Team Arctic pilot sweeps for sixth and seventh wins of season
In the AMSOIL Championship Snocross series’ inaugural running of the U.S. 27 Motorsports Snocross National at Turtle Creek Casino outside of Traverse City, Mich., Tucker Hibbert put on a racing clinic, sweeping the Pro Open main events for his sixth and seventh wins in 10 races this season.
In Friday night’s main event, Monster Energy/Polaris‘ rookie Pro Open class racer Kody Kamm grabbed the holeshot. But Hibbert (Monster Energy/Arctic Cat) would nail a solid start as well, which meant trouble for Kamm and the rest of the field as the former multi-time AMSOIL Championship Snocross champ got past Kamm two turns later and, for all intents and purposes, was on his way to the 75th win of his career.
“I definitely was motivated this week. We had a pretty mediocre weekend last week at Deadwood (SD),” says Hibbert. “I got a descent start and was able to get out front early.”
Hibbert would go on to win by nearly a dozen seconds (over Kamm). The Minnesotan would not be challenged by Ross Martin (DuPont/Jack Links/Polaris), the No. 2 qualifier, and Emil Ohman (XPS/Ski-Doo/Warnert Racing) as those two tangled early with Ohman’s ski spearing Martin’s sled’s suspension and the two sleds getting locked together in the middle of the track as Hibbert went by three times under the yellow area caution.
By lap five Hibbert had already built a 6.5 second lead over Kamm, with Mystik Lubricants/Loctite/Polaris’ Michigan native Kyle Pallin in third, one second back of Kamm. The leaders would stay in that position until lap 15 when, for an unknown reason, Pallin’s sled stopped on the side of the track. This allowed then fourth place racer and defending AMSOIL Championship Snocross Pro Open champion Tim Tremblay (Scheuring Speed Sports/Rockstar/Ski-Doo) to move into third place – a spot he’d hold onto through the checkers.
“When Ross and Emil went off it made me smile,” says Tremblay. “And it made it easier for me to pass. The track was very easy, not many bumps. It was very easy to pass tonight.”
For the Pro Open rookie Kamm it appears his rocket ship starts and consistent riding – earning his second podium finish in a row – have him placed solidly now in the upper echelon of the premier class racers. “I had an awesome start and Tucker was able to get by me early there,” says Kamm. “He (Hibbert) had some smooth lines, but I was pleased to end up taking second.
Rounding out the top five were Darrin Mees (Scheuring Speed Sports/Rockstar/Ski-Doo) and Swedish racer Johan Lidman (Polaris/Sportech/Arctiva) in fourth and fifth, respectively.
In Saturday night’s Pro Open main event, it was more of the same. Hibbert got out of the gate in second place behind Pallin – and it was off to the races as Hibbert would complete the sweep.
“That was definitely an interesting couple of laps with Kyle (Pallin),” says Hibbert, who’d go on to win the contest by 11 seconds. “He’s (Pallin) doing a good job on his starts. I was able to put in some hard laps early and get by him, but it was definitely a fun race.”
Defending AMSOIL Championship Snocross Pro Open champion Tim Tremblay (Scheuring Speed Sports/Rockstar/Ski-Doo) also ran very well on the weekend, recording his second podium on Saturday after qualifying second and finishing a strong second to Hibbert. “Today I had good qualifiers and a good main,” says Tremblay. “Tucker’s been fast every weekend and hopefully I can be up here again.” Tremblay also got a vote of confidence from fellow competitor Levi LaVallee, who said from the ISOC announcer’s booth: “You’re going to see Tim on the top of the box here real soon.”
The best story of the race on night two in Traverse City had to be Ross Martin’s effort to make the podium. Martin suffered through some sled issues in his first two qualifiers and had to make the main via the LCQ. Martin would qualify in 14th place (second-to-last) and started on the back row. But they don’t call him “Ross the Boss” for nothing as the Wisconsin native came ripping through the pack and all the way up to third place and was all smiles on the podium with Tremblay and Hibbert.
“I’m just thankful I got up here,” says Martin, thanking his mechanic Tony Swiontek for a superhuman effort in getting his No. 837 back up and running for the main. “Even through its third I’ll take it.”
Running well again on Saturday and avoiding the troubles that tied up him and Martin on Friday night was Ski-Doo’s Emil Ohman. Ohman was in podium position for much of the race before finishing a respectable fourth. Friday’s No. 2 finisher Kody Kamm overcame a visor-tearing get-off in a qualifier, came through the LCQ and would round out the top five.
AMSOIL Championship Snocross Pro Lite points leader Jake Scott made it three wins in a row on Friday at Turtle Creek, pulling the holeshot in Friday’s main and leading from green to checkers in one of the more dominant performances by a Pro Lite racer this season.
“There was a big triple in the back there, which scared me a bit at the beginning, then all the rhythm sections and things – this track was made for me,” says Scott.
Running second early to Scott was Polaris’ Trevor Leighton (Leighton Motorsports/Fly) and the No. 1 qualifier Renaud Alexandre (BOSS Racing/Jimmy John’s/Ski-Doo). The two would keep Scott honest in the early going as Alexandre moved up to challenge Leighton. But at the midway point of the race (lap six) Alexandre would get tangled with another racer and went down, ending his chance of a third-straight Pro Lite podium finish.
The actual second position (after a clarification from ISOC Scoring) would be Dylan Hall (Royal Distributing/Ski-Doo/FXR), with Leighton in third. Scott would increase his lead to 11 seconds by the checkers with Matt Pichner (Tralo Inc./Arctic Cat/Woody’s) in fourth and Travis Muller (NSK/Foremost Insurance/Ski-Doo) in fifth.
Scott wouldn’t have such an easy time of it on Saturday. Though the holeshot of the Pro Lite main looked to go to Scott, Ski-Doo’s David Joanis was having nothing of Scott winning a fourth-straight AMSOIL Championship Snocross race and aggressively moved in front of Scott on the start, closing off the track and sending the series points leader off the side of the first turn. A clean move according to Scott’s team manager, Levi LaVallee, Joanis took the lead and never gave it up – topping second place Polaris racer Andrew Lieders (Lieders Racing/Leighton Motorsports) by a couple seconds at the checkers.
“I’ve had some bad luck lately, but to be up here with my two really good friends is awesome,” says Joanis, winning on the eve of his birthday, and tying the overall points chase with Scott at 356-356.
Added second place Lieders, laughing: “I gave that to David Joanis as a birthday present!”
With Joanis railing past Scott at the start and into the lead, Lieders moved into second place – but was quickly passed by Justin Parnell (Parnell Motorsports). Lieders would play it cool and followed Parnell, studying his lines in bit of cat & mouse action. “When #186 (Parnell) passed me I took his line and passed him back,” says Lieders, who placed sixth in Friday’s Pro Lite main.
Charging up front quickly from sixth place was Friday’s Pro Lite runner-up Dylan Hall. Hall would get past Parnell, then held off Travis Muller (NSK/Foremost Insurance/Ski-Doo) to nail the third and final podium spot.
“I felt pretty good,” says Hall. “I didn’t get tired at all and was able to put on a charge for the whole race.”
Rounding out a very fast top five in the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Pro Lite main at Traverse City were Muller in fourth and Parnell in fifth.
|ACSS Pro-Open Standings||ACSS Pro Lite Standings|
|1.||Tucker Hibbert||Arctic Cat||411||1.||Jake Scott||Polaris||356|
|2.||Tim Tremblay||Ski-Doo||349||1.||David Joanis||Ski-Doo||356|
|2.||Ross Martin||Polaris||349||3.||Andrew Lieders||Polaris||332|
|4.||Robbie Malinoski||Ski-Doo||324||4.||Travis Muller||Ski-Doo||322|
|5.||Kody Kamm||Polaris||284||5.||Renaud Alexandre||Ski-Doo||317|
|6.||Logan Christian||Arctic Cat||276||6.||Dylan Hall||Ski-Doo||292|
|7.||Emil Ohman||Ski-Doo||273||7||Andrew Carlson||Polaris||236|
|8.||Darris Mees||Ski-Doo||271||8.||Chase Rosemeyer||Ski-Doo||220|
|9.||Kyle Pallin||Polaris||251||9.||Kevin Wallenstein||Ski-Doo||215|
|10.||Petter Narsa||Ski-Doo||250||10.||Corey Watkinson||Ski-Doo||214|