There’s an old saying that you’re only as good as your last race. That said, the staff behind the AMSOIL Championship Snocross tour can ride off into the summer knowing that snocross racing on a national level is in as good of shape as it has ever been.
Fans who attended or watched via livestream, the Nielsen Enterprises Grand Finale from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin were treated to all of the elements of a perfect race weekend, including a Tucker Hibbert exhibition on terrain dominance, the crowning of up and coming champions and the Pro Open race of the season in which hometown hero Ross Martin held of Hibbert and defending champ Tim Tremblay in a nail biter.
The 2013 version of the Grand Finale brought a number of changes that were initially met with skepticism but proved to be event changing. First was the move to Friday, Saturday racing to accomodate the USA versus the world RAM World Cup on Sunday. Second was the switch to night racing at a venue which is famous for it’s spring sunshine and huge midday crowds. And finally, thanks to an abundance of snow and the extra effort by the ISOC track team, was the addition of a third uphill/downhill making for a course that rivaled anything on the schedule. Once the switch was flipped, the lighting proved to be beyond expectation, the crowds turned out in throngs and stayed through the finals and the racing was outstanding.
Tucker Hibbert ran away with Friday’s Pro Open final aboard his Monster Energy Arctic Cat with Tim Tremblay and Kody Kamm rounding out the podium. The win sealed the championship for Hibbert, but meant that Tremblay and Ross Martin, who was sidetracked early on and could only race back to seventh, would battle it out on the final day for the number two spot.
Martin came back with a vengance on Saturday, winning for the team and home crowd in a race that saw Hibbert eat away a 10 second lead and close to within a sled length on the final downhill. With Tremblay finishing third, Martin finished as the runner-up for the season, leaving the defending champ without a win.
Jake Scott swept his qualifiers and main event on Friday, locking up the Pro Lite championship for the Mystik Lubricants/Loctite/Polaris team. The early title also enabled Scott to make his first start in the Pro Open class on Saturday, following in the tradition started by Kamm last year. Scott was able to make the main event and finished tenth for the night. Dave Joanis kept his runner-up hopes alive with a second, while Andrew Carlson continued his strong late season run with a third.
In Saturday’s Pro Lite action, Andy Lieders scored his first win of the season on his Fly Racing/Bully Dog Polaris, leap-frogging Joanis to get the number two overall finish in the championship. Carlson equaled his best finish of the season with a second and moved into a top five year end spot, while Joanis took the third step to close the year with back-to-back podiums.
Zak Mason brought home the Sport title for Polaris and was promptly rewarded with a ride in one of the big trucks for next season. Polaris Race Team Manager Tom Rager Jr. (left) and suspension specialist Ben Hayes (right) enjoying the fruits of their labor.
Lawdog giving some rather unorthodox instruction from the sidelines
Andrew Carlson gets the Most Improved award by a landslide. 2-3 for the weekend and fifth overall in Pro Lite.
The FXR crew was on hand to unveil their 2014 product line and managed a team photo with many of their sponsored riders and customers who were in attendance.
Andy Lieders saved his best for the last day, getting his first win of the year and locking up the number two spot in Pro Lite.
Who put the Catnip in the first turn?
Monster Mike pulled his ride out of storage for another win in the Adaptive class.
The Lake Geneva crowds are hands down the best.
Johan Lidman backed up his Fargo podium with another great weekend. Watch for big things from him next season.
Ross Martin is the King of Geneva and he went out in Grand style winning the race of the season in front of the home crowd.
No caption necessary.
Part ring leader and part flagman, Iceman was looking good in his 2014 FXR getup and had the crowd on their feet when the racing was on hold.
KP adapted well to his new team and brand and became a legit threat as the season wore on.
Words and pictures cannot truly describe how insane the third downhill section was.
Nor can they describe how intense the racing became during this final lap of Saturday’s Pro Open final.
Jennifer Pare topped a huge field of ladies, sweeping her way to the Pro Am Women’s title.
The swear jar in the Carlson Motorsports hauler was overflowing by season’s end so the guys shared the bounty by hosting a killer fish fry for the entire pit area. Guess who the biggest contributor was.
This has got to be some kind of a moving violation.
Kody Kamm knows how to pull chicks.
Hibbert was vitually flawless all day Friday, except for this one moment when it just about went sideways.
Three-time Japanese snocross champ Tomosuke Sano made the trip to Lake Geneva courtesy of AMSOIL. What started as an intimidating introduction to North American snocross eventually morphed into a whip throwing win in his Pro Lite qualifier and a great learning experience.
Again, no caption necessary.
Josh Zelinski goes foot down on his way to the Pro Am Plus 30 title.
Robbie Malinoski rode injured the entire season and couldn’t wait for it to end, but lack of effort was never a problem.
Justin Broberg was another Pro Open rider who spent the season adapting to a new team and brand. A fifth on Friday backed up by a top 10 on Saturday capped a solid season for JB.
Emil Ohman was hoping for better than a pair of ninths to end the season. However, it was still one of his best efforts, finishing fifth overall.
Justin Tate leaving the field for a win in Pro-Am Plus 30.
Nothin’ better than ending the season with hardware and a smile!