UPDATED WITH OFFICIAL RESULTS:
In one of the most interesting Pro Open finals of the year, Ross Martin struck gold in the Black Hills by winning the Saturday night main event at the ISOC Amsoil Championsheip Series stop in Deadwood, South Dakota.
At least for a night, Martin slayed the dragon that is snocross dominator Tucker Hibbert, who had won the previous five Pro Open finals as well as an X Games Aspen snocross gold medal. Martin ran second in many of those races.
“We were joking this morning, that I’m sick of reading deadlines that ‘Hibbert Dominates Again.’ I told my crew, ‘Dude, I’m ending this thing.’” Martin said with a smile after his victory, adding that he said he wanted to write his own headline for Saturday reading “Ross Martin Dominates Deadwood.”
Well, Ross, this headline is for you.
Hibbert certainly had a rough night in Deadwood. After winning his first heat, he got black flagged in his second heat race for tipping over another driver. It wasn’t just any other driver, however; it was an Arctic Cat teammate, but not just any fellow Cat racer; instead, Hibbert got into his cousin, Garth Kaufman.
That incident led to a far outside starting position for Hibbert in the final, and that position resulted in him getting pushed off the track in the very first straightaway.
But take nothing away from Martin. He was running the fastest laps on the track throughout the final and almost came around and lapped Hibbert. Martin earned this victory.
We also have details on the Pro-Lite and Pro-Am Women finals below.
Martin Wins Pro Open Final
Tucker Hibbert wasn’t the only driver who had trouble in his heats. So did Ross Martin. After chasing but not catching rookie Kody Kamm in the first round and settling for second, Martin got tangled up with another driver and got off his sled in his second-round heat. He recovered to finish fourth in that race, but combined with his other finish, he would qualify seventh for the final and not exactly get a great lane choice either.
Kamm was the only driver to sweep his heats, so he’d get inside lane choice in the final. He was joined on the inside lane on the starting line by last year’s ISOC Rookie of the Year Darrin Mees. Mees crashed hard Friday night and didn’t even make it to the final that night. He was determined in his heats on Saturday and looked great, as did another disappointed driver from Friday, Logan Christian.
Saturday’s final features six Polaris, six Ski-Doo and three Arctic Cat drivers. On green, Kamm used his lane choice to his advantage and won the sprint to turn one. As noted earlier, Hibbert got pushed off the track right away and drifted toward the back, but not the very back. That position belonged to defending ISOC points champion Tim Tremblay, who crashed with another driver in turn one.
Kamm’s lead didn’t last long because Christian was on the attack. The Fertile, Minnesota-based driver doubled over a wall of snow that had been slowing down drivers all weekend and literally flew into the lead. Kamm slotted into second, with Martin moving to third, then Darrin Mees, Peter Narsa, Justin Broberg, Emil Ohman and Garth Kauffman, and then Hibbert in ninth – already past six sleds by lap 2.
Christian’s premium line was soon copied by other drivers, including Martin who used it and other sweet lines to take the lead on lap four.
Within a couple more laps on this paperclip of a track Martin moved into lapped traffic. Just like Friday night, the snow roost was incredible, and any driver getting close behind another driver got shovels full of heavy, wet snow heaped on them. Martin opened up a 2 second lead that occasional grew to 7 seconds and then back down to 2. It would accordion based on the lapped traffic, sometimes going up when Martin had some clear track and his chasers were eating roost, and sometimes narrowing quickly when he couldn’t get to a clear line and his pursuers could see.
On lap 9, Christian briefly came off his sled coming out of turn four. He lost second to Kamm but quickly remounted and rejoined the fray in third.
Those three would stay in that order until the end, with Martin earning a 7 second victory on his Jack Link’s/Dupont/Amsoil-backed Polaris. Kamm was a very happy second place on his Monster Energy Polaris, with Christian hanging on for third on his Christian Bros. Cat.
Mees held on for fourth, while Hibbert rose all the way to fifth, and was the last sled on the lead lap. Then came Ohman, Narsa and Malinoski, with Tremblay and Broberg wrapping up the top 10. For full results, and updated Pro Open points standings, see the bottom of this story.
Jake Scott Doubles Up In Pro-Lite
The rough nature of the Deadwood track showed itself in the nasty Pro-Lite final. Jake Scott of the LaVallee Racing team checked out early on his Mystic Lubricants Polaris. Behind him, though, normally stable and dependable Pro-Lite drivers were flying off their sleds as the track quickly changed into a landmine-filled disaster area.
First off his sled in pursuit of Scott was then-second-place Andy Leiders, getting tossed hard in turn one. That allowed Scott to open a four-second lead just three laps into the 16-lap final. Running second at that point was David Joanis on the Royal Distributing Ski-Doo – he just happens to be the man who was tied with Scott for the points lead coming into the night.
Joanis didn’t stay in second long – he came off hard in the triples on the backstretch, and then got run into by another sled. It was a breath-holding moment, but Joanis quickly popped up and rejoined the fight, though far behind. That moved Kevin Wallenstein up to second, and while he never got close to challenging Scott, he at least held the seemingly jinxed position while other drivers were crashing all over the track. Those crashed included on right in front of Scott, and the normally calm Leiders coming off yet again.
In the end, it was Scott winning, then Wallenstein (who crashed while running second on Friday night). Third went to Renaud Alexander, who like Friday got a rather slow start then lived through some late carnage, made a late pass and found himself on the podium.
After the race, New York-native Scott said, “I’m just so excited. I hurt my knee at X Games so I’m battling that too. I don’t even know how I did this.”
A Surprise Winner In Pro-Am Women
In Pro-Am Women’s class this year, it’s been the Jennifer Pare vs. Marica Renheim story, with the Polaris ridingQuebecnative Pare and the Swedish Ski-Doo driver Renheim dominating and trading victories. But in their wake at virtually every stop has beenMichigan’s Samantha Tarnowski. She joined them on the third step of the podium atDuluthand then again inMichigan.
An incredibly hard crash at Canterbury Park kept Tarnowski off the box there, but she was back on the sled in plenty of time for tonight’s race at Deadwood , South Dakota. And this time, she got to the checkered flag first, outpacing Pare and taking a strong victory on his Ski-Doo. Pare finished second, with Megan Campbell third and Renheim back home inSweden… maybe waching on ustream?
Pro Open Results, Deadwood, Rd. 8
1 837 Martin Ross Polaris Burlington WI
2 53 Kamm Kody Polaris Kenosha WI
3 43 Christian Logan Arctic Cat Fertile MN
4 9 Mees Darrin Ski-Doo Stanchfield MN
5 68 Hibbert Tucker Arctic Cat Pelican Rapids MN
6 27 Ohman Emil Ski-Doo Pitea Norrbotten
7 271 Narsa Petter Ski-Doo Moskosel
8 4 Malinoski Robbie Ski-Doo Stacy MN
9 11 Tremblay Tim Ski-Doo Ste Jeanne D’Arc Quebec
10 168 Broberg Justin Polaris Waukesha WI
11 52 Lidman Johan Polaris Pitea Sweden
12 99 Pattyn Zach Ski-Doo Ravenna MI
13 999 Crapo Colby Polaris St.Anthony ID
14 324 Pallin Kyle Polaris Ironwood MI
15 48 Kaufman Garth Arctic Cat Driggs ID
Pro Open Overall Points (after eight rounds)
1 Tucker Hibbert 8 321 321 Monster Energy/Arctic Cat 68 Arctic Cat Pelican Rapids, MN
2 Ross Martin 8 298 298 Judnick Motorsports 837 Polaris Burlington, WI
3 Robbie Malinoski 8 274 274 Amsoil/Air Force/Makita 4 Ski-Doo Stacy, MN
4 Tim Tremblay 8 272 272 Amsoil/Air Force/Makita 11 Ski-Doo Ste Jeanne D’Arc, Quebec
5 Logan Christian 8 231 231 Christian Brothers Racing 43 Arctic Cat Fertile, MN
6 Kody Kamm 8 225 225 Hentges Racing 53 Polaris Kenosha, WI
7 Darrin Mees 8 220 220 Scheuring Speedsports 9 Ski-Doo Stanchfield, MN
8 Petter Narsa 8 209 209 Team Jimmy John’s/Ski-doo/BossRacing 271 Ski-Doo Moskosel,
9 Emil Ohman 8 208 208 Warnert Racing 27 Ski-Doo Pitea, Norrbotten
10 Justin Broberg 8 196 196 Hentges Racing 168 Polaris Waukesha, WI