As snow and cold starts to descend on parts of North America, the ISOC Amsoil Championship Snocross Series is headed for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for Rounds 3-4 of the national series – returning to the Blackjack Resort in Bessemer for racing Dec. 6-7.
The question heading in: Can anybody stop Tucker Hibbert? And the interesting local answer to that question is: Will Kyle Pallin from nearby Ironwood, Michigan, be the guy to challenge Hibbert.
All the racing action can be followed live here on snowgosite.wpengine.com on the Ustream webcast page. Also, be sure to make predictions in our Fantasy Snowmobile Racing Challenge game – it’s easy, free and fun.
Hibbert scorched the Pro Open field at the season-opening race weekend in Duluth, Minnesota, November 29-Dec. 1 with two dominating victories in the finals, which followed victories in every one of his heat races. The Cat racer from Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, holds the maximum number of points available – 90 – in the standings and is the obvious favorite.
But what about Pallin? The second-year Pro Open competitor was the only other racer to finish on the podium (or “on the box” as the racers like to say) in both finals at Duluth – third on Saturday, second on Sunday. And, he’ll have some home cooking for this one.
“Blackjack is definitely most of the racers on the series’ favorite track,” Pallin said in an ISOC press release. “It’s the roughest, most demanding track we’ll face all year. The jumps are massive and you really have to be at your best to be successful at Blackjack. I’m looking forward to hopefully continuing our podium streak we enjoyed this past weekend in Duluth.”
The race course will again utilize the Blackjack ski resort’s Oxbox and Thornapple runs, with 850 feet of elevation change.
Other Big Questions:
As you’ll see in the standings below, the top Ski-Doo in the Pro Open class is Tim Tremblay – in 10th. That’s an amazingly low spot for a brand that put two sleds side-by-side in the Amsoil Dominator final on Friday at Duluth.
There were odd happenings at Duluth, however, that affected several Ski-Doo riders – Tremblay in particular. He had an off in the final Saturday night, and then was struck and run off the track in anincident with Arctic Cat’s Cody Thomsen in Sunday’s final. Thomsen was immediately black-flagged for rough riding by ISOC officials and, in a rarity in this sport, Tremblay called out Thomsen in a post-race story on the ISOC website, calling it “one of the hardest hits I’ve ever taken in competition.”
“I felt great until that point. I made up a bunch of ground on the start going up that hill and the sled was fast. I was closing in on the leader, had him right in front of me, and then, bam, I’m on the ground and my sled is up on its side. It’s very bad luck, for sure.”
His teammate, Robbie Malinoski, is 11th in points after failing to qualify for Sunday’s final at Duluth. Also, Team Warnert Ski-Doo Pro Open racer Johan Lidman was injured in Saturday night’s final and didn’t make a serious run on Sunday in Duluth. According to social media, he’s hoping to be healthy enough to race at Bessemer.
Last Year At Bessemer
Last year on this same race course, Tucker Hibbert swept both Pro Open finals at Blackjack Mountain. On Friday night, the top five were Hibbert, Malinoski, Darrin Mees, Tremblay and Levi LaVallee. Saturday evening, the top five were Hibbert, Ross Martin, Tremblay, Mees and Malinoski.
Looking for a darkhorse in your Fantasy Snowmobile Racing Challenge picks? Two of this year’s top rookies in the Pro Open class won the Pro Lite finals at Blackjack last year. David Joanis tasted victory in the class on Friday, while Jake Scott took the checkers Saturday. Can they possibly have similar success racing in the top class this year? Time will tell.
Here are the points standings for the major classes:
- Tucker Hibbert, Monster Energy Arctic Cat #68 90 points
- Kyle Pallin, Team LaVallee Polaris #324 79
- Cody Thomsen, Arctic Cat #62 65
- Logan Christian, Drift Arctic Cat #43 64
- Kody Kamm, Hentges Racing Polaris #53 63
- Ross Martin, Judnick Motorsports Polaris #837 61
- David Joanis, Royal Distributing Arctic Cat #115 58
- Iain Hayden, Rockstar Energy Polaris #93 55
- Justin Broberg, Hentges Racing Polaris #168 54
- Tim Tremblay, Amsoil Ski-Doo #11 49
- Robbie Malinoski, Amsoil Ski-Doo #4 40
- Colby Crapo, Huber Motorsports Ski-Doo #999 38
- Jake Scott, Team LaVallee Polaris #42 37
- Zach Pattyn, Stud Boy Racing Ski-Doo #99 35
- Darrin Mees, Boss Racing Ski-Doo #170 33
- Levi LaVallee, Team LaVallee Polaris #108 29
- Mike Bauer, Jess Racing Arctic Cat #717 29
- Petter Narsa, Team Jimmy John’s Ski-Doo #271 28
- Bobby LePage, Cottew Motorsprts Polaris #244 25
- Johan Lidman, Warnert Racing Ski-Doo #52 21
- Andrew Carlson, Polaris 84 points
- Marcus Johansson, Polaris 68
- Corin Todd, Polaris 67
- Andrew Lieder, Polaris 63
- Kevin Wallenstein, Ski-Doo 61
- James Johnstad, Polaris 60
- Corey Watkinson, Arctic Cat 58
- Nisse Kjellstrom, Polaris 57
- Zak Mason, Polaris 55
- Justin Parnell, Ski-Doo 51
Pro Am Women
- Marica Renheim, Arctic Cat 44 points
- Jennifer Pare, Polaris 41
- Samantha Tarnowski, Ski-Doo 40
- Merranda Schmid, Arctic Cat 36
- Alexxa Callan, Arctic Cat 34
Pro Am Plus 30
- Danny Poirier, Polaris 44 points
- Lee Butler, Ski-Doo 41
- Joshua Zelinski, Arctic Cat 40
- Ross Bauerly, Ski-Doo 33
- Justin Tate, Pol and Earl Reimer, Doo 32