Hibbert Extends Championship Points Lead with Elko Speedway SweepMonday, March 14, 2011 | 3:20 PM
Monster Energy/Arctic Cat’s Tucker Hibbert is one step closer to sweeping both U.S. national snocross Pro Points Championships after winning the Pro Super Stock and Pro Open finals at Elko Speedway. The inaugural event at Elko, Minnesota’s car racing track served as round seven of eight on the national tour and undeniably featured the most intense racing of the season.
Hibbert was quick off the line in Saturday night’s Super Stock final and completed lap one on the rear bumper of leader no. 837 Ross Martin. Right before the finish line of lap two, an ice edge shot Hibbert off the track towards the speedway’s cement barrier wall. What happened next, was easily the biggest save in his 11-year history as a professional racer. While dragging on the side of his snowmobile, he managed to keep his throttle hand on the handlebar, grabbed a massive handful of gas, threw himself upright and reentered the track in seventh place. He remained calm and began his charge to the front. Fans cheered with every pass he made and with five-to-go of the 20-lap final, he snuck on the inside of the leader and block passed him for the win.
Sunday’s Pro Open final was equally exciting. Martin took the early lead with Hibbert in fourth. By lap two of the 20-lap final, Hibbert moved into second but a few laps later, he blew a berm allowing Martin to pull a gap. As the course deteriorated, Hibbert searched for new lines to reel Martin back in. With only two-to-go, Hibbert found a new line and tripled into a corner, launching by Martin who only doubled. Martin retaliated in the next rhythm section getting so close to Hibbert that he folded his rear bumper. Hibbert held his lead to take the win from a clearly frustrated Martin.
Hibbert will enter the final race of the season this weekend with a 20-point lead in the Super Stock class and a 23-point lead in the Open class but with 45 points on the line (per class), the championships will not be determined until the final checkered flag flies.
Tucker Hibbert - #68 Monster Energy/Arctic Cat
It’s been a while since I’ve swept both finals in a weekend and it feels awesome. My incident in Super Stock was easily the craziest near crash experience I’ve ever had. I still can’t believe I saved it and was able to regroup for the race win. I knew letting go would be the end of my race so I did everything I could to keep my hand on the throttle. It happened so fast but from what I’ve been told, it was pretty wild. I got back on the track in a hurry and knew right away I could still win. I focused on riding strong, consistent laps and it worked out.
The Open main was a challenging race. I was able to ride almost the whole race mistake free but Ross was riding good. He made me work for the win. Racing clean and hard like that is a lot of fun. I enjoyed it and it was clear the fans did as well.
I’m in a good position entering the final race of the season fresh off a sweep and with a solid points lead in both classes.”
Immediately following the final U.S. national race of the season, he will travel to Finland to defend his FIM Snowcross World Championship title. Last year in Sweden, he received a warm welcome for his first event overseas and became the first American in history to win the prestigious event.
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