Interview provided by Arenacross media.
AURORA, Ill. – One of the new faces that will be making his professional debut this weekend for the opening round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, from the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., is Colt Nichols. The Oklahoma native signed with Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis during the offseason and will have the opportunity to learn from his successful teammates Tyler Bowers and Zach Ames as he acclimates to the world’s most intense racing.
Nichols will also have the privilege of racing in front of his hometown crowd this season when AMSOIL Arenacross visits Tulsa, Okla., for the ninth round of the championship. AMSOIL Arenacross caught up with Colt to get his thoughts on the upcoming season and the beginning of his pro career.
What went into making this decision to start your career in AMSOIL Arenacross and with Team Babbitt's?
“Babbitt’s Arenacross program is the best out there. Starting my career in AMSOIL Arenacross will allow me to gain a lot of experience racing indoors on tight, technical tracks and allow me to learn from my teammates, who are at the top of the sport. It’s the perfect fit for me coming off of [an amateur career with] Kawasaki Team Green.”
What does the opportunity with Babbitt's mean to you?
“When Denny Bartz from Babbitt’s came to me with this opportunity I was super excited. Their program has such a rich history of success and I knew the bike would be the best on the gate. Coming off Team Green, I’m already comfortable on the Kawasaki KX250F and can’t wait to get the season started.”
Do you have any sort of arenacross experience?
“I raced a few when I was younger on mini bikes. I raced the Tulsa Arenacross and some of the older Oklahoma rounds, but nothing like I’m preparing for now. Here at Reynard Raceway [training facility] we built an arenacross track and I have been putting in the laps and getting comfortable on a tighter track. I’ve been riding with some fast guys both at [Monster Energy Supercross competitor] Trey Canard’s and [former AMSOIL Arenacross Champion] Robbie Reynard’s to make sure I’m ready for the first round.”
What will be your toughest challenge?
“I think the toughest part will just be getting acclimated to how arenacross works. It’s a totally different ball game from what I’m used to racing at amateur nationals. I’ll be lining up against guys that have been racing arenacross for years and have a lot of experience. Once I get a feel for how race day functions and how the ropes work, I think I’ll have some good results.”
What will having teammates like Bowers and Ames do for you?
“I’m really excited to be teammates with both Bowers and Ames. Tyler is a huge asset to have as a teammate and has accomplished so much in AMSOIL Arenacross as well as Monster Energy Supercross. He is no joke. He’s fast and fit and has proved it. Zach (Ames) is equally fast and trains with Tyler everyday and will be a definite threat. Having them both by my side will really help speed up my progress and will be the most beneficial thing for me going into this season.”
Will you be racing in both the Arenacross Class and Arenacross Lites Class all season long?
“I believe the plan will be to race both classes for the first round, just to gain some more experience. But I plan to be in the top-10 in points pretty quickly, which would make me ineligible for the Lites Class. So I may do one or two and then concentrate on the Arenacross Class.”
What are you goals and expectations this season?
“I haven’t really sat down and written out specific goals for the end of the season, but my biggest goal is to get through the season and learn as much as possible from my teammates. That said I definitely want to be up there. I want to be one of the main guys challenging for podiums and racing hard all season and I know Babbitt’s has the program to allow me to do so.”
The opening round of the 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross season kicks off from Worcester’s DCU Center with two nights of competition. Action begins on Friday, January 3, and continues on Saturday, January 4.
The entire AMSOIL Arenacross season will air on FOX Sports 1, including re-airs on Fox Sports 2.
Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMSOIL Arenacross season returns for the 2014 season! To follow the intense racing action live, log onto www.Arenacross.com.
For more information on the 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross season, and to purchase tickets, log on to www.Arenacross.com. For all media requests, please contact Brandon Short firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-365-5750.
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