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Tucker Hibbert Ready To Race

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Tucker Hibbert Ready To Race 2011/2012 Season


by Scott A. Sumner

 It is always fun to sit down with snowmobile race icon Tucker  Hibbert at the Amsoil Duluth National opener of the ISOC National  Series. The 27 year old Tucker has dominated the sport in recent  times with 66 national wins 10 X Games medals and a World  Championship under his belt. This season offers quite a bit of change  for the sport and the successful racer.

Tucker are you ready for the upcoming season?

“I’m excited to be here for the first race at Duluth. It has been  a lot of time training, practicing and getting everything ready so it  is fun to come here to the track and see if all your hard work is  going to pay off. This summer I did not race motocross. I had a wrist  injury that was surgically repaired earlier in the summer so I spent  time getting healthy from that and working on a bunch of different  projects to get ready for this winter.”

Last season was a great year for you and your team?

"It was a great year for us last year to win both the ISOC National  Championships and also win the X Games again. We were looking forward  to kind of putting the icing on the cake in Finland at the World  Championships but we had a mechanical issue that kind of took us out 
and we ended up third overall which we are proud of. It was good trip  over as well and we had lots of fun. The Arctic Cat snowmobiles have  worked great but this particular problem we had a drive belt break,  which is kind of out of our control, it just happens once in a  while.  It is a bummer but when you have those bad races you start to  appreciate the good races you have had. There are so many things that  go on that can determine the outcome of a race for you so when  everything goes right you take it for granted. There are so many things that can cause problems during the race or weekend.”

This year will be a different year in snocross as there will be no X  Games race?

"The X Games is a big event and I felt it was really good for snocross  and snowmobiling in general. To get our sport on a world level  outreach was a positive and I was excited about the event. We put a  lot of effort each year into going there. It is a bummer but we  can’t control that and we just have to concentrate on winning the  ISOC championship again and doing well at every race. I wouldn’t be  surprised if the X Games race came back or another event of that 
magnitude came about.”

Another big change for snocross this season is there is no stock sled  race class for pros?

“ This year we will race twice on the mod sleds twice on a weekend  versus once on stock and once on mod in the past. That is a big  change for us as we have been riding both sleds for a long time. It  was something I enjoyed doing as well. I will miss it but it will  give us another chance to ride the wild mod sleds. Everything always  changes. As a team overall the switch to us is more expensive as the  mod sleds cost more to build and are harder to maintain so it is kind  of a catch 22. Our team will have 5 mod sleds a couple practice sleds 
and 3 race sleds.”

This year you will be racing an entire new sled from Arctic Cat?

“This year it is really exciting with a new machine based on the Procross chassis that consumers could buy. They have extended that  sled to the racer and it is totally new for us from the ground up. So  far through practice and testing it has shown to be a lot better than 
the previous sled so I am excited to get it out on the track. We were  involved in testing the new sled a little bit but it was based mainly  on consumer feedback and what they wanted, a lightweight, better  handing sled and it is a step in the right direction. My dad was  involved a little in the sled design. Our race sleds are almost  identical to the consumer version other than we run a 600 cc engine  and we modify some of the parts to reinforce the sled to handle some  of the large jumps we take.”

What do you expect here at Duluth this year?

“ The weather isn’t looking that good but there is a lot of snow  and it will be just what the weather throws at us. I have seen  conditions worse here but it is great that ISOC and Spirit Mountain  put on a lot of work to put on the race. We have been able to get  some new sponsors and help grow some attention to the sport I feel.  As a business we have seen some growth over the last year and I just  hope snocross can continue to grow and go in the right direction.”

Tucker Hibbert finished 3rd and 4th in the Pro Mod classes at Duluth  year after winning both classes each year for the last three seasons.  The hard work ethic of the Tucker and the team will certainly see  improvements as the season moves on and they learn more about the new  race sled.


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