RENO, Nev. — The eighth round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, kicked off Friday night inside the Livestock Events Center.
PBR/TiLube/TUF Racing Honda’s Jacob Hayes captured his third overall victory and second straight win of the season to secure his position in the Race to the Championship. Factory Connection Honda’s R.J. Hampshire dominated the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class to take the win in his AMSOIL Arenacross debut.
PBR/TiLube/TUF Racing Honda’s Kyle Regal began the first 15-lap Arenacross Class Main Event with the holeshot, but was closely followed by his teammate Hayes and Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Tyler Bowers. Bowers took over second on the opening lap. Regal paced the field for the first four laps, but Bowers made his move on lap four and instantly opened a gap on the field. Once out front, Bowers never looked back and went on to win by over three seconds. Behind him, the TUF Racing teammates battled it out for second with Hayes taking over the runner-up spot on lap nine and holding off Regal through to the finish. Arenacross Class point leader Zach Ames began the Main Event in fifth place aboard his Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki but experienced misfortune on lap three, dropping to the tail end of the field. He fought valiantly through to the finish to record an 11th-place result.
Bowers selected the inversion for the second Main Event, with all 16 riders inverting starting positions to decide who will emerge with the overall victory.
Regal overcame the inversion to grab the holeshot in the second Main Event with Hayes in second and Ames looking to rebound in third. Hayes took over the lead on lap two and never relinquished control through all 15 laps, but the drama unfolded behind him. Ames made the pass on Regal for second on lap three, while Bowers had to fight his way from a start outside the top 10. The defending champion progressively worked his way forward and positioned himself into the top five on lap seven.
Unfortunately, Bowers was unable to move any further up the rankings, which solidified the win for Hayes. Ames bounced back to finish second while Regal finished third.
Hayes’ 2-1 results secured the overall win while Regal helped give TUF Racing a sweep of the top two spots thanks to 3-3 scores. Bowers rounded out the overall podium in third (1-5).
Bowers took over the points lead as a result of his consistent outing and is now in position to earn the number-one position in the Race to the Championship heading into night two. His advantage over Ames sits at four points.
Earlier in the evening, Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’ Kelly Smith outlasted Frontier Lubricants KTM’s Daniel Blair in Head-to-Head Bracket Racing to secure a well-earned championship bonus point as he looks to secure his place in the Race to the Championship.
With just one night remaining to qualify for the Race to the Championship, Smith still sits on the outside looking in, facing an eight-point deficit to 10th place, currently held by Motosport Hillsboro Kawasaki’s Gared Steinke. After foregoing Friday night’s competition with a wrist injury, Motosport.com/MJM Express/Spinechillers Racing Kawasaki’s Michael McDade fell from fifth to ninth in the standings and currently sits just nine points ahead of 11th, meaning he will likely be back in action on Saturday night.
The fourth race of the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship was a coming out party for R.J. Hampshire. The Florida native grabbed the holeshot to start the 18-lap Main Event and went on to lead every lap, extending his lead for most of the race to cross the line over eight seconds ahead of the field. Defending Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Champion Maxx Malatia maintained the runner-up spot throughout the Main Event aboard his BWRengines.com Honda, while Gateway Cycles Kawasaki’s Steven Mages rounded out the podium in third after starting in fifth.
As a result of his podium finish, Mages took over the Western Regional Championship points lead and currently holds a two-point lead over BWRengines.com Honda’s Kyle White.