Shaun Crapo Of Team Arctic Cat Is 100 % Healthy and Ready for the Snocross Season
By Scott A. Sumner
When Arctic Cat racer Tucker Hibbert announced his retirement from the snocross sport the search began for a replacement. Shaun Crapo fit the bill to a tee and the young Idaho racer has a brand new season to show his skill.
"Last year it started out pretty good at Duluth although we had a crash in the final and we never made the final in the open. I had several bad luck instances. The next weekend we went to Winnipeg and had a good run there and won the stock final but had a crash in the open," says Shaun Crapo. "It was my first national win so that felt pretty good. To beat Morgan in his home town was even better. (the Morgan team is based in Winnipeg) I won Canterbury in Pro Stock as well. After that I had a back injury that put me out for the rest of the season."
Crapo had been having back problems and pain throughout the season and it kept getting worse. "I knew something was wrong but I didn't think it was as major. Over the Christmas vacation last year I went to the doctor, got a MRI and he noticed I had a bulging disc in my lower back. We decided to take care of it then rather than waiting. He said if it ruptures it could damage a nerve. It was hard just before the X Games but I had surgery on Jan31/04," notes Crapo. "I was bedded down for quite awhile. They go in and trimmed the disc that was bulging. You cut half of it out, clean up all the junk in there and then slide it back in between your disc and let it heal. The doctor said it should be 100% and I will have no problems with it for the rest of my life. He felt it had probably happened over the last couple of years of pounding. It's kinda funny because my mom, aunt and uncle have actually had the same exact disc do the same thing. It can be genetic as well. After that I actually starting working with a trainer, Jeff Spencer from California. He helps Chad Reid from AMA Motocross and cyclist Lance Armstrong. We got on a program. I was living at home in Idaho and met with him in California for a week. We set the system up and talk once a week. Mostly it's a lot of cardio. I've got a road cycle and ride some motocross. This year there wasn't much time because of the back injury although I did race a couple of races in Idaho." Shaun Crapo rides a cycle three time a week for 1 hour 45 minutes and then works out with weight training. He is also on a diet program which has worked out good. "No greasy foods. There are certain things to stay away from. It's really hard on the road but we usually pack a cooler full of stuff." says Crapo.
How does Shaun Crapo like the new Arctic Cat race sled. "They changed the rear skid quite a bit and a little of the steering. It feels really good out there. The improvements they made certainly help. We went to Colorado for five days and rode for four days on a simulated track with a groomer. It was near home." states Crapo.
"During the season we are based in Brainerd, MN out of Russ Eberts shop. We have a house right next to his shop that my mechanic Jamie and I live in. You go to the gym and help work on sleds during the week. After the 3 to 4 month season I go home, play and relax. I like hunting - bow hunting this past year. We have a real good area for hunting elk, deer and bear. I got into that and motocross racing."
"This year I am just going to go out, take every race one at a time, stay focussed,do my best and hopefully come out on top. I can't go out there with high expectations, what ever happens happens. That's racing, says Crapo. Kirk and Russ pretty well developed this race sled. I've got the best guys in the sport working on my sleds. Kirk is a legend. My dad actually raced with Kirk out of high school. We've known Kirk for many years. He grew up in Driggs, Idaho which is a 1/2 hour drive from where we live. I've always wanted to race snocross. There are a lot of kids that look up to us. It's kind of a dream. It's hard to believe that I'm here."
"I'm 100% healthy now and feel good. It's the first time on the sleds so its a little hard getting back into the game. I haven't been on a sled for almost a year now. It will take some time to get back in the groove." smiles Crapo. "The young 20 year old racer got married last October. "We just found out we are expecting a baby on June 11."