DATE OF INDUCTION: February 20, 2010
CAREER SPAN: 1968–2007
BRANDS REPRESENTED: Polaris
AGE AT INDUCTION: 67
With passion, knowledge and a bearish work ethic, Ray Monsrud of Roseau, Minnesota, turned a 40-year career at Polaris into a shining example of the power and impact one person can have within the sport he loves. He was a decorated racer, Polaris Race Director and gracious company representative, and was renowned for the formation of an independent race team that dominated throughout the 1980’s.
Monsrud’s racing success included prominent oval wins in Eagle River and West Yellowstone, as well as heartbreaking near-misses in the Winnipeg-to-St. Paul I-500. When he became the Polaris Race Director in 1975, Monsrud combined his passion and knowledge of cross-country with an independent, everyone-is-equal team concept. The result was a racing dynasty that dominated terrain competition for two decades, winning the lion’s share of races and championships and setting win records that may never be equaled. In the late 1970’s Monsrud convinced Polaris to enter experimental-class, cross-country racing, which led to the development of the ground-breaking Indy snowmobile that eventually catapulted Polaris into the industry sales leader.
A personable and fair-minded manager, Monsrud represented Polaris at media, dealer and public events for more than a decade, and positively impacting thousands of customers. Monsrud’s wisdom that snowmobile racing is a sport of people and relationships, rather than merely machines and results, fostered an enduring loyalty and respect among “His” racers and peers.