SHAKOPEE, Minn - For most people, riding a snowmobile is recreation.
“As a kid I just had a blast riding my snowmobile,” says Tucker Hibbert. “I wanted to ride it every day. It was just the love I had for the sport of snowmobiling.”
For Tucker Hibbert, it’s his livelihood and he’s really good at it.
“It’s a challenge for sure to find ways to go faster,” says Hibbert. “Because it’s tough with the competition they are pushing really hard.”
But for the better part of 17 years, it’s been very hard for anyone to catch the Pelican Rapids native who took home the title today at the Canterbury Park Nationals. Later this month he’ll try to win a 10th gold at the Winter X Games. An unprecedented feat he says wouldn’t be possible without a dedicated team.
“Racing snowmobiles isn’t just what people see on the race track. It's mostly what's going on during the week in the off time working on the sleds,” says Hibbert. “It’s fairly easy to go racing but to do it the best you possibly can takes effort."
Tucker Hibbert and team 68 are more than just a team, they are family. His wife, Mandi, does his public relations. His dad and childhood friends are on the crew. Racing is truly a family business and everyone has a vested interest in it.
“What we have is special,” says Mandi Hibbert. “It is family members but it’s people who have been a part of our lives so long that they are family to us.”
“It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort,” says Hibbert. “It’s a lot of sacrifice and time for these guys to put in and then we go to the track and we do our job but we love what we do.”
And fans across the country love him. But when he’s back home where it all started, getting the same support is special.
“A place like Canterbury Park here the people come out and the excitement level is really high and I definitely feel the support of the Minnesota snowmobile fans.”
Many of whom aspire to walk in his boots someday.