The International 500 Snowmobile Endurance Race that takes place annually in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, is renowned as the most challenging and prestigious snowmobile race globally. It draws competitors and fans alike for its grueling 500 laps around a one-mile oval track made of ice. Drivers reach speeds around the 120mph mark as they attempt to complete the full 500 miles and take home the coveted title of I-500 Winner.
The I-500 one-mile oval track in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan.
MYLAPS provides the official timing at the I-500 race and has been the official timing provider for the race for the past decade with Balton Aulls behind the computers in the timing booth.
Balton Aulls of MYLAPS in the official timing booth at the I-500.
“It just seems to get bigger each year. The publicity keeps reaching new parts of the industry. It is amazing how many in the car racing world keep up with the I-500 here, especially after last year’s finish,” Aulls said.
Inside the official timing booth positioned at the finish line, Aulls is behind the computer screens overseeing the MYLAPS X2 Timing System in action. “Each snowmobile is equipped with a transponder, and when it crosses the underground line with each lap, it registers on our computers. I see exactly which transponder comes up with timing,” Aulls explained.
Reflecting on last year’s photo finish between Tommie Bauer Racing and D.L. Racing, Aulls admitted the excitement made it challenging not to become a fan. “It’s hard not to become a fan or spectator with this kind of race. It’s a race like I had never seen before. But we have a job to do and do our thing,” Aulls added.
As MYLAPS marked its 40th anniversary last year, Aulls emphasized the company’s enduring success. “We have been around a long time, and we’re not going anywhere,” he stated confidently.