My Interview With Snocross Legend Tucker Hibbert
by Scott A. Sumner
It has become a bit of a tradition for me to visit the Tucker Hibbert Race Team at the Amsoil Duluth National. This year Friday at lunchtime I sat down with Tucker!
You had a tremendous season last year Tucker!
“ Last year was awesome- the best season I have had yet as far as races wins, qualifying consistency and heat class wins. I felt really strong. The whole season went smooth and we got the championship at the end of the year.”
How do you feel about this upcoming race season?
“This year we are looking to do the same thing focusing on being consistent and getting good starts to put us up front at the start of the races. I think we can have another great season. I go into the season as prepared as I can be and ride to the best of my abilities. However the races turn out is how they turn out. I’m hoping this year will be a lot like last year. I can’t expect it to be that well but I guess I can hope for it.”
What kind of training do you do in the off season?
“In the off season I raced AMA Motocross in the 450 class at the nationals and also raced mountain bikes. This is the same thing I have been doing for the last handful of years- keeping my fitness up and having fun. I did three AMA Nationals this season. My best finish was 18 or 19th, around the top twenty, where I have been floating for 3 or 4 years. I would like to do better but the guys are getting tougher. If you are off the bike for the whole winter it doesn’t help you out much and takes a while to get up the speed. I was happy with it and challenged myself all summer but would like to do a little better.”
What do you do to prepare just before the snocross season begins?
“ We have been busy at the shop building sleds and getting everything organized for the races, practicing and testing with the team. This year the weather didn’t cooperate as much as the past so I didn’t get as much time on the sled, but I feel we got a solid amount of testing in and we are coming into this race prepared. We do the same things as I do every year. We ride at the Christian Brothers test track at Fertile, MN for testing and practicing.”
How do you like the 2015 Arctic Cat Sno Pro race sled?
“ The sled is a little bit better than last year. We didn't make many changes as it worked so well last year with the success we had. It is a solid machine. We start the season with what we finished with last year and keep tuning and building from there. We like to start with something in Duluth that won’t give us any surprises.”
This year you again have your own replica sled available to the public?
“ My replica sled is a 600 this year. It is pretty cool with all the paint and graphics the same as my race sled. It now has the 600 motor which is as close as you can get to riding my race sled. I don’t get a lot of time to do trail riding but usually get out for 300 or 400 miles a year it seems. I like to ride around a little bit on the trails. The 600 CTEC is a super fun motor. I like to have fun and throw the sled around which is light but still has a lot of power.”
It has been quite a long time in the snocross race business for you Tucker?
“ This is around 15 or 16 years racing. This year I can race Pro Veteran class but I am going to focus on the Pro Open class. Maybe in the future step up to the Pro Vets but not this year. Last year I felt the strongest I have ever been in terms of fitness and my body. My mind recovery has been really good. Being 30 years old doesn’t really mean anything different to me. It is just another year out there racing.”
Has the sport of snocross changed over the years?
“ The sport has changed. The race tracks have gotten bigger with deeper holes. Ten years ago the tracks were smoother with some jumps and holes. Now you have to pound through them and a lot of the time you are kinda bouncing from one to the next. The sleds have changed a lot and like everything evolving and getting different. I don’t know if it is any better or worse- just different.”
Do you have any specific goals this year?
“ An awesome goal this year is to get to 100 PRO wins. I think I am at 95 right now. ( 97 after 2 Duluth wins!) My number one goal is to have a safe health consistent season, bring home a championship and get another gold medal at X Games which is a major goal. If I achieve these goals we should achieve 100 wins.”
Do you think your snocross racing years will continue on for many years?
“ It has to end sometime but for this year I am just focussed on what I have always done. We just take it year by year. I haven’t really thought about what I will do in the industry if I decide to stop racing. I am just focused on each season, taking each one as it comes, do my best and figure it out as the years unfold.”