Tyler Bright Grabs Arenacross Lites Victory
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. – Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., might be dominating the 2011 AMA Arenacross Series, but the 20-year-old rider is putting in some serious effort to be in that position. On Friday night, Bowers was forced to come from behind for the third-straight week in order to claim his seventh straight win from Council Bluffs’ Mid-America Center. In Arenacross Lites competition, House of Kawasaki’s Chad Cook, of Oklahoma City, Okla., grabbed his third win of the season.
Team Faith Yamaha’s Kelly Smith, of Ludington, Mich., grabbed the early lead in the 25-lap Arenacross class main event. Behind him, TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson, of Blacklick, Ohio, and Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/HondaofFairfield.com’s Zach Ames, of Prospect, Ohio, followed closely.
Smith would lead the majority of the race, consistently fending off Gibson’s advances in an impressive back-and-forth battle that kept the fans on their feet. Meanwhile, Bowers was looking to climb his way through the top five, but found himself stagnant throughout the first half of the main event.
On Lap 14, Gibson made his move for the top spot stick, forcing Smith into second while Ames looked to take advantage as well. At this moment, Bowers also began his forward progress and patiently picked off both Ames and Smith before setting his sights on Gibson with a handful of laps remaining.
The gap between the two riders fluctuated as Bowers looked for an advantage and ultimately lost time by being out of position. However, as the duo came to the white flag, Bowers was in perfect position, sitting just a tenth off Gibson as they hit the catapult. He quickly made an aggressive pass that stuck and promptly pulled away for the rest of the lap to eventually win by over a second ahead of a dejected Gibson. Smith held on to round out the podium in third.
A rough night for Bowers’ Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki teammate Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis., resulted in a fifth-place finish, dropping him from a tie for second in the standings to third. Bowers extended his impressive points lead to 41 points.
Following a short one-week break, the Arenacross Lites Western Regional Championship returned to action in Council Bluffs. Entering the night as the points leader, Cook asserted himself at the title favorite with just three races remaining in the championship. The Kawasaki rider has boasted a stellar and consistent season, putting himself in the position to win on a weekly basis and tying for the class lead in wins after his effort on Friday evening. Moreover, Cook’s closest competitors in second and third in the standings suffered from tough nights.
Following Cook on the podium was All Angles Collision Kawasaki’s Aviery Hickey, of Decatur, Texas, who made a move in the points after his runner-up effort. Completing the podium in third was TZR Honda’s Scott Zont, of Algonquin, Ill.
Cook’s lead in the Arenacross Lites Western Regional Championship now sits at XX points.
The action from the Mid-America center is just getting started. The Council Bluffs Arenacross continues tomorrow night with more bar-banging action beginning at 7 p.m. CT.
Arenacross Class Results (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha
Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda
Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda
Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha
Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki
Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki
AMA Arenacross Lites Class Results (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
Aviery Hickey, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki
Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., Honda
Patrick Massie, Washington Court, Ohio, Honda
Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., Kawasaki
Jeremy Huddleston, Eustace, Texas, KTM
Tanner Young, Marland, Okla., Yamaha
Kenneth Henry, Ashtabula, Ohio, KTM
Michael Lang, Saugerties, N.Y., Honda
Travis Smith, Lancaster, Calif., Yamaha
Arenacross Class Points (After Race 14 of 19)
Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 327
Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda – 286
Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 280
Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda – 217
Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki – 215
Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 192
Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha – 191
Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha – 165
Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 156
Cole Siebler, Emmett, Idaho, Honda – 153
Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 8 of 10)
Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 163
Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM – 117
Aviery Hickey, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki – 111
Travis Smith, Lancaster, Calif., Yamaha – 109
Tanner Young, Marland, Okla., Yamaha – 87
Jeremy Huddleston, Eustace, Texas, KTM – 80
Tiger Lacey, Spring Creek, Nev., Kawasaki – 75
Noa Quinabo, Riverside, Calif., Suzuki – 52
Bobby Fitch, Littleton, Colo., Honda – 44
Ricky Yorks, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha – 42