AURORA, Ill. – The 2009 AMA Arenacross Season came to a close on Saturday night with one final evening of exciting bar-to-bar action from the Bank of Kentucky Center in Highland Heights, Ky. After newly crowned champion Jeff Gibson, of Westerville, Ohio, raced to the win for Mahindra Tractors/Tuf Honda on Friday night, teammate Josh Demuth, of North Richland Hills, Texas, accomplished the same feat on night two for his second win in four races. The final race of the AMA Arenacross Lites season proved to be exciting as Foremost Insurance Suzuki’s Jim Neese, of Julian, N.C., used his veteran experience to race to the win.
Demuth, who didn’t stand atop the podium until last weekend’s race in Wilkes Barre, was impressive at the tail end of the season. On Saturday, he garnered a great start and battled with his teammate throughout the 25-lap main. Combine his stellar efforts on Saturday night with a strong runner-up finish on Friday and Demuth can walk away from his return to the AMA Arenacross Series with his head held high.
“I needed to end the season on a strong note,” said Demuth. “I haven’t had the year I’d hoped for so to come out the past two weeks with some really strong runs makes things a lot more positive heading into the off-season. I want to thank my Tuf Honda team and congratulate Josh (Gibson) on the championship. It’s been a pleasure to be his teammate.”
Gibson brought home the runner-up spot, reversing the 1-2 order from Friday night. Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Michael Willard, of Thornville, Ohio, brought home a solid third place finish. In the battle for second place in the season standings, Triple Effect Kawasaki’s Brock Sellards, of Sherodsville, Ohio, and Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis., both experienced tough outings Saturday evening. The pair brought home 13th and 14th place finishes, respectively, giving Sellards to runner-up spot behind Gibson. Johnson fell to fourth as Demuth late-season charge vaulted him into third place.
In the AMA Arenacross Lites main event, Neese battled with Eastern Lites Champion Tyler Bright, of Lexington, N.C., and his Makson Construction Suzuki for the top spot. The win marked Neese’s second of the season overall in AMA Arenacross Lites competition and serves as a boost of confidence heading into the off-season. Bright would hold on for second place while Team Green House of Kawasaki’s Justin berry, of Edmond, Okla., brought home third.
The 2009 AMA Arenacross Series season was memorable as eight different winners found their way into the winners circle throughout the 11-round season. The new condensed schedule provided challenges to many competitors, but kept the excitement level of the championship fight at its peak throughout the three-month nationwide campaign.
AMA Arenacross Class Results (Highland Heights, Ky.)
- Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Honda
- Jeff Gibson, Westerville, Ohio, Honda
- Michael Willard, Thornville, Ohio, Kawasaki
- Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda
- Willy Browning, Rushville, Ohio, Suzuki
- Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki
- Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
- Keith Johnson, Albuquerque, N.M, Yamaha
- Codi Adams, Batavia, Ohio, Kawasaki
- Kyle Glass, Hudsonville, Mich., Honda
AMA Arenacross Lites Class Results (Highland Heights, Ky.)
- Jim Neese, Julian, N.C, Suzuki
- Tyler Bright, Lexington, N.C., Suzuki
- Justin Berry, Edmond, Okla., Kawasaki
- Kevin Johnson, Albuquerque, N.M., Yamaha
- Matt Cottrill, Chillicothe, Ohio, Yamaha
- Devon Pilkington, Virginia Beach, Va., Yamaha
- Kyle Brown, Lake Odessa, Mich., Kawasaki
- Dacoda Sarochuk, Randolph, Utah, Kawasaki
- Kyle Glass, Lake Odessa, Mich., Kawasaki
- Travis Merrill, Quincy, Ill., KTM
AMA Arenacross Class Points (After Race 17 of 17)
- Jeff Gibson, Westerville, Ohio, Honda – 350
- Brock Sellards, Sherodsville, Ohio, Kawasaki – 278
- Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Honda – 276
- Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 272
- Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 268
- Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki – 244
- Michael Willard, Thornville, Ohio, Kawasaki – 235
- Codi Adams, Batavia, Ohio, Kawasaki – 197
- Keith Johnson, Albuquerque, N.M, Yamaha – 177
- Willy Browning, Rushville, Ohio, Suzuki – 154
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