Todd Elmer Gets up after a
bad rear-end collision.

God bless the Internet. Jim Smith of Oregon noticed my story about Todd Elmer crashing one of Steve Thorsen’s 1978 440 machines. Lo and behold, Jim was there that day and took this photo of the accident!

“I was at the World Series in West Yellowstone and saw Todd Elmer slam into Team Abold racer, Ray Risnick. I snapped a couple of photos of the wreck just after it happened. The photo I have attached is that of Todd just getting to his feet after the incident. His sled has welded it’s self to Risnicks. It’s hard to make out any distinguishing marks on the RXL, NGK, #17, maybe a better eye then mine might see something else.”

You can see in the photo that the RXL is darn near bent in the middle, and it smashed the Cat tunnel half way up the sled – look close you can see the RXL skis are not too far from the Cat’s handlebars! Looks a little like that RXL wanted to be more then just friends with the Cat. What we can’t tell is if it is a 440 or 440-X machine. Mr. Smith told me that Ray Risnick ran both classes. I can see a slight bit of metal under the hood of the RXL, but no way to tell if it is aluminum or Magnesium. Todd’s number (17) has been hastily put on the hood.

Next up for the sled I’ve found (See Uber Treasure story below) is to get the motor bolted in, then look up Mr. Steve Thorsen and see if he’s at all interested at looking at it and if she jars any memories. I’m also hunting down more 1978 photos of all the 440X sleds to see if there are any other distinguishing marks, rivet holes, scratches, mounting holes or other clues to identify it properly.

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