Before Tucker Hibbert could beat most professional Snocross racers, he had to top his dad.
And he did it on a big stage.
In grand style.
The 28-year-old was first able to top pops at the 2000 Winter X Games in Mount Snow, Vt., earning the first of his seven X Games gold medals in the process.
“It was a pretty cool experience,” said Hibbert, who will be one of many professionals in this weekend’s AMSOIL Championship Snocross at Turtle Creek Casino. “I was racing in my first X Games. It was my first professional Snocross event — and I definitely wasn’t expecting to win.”
And he was only 15.
“That was a really cool opportunity to be able to race against my dad,” Hibbert said. “That was the first time we really competed against each other. For him to finish in fifth was pretty exciting.”
Luckily his father Kirk — who was inducted into the snow mobile Hall of Fame in 2007 — didn’t take the loss the wrong way, or it could have led to some awkward family dinners.
“No, not really,” Hibbert joked. “The first couple times I had to try to pass my dad on the track I was a little bit nervous and didn’t know what to do, but it was all good. We never got into any intense battles or anything bad. It was always lots of fun and good memories.”
They raced against each other about 15 times, Hibbert estimated, before his dad retired from pro racing about five years ago.
“He won a few and I won a few,” Hibbert said. “We went back and forth a little bit, but I’d like to say I won more than he did. We’ll just leave it at that.”
Since then, he’s racked up 11 Winter X Games medals and pulled off the first six-peat in X Games history by winning the Snocross event for the last half dozen years consecutively.
The six-peat came just in time, as he beat out Shaun White by a matter of hours two weekends ago. White won his sixth straight Snowboard Superpipe gold later in the day after Hibbert’s Snocross victory.
“Going for the six-peat was a really big goal for me,” Hibbert said.
To win that sixth gold, he had to pass Ross Martin, who will also be in pro events Friday and Saturday evenings that conclude each day packed with races.
Martin was able to avenge the X Games defeat in last week’s International Series of Champions race in Deadwood, S.D., to end Hibbert’s five-race series winning streak.
“I had a little bit of a winning streak going and I lost that on Saturday in South Dakota,” Hibbert said. “I’m motivated to get back on top and come away with some wins this weekend.
“Deadwood was good on Friday night. I won both of my qualifiers and the main event on Friday. On Saturday, I had not quite as good luck. I ended up in the 10th-place qualifying position, which put me on the far outside of the start line and I ended up going off the track on the first turn. So I started the race off on a bad foot. Then I tried to charge back up and made it to fifth place. I was somewhat happy, but a little disappointed with the results.”
The fifth-place finish was enough to hold on to the series points lead, which he’ll have to defend this weekend.
Hibbert comes in with 321 points to Martin’s 298 after eight events. Each night at Turtle Creek counts as a separate round for series points considerations. Robbie Malinoski (274), Tim Tremblay (272) and Logan Christian (231) round out the series’ top five with eight events remaining on the docket.
And in trying to hold onto that lead, Hibbert will have one advantage in his pocket.
He arrives in Traverse City for a press conference and demonstration tonight at Turtle Creek, which gives him first crack at the track as northern Michigan hosts its first national Snocross series event.
“It’s always a little bit of an advantage,” Hibbert said. “But usually the course isn’t completely done and how it will be when we race. So it’s not a huge advantage, but it definitely helps to get out there and test the sleds and get my body warmed up and ready to go.
“I’m just excited to get back on the track after not winning Saturday in Deadwood, I’m pretty motivated to go out and get back on top. Michigan’s got a lot of snow, so we should have a good track.”
Before Tucker Hibbert could beat most professional Snocross racers, he had to top his dad.
Prep Sports Scoreboard: 04/24/2014
A roundup of prep sports results from across northern Michigan:Continued ...
Prep Roundup: Titans sweep Gaylord in BNC opener
From staff reports TRAVERSE CITY -- Paul Soma and Chase Cavric pitched Traverse City West to a 2-1 and 6-3 Big North Conference sweep of Gaylord on Wednesday that opened league play. Soma tossed a three-hit complete game in the opener, striking out fContinued ...
Shays reflect on Keflezighi's 'stellar race' in Boston Marathon
Soon after Meb Keflezighi won Monday's Boston Marathon, Stephan Shay sent out a congratulatory note to his friend. "Meb! Unbelievably stellar race!" he tweeted. Just below that post was a 2004 picture showing Stephan, his older brother Ryan, KeflezigContinued ...
Traverse City Alliance to open new rugby field on Friday
TRAVERSE CITY -- Expect to see a little extra energy when Christian Gallagher and the rest of the TC Alliance rugby team take the field on Friday to face Grand Rapids Catholic Central. Not only will it be the Alliance's home opener, but it also willContinued ...
Sports in Brief: 04/24/2014
Kids free fishing event canceled; Longboarding event coming to Onekama; 3 area shooters honored by BCAM.Continued ...
Track Roundup: West's Roush sets school record
From staff reports GAYLORD -- Tommy Roush set another school record as Traverse City West knocked off Big North Conference foes Cadillac and Gaylord in a double dual meet. West defeated Cadillac 95.5-76.5 and Gaylord 97-60. Roush -- who broke the shoContinued ...
- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Lake overcomes cramps to finish Boston
Cramps didn’t stop Gary Lake from finishing his final Boston Marathon. The 67-year-old from Honor fought through a painful final eight miles to finish in just over five hours.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: Late rallies propel Christian to sweep
Jacob Rorick squeezed in Cam Beemer with the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth as Traverse City Christian edged McBain Northern Michigan Christian 7-6 in the first of two games. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 04/23/2014
- Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Kiel records top Boston time out of area runners
Kyle Kiel’s Boston Marathon time was over 35 minutes improved from last year’s. Gary Lake’s was infinitely better.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: TCW 11th; Scott ties for 1st
Alex Scott shot a 74 to tie for first overall as he led the Traverse City West boys golf team to an 11th-place finish Monday at the East Lansing Invitational at Walnut Hills. (Plus more)Continued ...
Sports in Brief: TC Roller Derby teams split
The teams of Traverse City Roller Derby participated as part of a tripl header of roller derby action at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek on Saturday. (Plus more)Continued ...
College Notes: Otwell wins 1,500 meters at Jesse Owens Classic
Michigan State redshirt senior Julia Otwell (Traverse City Central) won the 1,500-meter run Friday in the Jesse Owens Track Classic at Ohio State. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 04/22/2014
- Monday, April 21, 2014
Dennis Chase: Lions should take guesswork out of draft
With the NFL draft approaching, Detroit’s been teasing its long-suffering fan base by bringing in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, receiver Sammy Watkins and outside linebacker Khalil Mack for meet-and-greets.Continued ...
Bowling Scores: 04/21/2014
Local bowling scores from Lucky Jack's:Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 04/21/2014
- Sunday, April 20, 2014
Unbeaten Titans roll past Central, 6-1
Trailing 1-0 early, the Titans responded with six unanswered goals over the final 58 minutes to beat crosstown rival Traverse City Central 6-1 in a Big North Conference soccer match at the Coast Guard field.Continued ...
Spanski to sign with Detroit Mercy
Brett Spanski can make a little history and be a trailblazer at the same time Wednesday.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: TC Thunder romps at Thirlby Field
The Traverse City Thunder opened the lacrosse season Saturday with an 11-1 win over Muskegon Reeths-Puffer and a 12-3 decision over Sault Ste, Marie. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Saturday, April 19, 2014
Trojans dominate track invitational
From staff reports MUSKEGON -- It was a good Friday for Traverse City Central sophomore Anthony Berry. Berry was part of three records as the Trojans easily won the 15-team Rocket Invitational at Muskegon Reeths-Puffer with 228.5 points. "No questionContinued ...
Traverse City Hounds rally to beat Jersey Shore, 6-3
LAS VEGAS -- Traverse City closed out the UHU national tournament with a flurry, rallying with five third-period goals to knock off the Jersey Shore Wildcats 6-3. Things didn't look as rosy in the first two periods. The Hounds did take a 1-0 lead onContinued ...
- Friday, April 18, 2014
Hounds on verge of elimination in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- Traverse City's penalty killing unit wasn't its usual self Thursday, allowing three power-play goals in a 6-2 UHU national tournament loss to the Soo Firehawks. In the regular season, the Hounds' penalty killers gave up a net three goalsContinued ...
Bob Gwizdz: Perfect day on the Manistee River
WELLSTON -- Tired of waiting for the St. Joseph River to clear up -- and having postponed our annual St. Patrick's Day (or thereabouts) steelhead sojourn already into April -- Jim Romine made the call: We were going to the Manistee River instead. AndContinued ...
DNR seeks solution to Vasa dispute
TRAVERSE CITY -- Fat tire bikers and cross country skiers are hoping for some sort of resolution to a brewing controversy on April 28. The two user groups have struggled to coexist in the first year since TART opened the Vasa trail to fat bikes as aContinued ...
- Prep Sports Scoreboard: 04/24/2014