There’s going to be no argument with the newest addition to Polaris’ hillclimb team: Tyler Tobin, future law student.
“I had decided last year would be my last year in snocross, and I was going to law school this fall,” he said. Then, Polaris’ Western race manager Rick Ward gave him a call and diverted Tobin toward the hills. Tobin deferred his entrance into University of Wyoming in Laramie for this year. Tobin will ride full-time this winter, concentating in the 700 and 800 Improved Stock classes and the 600 and 700 Mod classes.
Tobin comes to the team with a rich snowmobile background. He’s the son of Jackson, Wyoming, Polaris dealers. He’s an accomplished snocross racer on the Mountain West Racing circuit. He’s a Sledneck stunt rider and a backcountry snowmobile guide. His final thesis for his undergrad political science degree at Montana State was on snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park.
“You don’t usually see people in the snowmobile race community get college degrees, much less law school,” he said. “But I had to put it in perspective. If I want a good career and a good life, I need to do something else, too.”
This spring, Tobin entered — and won — a $5,000 scholarship made in honor of Bill Townsend, a founder of the Jackson Hole Hillclimb. The scholarship was intended for advanced studies in a field that could potentially affect snowmobile land access.
“Tyler is definitely a young man who knows the importance of continued access for snowmobiling and, by attending law school, will hopefully someday be in a position where he can put his background and training to work helping us protect and enhance snowmobiling access,” said Kim Raap, scholarship administrator. “I think he truly exemplifies what we wanted to accomplish with this memorial to Bill.”
But don’t count on a total exit from the snowmobile scene once school begins — among other things, he learned how to balance racing and academics while getting his undergrad degree.