ARCTIC CAT’S TUCKER HIBBERT MAY BE THE NEW SNOCROSS KING
by Scott A. Sumner
Last year Tucker Hibbert, age 23, won 4 races plus the X games on the WPSA National Circuit in an abbreviated schedule. “ It was a good year and a lotta fun for me with the program we put together with Monster Energy and Arctic Cat. We had some good races and proved to everyone we were still capable of winning and had some fun. I was focussed on
Supercross and moving on to that challenge and that was a decision we made before the season started. The planning was to end the Snocross year in New York. I raced the East Coast Supercross series so that started two weeks after my last snocross race until early May and then I raced motocross during the summer in the US and Canada,” smiled
Tucker Hibbert. “ We did good in motocross, raced the Canadian Nationals and finished 7th in the series. We won one of the races and had a couple of DNF's but over all we learned a lot and had some fun so it was good. I rode Yamaha's in Supercross and Kawasaki’s in the
outdoor series, all 4 strokes. My focus is still supercross and motocross as the number one sport and to keep improving year after year to where I can achieve a goal I have set for myself. So far everything has gone good. We are getting closer to my goal. I want to
get better. Whether I can ever challenge someone like James Stewart, I don’t know if that is a realistic goal but I think it is possible for me to challenge for a lites supercross championship.”
This is a new season of Snocross for Tucker Hibbert who will once again race an abbreviated schedule. “ Last year we didn’t do as well at Duluth. You always come into this race alittle unprepared and unknown so you try to get out with out any injuries. We learnt from the weekend last year and came into Brainerd and got some wins,” smiled Hibbert. “
The new Sno Pro 600 is brand new from the ground up and has created a lot of challenges for us. I’m sure we will learn a lot this weekend. We are hoping our testing we have done over the the last 2 weeks will bring everything to our attention so we don’t have any problems this
weekend. I was at Scheuring track and before that 5 days in Smithers, BC running the new sled in the mountains.”
How does Tucker Hibbert like the new SnoPro 600?
“ It is a lot different. The 600 has a lot more power and the chassis is completely different. It feels a lot more comfortable and easier to ride. The overall feel of the sled is way better than the old one so I am looking forward to getting it on the track. I don’t really notice the 13.5 to 15 inch track difference. Hopefully overall it will be a little bit better to get off the line. We didn’t have a lot of time on the mod sled yet to test with differently tracks etc. On the Open sled
we will play with different tracks. It is always a challenge with the mod sled. You can’t just throw the same thing as on the stock sled as it is a whole different animal. The power should be the same as last year with Speedwerks on the engines.”
What will Tucker expect at Duluth?
“ It is hard to expect anything when you come into Duluth as it is a new year with new sleds, new riders, new teams, a lot of unknowns. You try to plan for everything that could happen and go at it with as much preparation as possible. If we could get some wins that will be
awesome. I haven’t ridden my bike for a couple months just getting this team ( Monster Energy) put together. Fitness is great for me. I’m hearing rumors of longer finals which is good. I’m good to go. The training I do is different at times of the year. At times I do a few
small workouts a week and at times I’m 6 or 7 hours a day say on my bicycle.
How does Tucker enjoy being a team owner and how will The Monster
Energy Team prepare after Duluth?
“ I’m sure we will hit some smaller regional races to get some testing and might take a trip out west to get some testing at elevation for the X Games. That is a focus of ours, to get an elevation similar to Aspen. Life is very good. I do a job I love to do. It is a lot of work. People get mixed judgements on our sport, but running my own team is a lot of work pressure getting things lined up. I take it very serious rider wise to be ready. We got my dad as crew chief, three or four mechanics at any given time, a truck driver, my wife Mandy and
friends. I enjoy doing it this way as I get to work with people I really like. We have a good group of people.”
Do you think snocross future is with 4 stroke sleds?
“ We may be forced to go 4 stroke. I don’t think a 4 stoke will have an advantage. It will take a long time to have a clear advantage over a two stoke. I don’t think it will be as easy of a transition as for motorcycles. It will take as a long time for two strokes to work and handle as well as a 2 stroke.”
Who does Tucker see as the most competition in Snocross?
“ Ryan Symons learnt a lot last year. Blair Morgan has had his up and downs. Completion here at Duluth can mean anything. A rider to do the best means the right team with the right people behind you, good equipment, hard work and preparation. You have to be committed. A big fancy Semi won’t help you win on the track but it is hard to run a team at this level from a small trailer. I have seen a lot of racers who don’t have all the bells and whistles and run with the best of them so it not a determining factor. If you have the drive, will power and
focus you can do anything.”