When most people think of winter sports, their minds usually go to hockey, skiing or even indoor basketball. For Kellen Chapuran, however, winter means snocross season. Kellen’s father, Mike, used to race snowmobiles back in his early 20s and had always hoped his son would want to race, too. Just before Kellen turned 2 years old, he received his first snowmobile. And by age 4, Kellen was starting to race. Now at 11, Kellen regularly participates in competitive snocross events.
Kellen’s favorite things about racing are flying high over the jumps and moguls on the track, the competition, and hanging out with friends in between races. “I unfortunately don’t have any friends that are from the Edina area that race with me,” he says. He has, however, made several lasting friendships throughout his eight years of snowmobile racing. “We not only hang out during the racing season, but also the whole year,” says Kellen. In a season, Kellen enters about 20 to 25 races and competes in two different classes and on three different circuits. Needless to say, if he’s not at the track racing on a weekend, he’s at the track practicing.
Kellen’s race team name is KC Racing and he wears the number 254. “My whole family is involved and part of the team,” says Kellen. “My parents and sister travel with me to each race and support my goal of becoming a professional snocross racer.” The snowmobile race season usually begins around Thanksgiving and continues through March. If you’re interested in attending a race, there are two meets in Minnesota this month. The first is at Quadna Mountain Park in Hill City on February 11 and 12; another is at ERX Motorpark in Elk River on February 23.