WORCESTER, Mass. — The 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, kicked off on Friday night from the DCU Center.
Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Tyler Bowers began his quest for a fourth consecutive title with an impressive sweep of the Main Events in the Arenacross Class. The opening round of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Championship produced a wild Main Event, won by Triangle Cycle Yamaha’s Keith Tucker.
Motorsport.com/Spinchillers Racing Kawasaki’s Michael McDade grabbed the lead at the start of the first Arenacross Class Main Event with Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Zach Ames and Bowers following second a third, respectively.
McDade opened a small lead over the field and maintained it through the majority of the 15-lap race. Behind him, Bowers made a pass on his teammate for second on lap two and patiently waited for his opportunity to attack McDade for the lead. On lap 11, Bowers made his move and took over the lead, carrying it through to the finish ahead of McDade and Brewer Cycles Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes.
Bowers selected an inversion of zero riders heading into the second Main Event, meaning he and his rivals carried an advantage into the 15-lap race.
As the gate dropped on the final race of the evening, Hayes got a good jump to grab the early lead with Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Gavin Gracyk and Bowers close behind. McDade didn’t fare as well when contact pushed him deep in the 16-rider field. Bowers moved into second on lap five and needed four laps to make the winning pass on Hayes.
Ames followed his teammate into the lead duo, assuming second. The pair maintained their spots through to the finish, with Gracyk fending off a stiff challenge from Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Colt Nichols to finish third.
Bowers’ perfect 1-1 scores secured the overall, with Ames (4-2) and Hayes (3-5) rounding out the podium.
In the first Head-to-Head Bracket Racing of the season pitted the top four finishers from each Arenacross Class Heat Race against one another in a battle for coveted championship bonus points. While all eight riders secured a single bonus point for their efforts, it was Hayes who emerged victorious to secure the additional bonus point awarded to the winner.
In the Arenacross Lites Class Main Event, Honda rider Kyle Bitterman took the early lead with Ticketwow/TUF Honda’s Michael Lang and TZR/Woodstock KTM’s Scott Zont in tow. It didn’t take long for the excitement to begin as Lang took over the top spot early with Bitterman crashing out of the 18-lap race. The following lap, Lang and Hillview Motorsports Suzuki’s Steve Roman engaged in battle for the top spot, ultimately making contact and allowing Yamaha rider Jacob Williamson to take over the top spot. Swedish rider Fredik Noren followed into second aboard his KTM.
Williamson maintained a narrow lead over Noren for the next six laps, before Noren closed in on lap 12 and took advantage of misfortune by Williamson. Noren attempted to open a gap on the field, but his possession of the top spot was short lived when Tucker made the winning pass the following lap. Tucker maintained his advantage for the remainder of the Main Event to take his first career win. Noren followed in second, with Roman rebounding to finish third.