The prequel race on November 7-9 is a stand-alone, non-points paying race. With pride and prize money on the line, several of the top AMA Arenacross teams and riders will take part in the race and take advantage of track time and a racing environment prior to the kick off event in Grand Rapids, Mich. on January 2-4.
For the past three years, the rider to win inside Wells Fargo Arena has gone on to win the arenacross championship that same season.
Leading the way into Des Moines this season is Josh Demuth, who is considered one of the greatest arenacross riders of all time. No stranger to championships, the two-time title winner has teamed up with Tuf Honda for the upcoming season. Tuf has won the last two arenacross championships with riders Danny Smith and Chad Johnson.
Demuth’s return to the series brings a two-year hiatus to a close. While he participated in a few one-off races throughout 2007 and 2008, his primary focus was on supercross, racing with the Hart & Huntington team. Unfortunately, a wrist injury sidelined the Texas rider for most of 2008. Now completely healthy, Demuth decided that returning to arenacross was his best option for 2009.
“I had planned to do supercross,” said Demuth. “But the Hart & Huntington team wanted me to move to Las Vegas to be closer to the team. I’ve turned down arenacross offers the last couple years because I was focusing on supercross and trying to move up there, but with having to move to Las Vegas and everything I just wasn’t into it. I just explored my options for a bit, a couple of teams called and we just put together a deal with Tuf.”
Tuf Honda team manager Dave Antolack is happy to one of the most successful riders in arenacross history on his side and was eager to help Demuth when the opportunity to race in Des Moines came up.
“We are very excited that Josh has decided to become part of our team this season,” said Antolack. “We might actually be in a better position for 2009 than we have the past two years just based off of the success that he has achieved in arenacross. He came to us and said he wanted to ride (in Des Moines) and we are happy to accommodate that.”
Defending AMA Arenacross Lites East Series champion Tyler Bright will also be at Wells Fargo Arena this year, making his debut on his very own bike. The North Carolina rider is just 18 years old and is one of the fastest rising riders on the circuit.
“I’m going to Des Moines to get track time more than anything,” said Bright. “I just started my own (team). I’ll be getting some help from Makson Construction and they will take care of a lot of things for me during the season. I’m really excited about it. Also, given the purse at Des Moines, it gives me an opportunity to earn some money.”
Feld Motor Sports’ Robert Hansen, who is no stranger to arenacross, recommends keeping an eye on the young rider.
“Tyler is one of the up and coming stars of the series,” said Hansen. “He has achieved a lot of success in a short amount of time as a professional. Fellow North Carolina rider Jimmy Neese is acting as a mentor to Tyler and has taken him under his wing, which should help him become an even better rider.”
The Wells Fargo Arena is located in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa as part of the Iowa Events Center. Built in 2005, it can hold up to 16,980 fans with various seating configurations depending on the event. The arena serves as the home to the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, Iowa Chops of the American Hockey League, and Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League.
On Saturday, November 1, the Chops worked in association with AMA Arenacross to bring “Arenacross Night at the Chops” to those in attendance. Fort Dodge, Iowa’s own Teddy Maier dropped the ceremonial first puck and promoted this weekend’s race.
Tickets for Nov. 7-9 AMA Arenacross Fueled by Monster Energy and brought to you by Hicklin Powersports at Wells Fargo Arena are available through www.arenacross.com, at the Wells Fargo Arena Ticket Office, online at www.dahlstickets.com, all Des Moines-area Dahl’s Grocery Stores or charge by phone at 1-866-55-DAHLS. Fees and handling may apply. Show times are Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 10am. Doors open Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday tickets are $20 for all Gold Circle seats, $16 for Mid Level seats/$8 for kids Mid Level seats. Sunday tickets are $16 for adults, $8 for kids. All seats $2 more day of show. Note: Kids = children ages 2-12.
Tickets are available online at www.arenacross.com, www.ticketmaster.com, www.tickets.com. For more information on the AMA Arenacross Series log on to www.arenacross.com.
About Feld Motor Sports Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment. Feld Motor Sports, Inc. productions include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy® Supercross, AMA Arenacross Series, Freestyle Motocross, and IHRA® Nitro Jam®. Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment. For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit www.feldentertainment.com.