MILWAUKEE, Wis. — AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, returned to Milwaukee, Wis., for the first time in over a decade on Friday to kick off two nights of action inside U.S. Cellular Arena for the fifth round of the 2014 season.
Just a few days after revealing he’s been racing with a broken tibia, reigning three-time champion Tyler Bowers raced to his championship-leading third overall victory of the season aboard his Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis machine. In the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lite Class, Frontier Lubricants KTM’s Daniel Blair captured his second Main Event win in three races.
Farmers Insurance/Reynard Mods Suzuki’s Cory Green grabbed the holeshot and early lead in the first Arenacross Class Main Event of the night and went on to hold of Bowers and his teammate Zach Ames for the first couple laps of the 12-lap race. However, Bowers’ patience paid off on lap three when he slipped past Green and never looked back. While Bowers comfortably paced the field, Ames made the pass for second on lap nine to secure a Babbitt’s 1-2 finish. Green held on for third.
Bowers had the opportunity to select the inversion for the second Main Event, picking the No. 16 and a full-field inversion for the second time this season.
With Bowers, Ames, and Green forced to overcome the final gate selections, Gateway Cycles Kawasaki’s Steven Mages took advantage of having the first gate pick for the second Main Event to grab the early lead with KMS KTM’s Dave Ginolfi and Motorsport Hillsboro Kawasaki’s Gared Steinke in tow. Bowers crossed the line in 13th on the opening lap, with Ames just a couple positions ahead in 11th. Bowers began a charge through the field immediately, breaking into the top 10 by lap two and chipping away for the rest of the Main Event.
The defending champion moved into podium position on lap 10 in third, but couldn’t overcome the deficit. Mages, who finished last in the first Main Event, rebounded to lead all 15 laps en route to the Main Event win with Ginolfi in second and Bowers in third.
While he missed out on a clean sweep of the Main Events, Bowers’ 1-3 finishes were enough to give him the overall win and move him to within two points of Arenacross Class points lead. Ames, the championship leader, finished second overall after 2-6 results. TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson rounded out the overall podium in third (9-4).
In Head-to-Head Bracket Racing, Bowers outdueled Steinke to take the win and earn the second championship bonus point.
BWRengines.com Honda’s Maxx Malatia began the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Main Event with the holeshot with Blair close behind. Malatia did all he could to keep Blair at bay, but the veteran made his move prior to the conclusion of the opening lap and assumed control of the race. Shortly thereafter, Mages worked his way past Malatia for second and closed in on the lead at the halfway point, but ultimately wasn’t able to keep pace with Blair. The California native maintained his lead throughout the 18-lap Main Event and won comfortably. Mages followed in second, with Malatia in third.
Traders Racing Kawasaki’s Tony Archer, who finished sixth, maintained possession of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship points lead. He currently holds a 28-point lead over Team DirtBikeMike KTM’s Brandon Glenn.