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Elk River native Tristian Hinton rides his snowmobile during the Amsoil Snocross National tournament on Sunday, March 28, in Eagle River, Wisconsin.

For 9-year-old Elk River native Tristian Hinton, the 2020-21 Snocross season was a comeback story.

Hinton broke his femur during a December 2019 ERX race and missed the remainder of last season. He came back this season and won the Stock 200 championship of the Amsoil Championship Snocross on Saturday, March 28, in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Hinton finished first overall in the Stock 200 standings, which is for Snocross riders aged 6-12.

Hinton said he was happy that he won that he finished first.

“It felt good because last season, we didn’t have the best season, but it felt good to win and come back strong,” Hinton said. 

Jamie Hinton, Tristian’s father, said the biggest change in the Hinton family’s routine was Tristian not being able to race because of his femoral fracture.

“We still traveled in support of the series [Amsoil Championship Snocross] and supported our friends in all of the races from Sioux Falls [South Dakota] to New York to everything,” Jamie said. “We were able to make our first race back in New York. We were only able to get New York in before the season was canceled [due to] COVID-19. After that, his biggest accomplishment now is overcoming the injury, which is tough on a lot of people. Being stuck on your couch for six weeks or however longer than that not being able to ride his snowmobile for three months and then, he wanted to go back just as much as all of us. To come off an injury and then, ‘Hey, we had a bad year last year. We’ve got to overcome that and come back and push hard this year.’ That’s what he did.

He had a lot more focus knowing that we lost a year last year, so his focus was the big improvement this year is trying to stay focused on the track and concentrate on [that] and then go back to being a kid.”

In addition to his first-place finish in the Stock 200 standings, Hinton finished seventh in the standings of the Transition 8-10 series with 206 points. This group of racers incorporates racers aged 8-10.

Dawn Hinton, Tristan’s mother, said one of her favorite things about watching him race is the interaction and the bonding between Tristian and Jamie not only as Snocross rider and coach, but as father and son.

“It’s the unit of them that drives their success with the mechanic skills my husband puts forth and what Tristan does as a rider. It’s as much a mental game as it is a physical game.”

Jamie said a points championship is extremely hard to earn.

“You have to be on your toes,” Jamie said. “You can’t mess up. There’s not a lot of room for error to capture a title. For us to do that was something that were working hard for the past couple of years. To finally get back here at the end of the season on top of the points was a big deal for him as our family and stuff that we love so much to be able to come out on top. It’s hard, like going to a Super Bowl. I get the enjoyment of his hard work paying off and for everybody to recognize that he achieved his goals.”

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