Captain Kirk Still Commands Respect
By Scott A.Sumner
Each year my trip to the Duluth National Snocross just wouldn't be complete without talking to the legendary Kirk Hibbert, Arctic Cats Race Designer par excellence. "So far the new Sno Pro is looking pretty good. The drivers seem pretty comfortable on the machine and we've been winning a few races out there,' notes Kirk Hibbert. "We done some strengthened up of the steering, taking some flex out of the steering. Also in the the front chassis we've done some bracing and it has made the sled stiffer and took a lot of the flex out of the steering. There is also quite a different suspension package on it with valving and springing to make it handle better. We did a lot of little things for durability to make it stronger, more durable."
"I still do a little racing and Tucker is here running the X Games qualifiers because they changed the qualifying and only the winner doesnt have to qualify. (2005 winner Blair Morgan),'' notes Hibbert. "It is always a little tight for room at the Duluth track and at the first race the people havent got used to getting position. There are a lot of mishaps on the track."
Kirk Hibbert won his Pro Vet 35 race, so the the 40 something racer can still perform. What does he look for on the race track. I'm looking for lines. How to keep the sled smooth and hooked up and fast. If the guy next to you is making good time going on a different line you might try his line,' notes Hibbert. "Developing the sled is continuous. There are always little improvements that go into the consumer sled from racing as well. I still like to get out and see what the sled is doing and enjoy racing. Then it is back to Thief River or a test track somewhere."
How is his team Pro rider Shaun Crapo doing this season. "Shaun will do good. He is struggling with the starts but he gets going pretty good after that. We have to get a few more things ironed out." notes Hibbert.