Two-wheeled racing fans all over the country are eagerly awaiting the New Year, and the start of both the AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, and the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, seasons. The arena racing series both begin their race to the championship on opposite sides of the country this weekend.
AMSOIL Arenacross starts their 12 weekends of intense action on Friday, Jan. 3 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., with action continuing at the facility on Saturday, Jan. 4.
Following what Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers considers to be his toughest championship triumph to date, the reigning three time title holder will continue his quest for history in 2014, looking to become just the third rider to win four straight championships. With his third consecutive victorious campaign in 2013, Bowers asserted himself into the elite company of Buddy Antunez and Dennis Hawthorne, the only back-to-back-to-back winners before him. While the third championship put Bowers into rare air, he still has the opportunity to duplicate the efforts of the greatest AMSOIL Arenacross riders of all time, each of whom ultimately won five consecutive titles.
“I’m honestly just enjoying the competition and challenge that AMSOIL Arenacross brings, the records and accolades are just bonuses,” said Bowers. “I do everything I can to be the best rider I can be, so winning races and championships is my priority. These have all been extremely difficult titles to achieve so there is a sense of reward to know all the hard work has put me into the same class as guys like Antunez and Hawthorne, who really shaped AMSOIL Arenacross into what it is today.”
Leading the group of challengers in their quest to dethrone Bowers is his Team Babbitt’s teammate Zach Ames. In addition to Ames, veterans like Kelly Smith, Willy Browning, and Nathan Skaggs will be consistent front-runners capable of winning on any given night. The return of Gavin Gracyk to the series will also bring another formidable foe into the mix as he races alongside Smith at Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM. Last year’s breakout rider, Michael McDade, will flank Browning and Skaggs at Motorsport.com/MJM Express/Spinchillers Racing for the 2014 season in hopes on building off his fourth place finish in the championship one year ago.
“I’ve definitely learned that nothing is guaranteed anymore now that we have two Main Events every night and the Race to the Championship,” added Bowers. “It’s never been more difficult to win a title and I know I had some luck on my side last year to come away with that one. This new format forces you to be at your best each and every lap because it’s been proven that every point counts at the end.”
The entire AMSOIL Arenacross season will air on FOX Sports 1, including re-airs on FOX Sports 2. For more information on the 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross season, and to purchase tickets, log on to www.Arenacross.com.
While the AMSOIL Arenacross riders compete in Massachusetts, the highly anticipated 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will commence this Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., as three-time 450SX Class Championship Ryan Villopoto will stage his title defense against the deepest field of riders the sport has ever seen.
Villopoto lines up for a shot at his fourth straight 450SX Class title Saturday night in Anaheim with history at stake. Only Jeremy McGrath, the sport’s all-time winningest rider, has won four consecutive titles. Conversely, only McGrath and Ricky Carmichael have won more than three titles, meaning Villopoto could place himself in elite company with another repeat performance this year. Villopoto currently has 34 career 450SX Class wins with an average finish of 3.6, which is the pinnacle of consistency and the cornerstone of his championships. And while McGrath’s record of 72 race wins was once deemed unbreakable, Villopoto is making an impressive run at the mark, currently sitting fifth on the all-time wins list.
“I’m not here to break records,” said Villopoto in an interview. “My goals are to win and be as successful as I can while I’m on top of my game. If I were to break [McGrath’s] record, that would be a great accomplishment, but it is not a goal of mine.”
Practice and qualifying begin at 12:30 p.m. and the Main Event starts at 7:00 p.m. Supervalue seats start at $20. Fans can also get in to the Pits for FREE from 12:30-6 p.m. Race Day when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium’s pit entrance (valid only with event ticket).
For the first-time ever, the entire Monster Energy Supercross season will air live on FOX Sports. FOX Sports 1 will air 13 races live and FOX Sports 2 will air four races live, in addition to every race re-airing on FOX Sports 2. The live Monster Energy Supercross programming on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 also includes live coverage on the authenticated FOX Sports Go app.
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