AMA Arenacross Series Season in Des Moines
Michael Willard Secures Arenacross Lites Victory
DES MOINES, Iowa – A crowd full of avid fans were on hand inside Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night to kick off the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series season. Reigning series champion, and Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider, Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., picked up where he left off last season, dominating en route to victory in Des Moines. Dragon Racing Fuel KTM’s Michael Willard, of Newark, Ohio, grabbed the win in the Arenacross Lites class.
As the gate dropped on the 25-lap Arenacross class main event, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis., grabbed the holeshot and quickly established himself as the rider to beat. Bella’s Cupcakes/Club MX Kawasaki’s Zach Ames, of Prospect, Ohio, slowly began to eat away at Johnson’s lead, and showed his front wheel on several occasions.
On Lap 9, drama ensued as Ames made his move for the lead, diving inside of Johnson heading into the whoops. The two came together and both riders went down, allowing Bowers, to assume the spot. From there, Bowers, who overcame a mid-pack start, ran away from the field and cruised to the checkered flag.
“I got off to a pretty good start and tried to ride smart,” said Bowers. “Chad (Johnson) and Zach (Ames) were riding really good, so I just tried to respect that. Unfortunately, they came together, and I slipped by both of them. From there, I just tried to ride safe and consistent.”
Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Josh Demuth, of North Richland Hills, Texas, finished second in his first race since winning the 2010 series title, while FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson, of Blacklick, Ohio, rounded out the podium in third. Both Johnson and Ames failed to finish.
Letko KTM’s Tanner Moore, of Auburn, Kan., grabbed the early lead out of the gate in the Arenacross Lites main event, and looked to pull away. However, on Lap 4, Shades of Gray Kawasaki’s Aaron Gulley, of Jonesburg, Mo., pushed his way into the lead, only to have Moore return the favor one lap later. The pair’s battle allowed Willard to make it a three-rider battle for the lead. On Lap 7, Willard worked his way by both riders, and then began to increase his advantage over the field over the next 10 laps. He crossed the line over six seconds ahead of Gulley, who fended off Reed and Reese KTM’s Dave Ginolfi, of Lake Hopatlong, N.J., in third.
In the always-exciting Dash for Cash, Ames out-dueled his rivals to take home the win.
The 2012 AMA Arenacross Series continues next weekend, with Round 2 from Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena. Two nights of action kick off on Friday, November 4, and conclude on Saturday, November 5. Opening ceremonies for both nights begin at 7 p.m. ET.
Arenacross Class Results (Des Moines, Iowa)
- Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
- Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Kawasaki
- Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
- Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
- Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM
- Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
- Shawn Rife, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, Honda
- Kurt McCabe, Marion, Iowa, Honda
- Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM
- Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki
AMA Arenacross Lites Class Results (Des Moines, Iowa)1. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM2. Aaron Gulley, Jonesburg, Mo., Kawasaki3. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatlong, N.J., KTM4. Adam Gulley, Jonesburg, Mo., Kawasaki5. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM6. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM7. Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., KTM8. T.J. Phillips, New Castle, Pa., Kawasaki9. Maxx Malatia, Itasca, Ill., Honda10. Aviery Hickey, Southlake, Texas, Honda
Arenacross Class Points (After Race 1 of 19)
- Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 25
- Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Kawasaki – 22
- Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda – 20
- Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 18
- Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM – 16
- Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM – 15
- Shawn Rife, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, Honda – 14
- Kurt McCabe, Marion, Iowa, Honda – 13
- Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM – 12
- Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 11
Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 1 of 9)
- Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM – 15
- Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., KTM – 14
- Aviery Hickey, Southlake, Texas, Honda – 11
- Dalton Carlson, Dayton, Minn., KTM – 10
- Brandon Marley, McEwen, Tenn., KTM – 9
- Shawn Rife, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, Honda – 7
- Devin Reed, Indianola, Iowa, Honda – 6
- Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 5
Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMA Arenacross Series returns for the 2012 season! To follow the intense racing action live, log ontowww.Arenacross.com. For more information on the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series, log on to www.Arenacross.com. For all media requests, please contact Brandon Shortbrandon@nextlevelsportsinc.com or 949-365-5750. Never miss out on the latest news! Follow the AMA Arenacross Series on Facebook and Twitter! Log on to http://www.facebook.com/AMAarenacross andhttp://twitter.com/arenacross today!
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