Toyota AMA Arenacross Series’ Tuesday Interview: AMA AX Lites Racer Gray Davenport

Utah racer wins big on opening night of 2006-’07 season

AURORA, Ill., (Nov. 7, 2006) - Last Friday night’s AMA Arenacross Lites class final had everybody scrambling for a program to find out who pulled the holeshot on the No. 916 Kawasaki and ran it to victory in the opening round of the 2006-’07 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series.

Gray Davenport was the guy on the throttle, gunning his South Valley Motorsports Kawasaki KX250F to victory in the opening round of the AMA Arenacross Lites division’s North Region series.

Davenport, a Toyota AMA Arenacross Series rookie from Lehi, Utah, is hoping to eventually parlay his Arenacross Lites class success into an Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series Lites class berth. We caught up to Davenport in the pits at Des Moines’ (Iowa) Wells Fargo Arena.

Question: You kind of showed up quickly on the Toyota AMA Arenacross Lites class radar here, Gray. Talk a bit about your background in the sport of motocross.

photo: Steve Bruhn

Davenport: “I actually didn’t start riding until I was 12-year-old, a little late I guess. I pretty much just raced locally until recently, then struck out on my own the last few years and have been hitting some bigger races.”

Didn’t you compete in the Canadian MX Nationals this past summer?
Davenport: “Yeah, I finished 3rd in the Canadian Nationals, which was cool. Best I’ve done outdoors so far.”

Talk about your win tonight at the opening round of the 2006-’07 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series. You’ve got to be pretty pumped with that.
Davenport: “For sure. This was definitely the biggest arenacross win of my career. Me and a friend just came up here and I pretty much was just hoping to do good, didn’t think much about winning.”

What do you attribute your success this evening to?
Davenport: “To start with I’ve been training a lot more, taking things a lot more serious. I began riding better tracks and got some better bikes through South Valley Motorsports. Those guys really stepped up and gave me some good bikes. Also, Mike Battista and MB1 Suspension has helped me out a lot. I can’t say enough about Mike and the great job he’s done there.”

The AMA Arenacross Lites class was stacked with talent here in Des Moines. What was the key to winning?
Davenport: “Coming into these races I knew it’d be all about the starts and the whoops. I was able to pull a good start and my MB1 Suspension carried me through the whoops!”

photo: Steve Bruhn

Are you looking to use the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series as a stepping stone to the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series?Davenport: “Yeah, for sure. Hopefully I can keep going and win a few races, pick up some more help along the way.”

Yeah, well, the guys from Utah (including AMA Arenacross Lites racer Beni Williams) know that their governor has their back!Davenport: “You know it! Gov. Huntsman definitely helps me out a lot. He’s one of the reasons I’m here in Des Moines for sure. He’s a good guy, way into motocross. Done a lot for the sport of motocross in the State of Utah and he’s actually helping out some of the riders coming out of the state.”

This will come out on Tuesday, which is election day. Vote Huntsman?
Davenport: “Vote Huntsman for sure!”