Hibbert outlasts Ross Martin in a spectacular Pro Open main event battle; Pro Lite overall points leader Kody Kamm (Polaris) is back on top with win @ ERX
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Pat Schutte, PR Director, ISOC Racing
ELK RIVER, Minn. (March 10, 2012) – The largest crowd to ever assemble at Elk River’s (Minn.) Extreme Motorpark (ERX) witnessed another spectacular high-flying, bar-banging main event as the world’s top snowmobile racers contested the ERX National, presented by Heinen Motorsports, round 13 of the 2011-’12 AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series on Saturday. And topping out in the premier Pro Open class was the defending ACSS champion, Arctic Cat’s Tucker Hibbert, with Polaris’ Kody Kamm opening the night’s main events with a decisive win the Pro Lite class.
While the 60- degree temperatures brought the fans out in droves to ERX, it did nothing to slow the stock and modified snowmobiles from acclaimed manufacturers Ski-Doo, Polaris and Arctic Cat – the latter two being headquartered in the State of Minnesota. Friday’s night’s sweep by Minnesotans, Ski-Doo’s Robbie Malinoski in Pro Open and Ski-Doo’s Travis Muller in Pro Lite, was continued by Minnesota local Hibbert on Saturday, with Wisconsin’s Kamm breaking up the all-state sweep.
AMSOIL ERX National Pro Open Saturday Final
Tucker Hibbert (Arctic Cat) got back onto a familiar spot in the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series when the defending Pro Open champ took the win after a thrilling race-long battle with Ross Martin (Polaris) ended when Martin, running in 1st at the time, crashed trying to avoid some lapped riders. Hibbert and Martin’s battle put them so far in front of the rest of the pack – current points leader Tim Tremblay (Ski-Doo) included – that Martin was able to restart his sled and re-enter the race in 2nd place.
Pulling the Stud Boy Holeshot was Martin, which was followed by all sorts of carnage that send his teammate and Friday podium finisher Brett Bender off the track and Tremblay nearly tipped over. Caught up behind the mess was Hibbert, who started the opening lap outside the top five.
As things spread out and calmed down a bit Martin and Arctic Cat’s Cody Thomsen separated for just a bit, with Friday’s Pro Open winner – Robbie Malinoski (Ski-Doo) – in hot pursuit. Hibbert was also flying, on a mission to make up spots – which he did to the tune of five racers passed in a little over a lap. Soon after Malinoski caught Thomsen for 3rd, he wadded up his Ski-Doo and had to crawl from the wreckage off to the side of the track. DNF for the then 2nd place overall points holder in the Pro Open class, a rough finish to what started with a win on Friday.
Malinoski’s crash allowed Tremblay to move up to 4th, to which he’d get past Thomsen for 3rd. But with some mechanical issues on his sled, masterfully addressed by his crew, Tremblay would get no closer to Hibbert and Martin – who were putting on a spectacular racing show up front.
Martin had Hibbert dead to rights in the rhythm section down the back stretch of the track, and used that to catch, pass and start to pull away from the champ. Then with two laps to go Martin went down and handed the lead back over to Hibbert, who ran it through to the checkers unchallenged. Martin would amazingly hold on to 2nd with Tremblay rounding out the Pro Open podium on the final night at ERX.
Said Hibbert: “That was a heck of a race, man. Lot of fun racing with Ross – he was on it.”
Added Martin: “Just a bummer. I had such a good race going on. I think I might have been a little faster, but that’s how it goes.”
So as we head into the final two main events of ACSS racing, Tremblay enjoys a somewhat stable lead over Martin, 504-477. But in the sport of snocross that lead can evaporate with just one main event miscalculation.
Sledhead 24/7 Pro Lite Saturday Final
Pro Lite points leader Kody Kamm came ripping back with a vengeance after a couple wipeouts on Friday night relegated him outside the top five – and laid the smack down on the rest of the Pro Lite field at ERX on Saturday. Kamm won by nearly five seconds over 2nd place Colby Crapo (Polaris), with Ski-Doo’s Derek Ellis placing 3rd – and was the only Pro Lite racer to podium both nights at ERX.
Pulling the holeshot was Polaris’ Matt Bristow, towing Arctic Cat’s Matt Pichner and Crapo through the first turn, while Kamm got out in about 5th. By lap three Kamm had disposed of Crapo and Pichner to move into 2nd, then set up Pichner with a thrilling mid-track triple jump out of a corner – an area where all the other racers were doubling.
Midway through the nine-lap contest Friday’s winner Travis Muller (Ski-Doo) went down, dashing his chances at a return to the Pro Lite podium. With four laps to go Kamm was in complete control, Crapo holding on strong to 2nd and Bristow in 3rd. Ellis brought the crowd to their feet with a pass on Bristow with two laps to go – which he’d make stick through the checkers.
Said Ellis: “You know, I got a descent start. The track was super demanding, so I pointed by Ski-Doo in the dirt direction and it ran like a Cadillac … like it always does. I ended up making a couple poor line selections early, which put me back to like 7th. So I was pumped to be able to make it back to the podium.”
Elk River, Minn., Snocross National Pro Open Saturday results
1st – Tucker Hibbert (Arctic Cat), Minnesota
2nd – Ross Martin (Polaris), Wisconsin
3rd – Tim Tremblay (Ski-Doo), Canada
4th – Kyle Pallin (Arctic Cat), Michigan
5th – Cody Thomsen (Arctic Cat), Minnesota
6th – Justin Broberg (Ski-Doo), Wisconsin
7th – Cory Davis (Arctic Cat), Alaska
8th – Dan Ebert (Arctic Cat), Minnesota
9th – Emil Ohman (Ski-Doo), Sweden
10th – Brett Bender (Polaris), New York
11th – Darrin Mees (Ski-Doo), New York
12th – Mathieu Morin (Ski-Doo), Canada
13th – Bobby LePage (Polaris), Minnesota
14th – Paul Bauerly (Ski-Doo), Minnesota
15th – Robbie Malinoski (Ski-Doo), Minnesota
Pro Open overall points (after 13 rounds)
1st Tim Tremblay (Ski-Doo), Canada – 504
2nd – Ross Martin (Polaris), Wisconsin – 477
3rd – Robbie Malinoski (Ski-Doo), Minnesota – 464
4th – Tucker Hibbert (Arctic Cat), Minnesota – 410
5th – Darrin Mees (Ski-Doo), New York – 394
6th – Justin Broberg (Ski-Doo), Wisconsin – 335
7th – Mathieu Morin (Ski-Doo), Canada – 309
8th – Brett Bender (Polaris), New York – 304
9th – Cory Davis (Arctic Cat), Alaska – 282
10th – Garth Kaufman (Arctic Cat), Idaho – 279
Elk River Snocross National Pro Lite Saturday results
1st – Kody Kamm (Polaris), Wisconsin
2nd – Colby Crapo (Polaris), Idaho
3rd – Derek Ellis (Ski-Doo), North Dakota
4th – Andrew Lieders (Polaris), Wisconsin
5th – Matt Bristow (Polaris), Minnesota
6th – Jake Scott (Polaris), New York
7th – James Johnstad (Polaris), Minnesota
8th – Corey Watkinson (Ski-Doo), Canada
9th – Casey Boylan (Ski-Doo), Alaska
10th – Andrew Carlson (Polaris), Minnesota
11th – John Stenberg (Ski-Doo), Sweden
12th – Brett Nastala (Polaris), Wisconsin
13th – Matt Pichner (Arctic Cat), Minnesota
14th – Chris Kafka (Polaris), Wisconsin
15th – Travis Muller (Ski-Doo), Minnesota
Pro Lite overall results (after 13 rounds)
1st – Kody Kamm (Polaris), Wisconsin – 512
2nd – Derek Ellis (Ski-Doo), North Dakota – 473
3rd – James Johnstad (Polaris), Minnesota – 369
4th – Andrew Lieders (Polaris), Wisconsin – 363
5th – Jake Scott (Polaris), New York – 357
6th – Travis Muller (Ski-Doo), Minnesota – 335
7th – Corey Watkinson (Ski-Doo), Canada – 329
8th – John Stenberg (Ski-Doo), Sweden – 329
9th – Andrew Carlson (Polaris), Minnesota – 302
10th – Brett Nastala (Polaris), Wisconsin – 280
Next up …
Who: World’s top snowmobile racers, including Wisconsin’s own Ross Martin, Martin’s rival Tim Tremblay, hard-charger Robbie Malinoski, defending ’11 champ Tucker Hibbert and New Year’s eve snowmobile jumping legend Levi LaVallee
What: Final rounds of the 2011-’12 AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series
When: March 16, 17 & 18, 2012
Times: Friday’s amateur day. Pro class racing begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, noon on Sunday
Where: Grand Geneva (Wis.) Resort & Spa
ISOC/ACSS photos by Gary Walton
About ISOC Racing
The International Series of Champions (ISOC) is the premier snowmobile race sanctioning organization in North America and sanctions the national AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series, in addition to affiliating with nine regional circuits. Visit snocross.com for more information, fan and racer memberships, schedule details and more.