Despite falling short of reaching the top spot of the podium, Monster Energy / Arctic Cat / Ram Truck’s Tucker Hibbert extended his points lead at the ISOC Canterbury Park Snocross National in Shakopee, Minn. Hibbert gained three points over second place, giving him a 40-point lead in the Pro Open Championship chase.
Entering the Canterbury Park National, Hibbert had his sight set on capturing his 100th career Pro National victory. He was fastest man on the track both Friday and Saturday but poor starts in the finals eluded him of the milestone win.
As the top qualifier Friday night, Hibbert had the first start line pick for the 15-rider, 15-lap final event. He had a solid jump off the line but got pinched in the first corner and shuffled back to eighth place.
On a mission to get to the front, he pushed through the pack. On lap nine, he moved into second with leader, Ross Martin, in sight. Closing in on Martin, a bobble on the landing of a jump ejected Hibbert from his sled and left him on the ground. He reentered the race in sixth place and put on a late charge to finish fourth.
Hibbert was the top qualifier for Saturday’s final but once again got a poor start. Rounding lap one in 10th place, he struggled to make passes on the smooth, fast track. Once lines started to develop mid-way through the 15-lap final, he quickly began to make moves.
With three laps to go, he passed Tim Tremblay to take over third place and put on a last ditch effort to get his 100th career win. In the final two laps, he chased down and passed Martin but came up short of catching holeshot winner and race leader Kyle Pallin.
The ISOC National Snocross tour now takes a three-week break but there’s no slowing down for Hibbert. He’ll spend the next two weeks in Colorado preparing for X Games Aspen where he’ll compete for his eighth consecutive gold medal and 13th overall medal. The event will be broadcast live on ESPN Sunday, January 25.
“We (the team) definitely were looking for a better weekend than we ended up having. With the success we’ve had this year, it’s hard to be satisfied with anything less than winning right now.” said Hibbert. “The goal was to win at least one main event to get no. 100 and that didn’t happen. Overall, the weekend was a success because we extended our points lead in the championship. I’m happy with the way I rode but just came up short. I was riding really strong to come from the back of the pack both nights, especially on Saturday. My speed and fitness are there but I really made it tough on myself not getting good starts in the finals. Now, our focus is 100% on X Games. We’re already in Colorado and will spend the next two weeks testing to be prepared to get the eight-peat (eight consecutive gold medals).”