TULSA, Okla. — It was a memorable night for AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, on Saturday as Ricky Carmichael, five-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion, was on hand inside the BOK Center to watch a captivating night of action won by Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis teammates Tyler Bowers, in the Arenacross Class, and Tyler Villopoto in the Arenacross Lites Class.
Carmichael made his first AMSOIL Arenacross appearance of the 2013 season at the fourth stop of the championship, serving as the guest of honor for the sport’s first visit to Tulsa since the 2011 season.
Carmichael began his day by taking to the track alongside the stars of AMSOIL Arenacross in practice, laying down some hot laps and getting a sense of the highly technical abilities of these riders. After spending the afternoon in the pits with the riders and team personnel, Carmichael welcomed fans at the pre-race Monster Energy Track Party, signing autographs and taking pictures for those who attended. A little later, he brought the crowd to its feet when he officially welcomed Tulsa fans to the all-new AMSOIL Arenacross with a lap around the track during opening ceremonies. After assisting with some broadcast duties during the races, Carmichael joined the riders at the post-race autograph session, thanking fans for their support of AMSOIL Arenacross.
On the track, the action inside the BOK Center didn’t disappoint. In the first Arenacross Class Main Event of the night, Bowers moved into the lead by the second lap and pulled away for a comfortable win to put him in position for the overall. It was the 10th Main Event win in 13 attempts this season for Bowers. Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Kelly Smith followed in second, while Mosites Motorsports Kawasaki’s Michael McDade finished third.
Usually by virtue of his triumphant effort, Bowers would have the privilege of selecting the inversion for the evening’s second Main Event. However, on this night Carmichael chose how many riders would experience reversed gate selections, with eight riders ultimately being inverted.
In the second Main Event, McDade overcame his inverted starting position to emerge out of the first turn in the lead. Bowers, who chose to start on the second row, positioned himself behind his rival and looked to complete the Main Event sweep. The pair paced one another for the remainder of the 12-lap Main Event with McDade holding on for the win. Bowers was the runner-up while Villopoto captured his first podium result in the Arenacross Class on what ended up being a career night for the young rider.
In the overall classification, Bowers’ 1-2 results secured the overall win while McDade’s 3-1 effort resulted in a runner-up finish. Villopoto posted the best finish of his career in third.
Bowers once again extended his championship lead to 38 points over McDade with two rounds remaining before the start of the Race to the Championship.
In the Head-to-Head Bracket Racing, Bowers became the second repeat winner this season, adding another championship point to his healthy points lead.
In the 2013 debut of the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class, KTM rider Lance Vincent found himself in the early lead, but Motosport.com/JBR/Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Steven Mages, BWRengines.com Honda’s Kyle White, and Villopoto quickly moved into the front of the field. Villopoto made an impressive move for the lead with two laps remaining and held on for his first career victory. Mages followed in second with White in third.