The days on the calendar keep ticking off, and now we have a mere 34 days to go before the national snocross seasons kicks off in Duluth, Minnesota, with the ISOC Amsoil Duluth National.
Despite coming off of a knew surgery in the off-season, Arctic Cat’s Tucker Hibbert goes into the season as the obvious favorite to dominate once again – and this time, for the full season instead of dropping out after the Winter X Games. But beyond Tucker, who will be making waves this season? The easiest place to start to answer that question is to look back at last year’s results.
In Pro Open last season, Wisconsin’s Ross Martin won the points title by a huge margin – a full 100 points (411 to 311) over fellow Polaris rider Levi LaVallee. After that, things got pretty tight, as the only man to beat Tucker in a final straight-up – Tim Tremblay, finished just 1 point behind LaVallee in third on his Ski-Doo, while Robbie Malinoski finished fourth in the points chase on his Schuering Speed Sports Polaris. Robbie returns as a part of Schuering’s Amsoil-backed effort, but that team will fly Ski-Doos this year. The rest of the top 10 last year were Dan Ebert (Cat), Brett Bender (Pol), Andrew Johnstad (Pol), Emil Ohman (Cat) and Garth Kaufman (Cat).
In Pro Stock, Tremblay took the season title, collecting 18 more points over the winter than second place Martin. There was then a 42 point gap back to Ohman in third, who collected five more points than fourth-place Ebert, with Malinoski fifth. Then it was Davis, LaVallee, Kaufman, Bender and then Hibbert – who finished 10th in points despite competing in only five of the nine race weekends.
Can Tremblay continue to rock in his sophomore season? Will Martin again finish strong, even if Hibbert sticks around? Are some of the older (or, shall we say “more experienced”) racers starting to tire? Or will a new-comer to the pro class – either a stepping up semi-pro or a Scandinavian import – make a major dent?
Only time will tell. And that time starts in 34 days.