Hibbert & Pihlaja: Kings of Sundown Mountain

Matt Skubic Uncategorized

Round 14 of AMSOIL Championship Snocross Powered by Ram, played in front of a record crowd at the Theisen’s Snocross National at Iowa’s famous Sundown Mountain Resort on Saturday. Tucker Hibbert piloted his Monster Energy Arctic Cat to victory extending his points lead over his fellow Pro competitors. In Pro lite, Aki Pihlaja and Jacob Yurk put on an epic show for the huge Dubuque crowd. Pihlaja had the advantage tonight over Jacob Yurk who is now the new points leader, for the Pro Lite Class. With the Grand Finale taking place next weekend in Lake Geneva, WI the racers and teams have minimal time to prepare for the grueling track at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. 

Pro Lite

Round 1

The first heat of Pro Lite qualifying for Round 14 at the Theisen’s Snocross National featured yet another dominating performance from the riders piloting Arctic Cat snowmobiles. Andrew Lindholm jumped out to the early lead but was passed on the opening lap by the points leader Daniel Benham. Benham ran away to victory, as he lead the field by nearly three seconds as the checkered flags flew. Starting the race in third, Alexander Berglund was also able to make his moves stick on this exciting racetrack to move around Lindholm and solidify a second place spot in the qualifier. Early race leader, Andrew Lindholm, ended his qualifying efforts in third. The second heat race of round one showcased the speed of Round 13 winner, Jacob Yurk. Yurk lead the entire race flag-to-flag but not without much pressure from Emil Harr. Harr being a new-comer to AMSOIL Championship Snocross would finish in second giving him his best result while racing in the United States. Travis Kern was battling for the early race lead before having an issue forcing him to the rear of the field. With Kern’s misfortune, Nisse Kjellstrom rounded out the top three. In the final heat of round one qualifying, Zak Mason and Aki Pihlaja put on an epic battle for the massive Dubuque crowd. Mason would earn the holeshot but passed early by the reigning champion of Pihlaja. Pihlaja and Mason would go back-and-forth for the entire seven lap qualifier before Mason executed a triple on the downhill to move into the lead. With Mason earning the race win, Pihlaja dropped to second and Hunter Patenaude charged hard to finish third.

Round 2

The final round of qualifying for the Pro Lite competitors featured arguably some of the best racing of the entire weekend. The first heat was a grit match between Daniel Benham and Viktor Herten. Benham was able to earn the early advantage over Herten but never was able to build a considerable gap. The two would stay close for the entire seven lap qualifier, but at the end of the race it was Benham taking the win and Herten second. Marcus Ogemar rode a strong race and finished his qualifying efforts with a third. The second heat was a battle between two Ski-Doo riders. Andrew Lindholm grabbed the holeshot, but after early race mistakes, Hunter Patenaude and Aki Pihlaja slotted into the first two positions. The Ski-Doo duo pulled away from the field as it was an old fashioned game of cat and mouse. The two would go bar-to-bar on the last lap, and the edge went to Patenaude taking the win over the reigning champion. Alexander Berglund charged through the field from fifth to earn himself a top three. In the final Pro Lite heat race of the weekend, Zak Mason once again was the first rider to embark up the AMSOIL hill. Mason unfortunately had early race mistakes allowing Jacob Yurk and Nisse Kjellstrom to take over first and second. Yurk would lead the remaining portion of the race while Nisse Kjellstrom rode a flawless race to stay in second. Emil Harr yet again earned a solid top three spot in qualifying.

Final

As the light went green for the Pro Lite final, points leader Daniel Benham jumped out to the early lead as he was closely trailed by Zak Mason and Jacob Yurk. The first lap featured many shakeups, highlighted by Daniel Benham having an issue forcing him to lose the lead and drop to the rear of the field. Also during the first lap, Aki Pihlaja chose smart lines to squeeze himself into the lead. After the carnage of the first lap settled it was Aki Pihlaja leading, Jacob Yurk in second and Zak Mason third. As the beginning laps continued to click off, the top three riders continued to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Hunter Patenaude settled into the fourth position and Nisse Kjellstrom found himself in fifth when the halfway point of the race was reaching near. When the riders became aware of half of the race being completed, Aki Pihlaja had nearly a two second lead over Jacob Yurk and Zak Mason still found himself in third. Hunter Patenaude unfortunately made a mistake that took out of the top five. With four laps to go in the penultimate main event for the Pro Lite class, Jacob Yurk had reeled in Pihlaja, and the battle for the win was on. Yurk found himself side-by-side with the leader on the downhill but made a mistake in the corner allowing Pihlaja to gain a little time. On the final lap, Jacob Yurk once again caught Pihlaja and started to challenge the Ski-Doo rider for the victory. As the racers drag raced to the finish line Pihlaja earned a small edge on Yurk to earn his first win of the season. Yurk solidified the second position all while taking over the points lead. Rounding out the podium was Nisse Kjellstrom as he charged hard late in the race from fifth to earn a third place finish position. Emil Harr rode a strong fourth and made a great showing for his first weekend in the United States. Zak Mason had a crash on the final laps of the race that took him out of third and forced him to finish in fifth.

1. #128 Aki Pihlaja

2. #727 Jacob Yurk

3. #27 Nisse Kjellstrom

4. #31 Emil Harr

5. #63 Zak Mason

6. #58 Marcus Ogemar

7. #144 Max Taillefer

8. #57 Andy Lieders

9. #208 Hunter Patenaude

10. #40 Oskar Norum

11. #75 Martin Moland

12. #302 Viktor Herten

13. #221 Daniel Benham

14. #114 Alexander Berglund

15. #46 Andrew Lindholm

Pro

Round 1

As the Pro’s approached the starting line for their first round of qualifying of the day, all eyes were on Round 13 runner-up Johan Lidman. Lidman started the race in second as he was following the early race leader, Petter Narsa. Lidman started to get aggressive on lap two and forced himself into the lead pushing Narsa back to second. Lidman would lead the rest of the race with ease as he separated himself by over five seconds as the checkered flags flew. The battle for third was tight before Montana Jess made a mistake allowing Corin Todd to slide into third. As the race completed it was Lidman, Narsa, and Todd. The second heat featured all four of the top four drivers in the championship points. Points leader and 10x champion, Tucker Hibbert, put on a clinic as he grabbed the holeshot and never looked back. The reigning champion, Kody Kamm, rode a close second early in the race but the composure and speed of Hibbert was to much to handle in round one. The battle for third was epic as Lincoln Lemieux and Logan Christian swapped positions numerous times before Lemieux crashed helping Christian solidify the third place spot.

Round 2

With only one more round of qualifying before the biggest race of the weekend in Iowa, all the racers were battling to earn the covenant five bonus points for heat race winners. In race one, Petter Narsa was unstoppable as he pulled the holeshot and lead each of the nine laps contested. Johan Lidman once again had a great showing, as he started his race in second and pushed hard to catch the leader. Lidman fell short to Narsa in round two but both the riders looked to earn another podium finish later in the evening. Logan Christian finished his qualifying efforts with a third. In the final Pro heat race of the weekend, Kody Kamm got by the holeshot winner (Montana Jess) and dominated the stacked field. Lincoln Lemieux started his final heat race of the weekend in second but was passed on the last lap by Tucker Hibbert. Hibbert started his race in fifth and moved through the field to earn himself a second place finish position. Lincoln Lemieux rounded out the top three.

Final

With the Pro riders launching into Round 14 of the Theisen’s Snocross National, Logan Christian was victorious in earning the Studboy Holeshot award. Christian was leading but only by a slim margin as Tucker Hibbert and Johan Lidman followed close intact. The 10x champion of Hibbert was able to make quick work of Christian and found himself leading before the start of lap two. Tim Tremblay and Lincoln Lemieux both found there way passed Johan Lidman and now found themselves battling for third. Lemieux made the pass stick on the downhill and now found himself in third. Lincoln Lemieux’s bold choices on the downhill allowed the rider to go from fifth to third in just two laps. With the field remaining the same, Tucker Hibbert had earned himself an over eight second lead as the halfway flags flew. Reigning champion, Kody Kamm, did not have the best of starts as he was buried in the pack but at the halfway point found himself battling with Tremblay for fourth. Kamm and Tremblay would tangle forcing Kamm to the ground and allowing Tremblay to build a gap. As Tucker Hibbert continued to lead, the battle for second started to heat up. Lincoln Lemieux had caught Logan Christian and the battle was hot. The two racers would be bar-to-bar for nearly two laps until Lemieux crashed hard and lost his chance at a podium finish. With two laps to go, Hibbert had built a lead of over 12 seconds and Christian & Tremblay still pushed hard to keep there podium finishes. When the double checkered flags flew it was none other then Tucker Hibbert taking the win, giving him the sweep of the weekend. Logan Christian crossed the finish line in second and Tim Tremblay rounded out the podium. 

1. #68 Tucker Hibbert

2. #43 Logan Christian

3. #11 Tim Tremblay

4. #311 Adam Renheim

5. #54 Petter Narsa

6. #200 Elias Ishoel

7. #13 Lincoln Lemieux

8. #36 Corin Todd

9. #52 Johan Lidman

10. #610 Kristoffer Holm

11. #177 Jake Angove

12. #541 Ryan Springer

13. #1 Kody Kamm

14. #765 Montana Jess

15. #705 Tyler Adams

Pro AM Women

Points leader Megan Brodeur jumped into the lead early in the race and executed flawless lines, as she was victorious in Round 14, all while extending her championship points lead. Malene Anderson and Taven Woodie had a great battle for the entire main event, but at the end of the final it was Malene Anderson in second and Taven Woodie third.

Pro AM Plus 30

Matt Pichner picked up right where he left off in Michigan, as he was victorious tonight in Round 14. Iowa also treated Kurt Bauerly well as he earned himself yet another second place finish. The final spot on the podium was consumed by Arctic Cat rider Nick Zandstra.

2017/2018 AMSOIL Championship Snocross Powered by RAM Schedule

Duluth, MN // November 24-27, 2017

Jackson Hole, WY // December 8-9, 2017

Shakopee, MN // January 5-6, 2018

Deadwood, SD // January 19-20, 2018

Salamanca, NY // February 16-17, 2018

Mt. Pleasant, MI // February 23-24, 2018

Dubuque, IA // March 9-10, 2018

Lake Geneva, WI // March 16-17, 2018

About ISOC Racing

The International Series of Champions (ISOC) is the premier snowmobile race organization in North America, sanctioning AMSOIL Championship Snocross powered by RAM events in addition to affiliating with nine regional circuits. Visit www.snocross.com for more information, fan and racer memberships, schedule details and listings for 17 exclusive one-hour shows on CBS Sports Network. A live stream link during events is free to fans at www.snocross.com/livestream.