BALTIMORE – The second round of the 2013 AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross season kicked off on Friday night from Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena.
Following an exciting beginning to the championship one week ago, the world’s best indoor riders took to the track for the first of two nights of action.
At the end of two Main Events, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., captured the overall victory in the Arenacross Class to extend his points lead, while Jim Neese, of emerged victorious in the Arenacross Lites Class. Just like one week ago, the new racing format provided a tremendous night of competition.
In the first Main Event of the evening, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Zach Ames, of Prospect, Ohio, took advantage of a strong start to grab the win relatively unchallenged. Bowers followed in second, but was unable to really challenge his teammate for the win, perhaps knowing a strong performance in the final race of the evening could still award him the overall. South of the Border KTM’s Robby Marshall, of Stow, Mass., finished third.
Thanks to his victory, Ames had the distinction of selecting the briefcase that would determine how many riders would be inverted for the second Main Event. His selection reversed the top eight finishers from the opening Main Event.
In Main Event 2, Ames overcame his eighth gate pick to grab the early lead and give himself a chance to tighten the championship standings. However, Ames fell while navigating the whoops on Lap 3, sending him deep into the field. His teammates misfortune was Bowers’ opportunity, as he took the lead on Lap 8, and held it through to the finish.
Bowers has won four of six Main Events this season with a worst finish of fifth, resulting in a 1.8 finishing average. Motosport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Nathan Skaggs, of Chillicothe, Ohio, had his best performance of the season in second, while Mosites Motorsports Kawasaki’s Michael McDade, of Edinburg, Pa., finished third.
Bowers’ consistent night landed him atop the overall podium, while McDade overcame a trip to the LCQ to finish second overall with Team Faith/Fly Racing KTM’s Kelly Smith, of Ludington, Mich., in third.
The captivating Head-to-Head Bracket Racing for that coveted championship point resulted in a showdown between Marshall and Smith. With the top four finishers from each respective Heat race battling it out in an eight-rider showdown of two-lap elimination races, this duo fought their way to the final. In the matchup, Marshall grabbed his first taste of victory in AMSOIL Arenacross by outsprinting Smith.
Bowers’ consistent night awarded him the overall victory and added to his points lead heading to the Race to the Championship at the seventh round of the season. He now holds an eight point lead over McDade.
In the Arenacross Lites Class Main Event, longtime competitor Neese proved that he still has what it takes to compete with his younger counterparts and, in this instance, win. The veteran rider rode strong throughout the Main Event, holding off Fun Mart Cycle KTM’s Michael Willard, of Newark, Ohio, and KMS KTM’s Davie Ginolfi, of Budd Lake, N.J., who finished second and third, respectively.