob Goede’s 1973 340cc Starfire seems to have drawn the same lucky straw from the universe. The motor in that sled (built by Larry Dreesen of Performance Unlimited) is faster than 98% of the 440’s it meets on the track. It has never broken down, and it starts insanely easy. Why? Well frankly, Team 3G Racing would like to know as well. You’d expect something fancy and exotic in a motor like that, but there is nothing. No extra ports, no peanut-ports, nothing. It’s barely even ported. Other than the motor having some sort of super-hero powers, the sled has a standard 116″ rubber racing track, a Wahl Brothers rear skid, Anderson skis and a heavily re-enforced front end.
In 2011, Jacob and his brother Matt did not win a single division of the SnoPro series (although Matt went on to win the overall points) because they were always swapping sleds around. But it was clear in 2011 that the 340 was indeed kind of special. So this year, Jacob devoted the 340 to the SnoPro classes – and it did not disappoint. He won every single race with it. The remainder of Jacob’s wins in Snopro were on his monster 650cc F/A Starfire.
“When the prizes were announced for the SnoPro series, there was some stuff in there I really wanted – like the cylinder re-chroming from U.S. Chrome and the carbon fiber parts from Patrick Custom Carbon. So sticking to the 340 seemed like the smartest thing.” Jacob said.
And what about the 340 RXL that Jacob races? “It handles perfect and it’s a blast to drive. But the motor is really under powered making it way more of a challenge to race with some of the best guys out there. Actually the 650 is my least favorite. Not because of the speed, but because it’s really hard to put it into close proximity of anyone else because it bounces so bad. I love getting in close to the other drivers and making a race out of it. I can do that all day with the 340 F/A… it’s just all about close, tough, fun racing.”
The Goede family 3g Racing team is made up of people who have full time jobs. After a tough weekend like Ironwood (where Jacob flipped the RXL on top of an 8 foot fence, breaking his foot in 4 places) when they have little time to prepare for Eagle River, the two sleds they feel need the most work go up on the stands first. Every night after work is a work-till-you-drop affair, with the sleds getting all the attention they can possibly give them.
Eagle River was a tougher event for the team than it had been in awhile. Jacob was dealing with the broken foot (although no one noticed) and Matt on his 440 crashed during the heat races and banged up his left elbow enough that every bump was new experience – and Todd Krikke was right there, never giving Matt and inch. The World Championship was a real disappointment for Jacob. The monster 650 was running at it’s best when he was thrown and the machine hit the fence, destroying both the chassis and the fence. Jacob was unhurt.
“It was just going so well. I really wanted to win the last of the 650cc races. But it wasn’t in the cards. Todd [Krikke] and his crew did a great job. They earned it.”
Just two weeks later the destroyed 650 was back on the track like nothing had ever happened.
It was a tough call for the team at the last race of the year. They really wanted to participate in the Beausejour 50th Anniversary.. but the Hetteen cup in Glenwood, Minnesota was closer and something Jacob wanted to go after again. He made a good choice, becaming a two-time winner of the coveted event. He had some help from Matt to win that one: The way the race works, the more classes you enter, the better your chances. So Matt let Jacob drive his sleds in almost all the classes.
Jacob recently got married to Erica Goede whom he met partially through racing stock cars. They just had their first baby, so Erica took the year off from stock car racing, but the family is already planning showing their newest member the joys of going fast. “I’ve been going fast since I was 7 years old. I just love it. I can’t describe it, but I get the same feeling in a car or on a sled – I just want to beat the other guy and win. I just like the competition” Jacob said.
He continued: “People who race are what makes this all so much fun. You’re racing buddies get to be your friends and your second family where everyone helps each other out, and we always look for where we can help others. It’s just the way it is, and I can’t imagine what we would do without that.”
Jacob is now the 8th winner of the Vintage SnoPro Series. His brother Matt was the 2nd place high-point earner. They would like to thank Larry Dreesen, John and Lisa Goede, Erica Goede, Arctic Restorations, Goose Lake Auto Parts, all the people involved with the SnoPro Series, Mike Weindandt, Mark Anderson, Jim Haug, Doug Monson and all the other racers they get to race with every weekend.
Here’s an excellent video of 3G racing’s outstanding 2011 year from BRAAP Videos: