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The passion, triumph, dominance and tragedy of one of the most successful efforts in motor sports: The Polaris professional race team

Thu, Aug 15th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Arts & Culture

Starfire Kids - Midnight Blue Express is the unauthorized and previously untold true story of the men and their machines from Roseau, Minn. who rose to fame and fortune in the brutal, challenging and often very dangerous sport of snowmobile racing in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The Polaris team dominated in an ever-increasing fashion during those years when the sports popularity reached unimaginable popularity. But a tragic accident claimed the life of one of the team’s brightest stars, ending it all in March of 1978.

Thirty-five years later, the survivors who lived it opened up and told the real story of how an often under-estimated group of farmers, inventors and mechanics became the best of the best and are now among the biggest legends of the sport.

Author Larry Preston is a software executive, but is best known in the snowmobile world as the founder of vintagesleds.com, with over 180,000 visitors looking at five million pages each month. Larry interviewed almost everyone involved with the Polaris race team over a five-year period, and then compiled the interviews with press accounts from the time. The book also includes seventy-five photos - most of which have never been seen by the general public before.

A special event will take place in Rushford, Minnesota on August 31, featuring some of the racers and mechanics from the book themselves, and a special display of 60’s and 70’s era factory Polaris race machines, including the World Champion, #1 SnoPro sled of Rushford’s own Jerry Bunke, as well as a 1976 Polaris SnoPro piloted by Jerry Bunke, and the biggest, baddest machines of the Midnight Blue Express. One of the Midnight Blue Express machines will even be started for the event. Polaris legend Bob Eastman and others from the book will be on hand for autographs, along with author Larry Preston.

Starfire Kids Midnight Blue Express will be on sale for $49.95 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. adjacent to the Nordic Lanes/Creamery in Rushford. There will be a tent there as well for the display.

Books ordered via http://starfirekids.com are now shipping, and there will be a booth at Princeton on August 24, and a booth with Gabe Bunke at Hay Days on September 7.

For more information, email info@starfirekids.com or call (763) 267-7800

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