Hibbert continues unbeaten streak
Arctic Cat rider sweeps Pro classes at Canterbury
Story by Snowmobile.com Staff, Jan. 12, 2009Email a friend Print Friendly RSS
With his unbeaten streak on the line and the competitors hungry to end it, Hibbert foiled their efforts once again by gaining the lead on the first lap by overcoming the holeshot lead of fellow Cat rider Brett Turcotte and proceeding to check-out. In his wake, a swarm of Polaris red led by Levi LaVallee, DJ Eckstrom and Ross Martin followed Turcotte.
In the early laps, Eckstrom went wide and off the track, shuffling him back in the pack while TJ Gulla (Polaris) picked off Robbie Malinoski (Ski-Doo) and settled into fifth place. The running order remained Hibbert, Turcotte, LaVallee, Martin and Gulla until lap 13, when Martin and LaVallee began to battle for third, swapping the spot several times over the course of five laps.
The grueling 26-lap final was prolonged when Malinoski, who was running sixth at the time, had some trouble on lap 19 that forced a red flag and a single file restart for the remaining seven laps. With the field tightened up, the chance for Hibbert to be knocked off his game was on once again, but a clean restart put him in the clear for the win. A late lap charge by Gulla put the finishing order at the flag Hibbert, Turcotte, Gulla, LaVallee and Martin.
In Pro-Super Stock a melee’ immediately following the start set the stage as Ryan Simons (Arctic Cat), Gulla, Martin and Andrew Johnstad (Polaris), all legitimate podium contenders, were forced to regroup and/or re-tether and work from deep behind the leaders. That set the stage for another Hibbert victory, continuing his unbeaten streak for the season and further securing his points lead.
At the close of the first lap of the 26-lap final, it was Hibbert edging out Polaris pilots LaVallee and Brett Bender with Garth Kaufman (Arctic Cat), Eckstrom, Turcotte and Shaun Crapo (Polaris) rounding out the top seven riders in the 16-rider field. The running order remained consistent for over half the race.
While the Tucker Hibbert show continued at the front, it was Garth Kaufman who perhaps put on the second most impressive ride of the night, as he slowly edged towards the front, picking off Bender on lap 16 and then having an impressive battle with LaVallee during the closing laps. The two swapped the bridesmaid position several times during the closing laps, with Kaufman eventually getting the bouquet. At the line is was Hibbert, who lapped every sled in the field except the top four riders, followed by Kaufman, LaVallee, Bender and Eckstrom to complete the top five.
In Semi-Pro, the ride of the weekend came from Ski-Doo pilot Tim Tremblay, who gave Ski-Doo its first major win of the season with an impressive ride, charging from fifth place after the close of the first lap, and taking the checkered in front of Dan Ebert (Arctic Cat) and Derek Ellis (Polaris) at the line. Notably missing from the top finishers was early season podium regular and Swedish standout, Christian Salemark who experienced an early race get-off and failed to return to the race.
In what proved to be one of the most exciting races of the evening, a series of battles shaped up early as Ebert held the lead with Alaskan rider Cory Davis (Arctic Cat), Mike Bauer (Polaris), and Derek Ellis (Polaris) tightly in tow. By lap eight, Davis made the pass on teammate Ebert and looked to be the clear winner of the race as the laps began to wind down. However, a mechanical problem on the second to last lap opened the door for the hard-charging Tremblay.
ACSS Pro Open Standings:
|1.||Tucker Hibbert||Arctic Cat||111|
|4.||Brett Turcotte||Arctic Cat||82|
ACSS Pro Super Stock Standings:
|1.||Tucker Hibbert||Arctic Cat||111|
|4.||Ryan Simons||Arctic Cat||74|
|5.||Garth Kaufman||Arctic Cat||72|
Hibbert to put helmet up for auction