10 Time Snocross Champion Tucker Hibbert!
by Scott A. Sumner
It is always fun talking to Tucker in his race trailer at the Duluth Opener. We covered a wide range of topics this year.
The 2015/16 season was a good one for you. Did you achieve your goals
“ Last year was great. I was able to win the ISOC championship and the X Games again which were my two main goals. We won a lot of races and had a lot of fun.”
You had an injury last season that affected your summer schedule?
“ Last year near the end of the snocross season I had a wrist injury but was able to keep racing with a brace and by being a little more careful. We finished the season strong, so was happy about that. Through the summer I worked on two torn ligaments.”
“ Summer was not what I wanted like racing motocross and mountain bike as I was focused on healing my wrist and getting it strong. It is part of racing, you have to take the good with the bad and deal with it. In my career I have had a few injuries. Pretty much every racer out here
is dealing with some kind of injury and is not 100 % riding through some pain. It is part of being a professional athlete.”
The new 2017 Arctic Cat race sled has some big changes?
“ The Arctic Cat sled has a new engine package for us this year with the 600 CTEC engine with the EFI fuel injection system. It is new and exciting for us and something I think we will see some pretty big benefits out of it. Arctic Cat and Speedwerks have teamed up to produce this race version of the engine and it has been a pretty big effort for everyone involved. This weekend we may not use the engine as we would like more testing time. We do feel the EFI will be a lot stronger with more power and just a better race package. Our goal is to be racing that all the time as it will be an improvement. It may just take some time to get her dialed in.”
What is your impression of this 25th Anniversary Duluth track?
“ Duluth is a bigger track than last year, but unfortunately there isn't a lot of snow which is a disappointment for us. It is kinda hard to ride through gravel and dirt, but longer is better.
It will get messy with more racers out there. Our goal is to get out front fast.”
The next race on the ISOC schedule is a new one?
“ Winterpark, Colorado is a new race for us. We have raced at nearby Aspen for a number of years. The west fans will get a opportunity to see us. The EFI will help there.”
There seems to be some new young fast riders coming up this year?
“ There is always someone new coming up. There are a lot of young kids coming up in the Pro Open class this season so it will be exciting. They will be contending for wins. Obviously I want to win every single race and will do everything to do that but at the same time it will be fun to have that happen. You need to battle and competition is what keeps pushing me to be better and improve.”
How has snocross changed since you started racing 20 years ago?
“ The sport has changed into being more professional and a bigger arena type of thing. All the racers are working harder and taking every detail serious to prepare themselves. This is a good thing for the sport for snocross to be the best they can be and put on a good show for the fans.”
How has training played a role in the sport?
“ Training and being in shape is a big part of being successfull in snowmobile racing so I am focussed on being the best athlete I can be and being prepared for the races. With some new fast guys and me get a little bit older I have to be focused on doing the right things.”
“ I could race a long time but you’re prime age is 20 to 25 for this type of a sport but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be competitive. I’m 32 now and feel as competitive as I was at 25, . It is just a matter of being fit and prepared to go racing. If I do that I think I can keep gong for a few more years.”
It seems you have a lot of fun with your 10 team members?
“ The team and racing is enjoyable just hanging out with my guys laughing, working hard and celebrating. We are shooting for a lot of celebrating and making memories this season!”