Tucker Hibbert Sweeps Duluth ISOC Opener
by Scott A. Sumner
It seemed like deja vu when I saw Tucker Hibbert win all his heat races and both finals in his first competition of the 2009/2010 snocross race season. Last year the same feat happened in all of the first 5 races and then X Games when Tucker exited the season to begin preparation for his AMA National Motocross racing. It was fun to sit down with Tucker in the Monster Energy Arctic Cat trailer and ask him some questions!
Was it difficult for you to leave snocross early last season after a perfect start?
“ It was hard to leave last year when you are winning I guess but that was the decision I had made before the the season had stated. I had planned to do only those 4 events and the X Games. I knew it was coming so it wasn’t terrible hard. It is fun to win but you don't want
to press your luck. The year before( 2006/2007) some plans changed and we were able to do the whole season minus one race, so that was good too I guess but I am really just focussed on the races I set on my schedule and just take it from there. This year we have added one event in New York after the X Games so we will do 5 Nationals and the X Games.
How do you train for your races?
I pretty much race and train all year round so that keeps me fit and ready to go all the time I guess. You do change your training for each specific sport. With snocross it is a little more training especially in the legs. Snowmobiles can take a lot out of your lower body so it is
a little more strength but the biggest thing is riding the snowmobile. We don't get a ton of time to practice and ride before the first race so the focus is riding and getting as much seat time as possible. It is pretty much impossible to duplicate the stress that you get from racing
sleds. We had been riding for about a month before the 2009 Duluth Snocross event. We went out west and did some practicing and testing. When we got back to Minnesota we were able to ride around some of the practice tracks here so it has been pretty good.
What is your impression of the 2010 SNOPRO 600?
I think this years sled is a little bit better. We didn’t make many changes on the sled but the small changes made have improved it quite a bit. I am just excited to be racing out there again on the SNO PRO. It is a good sled. It worked last year so we don't want to change too
many things or mess anything up. The sleds are working really well. I am happy with it so just have to go out and put it to the test.
What does Tucker think of the new Arctic Cat SNOPRO 500 consumer sled?
The SNOPRO 500 is a great sled. I haven't ridden it yet but I ride it every weekend. It is the same sled that I am racing in the stock class, basically with a little less power. It is great that they are out with the consumer version and the guys get to go out and ride in the ditches
with their buddies and ride the same sleds we ride here at the races so it is pretty cool.
What are your goals this season?
My goal is not in winning a championship but winning these races I am in. My main focus is on Winter X Games and trying to win another gold medal there. We use all the races leading up to that as preparation and practice to try and build up our momentum for that race. It is not
all about the X Games but that is where the most of my focus is at. Obviously every time I race it is important to go out and win and do the best you can but our main goal is to win X Games.
What makes the Tucker Hibbert team so successful?
It is a combination of good people behind me, having good equipment is key and you can't have any technical difficulties or malfunctions if you are going to win races. My dad and everyone at Arctic Cat, Paul Englestad and the group of people we have behind us are the best in my opinion. I just then try to do everything I can to be prepared and ready. You try to figure how to go faster, be smoother and use less energy. I just analyze everything I do and just try and do it. It is really all I do I guess, work really hard but I wanna win. You try to
figure out every little aspect that I can improve and be a better rider. That is what I focus on doing. I think a big part of my success has been based on my motocross and supercross racing in the summer because it really keeps me at the top of my game all year round. I
think a lot of other riders really have to build up to the snocross season where I am constantly at my peak, basically, and pushing myself all year round so that helps me a lot.
How did you do in motocross last season?
This past season in motocross I really didn't do a ton better than the year before. I had a couple 12th placed motos and a 14th overall. My goal was to break the top 10 this year and I didn’t quite make it. This is one of the first years I haven’t made a big improvement from
year to year. I kind of platowed a little bit this year but know what I have to do to do better next year and I am going to work at it. My number in the lites class this season is 74. It is way more competitive in the motocross side. The guys who are racing are racing year round
and for me it is a little more difficult taking six months out of the years and riding snowmobiles. In other ways it helps me Iguess. I went to Texas and started riding motorcycles and started prepping for the summer after last season. I did 6 national motorcycle races last summer and a bunch of mountain bike races and had a lot of fun. It was good!
What do you expect for the new ISOC race year?
It is hard to say if ISOC has improved this year with this first race. We will just have to see how things pan out and how it goes. I do think they have really been working hard at making improvements over last year and getting things organized a little better. So far I think
they have done a great job.
Does Tucker have any time just to relax?
I don't get too much time to just relax and hang out as I am pretty much racing or getting ready for a race all the time. Mandy and I completed our house over the summer and are pretty much done with our renovations I guess. My racing is based out of my dad's shop and we
pretty much keep all the racing stuff there.When I go home I just try and relax and get away from everything.