Is the lack of racing getting you down? If so, cheer up, the 2012 Arenacross series kicks off this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, and this year the field is more stacked than a club sandwich. We got in touch with Mike Muye, AX’s new Director of Operations, for the lowdown.
Racer X: As the AX Director, what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
Mike Muye: I oversee the events, and the series as a whole. I move it forward and take the appropriate steps to make sure it’s a successful series. That’s everything to staying on site and setting it up and making sure everything is running smoothly, to working with the AMA to make sure that the rules are appropriate and moving with the times.
What did you do before you became the AX Director?
I was the supercross manager, so I worked with Monster Energy Supercross with our crew that comes in and sets it up. I was the first guy on site, and the last guy to leave at every round of Monster Energy Supercross.
For our readers who may not follow AX closely, give us a rundown of a typical night of racing.
The format is very similar to supercross. We open our doors at 6:00 p.m., and everyone comes into the arena. We have opening ceremonies at 7:00 p.m., where we introduce the riders up close and personal with the fans, we’ll introduce them out of the stands. We have a pyrotechnics and light show which takes us into the night event where we have our qualifying rounds which eventually leads us into the AX main event.
What would you say are the biggest differences between AX and SX?
Probably the size of the track would be the first and foremost thing that people would notice. Arenacross is in small arenas, so the racing is a lot tighter and there’s a lot more bar to bar racing action. The playing field is pretty level, so you’re going to see a lot of good racing if you come to an AX race.
The 2012 season kicks off this weekend in Des Moines, IA. Is there anything special that fans should be watching for this year?
We have four returning champions, some of them with several titles. I’d like to see those guys up front battling it out. Tyler Bowers and Chad Johnson, and Josh Demuth is coming off an injury so he should be looking good. We always have a cool display before the show, and the track party is at 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., so if you bring a Monster Energy can and recycle it, you’ll get access to the track before the show starts to see the jumps and get autographs from the riders, etc.
With guys like you just mentioned racing this year, 2012 sounds like it could deliver some great racing.
Oh for sure. It’s a pretty unique year to have all these guys out there. At any given round we could have three different guys up on the box. I left a couple of guys out too, Kelly Smith will be up there, and Zach Ames, so any given night could have a different winner.
What kind of television package can the fans at home expect this year?
We are going to be broadcast on Speed. Our first show will be January, and we’ll follow the season throughout January and February.
For more information, visit www.arenacross.com