Tyler Bowers rolled into The Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, South Carolina with a 31 point lead over Tuf Honda’s Jeff Gibson. Having won the last five rounds straight aboard his Babbit’s Monster Energy/TiLube KX450F, Bowers had plenty momentum on his side coming into Saturday night. In Eastern region Lites class points leader Patrick Massie headed out west with the rest of his Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers Racing/HondaofFairfield.com teammates the past three weekends to stay fresh. Instead of taking those weekends off, Pat decided to take advantage of the west rounds to stay focused for the final rounds of the east series.
The track in Greenville was extra tight and it made for some interesting action. In the heat races, arenacross class heat one saw Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers Racing/HondaofFairfield.com rider Zach Ames take the win aboard his CRF450. Heat two saw some close racing between Bowers and Nathan Skaggs. The Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers Racing/HondaofFairfield.com rider Skaggs ended up on the ground, leaving Bowers to take the win. Ohio’s Kenny Henry took a Lites heat race win on his KTM, and Tyler Bright showed some serious speed and took the checkers in heat two.
The Lites main had almost as many crashes in one race than the series has seen all year. Tyler Bright took the holeshot and with Austin Coon giving chase. The Hot Rods Racing Honda of Coon closed the gap and made the pass for the lead a few times before making a mistake and falling back to 7th. Bright cruised on to a commanding victory, winning by over 15 seconds. Coon pulled himself together and battled back all the way back up to third with four laps left. He found himself right on the back of Massie going into the last lap. Coon got a bit out of shape coming into the final corner in a last ditch effort to pass Massie, and ended up launching himself across the track and into the wall. That left Kenny Henry with third place and Massie with a convincing lead in the points chase.
The arenacross class main was full of action as Chad Johnson jumped out to an early lead with his Babbit’s Monster Energy/TiLube Kawasaki teammate Tyler Bowers and Jeff Gibson battling it out behind him. The race got red flagged on lap seven when South Carolina native Kyle Bitterman took a digger in the whoops. A single-file restart was in order since the race was red flagged, and Bowers used that to his advantage, got by Johnson and went on to win his sixth straight arenacross main event. Johnson would manage to stay a few seconds out front of the third place battle that went on right down to the wire. Gibson got a drive through the whoops on Ames who quickly closed the door, never looked back and took the final podium spot.
Bowers now has a 38 point lead over Jeff Gibson, and by the looks of things he has the winning part figured out. Although it’s hard to count out the veteran Gibson with 6 rounds left in the series. The action continues next weekend in Council Bluffs, Iowa.