Chris Murphy, Published March 05 2014
World champion snocross racer Tucker Hibbert to compete in Glyndon
World champion snocross racer Tucker Hibbert does not worry about the broken bones he’s suffered or racing on tracks with snow-filled jumps on snowmobiles weighing hundreds of pounds.
Hibbert gets to come home Friday and Saturday to race in the Fargo national snocross event at Buffalo River Race Park near Glyndon, Minn. All that matters is sleeping in his own bed in Pelican Rapids, Minn.
All other fears can lay to rest.
“It’s pretty rare that I’m at home during the season because we’re on the road so much traveling,” Hibbert said. “To be home is nice. It’s definitely something different for us.”
Before becoming the youngest gold medalist in Winter X Games history, tallying 12 X Games medals, 91 national wins, seven national championships and an ESPN ESPY award nomination for Best Male Action Sports Athlete, there was home.
Home for Hibbert was originally on his family farm in Driggs, Idaho. His second home was anywhere his dad, Kirk, was racing.
“My dad raced his whole life, so I grew up at the racetrack watching him ride and race,” Tucker said. “Naturally, I wanted to be like my dad and do what he did, so I started riding really young. As soon as I was able to compete, I competed in races.”
Tucker’s first real competitive memory was racing in West Yellowstone, Mont., when he was 11 years old.
It wasn’t just another race.
“I raced on my dad’s sled,” Tucker said. “I remember how cool it felt to be on it.”
When Tucker was in his first X Games race, dad was there.
“One of the coolest memories is when I raced in my first Winter X Games and I ended up winning the gold medal in that race and my dad got fifth,” Tucker said. “That was a really cool event for us.”
The Hibberts moved from Idaho to Thief River Falls, Minn., when Tucker was in first grade and he’s called Minnesota home ever since. He’s lived in Pelican Rapids for the last five years, and this will be his third straight season racing at BRRP.
“It’s only once a year that we’re close to home, but it’s always fun to be home,” Tucker said. “Families come out and you get to see a lot of people that don’t get to travel to the far-away races.”
Even though it has brought him right back home this weekend, Tucker never imagined where this career would take him when he was getting on his first snowmobile at 2 years old.
“When I was younger and started racing, I didn’t really have long-term goals or anything like that,” Tucker said. “I just loved riding so much and I wanted to ride. It progressed from there, and I still don’t have a vision for where it’s going to go. I just take it one season at a time.”
As for dad, he’s exactly where he’s always been. Right by Tucker.
“He’s the main mechanic and the crew chief on the team,” Tucker said. “I have a lot of memories of watching him race, then I raced against him and now he’s on my team. It’s been really fun.”
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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548