Kicking off the 2016 AMSOIL Snocross season with a major event, the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National at Winter Park, Colorado was a fantastic showcasing of professional snocross racing.
Kicking off the 2016 AMSOIL Snocross Season with a Major Event
Winter Park, Colorado ended up as the chosen location for the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National event that kicked off the 2016 Snocross season, and the whole place was buzzing during this massive snocross race. Anyone who is a fan of winter sports, and snow sports in general, probably already knows quite well that Winter Park in Colorado is an amazing world-class facility for virtually all snow sports from skiing, snowboarding, to snocross and beyond. This is part of the reason it was chosen to host the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National, but another important reason is that this part of Colorado is a region that is known for excellent snow and weather conditions for snocross at this time of the year in the middle of December.
The track and course design for the snocross facilities at Winter Park was of a high difficulty rating, and required extreme precision and focus from all of the competing professional snocross athletes who showed up for the race. Like all snocross tracks and course designs at the professional level, the Winter Park, CO course that was prepared and groomed in preparation for the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National was created to pose some serious challenges for all the riders involved in the event.
In other words, this course was not intended to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, and actually many of the jumps, turns, and other course dynamics were made to be more difficult and larger than usual to raise the stakes of this competition. The larger the jumps, gaps, and landings are designed to be within the dimensions of a professional snocross track like the one at Winter Park, Colorado, the harder each rider must work to correctly time their throttling, and the more difficult it becomes to maintain an efficient rhythm through the course.
Since maintaining an efficient and effective rhythm (and therefore conserving energy and momentum through the track) is integral to the success or failure of a snocross athlete, it makes sense that the course designers for the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National would decide to up the ante in terms of scaling up the size of jumps and gaps for this competition. Although the weather conditions for this event weren’t exactly picture perfect, they definitely delivered in terms of having conditions sufficient for a great snocross contest. For snocross fans who would like to find out more about the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National, the final results of the race along with a basic overview and summary will now be provided below.
1st Place – Tucker Hibbert – United States:
Making his mark at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National by taking the first place victory was United States snocross athlete, Tucker Hibbert. This is currently one of the most successful riders in the entire sport of professional snocross, and he certainly demonstrated that quite clearly at this competition. Tucker Hibbert was competing in this event under the bib number of 68, and with this number he was able to represent his home state of Minnesota quite well this time around. Hailing from Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, Tucker Hibbert is the kind of snocross athlete who has grown up around the sport since he was a young boy.
Although it can be argued that most people in Minnesota grow up around snowmobiles to a certain extent, Tucker Hibbert is an exceptional example of an athlete who has managed to take their heritage and love of snowmobiling to a truly elite and professional level. Tucker Hibbert’s talents have definitely not gone unnoticed in the highly competitive industry of professional snocross, and he has been able to pick up some very prestigious sponsorships along the way.
Apart from his primary Arctic Cat sponsorship that involves his membership with the Arctic Cat Racing Team, Hibbert is also sponsored by Team Monster Energy, Arcticwear, and Ram Trucks as well. Anyone watching Tucker Hibbert race at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National would not be surprised at all to learn of his big name sponsorships, as it is very obvious that he is one of the most dominant men’s professional snocross athletes in the business.
Tucker was able to rise to the heightened challenge of the Winter Park, Colorado snocross track, and actually seemed to thrive on the larger ramps, gaps, and launches that were built into the course. While some of the other competitors in the field were sort of thrown off by the scale of the track, Tucker Hibbert was able to find his groove and his pacing early on in the event, and therefore was able to dominate throughout most of the pro-class final round.
2nd Place – Tim Tremblay – Canada:
Finishing out in the runner-up second place position at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National was Canadian snocross superstar Tim Tremblay. Tim is the kind of snocross racer that is especially enjoyable to watch, and he tends to be a crowd favorite at many events for his hard-charging, risk versus reward riding style that more or less carries a go-big-or-go-home attitude that professional snocross is built on in a lot of ways. Snocross athletes that ride with an overly conservative style rarely tend to make the podium, and Tim Tremblay’s aggressive style is the perfect proof of this claim given that he already has some impressive finishes this season.
Tremblay was competing with the bib number of 11 at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National, and emblazoned on his person and his snowmobile were a range of his primary sponsorships. Tim Tremblay rides for the Ski-Doo racing team, and has a broad array of lower-tier sponsorships including United States Air Force, Ford Trucks, Milwaukee Tool, KYB Shocks, Goodwin Performance, AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants, and more. Hailing from St. Jeanne D’Arc, Quebec, Canada, Tim Tremblay is yet another consummate professional in the sport of snocross who has spent most of his life around intense winter conditions, snowmobiling, and snocross racing.
His deep experience base within the sport of snocross was certainly on display for all to see at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National, and it was easy to see that Tim is getting ready to go all in during the 2017 snocross season. He was able to earn a lot of tour points at the Country Cat event, 49 points in total, which is going to help set him up in a good position to stay sharp and within contention to lead the tour in 2017. Taking second place and making the podium at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National represent very good omens for Tim Tremblay’s career right now, and he appears to be on a roll as the season continues to progress. He is definitely one of the main snocross riders to watch in terms of who is going to dominate the AMSOIL tour in 2017.
3rd Place – Ross Martin – United States:
Rounding out the podium as the only other United States competitor in the top three finishers at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National, Ross Martin was able to snag third place away from Sweden’s Petter Narsa. Taking third place at this prestigious AMSOIL tour professional snocross racing event was a major step forward in Ross Martin’s career and in terms of his approach to the 2017 snocross season. This is to say that since Ross Martin was able to earn a total of 35 tour points as a result of his third place finish at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National, he is in a relatively good position for beginning the 2017 competitive season.
Racing with a competition bib number of 837 at the Country Cat event, Ross Martin scored a great finish for his team. Martin is currently a member on the Polaris Racing Team, and Polaris was able to collectively do fairly well at this event given that three of their team riders ended up making it into the top five finishers at this race. In addition to Polaris, Ross Martin has a host of other sponsorships which include (but are not limited to) AMSOIL, Jack Links, Fly Racing, Axalta, Hayes Racing, Camso, V Force, C-Tech, C&A Pro, SSI Decals, and more. While Ross Martin is currently riding with Polaris, he is also affiliated with the Judnick Motorsports team as well, making him a quite in-demand commodity in the professional snocross realm.
Ross Martin is known as a superior tactician on the snocross track, bringing to the table an amazing skillset involving the ability to make strategic passes, demonstrate extremely precise throttle and speed control, and the ability to ride conservatively or aggressively depending on what the situation calls for. In this way, Ross Martin is an especially versatile rider who can respond to the conditions of any given race and tailor his racing performance to meet the challenges of every competition he enters.
The track at Winter Park, Colorado was a great outlet for Ross Martin’s versatile riding style, and although he was not able to surpass Tim Tremblay and Tucker Hibbert to make first in this event, it was not for lack of trying. Martin came close to executing passes against those two competitors, but their lead was too strong for him to overcome. In spite of this, a third place finish and 35 tour points is still a major step forward for Martin’s career and a great position to be in heading toward the 2017 season.
4th Place – Petter Narsa – Sweden:
Racing his way into fourth place at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National event at Winter Park, Colorado, Swedish snocross titan Petter Narsa demonstrated tremendous skill and very nearly beat out Ross Martin for the third place podium spot. Petter Narsa is yet one more Polaris rider competing in the Country Cat event, and he was riding with a competitor bib number of 54. Petter Narsa is from Alvsbyn, Sweden, and like virtually all of the best professional snocross riders out there, got a very early start in terms of running and racing snowmobiles. At 5’6” and 158 pounds, Petter Narsa is definitely one of the smaller professional men’s snocross racers out among the field.
He is able to use his relatively smaller stature to his advantage, by being able to hunker down quite low and effectively fuse his own center of gravity with that of his racing snowmobile. In this way, Narsa is one of the more entertaining snocross athletes to watch. Much of the Swedish countryside is absolutely perfect for snowmobile and snocross training, and for this reason it is not hard to understand why Petter Narsa has been able to turn himself into such a fearsome snocross competitor over the years. A member of the Hentges Racing team, Petter Narsa is another snocross athlete who has attracted a broad range of prominent sponsorships including Pirtek, FXR, Ergodyne, Woody’s, Ice Age Manufacturing, AMSOIL, SM Hentges & Sons Inc., EVS, and a range of additional sponsors.
Petter Narsa is in quite high demand for a professional snocross racer, and it is his consistency and resilience as a racer that keeps him in such high standings among the snocross world. When Petter is facing heavy odds during a competition, it is very rare to ever see him buckle and give in. Instead, it is very common to see Petter Narsa hanging back in the standings during a race only to end up blasting through the pack to make a top-tier finish like his fourth place result at the 2016 Country Cat Snocross National event. Bringing in a total of 36 tour points for the AMSOIL touring season, Petter Narsa had a successful run at the 2016 Country Cat event, and is yet one more rider in an advantageous ranking position heading into 2017.