Tucker Hibbert Looks To Continue His
by Scott A. Sumner twitter@tbay25
My first stop each year at Spirit Mountain is the Tucker Hibbert race trailer. It is fun to sit down with Tucker and the whole team including Mandy, Kirk, Rob, Garth and others.
Tucker you had a great season last year?
We did have a great season last year winning the Pro Open class, the X Games Snocross gold medal and Class of Nations in Sweden. The World Championship conflicted with an ISOC?race so I couldn’t attend that event. The last two years I haven’t done super good here at Duluth but swept the races here the years before that am looking forward to getting back on track this year with a win. The rest of the season was great and ended up with a championship which is the number one goal.
How was your off season?
I had a really busy off-season racing motocross and some mountain bike races. The summer just flew by. I raced local mountain bike but am not a profession mountain bike rider. We did 5 AMA National motocross races. I would have like to have done a little better but can’t complain too much. It was a fun summer of racing and my first season racing in the 450 class. I look forward to next summer and doing better. Motocross is not easy for me, really challenging and I have done better in the past.
You have been in the snocross race business for a long time now Tucker?
I started racing at 8 years old so it has been 21 years. My Dad raced a ton when I was growing up and I ended up going to the racetrack with him a lot and having a lot of fun watching races and hanging out in the trailer. I was trying to help out but probably getting in the way mostly but I learned a lot being there and I think it has helped me a ton. My first snowmobile riding was with the Arctic Cat Kitty Cat at 18 months old.
You are closing in on being the most winning snocross racer of all time?
I am getting pretty close to the all time win record on the National circuit. It is not something I am thinking that much about but obviously I want to win every time I go out there. It is cool getting close to Blair Morgan’s record. Last winter I was able to do a snowmobile ride with Blair at the Snowmobile Hall of Fame where he was inducted. We spent the day riding snowmobiles and then hanging out at the banquet with his kids. It was fun to see him and to get to ride with him. He seemed to be enjoying life and hanging out with his kids. He is not a full time racer anymore, which takes most of your time so now he can spend time with his kids.
How is the 2014 Arctic Cat race sled?
The new sled is pretty similar to last years but better. We have a pretty easy transition into the season and should be good to go. There is some different tuning from Speedwerx. The sled is awesome. We have been riding since the first week in October, starting in South Dakota when they got some early snow there and then at the Christian Brothers racetrack in Fertile.
How do you feel at age 29 Tucker?
I feel as good as I have ever had even though I am not 16 or 17 years old anymore. I feel better than ever. My fitness schedule has been the same for the last 10 years and is top secret!
Where do you live Tucker?
I live everywhere. In the wintertime we sent most of our time in Thief River Falls working with the team at the race shop and in the summer at Pelican Falls, which is two hours south of Thief River. Last year I did about 500 miles trail riding which is a lot for me so it as kind of fun.
You are the only rider on your team?
Our team is 6 people and I am the only rider and have been the only rider for ten years now. We have a well-organized team. This season we brought on Garth Kaufmann as a mechanic. He is a great guy who has been racing a lot of years and knows what it takes to have a snowmobile ready to win.
How does it feel when you are on the starting line particularly at the start of the season here in Duluth?
When you start the race I still get excited and nervous with some butterflies. When I don’t feel that it may be the time to stop. For now I get excited to go racing and it makes it fun. At the race start line you are a little nervous but then the race starts you are not thinking about anything but are kind of on autopilot. All the test laps, racing and experience come into play and comes back to you and you operate on instincts.
How long will you continue on in the sport?
For me I don’t have a solid plan as to when I am gong to stop. This season it is business as usual and we will take it one season at a time.
Tucker Hibbert won both Pro Open races at the 2013 Duluth opener and seems poised for another dominant season!