Tucker Hibbert dominated Saturday's Pro Open final. Photo by John Hanson.
Tucker Hibbert had a dominating Pro Open performance on the second day of the ISOC National Snocross event in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., this past weekend. Nailing the holeshot nearly every time he was on the track Saturday night, Hibbert rode with confidence and control to win both his qualifying rounds and the final event at Soaring Eagle Resort & Casino.
Hibbert grabbed the Stud Boy Holeshot in both qualifying rounds and, despite being dealt ninth pick on the start line for the final due to the inverted start procedure, nearly got the holeshot in the final.
“We worked quite a bit on start testing during the break and did some brainstorming between Friday and Saturday to get better starts," said Hibbert. "That made a big difference for us Saturday night. The track was small and tight so it was really important for us to get our starts figured out.”
Early on in the 20-lap final, there was a three-way battle for the lead with Hibbert in third. Riding a blistering fast line through the back rhythm section of the track, he made two clean passes for the lead and immediately opened a gap over second place. Hibbert rode unchallenged for the rest of the race. Rounding out Saturday's podium were Ski-Doo racers Tim Tremblay (second) and Elias Ishoel (third).
“Saturday was awesome, winning both heats and the main event to maximize our points," said Hibbert. "I would’ve liked to have done a little better on Friday to help with the points but, overall with the track conditions and the weather, I’m happy with how I felt on the sled.”
Coming into the weekend, temperatures in central Michigan were in the mid-60s, and there was no snow to be found within 50 miles of the race venue. On Friday night, torrential rains pounded the track as thunderstorms rolled through Mt. Pleasant. Track conditions were brutal, but Round 11 still took place. Racing was condensed, however, with laps cut from qualifying and the final.
Starting in the middle of the pack, Hibbert could do no better than finish 2-3 in qualifying and fourth in Friday's final. Kody Kamm finished on top of the Pro Open podium, joined by Tremblay in second place and Lincoln Lemieux in third.
Temps dropped on Saturday, and a steady light snow resulted in better track conditions for Round 12.
Hibbert is currently third in the overall point standings, 37 points behind Tremblay and seven points behind Kamm.
In the Pro Lite category, Polaris racer Jake Angove (left) turned in his best performance of the season, winning Saturday's final and racing to a second-place finish on Friday.
Angove now sits in second place in the point standings behind Aki Pihlaja.
"It feels awesome," said Angove. "It was a crazy final, I was in second for most of the race and was able to make the pass and come away with the win. I've been second the last three races and I just really wanted to get to the top and we were finally able to make it happen. "
For full results, visit www.snocross.com.