Hibbert Notches Near Perfect Weekend in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Dec. 12, 2011 – Monster Energy’s Tucker Hibbert put on an impressive show at the second stop of the ISOC National Snocross Series in Bessemer, Mich. putting to rest the questions surrounding Arctic Cat’s all-new Sno Pro 600. Hibbert won all of his qualifying rounds and ran away with the Pro Open final Sunday afternoon by taking the holeshot, riding flawlessly and crossing the finish line over 15 seconds ahead of second place.

The Blackjack National featured a massive track built on the side of a ski hill stacked with deep rollers, towering berms and challenging rhythm sections. Hibbert, the defending Pro Open Champion, consistently turned the fastest laps of the weekend proving once again he’s the man to beat.

After a rough season opener two weeks ago in Duluth, Minn., Hibbert and Team Monster Energy/Arctic Cat went to work to improve his race package. He proved his hard work paid off by notching a near perfect race weekend. While leading the Pro Open final Saturday afternoon and with two laps to go, a mechanical issue forced him to back off and coast in to finish fourth, eluding him of a weekend sweep. He bounced back Sunday by winning both qualifiers and the final with a dominating race from start to finish.

With a three-week break on the schedule, Hibbert has no plan to slow down but to continue to test and tune. Racing action resumes Jan. 6-7 at the historic Canterbury Park Racetrack outside of Minneapolis, Minn. Until then, catch the NBC Sports (VERSUS) broadcast of the Duluth National Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. ET.

Tucker Hibbert – Blackjack National Results
Pro Open 1 – Saturday
Round 1: 1st
Round 2: 1st
Final: 4th
Pro Open 2 – Sunday
Round 1: 1st
Round 2: 1st
Final: 1st

Tucker Hibbert – #68 Monster Energy/Arctic Cat
“This was a big weekend for me. We (the team) made huge improvements on our overall race package and it showed. The track was long and rough. ISOC did an awesome job building a challenging track. I felt night and day better than I did at Duluth. With a weekend off, I was able to put more time on new ProCross chassis to get more comfortable. I was able to charge hard and ride to my potential. I felt strong, just like I have in the past. Going into this break, I have a lot of confidence and I’m excited to see how much more we can improve. After our performance this weekend, I know we’re up-to-speed and fully capable of winning races.”

Noteworthy: Hibbert’s 2012 Official Merchandise Line is now online with shipping available to seven countries – tuckerstore.mybigcommerce.com

Round 2: Blackjack National

The Blackjack National marked Round 2 of the National snocross tour. It went down this past weekend in Ironwood, Michigan, -well, actuall Bessemer, which is the next town down Highway 2 as you head East into Michigan’s U.P. Here are some photos I shot on Saturday and some of my impressions on the day as well as the competition overall.

Travis Muller got the call from Warnert Racing to fill in for the injured Kaven Benoit. Benoit was at the race walking with a crutch. He dislocated his hip at Duluth.

No, Ron Pattyn's trailer isn't foggy, it's just my lens. Here he pours some of Dragon's finest race fuel into a test container to bring to tech.

The Stud Boy trailer is guarded by these two vicious guard dogs.

Iain Hayden does his dynamic warm up before Pro practice. He had a gnarly crash at Duluth and had another in the first round of qualifying at Blackjack.

Dan Ebert's mechanic Greg Muller warms up his mod before Pro practice. Dan had a great weekend that the Regional race at Quadna Mountain Park the weekend before.

Johan Lidman warms up on the bike before Pro practice. That Muscle Milk is good stuff!

The lodge at Blackjack. Word is the owners want to make the race a regular deal every year - same date, same everything to people keep coming back. It's not a bad idea as this is about the only place there's snow so early in the snowmobile/ski season.

Pro Lite is where the action is this season and the class has the best racing on the circuit in my opinion. Here Petter Narsa lets Garrett Mees know that the guy with the red plate should go first.

One reason I like the Pro Lite class is there are about 10 guys who can win on any given weekend, and some of them aren't the guys racing out of the big haulers. Chase Rosemeyer is one of those guys.

CSRA regulars Joey Sagan and Dylan Hall were strong all weekend. Hall swept the Semi-Pro points on the CSRA circuit last year and is a rookie Pro on that circuit this season.

Of course, everyone knows Dylan Martin, he's Ross Martin's brother. Like his brother, Dylan has a lot of talent and can win on any given weekend. He will race Pro on the East Coast Snocross circuit this season for Team Southside.

Jake Scott races for Team LaVallee. With Levi Lavallee sitting out the weekend because he was in California testing for his distance jump and Bobby LePage out with injury, Scott carried the flag for the LaVallee squad.

Even with all the talent in the Pro Lite class if you could name one kid who is the next big thing it might have to be Kody Kamm. Kamm is still learning the snocross ropes and is sometimes his own worst enemy on the track. When things fall into place for him he's blazing fast though.

James Johnstad has been lighting it up in the Pro Lite class. He's still super-young too, so who knows where he will go?

Andrew Carlson has the massive support of the Carlson Motorsports team behind him. He seems on the brink of breaking big in the next season or so.

Dave Joanis is another guy who races Pro on CSRA and has dabbled on the National circuit over the past few years. He had a great day at the race on Saturday, winning the final.

With Kyle Pallin and Cody Thomsen moving up to Pro, the Pro Lite ranks in the Cat amp are pretty thin. Perhaps their best hope at a good result lies with Matt Pichner.

Nick Pattyn has risen to the top of every class he's raced in so far, now he's racing Pro Lite. He's young, but definitely on the pace.

Andy Lieders came out of nowhere a few years back and I think still shows promise. He seems plagued by bad luck though.

Joe Fallen has had a great start to his season. He's another one of those privateers who could steal a race if he has a good day.

Oh hey, there's Tucker Hibbert.

Emil Ohman watches Pro Open heats. He's proven so far this season that a healthy Emil is a serious competitor.

Ross Martin says, "That's the gnarly part, right over there," as Dani pees her pants cuz hey, it's Ross Martin!

This isn't the gnarly part Ross was pointing at, this is the kinda gnarly part.

Apparently Mathieu Morin is feeling better after popping his shoulder out at Duluth. He finished fifth in Pro Open Saturday. Must be the Jimmy Johns.

Scott Judnick lookin' all serious and stuff.

OK, HERE's the gnarly part. Downhill, close-spaced, kind-of-a-rhythm-section that was the scene of more than a few crashes. Woulda been sweet to have a massive X Games-style flyaway on this downhill but hey, what do I know?

Justin Tate was running fourth at Duluth on Sunday before he got bumped off the track. He also injured his shoulder in that incident but he said it wasn't a big deal it was better a few days later. He's pretty much a privateer in Pro Open, which is really cool.

Cory Davis was on out Top 10 snocross rider rankings list. He's shown moments of brilliance this season but for the most part has struggled after sitting out snocross racing last year.

Brett Bender's mod is super-cool. The trend this year seems to be black sleds.

Dan Ebert transferred to the main through the LCQ. One of only four Cats to make it in.

The sun was setting behind the mountain as the Pro Lite final went down. Here, Dave Joanis has the lead but he's looking back...

...because Derek Ellis (along with Ellis' teammate Petter Narsa) is right behind him.

Joanis got the win followed by Narsa and Ellis. Narsa still had the red plate at the end of the weekend but he's headed back to Scandinavia to fulfill his contract to race for Lynx. By the way, that's an all-Ski-Doo Pro Lite podium folks.

T.J. Gulla looks for a good place to watch the Pro Open final. After a podium finish at Duluth on Sunday Gulla struggled at Blackjack on Saturday. He came back Sunday, won the LCQ and finished eighth.

The Hibbert and Martin show lines up for the final. First year Pro Mike Bauer qualified fourth.

Hibbert got a monster holeshot, but the start was a tricky one, kind of a double dogleg deal combined with an uphill.

The riders get funneled into the uphill run and yup, looks like Hibbert's got it.

But wait! Hibbert gets tagged from behind and pushed out onto the soft stuff. That taillight at the top of the hill? Oh, that's just Martin, pretty much checked out.

Martin learned last season that you can't let up even when you get a monster holeshot and crazy lead. He was on the gas trying to put distance between himself and whatever was behind him.

He almost had the race right off the start, but once again Hibbert was forced to eat roost as he went to work running down Martin. Something in the driveline on Bender's sled locked up early in the race leaving Tremblay and Malinoski between Hibbert and the leader.

Hibbert got by Malinoski and then ran down Tremblay.

Paul Bauerly ended up tenth on Saturday and ninth on Sunday. Not a bad weekend for a guy who doesn't get much recognition.

Martin came around with about two laps left to go in the 14-lap race headed into the finish line jump...

...with Hibbert close enough to catch some of his roost blast.

Hibbert caught Martin and tried a block pass, running into Martin. Hibbert got by but lost his spindle. He nursed it around to start the final lap...

...then got on the gas, realizing his sled didn't handle THAT bad and hey, every spot lost cost him valuable points.

Shortly after Martin's win Nate Hentges, Tim Bender and Tom Rager Jr. talk about the general awesomeness of the race.

Advantage: Martin.

 

Tucker Hibbert To Use Arctic Cat APV Oil In Pursuit Of 2012 Championship

Thief River Falls, Minn. (December 8, 2011) – Arctic Cat APV Synthetic Lubricants announced today that it has renewed its sponsorship support program with Pro snocross racer Tucker Hibbert. The deal ensures that Hibbert will again rely on the best, most performance-oriented lubricant available for the Arctic Cat snowmobiles he races.

Last season Hibbert used APV Synthetic Lubricants to win a fifth Winter X Games snocross gold medal and to win the ISOC National Pro Stock and Pro Open snocross points championships. This season Hibbert will contend for the ISOC Pro Open points championship. His machines will use Arctic Cat APV Synthetic Lubricant exclusively.

“Time after time, APV oil stands up to the challenge on the track,” Hibbert said. “APV is thoroughly tested and proven to work flawlessly in Arctic Cat sleds so for me, it’s the clear winner. I work too hard to leave anything on the table. That’s why I trust APV.”

Hibbert’s Open class snowmobile uses a modified Arctic Cat engine built by Speedwerx. That APV is able to protect an engine as hard-working and high-revving as the one in Hibbert’s Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 is testament to the quality of its formulation and its ability to work in all Arctic Cat Power Valve engines.

“Arctic Cat APV oil provides the lubrication, engine protection and durability Speedwerx needs to build the engines that power Tucker Hibbert’s race sleds,” said Speedwerx owner Steve Houle. “We use the same oil you can buy off the shelf in Tucker’s sleds and we couldn’t make the horsepower that we do without it.”

In addition to being the reigning ISOC Pro points champion, Hibbert holds 66 Pro National snocross wins, he won the FIM Snowcross World Championship in 2010 and holds 10 Winter X Games snocross medals, including five gold medals. He has amassed nearly all these stats using APV Lubricants. For more information about Tucker Hibbert visit www.tucker-hibbert.com. For more information about Arctic Cat Lubricants or to buy online visit www.arcticcatlubricants.com.

Arctic Cat Launches E-Commerce Store For Canada

Thief River Falls, Minn. (December 7, 2011) – Arctic Cat launched its first on-line Arctic Store in the U.S. late May and has now launched its second on-line store in Canada. Consumers in Canada are now able to shop for Arctic Cat parts, oil, garments and accessories on-line and have them delivered to their home or to a nearby Arctic Cat dealer. From dirt to snow, Arctic Cat makes on-line shopping easier to match the perfect product to your riding style and machine.

Just to name a few of the consumer benefits:
• 24-7 shopping: On-line orders are allocated within 24 hours and the consumer usually receives their order within 7 days either at their home or nearby dealer pick-up.
• Easy Navigation & Product Searching: Parts can be searched by category, by model year or model name, color or size.
• Secure, Confidential and Reliable: Built-in security measures protect your information from loss, misuse and alteration. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are currently accepted.
• For dealer pick up orders, the consumer indicates which dealership they want to visit for order pick up (within a 150 mile radius).

“As on-line shopping becomes quicker, easier and more popular, our new on-line store will give consumers more access to Arctic Cat products and product information at any time. We partnered with Shopatron because their Coex Freedom technology funnels consumer orders to our participating dealers for fulfillment,” said Mary Ellen Walker, Vice President – General Manager of PG&A division. Walker goes on to say, “No doubt our dealers will see new customers and sales growth of their Arctic Cat parts, garments and accessories without the investment of building their own internet store.”

The Arctic Cat on-line store also utilizes new technology from ARI – PartStream; an ever-expanding collection of parts diagrams dating back to 1974. This feature simplifies a consumer’s search for the exact part they require regardless of the age of their machine.

Tucker Hibbert Releases 2012 Merchandise

December 2, 2011 – Tucker Hibbert’s 2012 Official Merchandise line is now available online. Tucker added new men’s, women’s and youth clothing along with a new hat to his growing line-up of uniquely branded clothing and accessories.
Shop Online: http://tuckerstore.mybigcommerce.com/

FEATURED ITEMS
Tucker Hibbert Team Monster Energy/Arctic Cat Podium Hat
The official podium hat of Team Monster Energy/Arctic Cat’s Tucker Hibbert. Features the logos of Monster Energy, Arctic Cat, Hibbert Racing and Tucker’s trademark 68.
One Size Fits All
Adjustable Snap-Back
80% Acrylic / 20 % Wool
$25 USD

Tucker Hibbert Zip-Up Hooded Sweatshirt
Layer up this winter with the Tucker Hibbert Zip-Up Hooded Sweatshirt. This charcoal sweatshirt features a line-up of Tucker logos on the front along with his name and number on the back.
50% Cotton / 50 % Polyseter Fleece
Full Fleece-Lined Hood
Long, Set-In Sleeves
Adult: $50 USD

Tucker Hibbert T-Train T-Shirt 2012
This adult and youth sized t-shirt features an image of Tucker jumping his Monster Energy/Arctic Cat snowmobile on the back with his name, number and signature broken pinstripe pattern on the front.
100% Preshrunk Cotton
Regular Fit
Adult: $20 / Youth: $15 USD

Shipping Available to: United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Hibbert Exits Challenging Duluth National Second in Points Chase

November 28, 2011 – Defending AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series Champion, Tucker Hibbert, gained valuable seat time on Arctic Cat’s all-new 2012 Sno Pro 600 chassis and left the opening round of the series in Duluth, Minn. sitting second in the Pro Open Points Championship chase. The Monster Energy/Arctic Cat rider showcased his ability to move through the pack on a difficult track, making him a force to be reckoned with this winter.

With the shift to only Pro Open racing this season on the ACSS Tour, Hibbert and his competitors will race 15 finals spread over eight stops to earn points for the title. The 20th Annual Duluth National featured rounds one and two.

Hibbert had an impressive run in Saturday night’s final. While battling for third place on lap one, a kicker near the bottom of the massive downhill pitched him off the steep backside of the track. Still on his sled, he re-entered the track in 14th place out of 15 riders. After regaining his composure, he put on a charge that moved him into striking distance of the podium. Twenty laps proved to be not enough, forcing him to settle for fourth.

Sunday afternoon, Hibbert struggled to find a grove in qualifying, making him the eighth pick for the 15-rider, 20-lap final event. He found himself in ninth place off the start with all the top contenders in front of him. He picked off riders each lap eventually moving into third and finishing only one second behind second place.

The ACSS Tour will take a weekend off before heading to Ironwood, Mich. Dec. 10-11. Catch each stop of the tour on NBC Sports’ one-hour broadcasts Sundays at 5 p.m. EST. For the full schedule, visit www.isocracing.com.

Tucker Hibbert – AMSOIL Duluth National Results
Pro Open 1 – Saturday Round 1: 2nd Round 2: 2nd Final: 4th
Pro Open 2 – Sunday Round 1: 4th Round 2: 2nd Final: 3rd

Tucker Hibbert – #68 Monster Energy/Arctic Cat
“I’m disappointed in my results but am happy that we (the team) were able to come out of the weekend with consistent racing and in second place. We didn’t throw anything away but as far as our weekend performance, it’s not where I want to be. I want to be at the front battling for the lead rather than fighting through the pack to get on the podium. I know we have the ability to get there. I’m looking forward to a weekend off before the next race to test and tune. Working on my set-up will help me focus on eliminating mistakes. I’m confident we’ll enter Ironwood as a stronger race team.”

Hibbert Welcomes New and Long-Standing Partners to Snocross Team

Tucker Hibbert will welcome both new and long-standing partners to his factory-supported snowmobile team for the 2011/2012 ISOC Racing National Snocross Tour. Monster Energy will headline the program as Hibbert defends his 2011 Pro Open National Championship aboard Arctic Cat’s all-new Sno Pro 600. New to team Monster Energy/Arctic Cat this season are Hot Stuff Pizza, APV Synthetic Oil and TekVest.

Hot Stuff Pizza announced its plans to rollout a national promotion wrapped around Hibbert that will give consumers a chance to win a VIP trip to a race, free pizza, snowmobile gear and more. Hot Stuff Pizza franchises over 1000 restaurant locations worldwide.

Hibbert will rely exclusively on APV Synthetic Oil to protect and lubricate his Speedwerx modified Arctic Cat 600 race engines. APV produces performance-oriented lubricants specifically formulated for Arctic Cat race and consumer snowmobiles.

For over ten years, Hibbert has put his trust into TekVest’s upper body protection. He believes in the quality of the product and the protection it provides riders on the track and trail.

Long-time supporters of Hibbert returning to the team include: Castle X Racewear, Stud Boy Traction, Speedwerx, FOX Racing Shox, Spy Optic, Leatt, Kicker, Digital Ink Design & Graphics and CTi.

The Monster Energy/Arctic Cat team transporter will debut its new look Thanksgiving Day when it hits the road for Hibbert’s first race of the season in Duluth, Minn. Nov. 25-27. The 20th Annual Duluth National will mark the beginning of his 12th professional snocross season. For his full schedule, log on to www.tucker-hibbert.com.

Tucker Hibbert – #68 Monster Energy/Arctic Cat
“It’s a good feeling entering a new race season knowing I have solid people and brands behind me. It’s an honor having the opportunity to represent companies passionate about creating quality products. It’s a big year for me defending my title. I have high expectations for myself and everyone involved in my program. I can’t wait to hit the track at Duluth!”

Duluth, 20 Years Ago…

Twenty years ago Snow Week was on hand to document the first Duluth National Snocross and we revisit the event through the pages of the December 14, 1992 edition. This is from a collection of Snow Week magazines I acquired recently. I used to work for Snow Week and always thought it was a great publication that had a valuable place in the world of snowmobile racing. It’s demise in 2007 (or 2008? not sure) was one of the catalysts for me to start this Web site. An interesting thing to note is while 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the Duluth National Snocross, 1992-93 season marked the 20th anniversary of Snow Week. Hmmm…

Interesting that the cover featured the Formula III winner from a USSA race held in Lake Louise, Alaska, not the Duluth race. Oops. Of course, how could they have known. Notice in the upper left corner, "ZRs KICK AT MRP SNOCROSS OPENER" Yes, the Arctic Cat ZR was new that year, and, 20 years later, they return with another new chassis. Hmmm...

Open up the paper and we find the "Editor-at-Large" John Sandberg wrote the First Corner Column about the race, which he refers to as an event, and probably correctly so as it was the first big snocross race to combine vendors, fans and racing. It's a formula that's still working for the event today and is no doubt why the race has carved out a spot as one of the major races in snowmobiling. Sandberg now runs a great Web site called www.arcticinsider.com.

Next page over is this super-cool Polaris ad bragging about their FIII win in Alaska with the new XLT. This was way before Polaris marketing adopted every variant of the word "dominate" to describe its products. Of course, we all know Polaris went on to sell a pantload of XLTs, creating, defining and dominating the lightweight triple market.

Holeshots featured a blurb about Paul Groth's Budweiser Sno-King. Powered by four turbocharged Yamaha V-Max 4 snowmobile engines Groth said the 16-cylinder configuration would make 1,000-horsepower and would be good enough for 200mph.

Another Holeshot blurb noted that riders were happy to hear they would be allowed to use carbide runners and carbide-tipped studs in the upcoming International 500. The race was expected to have 300 entries and had a 100 at the time the issue went to print.

The opening spread featured Kirk Hibbert in both photos. The text says the race saw 236 entries and 8,000 fans over three days. MRP paid out a combined purse of $10K. It was warm on Friday and Saturday but turned colder on Sunday saving the track. This race was the first snocross race ever to be run "under the lights."

The second page had more of Hibbert as well as Steve Hanson, Brian Sturgeon and Jason Jones. Team Arctic rode ZR580s in the Open class. The ZRs came off the assembly line three days before the race and they were as big a news item as the race itself.

What a great photo of Hibbert working on his sled as Doug Lamm looks on. On his way to two wins that weekend Hibbert was quoted in the story saying he worked on clutching for the holeshot, added stiffer front shock springs and took out some picks and added cleats(!). These days Pro snocross rider have crews who do all this wrenching stuff for them.

A nice shot of some tangled sleds off the start, a ZR and an XCR. In the background the familiar Spirit Mountain chair lift. No tuff blocks, just good old-fashioned haybales.

It was all Polaris and Arctic Cat in the printed results. Hibbert won Pro Open and Pro Lite. Hmmm...

OK, so what else was in that issue? How about this way cool ad for the Thief River 200 sponsored by Pabst (with a $24K payout!).

It looks like Snow Week went to the ISR meeting that year too. Lots of photos of people handing over giant checks. I've been to ISR meetings and none of them were nearly as exciting as this one appears to have been. I never got a giant check either.

Halfway through the story it says John Daniels has started a circuit called the International Series of Champions (ISOC) which promises to "restore cross-country racing to its former glory." The circuit's plan was to run a series of 200-mile races.

Snow Week handed out its 1992 Racer of the Year award at the ISR meeting. Ice racer Gary Vessair was the lucky recipient.

An ad for the International 500 features Jack Struthers and promises a $100K payout (based on 300 race entries). It also looks like the ad features a handy course map for pre-running.

1992-93 was set to have some great racing go down and it would begin the epic battles between Arctic Cat's ZR and Polaris' XCR that would last for nearly a decade. Looking at this schedule it looks like you could go racing pretty much all winter long across multiple racing genres with either one of those sleds.

The back of the paper always had classified ads. Remember, there was no eBay or craigslist back then. Need a used Wahl chassis twin tracker?

Or how about a Pro-5-built Polaris Formula III sled and a van to race it out of?

Looking back on this race 20 years on its amazing how much has changed and yet, at the same time, how little has changed. Familiar names, familiar scenarios, the same drama and anticipation and, of course, the same event.

2011-2012 sledRacer.com Snocross Rider Rankings

We’re on the brink of the 2011-2012 snocross season, time for the sledracer.com annual snocross rider rankings. Just a week out from Duluth, if you’re not ready now you’ll never be and we’ll help you get revved up with a little snocross bench racing. Bust out a cold one and read on as we give our $.02 on who is the best in snocross. You can see our past rankings (and see how accurate we were) here andhere.

11. Emil Ohman
No. 27
Ski-Doo
While Emil Ohman is entering just his third season of snocross in the United States, he’s been around Europe for a while. Translation: he’s older than you assume. But with age comes experience as well as patience, and the 2008 FIM snowcross world champion Ohman has both and both can be used to beat younger riders. Ohman had a breakout season in 2010 when he stood on the podium five times and placed third in Pro Stock points. He definitely came into Duluth on the pace last season but tweaked his knee there which opened up the gates to an injury-plagued 2011 season. Is a healthy Ohman a contender? It’s tough to say, but the pieces are there.

 

 

 

10. Kyle Pallin
No. 324
Arctic Cat
How can you put a rider on the Top 10 who has never ridden as a Pro? History would show that a rider who dominates the Semi-Pro class like Pallin did in 2012 usually makes a seamless jump into the Pro class. Plus, he finished 4th at the Winter X Games in snocross last season, proving he can ride a mod and put in the laps with the big boys. He’s got a ton of momentum behind him coming into the 2012 season, the question is, can he win?

 

 

 

 

 

9. Logan Christian
No. 43
Arctic Cat
The Pro National series Rookie of the Year last season, Logan Christian suffered a knee injury riding motocross in the off-season. After a less-the-stellar first half of the 2011 season, Christian turned it around after the New York race, made himself a consistent Top 5 rider and almost stole a win at the Hayward event. He rides for Christian Brothers Racing, one of the biggest and best teams on the circuit. Known for his relentless training regimen, expect Christian to start slow coming off injury but pick up mid-season and maybe steal some podiums.

 

 

 

 

8. Cory Davis
No. 160
Arctic Cat
Another rider who spent last year away from snocross (but not away from racing), Cory Davis is a naturally-gifted snowmobile rider, perhaps the most gifted on the circuit. During the summer of 2010 he suffered a severe injury to his foot riding ramps on his dirt bike. While now healed, questions surround Davis’ ability to ride snocross with the “new” foot. If he can pound the laps expect him to be Top 5 if not a podium contender.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Levi LaVallee
No. 108
Polaris
The progression of the sport generally means a season away from racing is a death knell for most racers, but we’re betting Levi LaVallee can come back and be competitive again. Ever fit and always fearless and aggressive, LaVallee does not like to lose and he won’t be out there to mess around mid-pack. A former race winner and Pro Open points champ, he could easily be placed higher on this list.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Mathieu Morin
No. 27X
Ski-Doo
Last season Mathieu Morin swept the Pro points titles on the East Coast Snocross circuit. ECS is not the Nationals so it’s hard to say if he can bring that momentum with him. One thing is for sure, he was without a doubt the dominant rider on that circuit last year and his track record shows he wins wherever he goes. This year he replaces Brett Turcotte on the BOSS Racing squad. He’s been on the National tour before and done well, even winning races (including Pro Stock at Duluth in 2005). He should have a good season in 2012.

 

 

 

5. Garth Kaufman
No. 48
Arctic Cat
Garth Kaufman has quietly worked his way to the top of the field in snocross and he’s stayed there for the past few seasons. His smooth, consistent style combined with an adequate “next gear” that allows him to be just a step faster than some of the mid-packers puts him on the podium enough to call him a contender. While the Christian Brothers Racing rider has yet to show if he has that top gear that would put him out front (and keep him out front) against the Top 3, he’s definitely shown he’s a rider to take seriously.

 

 

 

 

4. Robbie Malinoski
No. 4
Ski-Doo
One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Malinsoki also rides for one of the highest-profile teams, Scheuring Speed Sports. Famous for logging the first National snocross win on a 4-stroke as well as for being the only rider other than Blair Morgan or Tucker Hibbert to sweep the points championships, Malinoski is a tough, consistent rider who can ride just about anything and always seems to find the podium. Expect him to be on the podium, but betting on the top step might prove risky.

 

 

3. Tim Tremblay
No. 27
Ski-Doo
Two years ago Tim Tremblay filled a spot on the Warnert Racing roster and won the Pro Stock points championship in his rookie season, proving he belonged on the National circuit. His results tapered off in 2011 but he still claimed a handful of podium spots. Still, he’s competitive and is even able to win on the Ski-Doo, a sled that has been a disappointing third best in the pack. On paper, the sled looks much improved for 2012, but will it put Tremblay in the mix with Hibbert and Martin again?

 

 

 

 

 

2. Ross Martin
No. 837
Polaris
Ross Martin led more laps in more races than any other rider in the Pro class on the snocross National tour last season. Problem was, more often than not he wasn’t leading when it counted. Martin races for Judnick Motorsports, one of the most successful racing teams in the history of snocross and has the full force of the Polaris racing empire behind him. The mod-only Pro class should play into his favor because he’s always been better on his mod and has three Pro Open championships to prove it (2007, 2008, 2010). He’s the only rider who, when it comes to ability, racing experience and support, can match Tucker Hibbert. But, until he leads the laps that count, he remains the No. 2 rider on the list.

 

 

 

1. Tucker Hibbert
No. 68
Arctic Cat
In addition to being the reigning ISOC Pro points champion, Tucker Hibbert holds 66 Pro National snocross wins, he won the FIM Snowcross World Championship in 2010 and holds 10 Winter X Games snocross medals, including five gold medals. He locked up both championships last season despite suffering from an injured wrist (that required off-season surgery) for nearly half the season. While Blair Morgan’s win total still eludes Hibbert, the double race format this season could put him close to Morgan’s record of 84 wins. Despite his stats not being as fat as Morgan’s, Hibbert is arguably the greatest snocross racer ever and, until someone beats him on the National circuit, he is No. 1 on our list.

Hibbert Signs Hot Stuff Pizza

Tucker Hibbert is looking to defend his snocross points title this season.

Sioux Falls, SD, November 15, 2011:  Orion Food Systems®, the international foodservice provider, which franchises over 1000 Hot Stuff Pizza locations world-wide, announced its official sponsorship of World Snocross Champion and 10-time ESPN Winter X Games medalist Tucker Hibbert.

“We are extremely excited to have the Hot Stuff Pizza brand associated with such a great champion as Tucker Hibbert,” exclaimed Orion’s CEO Michael Skillingstad, “Tucker’s success is unprecedented on the ISOC National Snocross Tour and ESPN Winter X Games. From a business and marketing point-of-view, our partnership with Hibbert is truly a win-win.  Many of our restaurant franchisees and customers are Tucker Hibbert fans, and will be excited to learn that Tucker is a Hot Stuff Pizza lover.”
Hibbert agrees and states, “I’ve been a huge Hot Stuff Pizza fan for years.  It’s definitely my favorite go-to meal when I’m traveling and an absolute must after a long weekend of racing.  I can’t wait to share my passion for the brand with race fans and snowmobile enthusiasts everywhere.”
Hot Stuff’s sponsorship of Hibbert will entail a national promotion featuring Hot Stuff’s Personal Size Pan Pizza (PSPP) and an opportunity for Hot Stuff customers to win event tickets, snowmobile gear, free Hot Stuff Pizza and other prizes.
“Our grand prize is a Snocross fan’s dream,” says Skillingstad, “Hot Stuff is giving away an all-expense paid trip to the ISOC Canterbury National in Shakopee, MN January 2013. The race package includes lodging, a suite at the race, passes to the pit area and an opportunity to meet Tucker and his crew.”