Four straight wins for Team Arctic racer
Professional snocross racers have officially been put on notice – Tucker Hibbert is in the groove and eyeing another national championship. The Monster Energy/Arctic Cat pilot swept the Pro Open races at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park Raceway this past weekend and has now taken the checkers four straight times.
As for the Pro Lites class, Ski-Doo racers Travis Muller and David Joanis each earned a win at the third stop of the AMSOIL Championship Snocross season.
Hibbert was flat out dominant at the Canterbury opener on Friday, putting up a 16-second victory in the 22-lap contest against second place Ross Martin (DuPont/Jack Links/Polaris), with rookie Pro Open racer Kody Kamm (Monster Energy/Polaris) scoring his first podium of the year with a third.
Fans were looking for a Hibbert/Martin showdown and they got just that – in the first 300 feet of the race. The two railed their sleds out front, banging shoulder-to-shoulder with Hibbert holding onto the throttle of his Arctic Cat just a bit longer as the track bent into the start straight. Hibbert then put the hammer down and clicked off mistake-free lap after lap, eventually building a 16-second lead over 2nd place Martin.
“Tucker rode a great race. I did everything I could to stay with him, but he just had a little more tonight,” says Martin.
“We’ve been working so hard for this – it feels good for sure,” says Hibbert.
With Hibbert and Martin all but checked out, Robbie Malinoski (AMSOIL/Scheuring Speed Sports/Ski-Doo) was looking to salvage as many points as he could running in fourth place. But something let go on Malinoski sled and he was forced to leave the race, handing over the red series points leader plate to the #68 Hibbert.
Kamm would hold on in through the battle with the two heavyweights, racing to a strong third place finish. “It was really rough out there,” says Kamm. “I got a decent holeshot, but it was tough racing against Ross and Tucker. So I just held onto third.” Rounding out the top five in the Pro Open class and Canterbury were Emil Ohman (Ski-Doo) and Garth Kaufman (Arctic Cat).
Saturday’s Pro Open main event saw some fireworks as defending AMSOIL Championship Snocross Pro Open champion Tim Tremblay (AMSOIL/Scheuring Speed Sports/Ski-Doo) was black flagged (and eventually DQ’ed) for an aggressive driving move on Ross Martin.
Hibbert, along with Martin and Trembla, led the contest early, separating themselves from the rest of the pack and looking as if they’d finish up the 22-lap contest in that order. However, Martin would go down on his own on lap 17 – then was dragged by Tremblay’s sled as Tremblay tried to get by. ISOC officials would quickly point the black flag at Tremblay while Martin eventually got back to his sled and kept running.
In the midst of all this Hibbert rode as dominant a race as he had all season, the best part of it for the Canterbury fans being that Hibbert had to rush to the front of the pack – cleanly past Tremblay and Martin – following a fourth place start. “It was a little bit tougher to get up here today, but it was really fun early on running with Ross and Tim,” says Hibbert.
With Tremblay and Martin out of the picture, Kamm put himself in a position to podium for the second-straight night. “I saw Ross fall off and I was like ‘Oooo … podium!’ I’m lucky to be up here I guess,” says Kamm.
And scoring his first-ever Pro Open class podium was rookie racer Petter Narsa (BOSS Racing/Jimmy John’s/Ski-Doo). “The track was really rough and tight but I liked it,” says Narsa.
Rounding out the top five in the Pro Open class at Canterbury on Saturday were Justin Broberg (Polaris/Pirtek/FXR) in fourth and Kyle Pallin (Mystik Lubricants/Loctite/Polaris) in fifth.
Local Minnesota racer Travis Muller (Ski-Doo) won a battle of attrition in the Canterbury Pro Lite main event on Friday as race leader Andrew Lieders (Polaris) went down with one lap to go, allowing Muller to take the top spot after he inherited second place earlier in the race from Jake Scott (Polaris).
The high speed, high action Canterbury track got more technical as the night went on in the Pro Lite division, with the rhythm section being particularly tough on the stock class sleds. “This is an awesome crowd out there, really nice night and just glad I could win in front of all my family. My dad’s doing an excellent job keeping my sled running good,” says Muller.
Pulling the holeshot in the Pro Lite main was Lieders, with Scott in hot pursuit. And for a portion of the race it appeared as if the two would make it a two sled race, but mistakes would bring both the leaders back to earth quick. Scott’s came when he leaned into Lieders on a pass attempt and tipped over. “(I) ended up having to chase my sled down through all that deep snow. Can’t even remember when I got back on,” says Scott.
With Scott down Lieders was running away with the win, only to wad up at the end of the rhythm section. Pouncing on the opportunity was Muller, along with Pro Lite point leader David Joanis (Ski-Doo), who raced up towards the front after a back row start.
“I was feeling good. Didn’t get the greatest start from the back row, but rode my own race and things just unfolded – so I’m pumped,” says Joanis.
Scott managed to recover and fight his way to a third-place finish, followed by Dylan Hall (Ski-Doo) and Todd Corin (Polaris).
Joanis put up a statement race on Saturday at Canterbury Raceway, leading the Pro Lite main event wire-to-wire and extending his point lead over the next closest racer to 15.
“I had a goal to be on the box both nights this weekend. So to finish it off with a win is just awesome,” says Joanis.
Blasting down the Canterbury straight bar-to-bar to open the Pro Lite main, Joanis and Scott held their sleds wide open with Joanis winning the battle of nerves at the end. As Joanis set a torrid pace up front, the three riders that fell into place behind him – Scott, Polaris’ Corin Todd and Lieders – had the foursome breaking away from the rest of the pack.
On lap two Todd would get past Scott, as would Lieders midway through the 15-lap contest. Lieders would then get past Todd on lap nine – and that’s how the podium would play out: Joanis (first), Lieders (second), and Todd (third).
“We ran a lot better than last night,” says Lieders. “The whole Leighton Motorsports Team did an awesome job and have done so over the last eight races.”
Rounding out the top five in Saturday’s Pro Lite main event at Canterbury were Scott (fourth) and Friday winner Travis Muller in fifth.
|ACSS Pro-Open Standings||ACSS Pro Lite Standings|
|1.||Tucker Hibbert||Arctic Cat||245||1.||David Joanis||Ski-Doo||221|
|2.||Robbie Malinoski||Ski-Doo||216||2.||Jake Scott||Polaris||206|
|3.||Ross Martin||Polaris||215||3.||Andrew Lieders||Polaris||202|
|4.||Tim Tremblay||Ski-Doo||200||4.||Travis Muller||Ski-Doo||194|
|5.||Darris Mees||Ski-Doo||173||5.||Renaud Alexandre||Ski-Doo||192|
|6.||Logan Christian||Arctic Cat||167||6.||James Johnstad||Polaris||173|
|7.||Kody Kamm||Polaris||157||7||Dylan Hall||Ski-Doo||168|
|8.||Justin Broberg||Polaris||146||8.||John Stenberg||Ski-Doo||139|
|9.||Emil Ohman||Ski-Doo||146||9.||Joe Sagan||Ski-Doo||136|
|10.||Petter Narsa||Ski-Doo||142||10.||Maxime TAillefer||Ski-Doo||131|