Tucker Hibbert takes the inaugural Soaring Eagle Ram Snocross Friday Pro Open class victory; Corin Todd wins the Pro Lites
Hibbert pulls one of his best starts of the season and holds off an early charge from rival Kody Kamm … Todd runs unchallenged from green to checkers
MT. PLEASANT, Mich. (Feb. 21, 2014) – AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram, Pro Open class point leader Tucker Hibbert (Monster Energy/Arctic Cat) pulled one of his best starts of the season, parlaying the Stud Boy Holeshot into an early lead that grew to a 12-second victory at the finish of the opening race of the inaugural Soaring Eagle Ram Snocross.
And in Pro Lite racing Leighton Motorsports/Polaris’ Corin Todd made it two wins in a row, running unchallenged from the green flag to checkers in the night’s opening Pro class main event.
Hibbert In Pro Open
After winning both his heat races in equally dominant fashion, Hibbert ripped the start from the inside No. 1 gate selection and beat Ski-Doo racer Petter Narsa (Jimmy John’s/Boss Racing) to the tape for the holeshot. Quickly up to third place was No. 2-ranked Pro Open racer, Kody Kamm (Hentges Racing/Polaris). Kamm was relegated to the ninth gate pick, on account of a couple mistakes in his qualifiers, but made up for his errors in just few seconds with a start equally as strong as Hibbert’s.
Three turns into Friday’s Pro Open main event it became apparent that Hibbert and Kamm would easily separate themselves from the rest of the pack – part because Hibbert is riding so well, and part because Kamm does anything to try and beat Hibbert. So the stage was set, at least for the first few laps, for an excellent battle between the sport’s top two racers.
“I kept my eye on Kody the first few laps. He was riding really well,” said Hibbert.
Added Kamm: “I did my best to keep him (Hibbert) honest for the first few laps.”
By lap four, though, Hibbert began to pull away. As he put it: “I focused on myself (vs. focusing on Kamm) and was able to gap him.” And Kamm said: “He (Hibbert) got away a little bit.”
That ‘little bit’ amounted to 12 seconds at the finish line, while Kamm raced very well and held on for second on the massive Soaring Eagle track, lauded by all of the racers this evening.
The battle for the final podium spot would go to one of the better comeback stories of the year, Johan Lidman (Warnert Racing/Ski-Doo). Injured early in the season (at the Duluth, Minn. opener), Lidman was on it at Soaring Eagle, racing to a well-deserved 3rd place finish ahead of Arctic Cat racers Cody Thomsen (who at one point challenged Lidman briefly for 3rd) and Logan Christian (Christian Brothers Racing).
Mt. Pleasant Friday Pro Open results
1 Tucker Hibbert Monster Energy/Arctic Cat 68 Arctic Cat Pelican Rapids, MN
2 Kody Kamm Hentges Racing 53 Polaris Kenosha, WI
3 Johan Lidman Warnert Racing 52 Ski-Doo Pitea, Sweden
4 Cody Thomsen Arctic Cat 62 Arctic Cat Nisswa, MN
5 Logan Christian Christian Brothers Racing / Drift 43 Arctic Cat Fertile, MN
6 Justin Broberg Hentges Racing 168 Polaris Mukwonago, WI
7 David Joanis Royal Distributing 115 Arctic Cat Cochrane (Kok rane),
8 Petter Narsa Team Jimmy John’s/Ski-doo/BossRacing 271 Ski-Doo Moskosel,
9 Kyle Pallin Team LaVallee 324 Polaris Ironwood, MI
10 Lincoln Lemieux Amsoil/Air Force/Rockstar 13 Ski-Doo St. Johnsbury, VT
11 Jake Scott Team LaVallee 42 Polaris Port Jefferson Station, NY
12 Zach Pattyn Stud Boy Racing 99 Ski-Doo Ravenna, MI
13 Bobby LePage Cottew Motorsports 244 Polaris Duluth, MN
14 Levi LaVallee Team LaVallee 108 Polaris Longville, MN
Friday’s Pro Lite final, much like the two heat races he won, was all Corin Todd as the New Yorker pulled the holeshot over James Johnstad (Judnick Motorsports/Polaris) and ran strong –and unchallenged – through the checkers for the win.
“I got a good start and just chose the lines that I wanted,” said Todd. “The start made things a lot easier, and it capped off a great day in winning both my heat races and the final.”
Starting from the back row in 11th place was current Pro Lite class point leader Andrew Carlson (Carlson Motorsports/Polaris). Carlson crashed while leading the opening Pro Lite heat race and was forced to come through the pack in the main – which he did – until the end of the fifth (of eight) lap when he cross-rutted and crashed after passing Trevor Leighton (Leighton Motorsports/Polaris) for fourth place. The mistake would cost Carlson some valuable points to tonight’s Pro Lite race winner Todd, who now trails Carlson by only seven points (408-401) with two weekends/four races remaining.
Running up front early with a spirited charge into third place was privateer racer Matt Pichner (HAALA Racing/Arctic Cat). Pichner rode strong for a couple laps before getting passed by Leighton and Corey Watkinson (Watkinson Racing/Arctic Cat).
Watkinson would get past Leighton on lap four for third, while Carlson moved up to challenge Leighton for fourth. Making the pass on Leighton, Carlson looked to be in contention for a podium, but got off in the rhythm section (and wound up eighth).
The white flag lap had the podium finishers all lined up and separated each by a couple seconds, Todd taking the win, Johnstad in second and Watkinson in third. Leighton would hold onto fourth and John Stenberg (Team Bauerly/Ski-Doo) rounded out the top five.
Mt. Pleasant Friday Pro Lite results
1 Corin Todd Leighton Motorsports 136 Polaris Otego, NY
2 James Johnstad Judnick Motorsports 154 Polaris Beltrami, MN
3 Corey Watkinson Watkinson Motorsports, Arctic Cat 173 Arctic Cat Port Carling, Ontario
4 Trevor Leighton Leighton Motorsports 931 Polaris Eagle, ID
5 John Stenberg Team Bauerly Racing 259 Ski-Doo Lofsdalen, Sweden
6 Kevin Wallenstein Ingles Performance 122 Ski-Doo Cadillac, MI
7 Travis Muller Warnert Racing 436 Ski-Doo Windom, MN
8 Andrew Carlson CARLSON MOTORSPORTS 151 Polaris Big Lake, MN
9 Dylan Hall Royal / Hall Racing 421 Ski-Doo Ayr, Ontario
10 Zak Mason LEIGHTON MOTORSPORTS 863 Polaris Gaylord, MI
11 Kyle Rau Rau Racing 325 Arctic Cat Lawton, MI
12 Chase Rosemeyer Team Bauerly Racing 675 Ski-Doo Chippewa Falls, WI
13 Casey Boylan Team Boylan 630 Ski-Doo Anchorage, AK
14 Matt Pichner HAALA Racing 193 Arctic Cat Owatonna, MN
DQ Andrew Lieders Team LaVallee 857 Polaris Colby, WI
DNS Spencer Cowing Cowing Brothers Racing 181 Ski-Doo Wyoming, MN