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Babbitt’s Monster Energy AX Race Report: Council Bluffs

With the 2011 AMA Arenacross series winding down, the tour travelled to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where the Babbitt’s Monster Energy TiLUBE Kawasaki presented by Maxxis Tires Team had both a good and bad weekend.  The good part was that Tyler Bowers would win both nights’ main events (his seventh and eighth straight); now establishing a 46 points lead over Jeff Gibson in second.   Tyler would come from the back to take the lead on the final lap in Friday’s racing; while on Saturday night he moved to first quickly; before checking out for the win.  Unfortunately Chad Johnson would have to overcome several crashes to ride in “salvage points” mode; while Gray Davenport competed with an injured back from a Thursday crash.

Friday night started out excellent for the Babbitt’s Monster Energy TiLUBE Kawasaki presented by Maxxis Tires team as Chad Johnson took the first heat race win, and Gray Davenport finished fifth.  Tyler Bowers would then take the win in heat race two; setting the team up nicely for the main event.  The main event began with Johnson taking a top three start, Davenport back a few spots, and Bowers just inside the top ten.  Soon, Johnson would move into the lead; unfortunately it would not last as he would slide out in one of the turns.  While all this was happening Bowers began scratching his way through the pack, and moving forward.  As the race was winding down, Bowers closed in on the leaders, and in dramatic fashion he would take first on the last lap; taking his seventh straight win!  Johnson would regroup for fifth; while Davenport crossed the line in ninth.  “It’s the only lap that matters” was Bowers comments immediately after the main referencing his last lap pass for the lead.  Talking about his night, Chad Johnson said “I had a good start, was in second, and then first, but then I crashed.  I felt like I rode strong all night, and my Maxxis tires really hooked me up.  I made it back up to fifth, but overall I’m pretty disappointed”.  “I got a top ten start, and soon worked my way into sixth.  Then I tried to put a move on Willy Browning but ended up going down; eventually I worked my way back up into the top ten” added Davenport.

Saturday night’s racing started off with all three riders in the first heat race.  Tyler Bowers would end up winning; with Chad Johnson in second and Gray Davenport in fifth.  Later Bowers would also win the “Dash for Cash” race.  Almost an opposite start from Friday night, Bowers would get off the gate well; with both Johnson and Davenport hovering around mid-pack.  Tyler would then make some moves early and take control of the race; winning by a comfortable margin!  “Even with fighting off some kind of bug, I felt great on the bike, and felt as if I couldn’t make a wrong decision on the track.  The team and all the sponsors like TiLUBE and Maxxis did such a great job for us” explained Bowers.  At the half way point, Johnson found some momentum and would work his way towards the front; eventually finishing fourth.  “Yeah, I had a bad start Saturday, and I did all that I could to get into fourth” added Johnson.  Commenting about his Saturday night, a disappointed Davenport said “I didn’t have a very good start, but later Kevin Johnson and I had a good battle that was fun.  Later, about lap fifteen I went down after a run in with a lapped rider – not the way that I wanted the night to go!  Now I’m just putting this behind me and looking forward to the next race”.

“It was both a good weekend and a bad one; of course Tyler winning both nights was awesome, but I’m disappointed for Chad.  He just had some bad luck and lost some eight points to Gibson for second in the series – but I’m confident that he’ll make them back up.  Gray did well considering he had a crash on Thursday and messed up his back.  Our support from Maxxis, TiLUBE, Kawasaki, Monster Energy, Pro Circuit, Motion Pro, and K & N has been awesome” added Team Manager Denny Bartz.

Now ranked first, third, and fifth in the Championship points, the team travels south to Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas for round 12.   For more on the team, check out www.teambabbitts.com

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