CEDAR PARK, Texas – The fifth round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, came to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday night from the Cedar Park Center.
Just 24 hours after claiming the opening night victory in Texas, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers captured his seventh overall win of the season thanks to first and second-place finishes in the pair of Main Events.
In the Arenacross Lites Class, Ticketwow Honda’s Michael Lang replicated his efforts from the previous night to make another late-race pass to give him a clean sweep of the weekend.
The first Arenacross Class Main Event of the night set the tone for a great night of action and ultimately ended up being a showdown between teammates. After grabbing the holeshot, Motosport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Steven Mages was quickly passed by Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Zach Ames. Bowers wasted little time in moving into second and from there, the showdown between the close friends was underway. Ames held off Bowers’ pressure for the majority of the 12-lap Main Event, but gave way on the final lap. Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Kelly Smith finished third.
With his win, Bowers selected the inversion for the second Main Event. For the second night in a row, the eight-rider inversion was chosen.
As the gate dropped on the second Main Event, Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Jeff Gibson, who was back in action after missing last week for the birth of his child, moved into the lead early with Motosport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Nathan Skaggs in tow. Both Bowers and Ames emerged from the first corner with mid-pack starts and had their work cut out for them during the 12-lap race.
Bowers quickly began making his way through the field, relying on his trademark aggressive riding to eventually move into the top three. Behind him, Ames also clawed his way through the field.
Bowers moved into second in the closing laps and had a chance for the win. Controversy arose shortly thereafter when the checkered flag flew on the 13th lap, which ultimately provided an additional lap of racing for Bowers to pass Gibson for the lead.
However, Gibson crossed the line officially in first on Lap 12, and was awarded the win over Bowers in second. Gibson’s first victory of the season also signified the fourth different Main Event winner in the championship. Skaggs held on for third, while Ames battled his way into fourth.
By virtue of his consistent efforts, Bowers claimed the overall win, his fifth straight. Ames made it a 1-2 finish for Team Babbitt’s in second, while Skaggs finished third.
Bowers was able to extend his points lead to 60 points over Ames. Missing from the action on Saturday night was Mosites Motorsports Kawasaki’s Michael McDade, who sits third in the championship. McDade suffered an apparent wrist injury in a crash during the first Main Event on Friday night and as a result of his absence, fell to 98 points behind Bowers.
In Saturday night’s Head-to-Head Bracket Racing, Bowers captured his third triumphant effort of the season to earn the championship point. He sits in a tie with Skaggs for the class lead with three wins apiece.
In the Arenacross Lites Class Main Event, BWRengines.com Honda’s Maxx Malatia grabbed the holeshot and set the pace for virtually the entire race. Lang positioned himself in second and stayed within a few tenths of Malatia before making his move with just a handful of laps remaining to steal the victory.
The showdown was one of the most captivating Arenacross Lites Class races of the season, and proved to be a big win for Lang in terms of the championship as he took over the points lead.
Malatia settled for second, while Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Tyler Villopoto battled his way through the field to post an impressive third-place finish.