CEDAR PARK, Texas — The fifth round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, kicked off on Friday evening with the first of two nights of action from the Cedar Park Center.
It was a dominant night for Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers on Friday, as the championship point leader swept each of the main events to claim his sixth overall victory of the year. In the Arenacross Lites Class, Ticketwow Honda’s Michael Lang capitalized on a late pass to grab the win.
As the gate dropped on the first main event of the Arenacross Class, Motosport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Nathan Skaggs positioned himself in lead out of the first corner with Bowers and Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Kelly Smith in tow. On lap three, Bowers made his move on Skaggs and took over the top spot. Once out front, he pulled away from the field and cruised to victory.
Skaggs engaged in a heated battle for the podium with Bowers’ Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki teammate Zach Ames and Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Jeff Gibson, who was back in action after missing last week’s race for the birth of his daughter. Ames slipped past Skaggs for second on lap seven, which he carried to the finish, while Gibson needed a late pass to steal third.
Bowers’ victorious effort gave him the distinction of choosing how many riders would invert prior to the second Main Event. The point leader ultimately selected an eight-rider inversion, his least favorite, and elected to start on the inside of the second row,
As the second main event began, it was Ames who overcame his inverted gate pick to take the early lead. However, Bowers followed closely in second with Advocare Suzuki’s Daniel Blair in third. Bowers wasted little time in taking the opportunity to pass his teammate and close friend and was in control of the race by the conclusion of the opening lap.
The Babbitt’s duo controlled the pace of the race for the remainder of the 12-lap Main Event, while the battle for the third and final spot on the podium heated up between Blair and Gibson. On lap 10, Gibson’s relentless pursuit of Blair paid off and he was able to claim the position.
With identical podium results for each main event, the overall classification was Bowers, Ames, and Gibson. Mosites Motorsports Kawasaki’s Michael McDade, who occupied second in the championship, suffered from misfortune in the first main event that carried through the remainder of the evening, resulting in 15th overall.
Bowers extended his points lead to 56 over Ames, who took over second. McDade sits an additional 10 points behind in third.
In Friday night’s Head-to-Head Bracket Racing, Skaggs continued his impressive efforts in the captivating showdown, winning his class leading third bracket of the season to claim the championship point.
In the Arenacross Lites Class main event, Motosport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Steven Mages assumed the early lead, with Lang and Storm Lake Honda’s Devin Reed in tow. The battle for the lead was intense throughout the entire 18-lap race, when Lang found his way past Mages on lap nine and held on for the win.
Reed slipped past Mages a few laps later, but suffered from misfortune in the late stages, allowing Mages to reclaim the spot. BWRengines.com Honda’s Kyle White finished third.
Mages takes over the points lead in the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class standings, holding a one-point lead over both Lang and Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Tyler Villopoto, who won the opening round of the championship.