DEADWOOD, S.D. (Jan. 30, 2015) – An incredible finish at Deadwood, S.D.’s Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds on Friday as Kody Kamm (Hentges Racing/Polaris) kept Tucker Hibbert (Monster Energy/Arctic Cat/Ram) off the top of the podium for the third-straight race, beating the defending Pro Open class champ straight up and putting Hibbert’s quest for his 100thpro snocross win on hold – at least until Saturday night in Deadwood.
And winning the Deadwood Snocross Shootout, presented by Four Seasons Motorsports & Marine Pro Lite class earlier in the program in another thrilling main event was 16-year-old Norwegian Elias Ishoel (Warnert Racing/Ski-Doo).
Round seven of AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram was a rematch of last year’s Deadwood final that had Kamm getting black flagged for running into Hibbert. Friday’s 22-lap main saw Kamm qualify in the No. 1 spot (1st/1st in heats), with Hibbert qualifying No. 1 – salvaging a huge win in the 2nd heat after false starting and having to start the race from the back row.
The Stud Boy Holeshot would go to Ross Martin (Judnick Motorsports/Polaris), who edged out Kyle Pallin (Mystic/Loctite/Polaris) to the stripe. Kamm would quickly dart to the lead by lap two – passing Martin over the finish line jump.
Hibbert would follow suit in quickly getting past Martin as well, setting the stage for the year’s best battle to date in the Pro Open class.
The race turned into a two-man show by lap three, case-in-point being eventual 3rd place Martin – who finished the race TWENTY SECONDS behind Kamm and Hibbert!
From the grandstands it looked as if Hibbert was biding his time, playing some cat-and-mouse with Kamm, carefully eying his lines and waiting for the race leader to catch up to lapped traffic before making his move. But in actuality, according to Hibbert, he was doing all he could to keep pace with the younger racer from the opening laps of the contest.
“I followed him (Kamm) for a while and actually tried to pass him before we got into the lappers,” said Hibbert. “I’ve got to hand it to Kody, he rode really well tonight. I gave it everything I had.”
Running smooth and selecting smart lines through the traffic on the tight bull ring-like course at Deadwood, Kamm had a little over one second on Hibbert heading into lap 19. Kamm would nearly throw it away down the front straight, making a miraculous recovery while keeping the all-time winningest snocross racer from taking the lead. (“I honestly surprised myself that I was able to hold Tucker off there,” Kamm would later say.)
The final three laps will be replayed may times in ISOC highlight reels as Kamm fired through to the checkers for his first Pro Open win of the season, Hibbert pulling up to his rival and extending a congratulatory handshake on the track afterwards.
“That’s the first time in many, many years that somebody’s been able to beat Tucker straight up,” added former champion racer-turned-announcer Levi LaVallee. “That was an incredible race.”
Deadwood Friday Pro Open Results
1 – Kody Kamm, Kenosha, WI, Polaris
2 – Tucker Hibbert, Pelican Rapids, MN, Arctic Cat
3 – Ross Martin, Burlington, WI, Polaris
4 – Tim Tremblay, Ste Jeanne D’Arc, Quebec, Ski-Doo
5 – Logan Christian, Fertile, MN, Arctic Cat
With his parents coming all the way from Norway to Deadwood, S.D., Elisa Ishoel put on yet another spectacular show in the Pro Lite main event. The 16-year old came from 5th place off the start and passed race leader Tyler Adams (Christian Brothers/Arctic Cat) on lap 14 (of 16) to capture first place honors on Friday, as well as taking over the series point lead.
“It was cool,” said Ishoel when asked of his performance. “The track was rough, difficult to pass. So nice to have my family here – yeah!”
Pulling the Stud Boy Holeshot was Adams, with the No. 1 qualifier (Ishoel, 1st/1st in heats) back behind Nick Pattyn (Stud Boy/Ski-Doo) in 2nd and Andrew Carlson (Carlson Motorsports/Polaris) in 3rd.
Moving up quick was Max Taillefer (Taillefer Motorsports/Ski-Doo), racing into 3rd place on lap two. Ishoel would quickly get past Taillefer on lap four and into 3rd, then into 2nd on the following lap. Pro Lite point leader heading into Deadwood, Trevor Leighton (Leighton Motorsports/Polaris), would move up to 4th place and would battle Taillefer for the final podium spot throughout the remainder of the race (eventually won by Taillefer).
On lap 13, in a completely cupped out course, Ishoel – like he did in Fargo (N.D.) earlier this year – grabbed a handful of throttle off the finish line jump and literally cleared Adams to take the lead.
“I was landing off the finish line jump and I could still see him (Ishoel) above me,” said Adams. “It was insane.”
Adams would wrestle the lead back from Ishoel in the next corner, only to have Ishoel grab the lead back soon thereafter and run it home for the last two laps to grab the checkers. Adams held on for a well-deserved 2nd and Taillefer rounded out the podium in 3rd. Leighton (4th) and Ryan Springer (Carlson Motorsports/Polaris) rounding out the top Pro Lite five at Deadwood on Friday.
Deadwood Friday Pro Lite Results
1 – Elias Ishoel, Norway, Ski-Doo
2 – Tyler Adams, Elk River, MN, Arctic Cat
3 – Max Taillefer, Quebec, Ski-Doo
4 – Trevor Leighton, Eagle, ID, Polaris
5 – Ryan Springer, St. Francis, MN, Polaris
AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram, continues on Saturday at Deadwood, S.D.’s Days of ’76 Rodeo Grounds for round eight of AMSOIL Championship Snocross, powered by Ram, with the Deadwood Snocross Shootout, presented by Four Seasons Motorsports & Marine.
Beginning with AMSOIL Championship Snocross’ season-opening round in Duluth, Minn. and running through the season finale in Lake Geneva, Wis., CBS Sports Network will air 17 one-hour programs of the ACS races.