RACE TECH SHOWS PROMISE AT AMA ARENACROSS OPENER
Des Moines, IA- A nearly sold out crowd packed the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa for the opening round of the National Arenacross series over the weekend. A packed field of the nations top racers were hoping that Des Moines would put them on the radar for an AMA Arenacross Championship at the end of the season.
In the AMA Arenacross class, Race Tech fielded former AMA Rookie of the Year, Cody Gilmore on his number 374 Kawasaki and former Arenacross Lites champion, Kurt McCabe on his StormLakeHonda.com/EVS backed ride.
Gilmore started his night off strong by qualifying fastest in his group both times out, and joining 9 other riders in the 26 second lap time range overall. McCabe on the other hand visited the hard packed soil on the floor of the Wells Fargo Arena only a couple of laps into qualifying. McCabe would get up and put his bike into the night show during the second qualifying session despite the aches and pains from his get off.
During the night show, Gilmore showed he had the speed to run up front once again by charging through the pack to finish second in his Arenacross class heat; passing Kelly Smith late in the race through the whoops. McCabe didn’t let a bad gate pick keep him from the main event either as he muscled his way to a top 5 finish in the heat and a direct transfer to the main event.
A top 3 finish in his heat race qualified Gilmore for the Dash for Cash. After getting a poor start in the 4 lap event, Gilmore laid up to save himself for the Arenacross Main Event and took home fifth.
Off the start in the Arenacross Main, McCabe held it on around the outside and came out of the first turn in fourth. McCabe would remain in the top 5 to the halfway point. After a five lap dual with Jeff Gibson, the former series champion made his way by after a mistake in the sand caused McCabe to lose his momentum. McCabe would hold on to finish 8th at the end of the 25 lap feature.
Gilmore wasn’t so lucky off the start, after getting pinched off on the start, he rounded the first turn with only a couple of bikes behind him in the 16 rider field. Never one to quit, Gilmore began picking riders off on the way to the front of the pack. Before the halfway point, Gilmore made his way up well inside the top 10 and had his sites on Kelly Smith, Shawn Rife, and McCabe infront of him. After getting a great run on Smith through the whoops, Smith closed the door heading into the following turn. With nowhere to go, Gilmore went down hard knocking the wind out of himself and destroying his bike putting an end to his evening. A DNF would put Gilmore in 16th place for the main event.
In the AMA Arenacross Lites Class, Race Tech fielded a group of rookies. W3X Racing riders Brandon Ward and Ricky Yorks, StormLakeHonda.com rider Mike Weese, and DMP Motorsports rider David Pulley all looked to take on the Lites division with help from the Race Tech crew. With over 70 entries in the class, just making the 30 rider cut during qualifying was a challenge for the Lites class riders.
Mike Weese showed the time he spent testing with Race Tech and 4-PR Des Moines was paying off right out of the gate in qualifying. In the first session, Weese bested everyone in his Lites group by nearly 2 full seconds. A great performance for the ArenacrossRookie. Weese would qualify in the top 10 overall in the Lites division.
Ricky Yorks took a bit of time to get a clean lap in during qualifying, but he bested his time in the second session on a slippery and deteriorating race track by over a second. Yorks was looking better each lap out as he headed into the night show.
In his heat race, Weese bullied his way into the top 5 around the first turn and quickly moved up to fourth. With the top 7 going straight to the main, he was looking comfortable for a transfer until he lost the front end entering a freshly watered left hander mid race. Weesewould re-mount, but it was too late to make up the ground he lost. Ricky Yorks would suffer from a poor start in the heat race and never make up the ground needed to qualify for the main event.
Weese and Yorks had one last shot at the main event in the LCQ. Again, Weese charged like a veteran deep into turn one to come out in the top 5. Battling with last year’s Lites East series champion Patrick Massie, former race winner Kevin Markwardt, and premier class star, and eventual podium finisher on the night, Dave Ginolfi; the rookie Weese had his work cut out for him to get in the top 2 in order to make the main in the 4 lap LCQ. Although he remained in the battle the whole race, Weese ended up 4th in the LCQ; narrowly missing his first ever main event. Yorks would join him on the sidelines for the evening.
Race Tech also fielded a some of the nations fastest future stars of Arenacross during the 65cc and 85cc classes. In the 65cc division, Race Tech conquered the top 2 steps of the podium with Izaih Clark and Tayler Grall. Nolan Dickinson would finish 8th in the main event on his Race Tech/4-PR Performance KTM 65.
In the 85cc Main Event, Brian Krohn would put his Race Tech/4-PR Performance bike onto the podium with a 3rd place finish.
During Sunday’s Amateur program; Brian Krohn (85cc 12-15), Matt Grall (Over 30), and Izaih Clark (65cc 10-11 and 85cc 7-11) all took home wins during the first stop on the road to the AMA Amateur Arenacross Finals in Las Vegas.
For more information about Race Tech’s seminars, products, and rider support program, please visit racetech.com or call our friendly sales staff at: (951)279-6655. To apply for Race Tech Rider Support, click here.
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