The new AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, heads to the Great Lakes region this weekend for two nights from Grand Rapids, Mich., and Van Andel Arena. After two rounds and four nights of competition, a battle atop the Arenacross Class standings is brewing between Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki, presented by Maxxis rider Tyler Bowers and Mosites Motorsports Kawasaki’s Michael McDade.
The new racing format featuring two Main Events during every night of the championship has proven to be a catalyst for dramatic competition, which reached a historic milestone last weekend in Baltimore. The second round of the season resulted in a three-way tie for first on Saturday night as Bowers, McDade, and Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Zach Ames each earned the same amount of points at the conclusion of each Main Event. In the end, the Head-to-Head Bracket Racing proved to be the tiebreaking element as the championship point earned by McDade’s triumph in the eight-rider showdown gave him the edge to capture his first career Arenacross Class overall victory.
“Last Saturday night showed the kind of excitement that this new format was intended to produce,” said AMSOIL Arenacross Director of Operations Mike Muye. “The competition this season has been better than ever, even after just two rounds, and I think we all got a glimpse of what the future holds for AMSOIL Arenacross.”
In total, three different riders have stood atop the overall podium in four nights of action.
After winning the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Championship last season, McDade’s move into the Arenacross Class has been a successful one and he’s emerged as one of this season’s biggest surprises. McDade has two Main Event wins this season to compliment his overall victory last weekend and sits just seven points out of the lead behind Bowers.
Coming into the 2013 season, Bowers was seen as the top contender in the championship after claiming back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. He’s continued his strong performances this season, winning five of eight Main Events, with a pair of overall victories.
Ames is the third rider to claim an overall win this season and sits third in the championship standings, 14 points out of the lead. Ames was in position to capture his second victory this season in Baltimore last Saturday, but was unable to withstand the pressure of his teammate in the end. His runner-up finish in the race helped him tie McDade and Bowers in points for the evening, ultimately placing him third overall.
With this trio leading the way, the third round of the season from one of AMSOIL Arenacross’ longest-running stops in Grand Rapids is sure to add to the exciting start to the season, especially with two nights of racing in store.
Another intriguing element that has influenced the outcomes of the races has been the inversion selection that takes place in between the first and second Main Event. With zero, eight, or the entire 16-rider field potentially being inverted, truly anything can happen once the gate drops. So far this season, each inversion possibility has occurred and the outcomes have produced incredible results in regards to competition.
The season-ending Race to the Championship is now five rounds and seven nights of racing away, meaning there is still a lot of laps remaining to potentially shakeup the championship standings. While Bowers, McDade, and Ames have done well to solidify their spots in the early portion of the season, anything can still happen.
In the Arenacross Lites Class, KTM rider Scott Zont currently holds a 10-point lead over Fun Cycle Centers KTM’s Michael Willard in the Eastern Regional Championship. This weekend’s stop in Grand Rapids will serve as the penultimate round of the four-round battle for the title, with the final round set to take place in Wilkes Barre, Pa., three weeks later.
The action inside Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena kicks off on Friday, January 18, at 7 p.m. ET. A second night of racing brings the third round of the season to a close on Saturday, January 19, beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Broadcast coverage of Saturday night’s competition can be seen via tape delay on Sunday, January 20, beginning at 6 p.m. ET.
Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMSOIL Arenacross season is also available.
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