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Monster Energy’s Tyler Bowers Clinches 2011 AX Title

Monster Energy/Babbitt’s/TiLUBE/Kawasaki’s Bowers wraps up his first Arenacross premier class title with a race to spare; teammate Johnson’s in 3rd o/a

CORONA, Calif., – Monster Energy/Babbitt’s/TiLUBE/Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers received the poetic justice he so deserved this past weekend in Rockford, Ill., winning the overall 2011 AMA Arenacross championship – a title he’d lost last season due to a practice crash/injury) while leading the series.

Following an 8th place finish on the opening of two nights of AX racing action at the Metro Centre, Bowers put his head down and blitzed the rest of the field – bringing home Saturday’s race win and with it, the 2011 championship with a race to spare.

“This means so much to me,” said an elated Bowers from the podium, flanked by Monster Energy/Babbitt’s/TiLUBE/Kawasaki team members including owner Eddie Babbitt and team manager Denny Bartz.

After current 2nd place holder Jeff Gibson shot off to a fast start early on in the AX season, Bowers stepped up his game and reeled off an amazing eight-straight wins heading into the Little Rock (Ark.) round. There Bowers would encounter a bit of a speed bump in his title pursuit, though his then 38-point lead would pretty much still mean a matter of “when,” not “if” he would wrap up the title. And he was able to do just that in Rockford this past Saturday night.

Making the win that much more sweet was what Bowers overcame last year while leading the late season AX title chase when the unthinkable happened.

During a practice session in Alabama in March of 201 Bowers suffered a freak mechanical failure while coming through a rhythm section. His chain had somehow come out of the guide, peeled off the rear sprocket and rendered his bike powerless. Committed to the next obstacle, Bowers dove into the face of another jump – which he’ll explain later in gruesome detail – and wound up snapping both femurs under his handlebars. A horrific accident with results paralleling that of a major car wreck, Bowers’ championship season was over in the blink of an eye – and possibly his MX career as well, not to mention the ability to walk.

“It was crazy. I went into that week not worried at all, just thinking about getting ready for supercross and getting the (arenacross) championship wrapped up,” said Bowers. “Don’t really remember the impact when I hit, but the handlebars caught both my femurs and snapped them clean through.

“At first I thought I just had some nasty bruises. But when I rolled over to try to get up my knee stayed on the ground and my hip raised – felt my bones pull apart.”

Sidelined from mid-March through the weekend after Thanksgiving (nine months), Bowers’ 2011 AMA Arenacross season was in question – that is until he got the call from Eddie Babbitt and Denny Bartz at Monster Energy/Babbitt’s/Kawasaki and was informed that, “Yes,” Bowers ‘would have a bike waiting for him on their team when he was ready to race again.’

“Everybody at Babbitts is great, so prepared, push so hard and are so competitive – it’s good to have a team behind you that wants to win as badly as I do,” said Bowers.

And that team will be put to the test one more time in Des Moines (Iowa) this weekend when Bowers’ teammate, Chad Johnson, looks to make up the eight-point deficit (364-356) between him and Gibson for the 2nd place overall spot.

“We still have another race left and a goal in mind for Chad,” added Bartz.

The final round of the 2011 AMA Arenacross series goes off this Saturday, April 9th, at Des Moines’ (Iowa) Wells Fargo Arena.

Arenacross Class Results (Rockford, Ill.)

Friday

  1. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha
  2. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
  3. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
  4. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
  5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda
  6. Dano Aulseybrook, Ortonville, Mich., Suzuki
  7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda
  8. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
  9. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha
  10. Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki

Saturday

  1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
  2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
  3. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
  4. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha
  5. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
  6. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda
  7. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha
  8. Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki
  9. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda
  10. Dano Aulseybrook, Ortonville, Mich., Suzuki

Arenacross Class Points (After Race 18 of 19)

  1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 400*
  2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda – 364
  3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 356
  4. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda – 286
  5. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha – 275
  6. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 269
  7. Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki – 260
  8. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha – 218
  9. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 196
  10. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda – 191

*Clinches the 2011 overall AMA Arenacross class title

 

Monster Energy supports the scene. Be it arenacross, off-road, motocross, road racing, skate, surf, mountain, BMX, on the road with Warped Tour, the DUB Show, Ozzfest … or just kickin’ it local with the bros … wherever the action’s going off you’re sure to find the M-claw logo. Monster Import, Import Light and DUB join all the types - Original Monster Energy, Lo-Carb Monster, Monster Assault, Monster's fruit juice hybrids dubbed Monster Khaos, Monster M-80 and Monster MIXXD, the ground-breaking Java Monster and X-Presso Monster premium coffee & cream drink line supercharged with Monster Energy's blend, 3 oz. Monster Hitman Energy. Tyler Bowers, Chad Johnson and Gray Davenport dig ‘em – so will you. On the ‘Net at www.monsterarmy.com and www.monsterenergy.com

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