Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad are just 35 miles away from putting another Iron Dog snowmachine race victory beneath their belts, with Team 16 the first through North Pole Saturday morning.
Race standings as of 11:30 a.m. Saturday show Minnick and Olstad as the only team through the 2,000-mile race's final checkpoint at 11:29 a.m. Their closest competition, Marc McKenna and Dusty VanMeter in Team 17, blasted through Nenana, 112 miles short of Fairbanks, at 10:49 a.m.
Mike Morgan and Chris Olds in Team 10 -- the race's longtime leaders, until mechanical issues kept them in Galena for 10 hours of repairs Friday -- left Manley Hot Springs, some 110 miles back along the trail from Nenana, at 9:58 a.m.
A thirteenth team has scratched from the race, with Christopher Collins and Lawrence Jones in Team 34 leaving the race after checking out of Ruby Friday night.
Channel 2 will air the Iron Dog’s finish live from Fairbanks Saturday. The finish can also be watched live within Channel 2 service areas on the station's mobile app, Airwave AK.