BRANDS REPRESENTED: Polaris, Yamaha & Arctic Cat
COMPETITION TYPE: Oval, Cross- Country & Snocross
DATE OF INDUCTION: February 13, 2016
CAREER SPAN: 1980 – Present
One of the most formidable and accomplished racers of the 1980’s and 1990’s, Steve Houle of Forest Lake, Minn., amassed a stunning record of wins and championships in the highest levels of oval, snocross and cross-country competition. Houle’s fiery competitveness and keen mechanical knowledge were key ingredients to his individual racing success from 1980 until his retirement in 1996, as well as the remarkable success of his aftermarket and racing companies, Speedwerx and Hot Seat Performance.
His first racing success came in the early 1980’s in cross-country, where he won the cross- country World Championships, World Series and high point titles in CCC competing on Polaris and Yamaha machines. Houle focused on snocross and ice-lemans racing in the mid-1980’s as a member of the Yamaha “Dream Team”. He captured three consecutive championships in MRP as well as World Series titles and he won the coveted Toyota/Yamaha Formula Challenge three consecutive seasons in 1986-1988, piling up more than 50 individual class victories. In the late 1980’s Houle returned to Polaris and became on of the most decorated oval racers of his era, claiming eight wins at the Eagle River World Championships – including the 1993 Formula III title – plus three World Series titles. He amassed more than 60 total wins in oval competition, including 16 career Formula III victories and a string of 18 consecutive wins in the Mod II class. Houle returned to his cross-country roots in the mid-1990’s to notch multiple victories in ISOC during its first heyday.
Houle’s racing and business success were possible in large part to his remarkable engineering and tuning talent, his unrelenting work ethic and desire to win. After winding down his own career in the late 1990’s, Houle launched Hot Seat and Speedwerx to develop high-performance engines, clutching, snowmobile race sleds and more. Since then, racers using Speedwerx-built engines and clutching have amassed a Pro class win record that includes more than 120 national snocross victories; 28-plus X Games medals (including more than 12 gold medals) in a variety of disciplines; 68-plus World and National championships; and 16 Jackson Hole World Championship hillclimb titles.