Monthly Archives: January 2009

Tucker Hibbert and Team Arctic are Ultimate at the X Games

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In a venue whose entire premise is “extreme,” Team Arctic’s Tucker Hibbert delivered the ultimate extreme performance of his already legendary career, winning the ESPN Winter X Games gold medal for the third year in a row, the fourth time in his career and in the greatest margin of victory ever recorded. It was the most dominant performance of Winter X 13, held again this season in Aspen, Colo., and it was backed up by another strong performance by the other Team Arctic racers.

As he has done all season long, Hibbert nailed the holeshot in the 15-racer, 20-lap final and threw down a dozen fierce laps that no other rider could match. By the time he took the checkered flag, the 25-year-old from Goodridge, Minn., had a 36-second lead over second place, and lapped all but the top five racers.

Finishing third in his first-ever main event appearance at X Games was the irrepressible Dan Ebert of Lake Shore, Minn. Thrilled just to make the final, Ebert proved once again that he’s fully transitioned from “up-and-comer” to “the guy to beat.”

After a rough start, Ryan Simons of Camrose, Alberta, was equally thrilling with his charge through the pack that eventually put him in fifth place. Putting three Team Arctic racers in the top five was more than Race Team Manager Mike Kloety had hoped for.

“It was an incredible and successful X Games for our team,” said Kloety. “All of our racers and teams who made the journey to Aspen put on an incredible show.

“This event is every snocross racer’s dream and the extra work and testing that gets put into preparing for this event paid off. Tucker and his team started preparing for this event one year ago, and with the help of Speedwerx our modified motors run really strong, which made the difference here and will benefit all of our racers for the rest of the season.”

The other highlight for Team Arctic was the third-place finish by Cory Davis in the Speed & Style event. Davis, of Soldotna, Alaska, used his fast cornering skills and strong freestyle talent to finish on the X Games podium for the first time in his career.

In case you missed Hibbert’s live performance, check him out on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on NBC at 10:35 pm (ET) on Tuesday, Jan. 27, where he will be seen in a segment taped during the X Games.

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Team Arctic Racers Ready for Gold at ESPN’s Winter X

The modified Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 sleds are ready. The racers are acclimated to the rarified mountain air. The practice laps are complete. Now all that’s left is to show the world why they are the most formidable force in ESPN Winter X history. On the eve of the most-watched and revered snocross race of the season, Team Arctic racers are poised to deliver a historic performance that will be seen by X million people throughout the world. These are racers who will vie to win the coveted gold, silver and bronze medals at Winter X in Aspen, Colo.:

SNOCROSS
Brett Turcotte #16
On the heels of a season-best second-place finish in the Open class at the Canterbury snocross, Brett Turcotte comes to Winter X with both talent and confidence, two ingredients necessary to battle what has historically been a monster track and amped competition. Better still, the 21-year old from Clearwater, B.C., took the silver at last year’s X, so he knows what it takes to reach the podium.

Garth Kauffman #48
Confidence is also a weapon in Garth Kauffman’s arsenal, having notched a very solid second place in the Pro Stock class at the most recent ISOC National. Strong, determined and accustomed to mountain riding (he’s from Driggs, Idaho), the 25-year old Kauffman is unflappable when the pressure is on.

Matt Piche #51
In his second year as a national level Pro, Matt Piche of Detroit Lakes, Minn., is at that point in his career where The Big One will happen, and soon. He’s healed up from an injury at the season opener in Duluth, Minn., and comes to Winter X hungry to prove he’s ready and able to make his mark.

Carl Schubitzke #6
Another racer who can show incredible speed and agility, Carl Schubitzke of Duluth, Minn., is ready to bust out of what has so far been a tough season. Playing in his favor is the fact that’s he’s a holeshot artist who usually emerges from the first corner in the lead (or close to it). Holeshots have always played well at Winter X, and for the 27- year old Schubitzke.

Dan Ebert #602
Fresh off his Semi Pro Open win at the ISOC National in Canterbury, Dan Ebert (21) of Lake Shore, Minn., arrives in Aspen with confidence, speed and a wicked holeshot: three ingredients that have produced gold medals for other racers in previous editions. Ebert (has competed (and won) in the Pro class at regional events this season, so he shouldn’t fear the jump to the top class at Winter X.

Ryan Simons #67
Few racers can get off the line as quick as Ryan Simons, the 26-year old from Camrose, Alberta, and few display his amazing combination of fearless talent and strength. Piloting an expertly-prepped sled, Simons grabbed two podium positions at the season opener in Duluth, and comes to Winter X hungry to regain the prestige he saw when he nearly won Winter X in 2007.

Tucker Hibbert #68
When the green flag drops for Winter X, all eyes will be on three time gold medal winner (and two-time defending champion) Tucker Hibbert of Goodridge, Minn. The irrepressible champion has won every race he’s entered this season, dominating as never before. In what will be his 10th appearance at Winter X, Hibbert brings a depth of talent and confidence that is unprecedented in the sport of snocross.

Noteworthy: Thursday night, during the Snowmobile Speed and Style event, Hibbert will be doing a “Live Athlete Chat.” During the event, long on to http://www.expn.com to send him your question.

FREESTYLE and SPEED & STYLE
Cory Davis #160
The multi-talented racer/freestyler from Soldotna, Alaska, will be Team Arctic’s ace in Speed & Style, which combines the speed of snocross and the style of freestyle in a judged, timed event. Fresh off of winning the Eagle River World Championships of snocross, Davis arrives in Aspen with a grudge from having not been invited to the snocross event. Look for that anger to translate into gold.

Chris Burandt
The back-country rider many consider to be the most talented overall rider in the sport, Chris Burandt comes to the Freestyle event ready to regain the gold medal title he won in 2007. Hailing from nearby Kremmling, Colo., Burandt combines immense raw talent, mega-work ethic and unmatched showmanship. He will be on his game and ready to wow the world.

Tune in to ESPN’s Winter X Games 13 from Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo., from Jan. 22-25, 2009.

Snocross racing begins with qualifying on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. (MT), followed by the LCQ on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 7:15 p.m. (MT) and the finals at 8 p.m. (MT).

The Speed & Style finals will air beginning at 7 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Jan. 22. Freestyle competition begins at Noon (MT) on Saturday, Jan. 24.

Team Arctic Hillclimbers Post Impressive Results at Preston

Claim Eight Podiums and One King Title

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From one end of the country to the other, weekend after weekend, Team Arctic racers are mopping up the snowmobile competition. This time Arctic Cat racers flexed their muscles in the mountains at the Preston Hill Climb season opener, claiming eight podiums and one King title.

There was plenty of snow, sun, and 167 racers combined for 578 entries. Race promoter and acting race director Bret Rasmussen was very pleased with the outcome.  “We qualified more racers in one day than we ever have,” said Rasmussen.  “The Preston Hill Climb is unique; it has the longest run when compared to other hill climbs, and we use two lanes up the mountain so we can send  two sleds up at the same time with nonstop action.”

Arctic Cat started their winning streak off early on Saturday with Nathan Zollinger from Logan, Utah winning the 600 Mod class and Nels Tapio from Battle Ground, Washington in third.

In 700-class competition, Arctic Cat’s Nels Tapio won the 700 mod class and Rob Kincaid from Victor, Idaho took third in 700 improved.

The all-new HCR M8 made its debut as Les Keller took third in 800 stock, where all machines have to be raced from the factory in stock form. Keller said, “The HCR was really strong and performed well, and in no time it should be at the top of the podium.” In the 800 improved class Todd Tupper ended in third. In the 800 mod class Nathan Zollinger also brought in third.

To round out all the classes, Arctic Cat handed it to the competition in the 1000 stock class with Russell Frisby from Caldwell, Idaho standing proudly on the podium in first.

The Women’s Class was equally as strong as they won 7 out of 9 podiums with all three 1st places. In the stock class Amy Zollinger from Providence, Utah won first, and Christy Frisby from Caldwell, Idaho took third. Arctic Cat’s women swept the improved class with Christy Frisby in first, followed by Jan Ottobre in second from Jackson Hole, WY, and Amy Zollinger taking third. In the mod class Amy Zollinger took first and Jan Ottobre took second.

To finish off the day Nels Tapio brought home the Mod King title, where he competed against all other mod class winners.

Team Arctic Finishes Strong in the I-500 Cross-Country

Seven of the Top 10 and Six Class Wins

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The USCC Red Lake I-500 Cross-Country lived up to its legend, challenging the world’s toughest terrain racers with deep snow, driving winds and a rugged assortment of ditch, river and woods. Team Arctic racers rose to the challenge, delivering a record-setting performance that included seven of the top 10 finishers and six individual class victories.

“To put seven racers in the top 10 of the Pro Class says a lot about our pro racers and Sno Pro 600 race sled,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “And with wins in six of the individual classes, it’s clear we have great depth.”

D.J. Ekre’s performance in Pro class was dramatic and great. Sitting in second place just 49 seconds out of the lead after the first of three days, Ekre suffered the fate of having to lead the second day’s run. The problem: blowing snow filled the ditches prior to race start, and Ekre had to break trail through the loose (and slow) snow.

“It was tough to see and it was slow being the first racer on course,” said Ekre. “That’s the luck of the draw, but it definitely slowed me down.”

Ekre’s Christian Bros. Racing teammate, Brian Dick, turned in a blistering performance on the second day, setting the fast time and putting him in a four-rider fight for the win on the third day.

On the final day Ekre and Dick went for broke, riding at a pace that thrilled the hundreds of people gathered along the roads and following in automobiles. With Dick down a few mph on top speed, Ekre broke away to move into second place and got within sight of the leader and eventual winner, Bryan Dyrdahl.

Dick finished a solid fourth, followed by teammate Dan Ebert, who was competing in his first-ever I-500.

Dick’s 58-year-old father, Paul, once again proved his mettle to win the Legends 50-plus class, adding yet another highlight to his long career of cross-country success.

Other class winners include Jolene Bute in Women’s, Adam Brandt in Trophy 600, Jon Arneson in Masters 40-plus, Marty Feil in Fan 600 and Brian Carey, Sr., in 440.

Commenting on the team’s success, Kloety had nothing but praise for the Sno Pro 600 race sled: “To put so many racers high in the standings and finish a race like this proves our sled is tough, fast and great in the rough stuff.”

The next race on the USCC cross-country race schedule is the Ada 100 in Ada, Minn., on Jan. 31. See http://www.uscc.com for more info.

Pro 600
2. D.J. Ekre
4. Brian Dick
5. Dan Ebert
6. Chad Lian
7. Brandon Gerszewski
9. Phil Storlie
10. Nathan Potucek

Masters 40-plus
1. Jon Arneson

Legends 50-plus
1. Paul Dick
3. Doug Oster

440
1. Brian Carey, Sr.

Sport 85
2. Bill Slominski
3. Timmy Kallock

Women
1. Jolene Bute

Fan 600
1. Marty Feil

Trophy 600
1. Adam Brandt

The 37th I500 Race Start

The course is laid, the ditches and woods are filled with snow and the rivers are frozen solid. Racers have spent months preparing their sleds, making sure each nut and bolt is tight and engines and clutches are tuned perfectly. Everything is set for the USCC Red Lake I-500. And, this year, with record entries at each of the two preceding events, USCC is expecting the most sleds in the I-500 in almost a decade. “We’re definitely excited for the I-500 this year,” said USCC President Pat Mach. “This race is a lot of work for everyone involved but the payoff is worth it.” And, for the winner of the FXR Pro 600 class, that payoff will total $10,000 in cash presented by Seven Clans Casino, Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

For those not familiar with the Red Lake I-500, it is a three day race with a mandatory fuel stop each day; drivers are allowed to get fuel, oil & new goggles. No other changes can be made, other than what the driver has onboard with him on his sled. Needless to say, the race distance totals 500 miles and it is one of the most grueling snowmobile races on the planet. After the first and second day racers are allowed a one-hour maintenance period to repair and get their sleds ready for the next day. Only two people are allowed to work on the sled in the maintenance period and if the rider happens to run into trouble on the course he cannot receive assistance from anyone. It’s a race so tough and intense that simply finishing is an achievement and, for most, the ultimate goal.

Note: All Times for Day 1, Friday Jan 16th, have been pushed back an hour due to extremely cold conditions.

Follow along with the action here: http://www.usccracing.com/

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Record Crowds Witness Another Historic Performance

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Plymouth, MN (Jan. 12) – Three races into the ISOC National Tour and Team Arctic is still crushing the competition. This time it was at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., where record spectator attendance witnessed Team Green win both Pro classes, Pro Women and Semi-Pro Open, along with podium finishes in nearly every class.

“Our racers continue to prove their excellence in the highest level of national snocross racing,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “With four wins in the top classes and a point lead in six classes, Canterbury was another hugely successful weekend for our team.”

Once again Tucker Hibbert delivered a mind-boggling, stand-out performance, winning every heat race and both Pro Super Stock and Pro Open finals by convincing margins. The Goodridge, Minn., phenom hasn’t lost a race all season, going six-for-six to absolutely dominate the three National events so far.

Joining Hibbert on the podium in the Pro classes were two racers whose stock are going straight up: Garth Kaufman and Brett Turcotte. Kaufman, of Boise, Idaho, threw down a series of blistering laps in the middle of the Pro Stock final to finish second and his first podium of the season. Turcotte (Clearwater, British Columbia) was equally impressive in Pro Open, turning his first podium-placing of the season with a strong second.

Carly Davis (Soldotna, Alaska) led a Team Arctic sweep of the Pro Women class, with J.C. Hupe, April Moritz and Taylor Carlson taking second-through-fourth respectively. Dan Ebert continued his remarkable season in Semi Pro by winning the Open class and finishing second in Semi Pro Super Stock.

See Full Results Here: www.isocracing.com

Next up: the ESPN Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., Jan. 22-25, followed by the next ISOC National in Brainerd, Minn., Feb. 6-8.