BALTIMORE — The second round of the 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, got underway on Friday with the first of two nights of action from Baltimore inside the Baltimore Arena.
After capturing his first win of the season one week ago, Motorsport.com/Spinechillers Racing Kawasaki’s Michael McDade made it two in-a-row thanks to a consistent effort capped off by a win in the second Arenacross Class Main Event.
In the Eastern Regional Arenacross Class Main Event, MyPlash/Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger made a name for himself as one of the Road to Supercross riders to watch following a dominant victory that was accompanied by a podium result in the Arenacross Class.
This season signifies the official start of Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, which features some of the sport’s rising stars looking to make a name for themselves in the professional ranks.
Already a breakout star on the amateur scene, Plessinger cemented himself as one of the most promising up-and-comers of the Road to Supercross program in his first career AMSOIL Arenacross race. With factory support from Star Yamaha, Plessinger has become an instant bright spot in the early stages of the 2014 season and already looks to be a consistent contender.
McDade positioned himself at the front of the field all night and grabbed the holeshot in the first Arenacross Class Main Event of the evening. The Pennsylvania native paced the field for half of the 15-lap race before giving way to Plessinger, who won his first career AMSOIL Arenacross race mere minutes earlier.
Once out front, Plessinger carried the momentum through to the finish to take the win and put himself in position to achieve an improbable sweep of both divisions. McDade followed in second, with Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers in third.
Plessinger had the distinction of selecting the inversion for the second Main Event, picking eight and making his hopes of duplicating his effort slightly more challenging.
As the gate dropped on the second Main Event, McDade moved into the lead once again, this time with Honda rider Kyle Regal and Bowers in tow. Plessinger got caught in the pack entering the first turn and emerged in 10th place. Bowers wasted little time in getting past Regal and set his sights on McDade. Despite his best efforts, McDade held Bowers at bay and took the Main Event win to secure the overall with identical scores from his first win last weekend.
McDade was followed on the podium by Bowers (3-2), while Plessinger fought his way into the top five in the second Main Event to lock down his first career Arenacross Class podium in third (1-5).
Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Zach Ames, who entered the night as the championship points leader, showed his resiliency on Friday. After a trip to the LCQ, Ames overcame a start outside the top 10 in the first Main Event to finish fifth. He followed that up with a third-place finish in the final race of the night to secure fourth overall (5-3).
In Head-to-Head Bracket Racing, Regal outdueled McDade for the additional bonus point.
By virtue of his back-to-back wins McDade is now the new Arenacross Class points leader, holding a four-point lead over Ames heading into Night Two.
In the 18-lap Arenacross Lites Class Main Event, Plessinger moved into the lead early and never looked back. He consistently extended his advantage over the field throughout the race, ultimately going unchallenged and winning by over 10 seconds. BWREngines.com Honda’s Maxx Malatia grabbed the runner-up spot with Frontier Lubricants KTM’s Daniel Blair rounding out the podium in third.
Tony Archer, who finished fourth in the Main Event, took over the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class points lead aboard his Traders Racing Kawasaki. He carries a seven-point advantage heading into Saturday night’s action.