Shakopee, MN (January 10, 2009) – With one of the biggest crowds on hand in over ten-years at Canterbury Park, Tucker Hibbert (Arctic Cat) continued his season unbeaten streak in the Pro ranks with two driving away victories. Fans also got a taste of the new one-day three-hour main event format, which featured an all-final show with back to back to back Pro and Semi-Pro finals.
Tucker Drives Away Twice for Victory in Pro-Open Final
With his unbeaten streak on the line and the competitors hungry to end it, Tucker foiled their efforts once again by gaining the lead on the first lap by overcoming the holeshot lead of fellow Cat rider Brett Turcotte and proceeding to check-out. In his wake, a swarm of Polaris red lead by Levi LaVallee, DJ Eckstrom and Ross Martin followed Turcotte.
In the early laps, DJ went wide and off the track, shuffling him back in the pack while TJ Gulla (Pol), picked off Malinoski and settling in to the fifth place position. The running order remained Tucker, Turcotte, LaVallee, Martin and Gulla until lap 13, when Martin and Levi began to battle for the third place position, swapping the spot several times over the course of five laps.
The grueling 26 lap final was prolonged when Robbie Malinoski who was running sixth at the time, had an off on lap 19 forcing a red flag and a single file restart for the remaining 7 laps. With the field tightened up, the chance for Tucker to be knocked off his game was on once again, but a clean restart put Tucker in the clear for the win. A late lap charge by Gulla put the finishing order at the flag Tucker, Turcotte, Gulla, LaVallee and Martin.
Kaufman Shows His Stamina While Tucker Pulls Away in Pro-Open
In Pro-Super Stock a melee’ immediately following the start set the stage as Ryan Simons, TJ Gulla, Ross Martin and Andrew Johnstad, all legitimate podium contenders, were forced to regroup and/or re-tether and work from deep behind the leaders. That set the stage for another Tucker Hibbert victory, continuing his unbeaten streak for the season and further securing his points lead.
At the close of the first lap of the 26 lap final, it was Tucker edging out Polaris pilots Levi LaVallee and Brett Bender with Garth Kaufman (Cat), DJ Eckstrom (Pol), Brett Turcotte (Cat) and Shaun Crapo (Pol) rounding out the seven riders in the 16 rider field. The running order remained consistent for over half the race, as Tucker began to checkout and encountered back runners on lap nine.
While the Tucker Hibbert show continued at the front, it was Garth Kaufman who perhaps put on the second most impressive ride of the night, as he slowly edged towards the front, picking off Bender on lap 16 and then having an impressive battle with Levi during the closing laps. The two swap the bridesmaid position several times during the closing laps, with Kaufman eventually getting the bouquet. At the line is was Tucker, who lapped every sled in the field except the top four riders, followed by Kaufman, LaVallee, Bender and Eckstrom to complete the top five.
Tremblay Scores a Victory for Ski-doo in Semi-Pro Super Stock
In Semi-Pro, the ride of the weekend came from Ski-doo pilot Tim Tremblay, who gave Ski-doo their first major win of the season with an impressive ride, charging from fifth place after the close of the first lap, and taking the checkered in front of Dan Ebert (Cat) and Derek Ellis (Pol) at the line. Notably missing from the top finishers was early season podium regular and Swedish standout, Christian Salemark who experienced an early race get-off and failed to return to the race.
In what proved to be one of the most exciting races of the evening, a series of battles shaped up early as Dan Ebert held the lead with Alaskan rider Cory Davis also on an Arctic Cat; Mike Bauer on a Polaris; and Derek Ellis also on a Polaris tightly in tow. By lap eight, Davis made the pass on teammate Ebert and looked to be the clear winner of the race as the laps began to wind down. However, a mechanical on the second to last lap, opened the door for the hard-charging Tremblay.
Semi-Pro Open Results Delayed
A last lap on-track incident in Semi-Pro Open delayed the official Semi-Pro Open results. They will be posted to the ISOC website as soon as they are available.
For complete results visit National Results