15 wins in 17 races complete dominant season
Tucker Hibbert (Monster Energy/Arctic Cat) put an exclamation point on the most dominant year ever in the history of professional snocross racing, winning all three Pro Open races this past weekend at the Nielsen Enterprises Grand Finale, presented by Coors Light – the final round of 2013-’14 AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram.
In the final race of the season, Ross Martin (DuPont/Jack Links/Polaris) shot out to the Stud Boy Holeshot and towed the Pro Open field up the first massive hill at Lake Geneva. But as quickly as you could say “left hander,” Justin Broberg (Hentges Racing/Polaris) shot to the outside of Martin and led pack back down the same hill.
With Kyle Pallin (LaVallee Racing/Polaris) following in third and Hibbert in fourth, the four-sled pack separated from the field and took to breaking way on the longest track on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross racing circuit this year. Hibbert made a move towards the end of lap two to get by Pallin, then soon after charged past Martin – who had checked up for a split second on top of a large berm.
Hibbert then set his site on Broberg, who he set up and passed on the outside of a downhill section, doubling past Broberg through air – and into the lead for good to secure the 1st/1st/1st sweep of Lake Geneva this weekend.
“This was easily the best season I’ve ever had,” says Hibbert, who won 15 out of 17 AMSOIL Championship Races, along with his seventh-straight X Games Snocross gold medal. “The track today wasn’t easy, and that’s the way it should be. Separated the men from the boys and we had to work for the win.”
With Broberg in second place, his Hentges Racing/Polaris teammate Kody Kamm was rushing up from fourth – and gaining on Martin. Martin made a mistake in trying to get past Broberg on a hilltop turn, tipped over and allowed Kamm to get by for third. Martin remounted to make the top five, behind Pallin in fourth place.
Said Broberg of his first-ever Pro Open class podium: “It’s been a long time coming. This is my third year in the Pro Open class and we’ve come a long way. Getting my first podium here at Lake Geneva couldn’t have ended the season any better.”
While the Pro Open championship was wrapped up early this year, the race for the Pro Lite crown went down to wire.
Winning the final Pro Lite main event of the season was Andrew Carlson (Carlson Motorsports/Polaris), followed in third place by Corin Todd (Leighton Motorsports/Polaris), who wrapped up the overall Pro Lite point championship, seven points out front of Carlson.
Carlson had one thing to accomplish in the final race – and that was to win. And he did just that, finishing the season on a high note. Todd had one thing to do as well, and that was to stay within 11 points of Carlson – and Todd did just that, winning the overall Pro Lite championship by seven points over Carlson, 588-581, with a third place run.
“It was a long season and it came down to the last race – and it couldn’t have ended any better,” says Todd. “I qualified in second place, got a pretty good start, picked the right lines and rode a smart race. I didn’t get the points lead this season until Fargo (N.D.), then I put on a strong finish through the end of the season. It’s great to win the title, but it was a struggle for sure.”
There was never a doubt for Carlson in the final race, putting in his best effort of the second half of the AMSOIL Championship Snocross season. From the holeshot over James Johnstad (Judnick Motorsports/Polaris to a smooth, consistent run, the race win for Carlson today was well-deserved and well-received by the Carlson Motorsports team.
“This is the race you think about all year, from when you’re training in the summer up to today, ” says Carlson. “We had a lot of ups and downs this season, so I’m just happy to end the year on a positive note. It was win or crash trying – and we were fortunate to win today.”
With Carlson up front and in control, Todd, who started in fourth place, got past Leighton Motorsports/Polaris teammate Zak Mason for third. Johnstad stayed strong in second, recording his second podium of the Lake Geneva race weekend. Rounding out the top five were Mason in fourth and Arctic Cat’s Corey Watkinson in fifth.