Leading the way is Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki and Tuf Honda. After signing reigning series champion Chad Johnson, Babbitt’s locked up the series’ top rider to race alongside last season’s championship runner-up Kelly Smith. With such a talented pair, they are surely one of the biggest threats for 2009. At Tuf Honda, the team is looking for its third straight championship. After achieving success with Johnson last year, Team Manager Dave Antolak sought out arenacross legend Josh Demuth. Demuth is prepared to return full time and gun for his third career title.
Several other strong teams will put the pressure on the favorites, including consistent front-runners Team Faith Yamaha with Kevin Johnson and Triple Effect Kawasaki, who recently signed veteran Brock Sellards.
Additionally, a series roster full of talented teams and riders are ready for the 11-race campaign. Topping that list is Michael Willard, who showcased his talent at the prequel race in Des Moines, Iowa by winning three out of four races. Signing a deal with Team Green Kawasaki, Willard will be going for it all in his first full arenacross season.
Receiving support from the powerful Babbitt’s Monster Energy® Kawasaki team is GPF Babbitt’s Kawasaki. Run by Ray Woods, GPF (Georgia Practice Facility) uses its relationship with Babbitt’s as an opportunity to give young riders a chance to gain experience and valuable track time in the ultra-competitive AMA Arenacross Series. The program aims to serve as a feeder system for not only arenacross, but dirt bike racing as a whole and is one of the most well respected organizations in the sport. This season, the team is led by Shane Sewell, who continues is rise within the racing community. Joining Sewell is Jerry Lorenz, Kyle Brown, and Dave Ginolfi.
AMA Arenacross Series veteran Jim Neese returns for 2009 with his own team, signing Josh Thomas and Mike McDade as his teammates. The North Carolina native will chase the championship aboard his Foremost Insurance Suzuki, hoping to build upon a solid eight place performance last season. In addition to being a impressive racer, Neese is a well-respected trainer, taking several of the sport’s young riders under his wing while maintaining his hunger and drive for competition.
Storm Lake Honda/GPS Racing welcomes Kurt McCabe and Ricky Draper to its stable for 2009. Thanks to the extended off-season, Team Manager Matt Draper has worked considerably with his pair of talented riders in preparation for the upcoming season. Both McCabe and Draper have been riding competitively throughout the early part of winter and will be at the peak of their game for race one.
With a trio of young riders in Nathan Skaggs, Zach Ames, and Willy Browning, Spinechillers Racing looks for an exciting season in the AMA Arenacross Series. With three hungry competitors in his stable, Team Manager Dallas Avery’s team will undoubtedly be one for watch throughout the three month season. While Skaggs and Ames will attack the circuit aboard Hondas, Browning, who will maintain his strong working relationship with American Suzuki, will campaign the series aboard a Suzuki City of Biloxi, MS machine.
The always competitive Ti-Lube Honda team will introduce two fresh faces to the AMA Arenacross Series circuit in Alex Martin and Gavin Faith. After promising performances from both of these riders at the prequel race from Des Moines, Iowa, the Ti-Lube team will be as competitive as ever.
Defending AMA Arenacross Lites East Series champion Tyler Bright returns in 2009 with his own team. With support from Makson Construction, Bright will look to continue his rise through the rankings.
Corey Green will attack the upcoming season aboard a GNC Reynard Modifications Suzuki while Justin Hopson will ride for Trick Tank Racing.
CHP Motorsports brings the pair of Isaac Faine and Mathew Cottrill to the championship as the Monster Energy Seminole Powersports team fills out the 2009 AMA Arenacross Series lineup with Tyson Hadsell and Tyler Macmillan.
Along with the top-tier teams in the series, these squads will be challenging at the front of the pack each and every week in both the AMA Arenacross and AMA Arenacross Lites classes.
Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki 1 Chad Johnson
2 Kelly Smith
27 Leighton Lillie
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.