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Tucker, Brian & Wes: Three of My Favorite Team Arctic Turkeys


(11/26/2014)

Honoring a Few Team Arctic Turkeys

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2014, I’d like to take a moment to honor three great turkeys.

You know them already. They’re pretty famous. And each is a good guy and a friend of mine.

But they’re definitely turkeys.

I’m talking about Team Arctic racers Brian Dick, Wes Selby and Tucker Hibbert.

They are three of the highest-profile, most-decorated racers in their current disciplines. For Brian and Wes, the discipline is cross-country, where Wes has established himself as a top-3 Pro in just a couple years after making the transition from snocross.

Brian is Wes’s teammate on the USXC circuit (as well as his boss in the Arctic Cat Engineering department) who claimed his second I-500 cross-country victory last year during a career that has seen dozens of individual race wins. Day in and day out, Brian Dick is one of the most capable and accomplished cross-country racers in the sport today.

In snocross, little more can be said about Tucker Hibbert than what is already known: He’s the all-time winningest Pro racer (95 victories and counting), a 12-time X Games medalist including winning the last seven gold ones. Simply put, he’s the best there is.

Plus like I mentioned at the outset, each of these three is a good person. Genuinely good, in fact…the kind of good that we don’t always see in racers who achieve the highest level of success.

And each is a true friend.

Yep, great racers, great people, great friends.

Still turkeys.

Apparently they’re a special breed of turkey that display their turkeyness while participating in the very racing endeavors that have made them famous. 

 

Full turkey salute from Team Arctic Cat's Wes Selby. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Let’s begin with Wes Selby, who showed his feathers during the Pro Stock final at last year’s USXC cross-country in Willmar, Minn. While ripping around the course with a cadre of competitors breathing down his neck, Wes took a few moments to signal his affection for a lowly photographer standing trackside, hoping to capture the serious drama of long distance cross-country competition. Despite his turkeyness, Wes would go on to finish third place on the day.

 

Like a true turkey, Team Arctic Cat's Brian Dick waves to his fan. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Next up, Brian Dick and also at last year’s Willmar race. Having already won the Pro Open class earlier in the day, Brian was feeling a bit surly while knocking off laps in the Pro Stock final. Apparently racing a ZR6000R at upwards of 95 mph – with the 10 inches of sharpened carbide on each ski reacting to the deep, mismatched ice grooves on the lake surface to produce a harrowing, hooked-up dart fest – wasn’t interesting enough. Nor were the other competitors who were within spitting distance.

Because in the midst of that chaos, Brian showed exactly what a kind person he is by casually waving to the photographer (who by this point had given up hope of capturing that elusive classic image of hardcore cross-country). Brian finished second, waving to the crowd after crossing the finish line.

 

Team Monster Energy Arctic Cat snocrossing turkey Tucker Hibbert. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Finally, there’s Tucker Hibbert, who has been known to throw momentary glances at certain photographers during the occasional snocross race, like he did here (above) during a heat race at Canterbury Park in 2013. Such moments are usually brief and undetected by the live or television audience.

But turkeys are known for their flamboyance. It is their very nature. And for Tucker, that nature was on full display at the season-opening snocross in Duluth, Minn., last season.

It was the first Pro Open heat race of the weekend, which Tucker had holeshot and built a nice lead.

The television cameras were rolling, the crowd was straining to watch a master in action and the competitors were doing everything in their power to not get lapped.

Trying hard to capture the forceful grace of world’s best snocrosser, our innocent photographer had positioned himself behind a banner flag on the outside of the turn at the top of the hill, out of the view (he thought) of the racers who would be negotiating the deep holes, sharp lips and changing lines of the challenging course.

Team Monster Energy Arctic Cat snocrossing turkey Tucker Hibbert. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

And instead of allowing the photographer to get the money shot he was searching for, Tucker rolls by in full-dork mode.

What?!

Team Monster Energy Arctic Cat snocrossing turkey Tucker Hibbert. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

A true professional, the photographer operated his camera with one hand while expressing himself to Tucker with the left hand on the very next lap. 

Snowmobile racing is serious business folks. VERY serious business!

Thanks to these turkeys, it’s also dang fun to watch. And for that I’m thankful.

Gobble, gobble.

My turkey friend, Tucker Hibbert. Goofing for the camera. Photo by ArcticInsider.com



Comments (6):

Paul Nadeau says:
11/26/2014 6:08:00 PM

Happy Thanksgiving to all Arctic Insider turkeys!! Maybe the photographer in this story could put some of his favorite photos into wallpapers that we Arctic Insider turkeys could use ? John, could you please contact that photographer and see what he thinks about the idea? naturally the Arctic Insider Logo would need to be on the wallpapers.
sherri goff says:
11/26/2014 7:06:00 PM

Yes, three great turkeys who seem to survive past Thanksgiving (Duluth). Has been many many years since the turkey Wes has sat down at home for a turkey dinner. Good luck to each of you gobblers this season!
Mike F says:
11/26/2014 9:16:00 PM

Odd that Wes would be goofing off...lol! A really great racer, and a super nice guy, as well as being an incredibly sharp guy to work in the engineering dept. Good luck Wes!!!
Mike F says:
11/26/2014 9:16:00 PM

Odd that Wes would be goofing off...lol! A really great racer, and a super nice guy, as well as being an incredibly sharp guy to work in the engineering dept. Good luck Wes!!!
Allen Teach says:
11/28/2014 1:14:00 PM

Great photos as usual John! Could you tell us what you are using for camera equipment and roughly what settings you use to get these? I have an older Cannon EOS but by the time the dang thing autofocuses and snaps the picture, the sled is long gone leaving only a photo of snow dust.
John Sandberg says:
11/28/2014 2:10:00 PM

Allen: I use a Nikon D700. For the pix here, a Nikon 80-200 F2.8.

Make sure your autofocus is set on continuous, rather than single. At least 1/500th second for shutter speed, or faster.

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