Tucker Hibbert wins inaugural at Chicago’s Route 66 Raceway

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Tucker Hibbert wins inaugural AMSOIL Championship Snocross Pro Open main @ Chicago’s Route 66 Raceway!

Career race win 103 for Tucker Hibbert, who furthers his commanding lead in the premier Pro Open class; Ryan Springer wins 4th in-a-row in Pro Lite class.

Contact: Pat Schutte
PR Director, ISOC Racing

JOLIET, Ill. (Feb. 20, 2015) – For the first time in its 17-year history, Chicago’s Route 66 Raceway opened up its storied drag strip to the stars of pro snowmobile racing’s AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram, with the inaugural running of the Hollywood Casino Snocross National, presented by Hayes Brakes.

And it would be two familiar names up on top of the pro class podiums on Friday with Tucker Hibbert (Monster/Arctic Cat/Ram) and Ryan Springer (Carlson Motorsports/Polaris) taking top spots in the Pro Open and Pro Lite main events, respectively.

Pro Open
Hibbert left no doubt as to not only who was the fastest Pro Open racer on Friday at Route 66, but also who wanted it most. In somewhat un-Hibbert like fashion the defending Pro Open champ and current class point leader put an aggressive first corner pass on the Stud Boy Holeshot winner, Kyle Pallin (LaVallee Racing/Polaris), bumped Pallin out of the way and taking the lead – one which he’d (Hibbert) never relinquish.

“It was a good race for me. Got a great start and put down some fast laps early,” said Hibbert. “The track was really technical, a lot like supercross. And I was having a lot of fun out there, and that’s when I ride my best.”

Hibbert’s opening corner move on Pallin kind of caught everyone by surprise as the defending series champ usually bides his time in an effort to reach the front. The move also foreshadowed some redemption for Pallin, which would come versus Ross Martin (Judnick Motorsports/Polaris) late in the contest in a battle for the third and final podium spot.

With Hibbert up eight seconds by lap 6 on No. 2 Pro Open qualifier Tim Tremblay (AMSOIL/Scheuring/Ski-Doo), and Tremblay having a solid lead on 3rd place Martin and 4th place Pallin as well, fans keyed in on the battle for 5th between Jake Scott (LaVallee Racing/Polaris) and the No. 4 qualifier John Stenberg (Warnert Racing/Ski-Doo). That battle would rage on for a few laps before Logan Christian (Christian Brothers/Arctic Cat) ripped up into the mix and grabbed 5th place, which he’d hold on to through the checkers.

With Hibbert and Tremblay in complete command of the 1st and 2nd positions on the podium, the battle ensued between Martin and Pallin for the third and final podium spot. Martin looked to have it, but a mistake leading into the final turn allowed Pallin to dive past Martin and snatch the final podium position away from his fellow Polaris racer – breaking Martin’s streak of podium finishes since the holidays.

“That was a crazy race,” said Pallin, who also launched past Martin for 3rd in the overall Pro Open point standings, 365-361. “You can’t ever give up – no matter what. I stayed on Ross, saw him make a little mistake and capitalized off it on the last turn. Man that was a great race!”

Chicago Friday Pro Open Results
1 – Tucker Hibbert, Pelican Rapids, MN, Arctic Cat
2 – Tim Tremblay, Ste Jeanne D’Arc, Quebec, Ski-Doo
3 – Kyle Pallin, Ironwood, MI, Polaris
4 – Ross Martin, Burlington, WI, Polaris
5 – Logan Christian, Fertile, MN, Arctic Cat
6 – John Stenberg, Sweden, Ski-Doo
7 – Corin Todd, Otego, NY, Polaris
8 – David Joanis, Canada, Arctic Cat
9 – Colby Crapo, St. Anthony, ID, Ski-Doo
10 – Zach Pattyn, Ravenna, MI, Arctic Cat

Overall Pro Open Points (11 of 17 rounds)
1 – Tucker Hibbert, 471
2 – Tim Tremblay, 382
3 – Kyle Pallin, 365
4 – Ross Martin, 361
5 – Logan Christian, 349

Pro Lite
A thrilling Pro Lite final opened the pro class main events on Friday at Route 66 with Carlson Motorsports/Polaris teammates Ryan Springer and Andrew Carlson dueling it out through the checkers to sweep the 1-2 spots.

springer_022015“I’m feeling really good,” said Springer, who won his fourth-straight Pro Lite main event to go up ten points over Trevor Leighton in the overall point chase. “All these Polaris sleds are pulling starts from everywhere – inside, outside, in the middle. Didn’t matter wherever we lined up.”

Grabbing the Stud Boy Holeshot was Carlson, but was soon caught by Springer prior to the start of lap two. But Carlson would not let Springer go, putting on an amazing aerial show on the back straight triple jumps to keep a ski in the corners on Springer’s roost flap.

Things would come to a halt on lap three as the race would be red-flagged when Ski-Doo racer Marcus Johansson went down and required attention from ISOC track officials.

The ensuing single file restart would send the top three out in similar fashion, with Springer leading Carlson and No. 1 qualifier Travis Muller (Cottew Motorsports/Polaris), who got by James Johnstad (Judnick Motorsports/Polaris), out onto the low 40-second lap Route 66 track.

On lap five 16-year-old Norwegian Elias Ishoel (Warnert Racing/Ski-Doo) charged up toward the front and into 4th place, re-engaging with Muller after an epic battle in their opening Pro Lite heat race. The torrid pace between Ishoel, who clocked a 43.1 lap in pursuit of Muller, and the 3rd place Muller would put them right onto Carlson’s sled as well – and the threesome would catch up to race leader Springer with three laps remaining in the ten lap final.

Not to be lost in the shuffle up front was Trevor Leighton (Leighton Motorsports/Polaris), who – despite a broken shoulder – rocked it into the top five (from 13th) to challenge for the podium as well. By lap eight the pace would jump up and bite rookie Ishoel, who sketched and dropped out of the chase. Carlson would make one last run at Springer, but the consistency of Springer would win out over the big air bravado of Carlson. Muller grabbed the final Friday Pro Lite podium spot with Leighton in 4th and Johnstad in 5th.

Chicago Friday Pro Lite Results
1 – Ryan Springer, St. Francis, MN, Polaris
2 – Andrew Carlson, Big Lake, MN, Polaris
3 – Travis Muller, Windom, MN, Polaris
4 – Trevor Leighton, Eagle, ID, Polaris
5 – James Johnstad, Beltrami, MN, Polaris
6 – Kevin Wallenstein, Cadillac, MI, Ski-Doo
7 – Corey Watkinson, Canada, Arctic Cat
8 – Tyler Adams, Elk River, MN, Arctic Cat
9 – Nick Pattyn, Ravenna, MI, Arctic Cat
10 – Korbyn Anderson, Allenton, MI, Ski-Doo

Overall Pro Lite Points (11 of 17 rounds)
1 – Ryan Springer, 386
2 – Trevor Leighton, 342
3 – Andrew Carlson, 367
4 – Travis Muller, 358
5 – Elias Ishoel, 355

The AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram, tour action continues on Sat., Feb. 21 with its inaugural weekend in Chicago – the Hollywood Casino Snocross National, presented by Hayes Brakes, at Route 66 Raceway.

Beginning with AMSOIL Championship Snocross’ season-opening round in Duluth, Minn. and running through the season finale in Lake Geneva, Wis., CBS Sports Network will air 17 one-hour programs of the ACS races.

2014-15 AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram, season schedule:
Duluth, Minn.: Nov. 28-30
Fargo, N.D.: Dec. 12-13
Shakopee, Minn.: Jan. 9-10
Deadwood, S.D.: Jan. 30-31
Salamanca, N.Y.: Feb. 6-7
Chicago, Ill.: Feb. 20-21
Mount Pleasant, Mich.: Feb. 27-28
Lake Geneva, Wis.: March 13-15

Photos courtesy of Lissa Marsolek/ISOC

About ISOC Racing
The International Series of Champions (ISOC) is the premier snowmobile race sanctioning organization in North America and sanctions national AMSOIL Championship Snocross, in addition to affiliating with nine regional circuits. Visit www.isocracing.com for more information, fan and racer memberships, schedule details and more.