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The Snow GOAT Hangs It Up

May 192018

Simply put, Tucker Hibbert is the single-most-successful and talented individual to ever ride a snowmobile. As one of the original Monster Athletes, a relationship that spans well over a decade, Hibbert has single-handedly put the sport of snocross on the map by becoming the most dominant racer in the history of the national championship and also amassing one of the most decorated X Games careers of all time, winter or summer.

At the end of March Hibbert wrapped up an incredible 11th ISOC Snocross National Championship and capped off his career with 138 victories for a mind-boggling winning percentage of 58%. This past week Hibbert formally announced his retirement from the sport he made recognizable to a global audience. At just 33 years of age Hibbert is still in the very early stages of his life, but after a pro career that spanned 18 years the time has come for Hibbert to move on the next chapter.

Monster Energy caught up with Hibbert to get his thoughts on a truly dominant career and ask what’s next for the Minnesota native.
 

Q&A

You wrapped up the 2018 Snocross title in March. It was your 11th Pro National Championship. Talk about your season and path to yet another accolade on your unparalleled resume.

It was awesome for sure. The whole season went really good for us. We started off super strong with a bunch of wins right in a row at the first couple rounds. It was really one of my better seasons overall in my career. I kind of had a mediocre race season two years ago, so it was nice to come back and have a good season, and win the championship back. It just felt kind of like my old self, just super comfortable and motivated, and fired up to win. It was a good year for sure. Winning the championship was obviously the goal, and we got that done. We had a lot of fun.

What made you decide to bring your career to a close? When did you know?

I’ve kind of been thinking about it off and on for a couple years. I’ve known that I’m kind of nearing the end of my career, so I’ve just been taking it year by year and just evaluating how it feels, and how I’m doing at the end of each season. And at the end of this season I just started thinking about it and it started to make sense. I was happy and healthy, and satisfied with how the season went, and how my career has went. I don’t really have any major goals or anything that I’m pushing towards, so for me I thought this makes the most sense. I feel like now is the time for me to bring my career to a close and walk away healthy and happy. I’m feeling good.

In your Snocross career alone your 11 championships came along with a winning percentage of 58%. That’s just mind blowing. To what do you attribute your ability to amass 138 victories over the course of 18 seasons?

There’s a lot of things that go into that, for sure. It’s not just one thing, obviously. For me to be able to do that I had to stay healthy. I’ve been fortunate to avoid a lot of injuries and really just be healthy for pretty much my whole career. I think there’s only two races in my whole career that I’ve missed due to injuries or anything. It starts off with being at the racetrack and lining up to have a shot at winning all those races. From there, it’s a combination of all the hard work that my team puts in behind the scenes, and all the effort that goes into being ready to win races and be competitive, and then obviously getting it done on the racetrack. I’m just happy to be able to have the opportunity. Honestly, all the wins are just a ton of hard work. There’s no way around it. You have to just put in a lot of time and a lot of work, and I just feel like we did that. I was always motivated to win out on the racetrack, no matter what, and that’s what got me all those wins.

Speaking of 18 seasons, it’s rare to see someone have that kind of longevity, really in any sport. Things like this tend to often favor youth, but you never stopped winning for nearly 20 decades. What was the key to that seemingly endless success? What kept you motivated for that long with all your success?

I was motivated by trying to be better every time I went on the track. I never made a big list of accomplishments or goals that I had for myself at the beginning, or at any point really, so I didn’t really have a certain number of championships or wins, or anything that I was really working towards. It was all about smaller goals and tying to improve each year, each weekend, each day. That’s was what really motivated me because I knew I could just be better, even if I was winning or feeling confident. I knew there were ways to be faster and better, so I just put more effort into challenging myself to figure that out. I had so many people around me that were motivated the same way and just wanted to work so hard, no matter what the circumstance, to make those improvements and make those gains. That’s what kept me motivated for so long, just focusing on being a better racer and a better athlete, and to have a better team. To have longevity and to have a really long career where I was successful the whole time is mostly about surrounding myself with good people, and the right people that can help guide me and make the right decisions, and keep me focused. It’s a huge effort. It’s not just me, and it’s not easy by any means. I’m just super blessed to have good people around me and god gave me a lot of talent to race my snowmobile. We just tried to use all the tools we had to the best of our abilty.

In addition to being the GOAT of Snocross, you also are a decorated X Games athlete with 14 total medals, including 10 gold. With the platform X Games provides, how did that impact your career?

X Games is huge for me. I think it’s a huge thing for our sport, snocross, and me specifically. My first pro race was at the X Games. That was back in 2000. And it was my first gold medal, so it really was the starting point and the launchpad for myself, and my career. It got me rolling from there and I just kept pushing and pushing all the way through at all the national races and that kind of drove us to put a huge effort into the X Games, specifically. We put a lot of energy and effort into that single race every year to try and up our odds of winning gold medals, and we were very successful at that for a lot of years. So, I think X Games has been huge for me and for snocross, and huge for a lot of other racers. It’s definitely been a big part of my life and my success. It’s also a lot of fun, not only at the race, but all the preparation and testing and planning that went into the race each year. A lot of good memories surrounding that event and its definitely pretty special to me.

You’ve been a part of the Monster Energy family for 14 years, so you’re essentially an original Monster Athlete. How has their support benefitted your career?

Monster Energy has been huge for me. Obviously they’ve been my title sponsor for a long, long time. It’s been a lot of fun to get to know everybody there and see the growth within Monster and for a lot of different sports to kind of have the same (support). Monster has embraced action sports and motorsports and it’s been a huge part of my success and my career and life. I have a lot of good memories and a lot of friends that work there. It’s honestly just a big family and they’ve always had my back, whether it’s motocross or snocross. Pretty much whatever I’ve wanted to do they’ve been there to support me. It’s been a wild ride and a lot of fun, and it’s crazy to see where Monster is now compared to when it first got going way back.

What are some of the fondest memories of your career?

There’s so many races that are special and so many cool wins, or things going on surrounding different races. But honestly, the best memories for me are with my team, just celebrating wins and working hard during the week. We always just work our tails off, but we enjoyed our time together. It was a big family. It wasn’t just a job and a work environment. It was just a lot of fun and the memories are what I hold onto and cherish. Obviously there are some really cool wins and races that I’ll never forget at the same time.

You’re still quite young at just 33 years of age. What’s next for Tucker Hibbert?

I’m not sure yet. It’s a little bit nerve wracking and scary, but super exciting at the same time because I’m not that old. In the racing world I’m kind of old, but there’s a lot of life for me left to live. There’s some cool opportunities that I hope will come, but I don’t really have a game plan which is something I’ve tried to not worry about too much. I’ve decided to just let life figure itself out and see what happens. That’s where we’re at now. It’s going to be a lot fun for me to just take a deep breath and enjoy life and some situations that I’ve kind of had to put on the back burner. Just take a little bit slower pace at life for a year, or as long as I can handle it. After that I don’t think I can sit still for too long. I’m pretty much a wide open person, so I’ve got to find something to keep me fired up.

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