2012 AMA Arenacross Preview
The AMA Arenacross Series season has seen the world’s best arenacross riders wage war inside the country’s most popular arenas since October.
Now, following 11 rounds of intense bar-to-bar competition, a pair of champions will be crowned on Saturday night inside Minneapolis’ Target Center for the 12th and final round of the 2012 season.
On the heels of an impressive two-night sweep this past weekend in Reno, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers needs just one point this weekend to secure back-to-back Arenacross Class Championships, which hasn’t happened since Darcy Lange accomplished the same feat in 2004 and 2005.
Bowers’ 12 main event wins matches his total from last season and based on the way he’s been riding recently, he could very well improve on that impressive mark.
Last weekend in Reno, FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson was looking to capitalize on a big win he achieved one week prior and hopefully gain even more ground on Bowers in the premier class standings. Out of the gate in each of the weekend’s two main events.
Gibson did what he needed to do, grabbing the early lead and trying to pull away from the field. On each night, however, Bowers followed Gibson in second and tactically put himself in position to win both times, gaining six points on his rival over the course of the weekend and putting himself as close as possible to clinching the 2012 championship.
In order to secure his second consecutive Arenacross Class crown, Bowers simply needs to qualify for the main event on Saturday night. In the world of arenacross, anything can happen at any given moment and while his task should be a relatively easy one to accomplish, Bowers still has some work to do inside the Target Center this weekend.
Along with the drama of the premier class, the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Championship is also being hotly contested heading into the AMA Arenacross Series finale. Thanks to back-to-back fifth-place efforts last weekend, BNTQ.net/TUF Honda’s Kevin Markwardt has moved to within four points of reigning Western Regional Champion Chad Cook, who rides for HOK Racing Kawasaki.
In Reno, Cook experienced one of his roughest outings of the season, and saw his points lead shrink from 10 points to four.
With only one main event and 18 laps remaining for the 2012 season, both Cook and Markwardt will be ready to lay it all on the line on Saturday night for the chance to claim a coveted AMA title.
The 12th and final round of the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series season commences on Saturday, February 25, from the Target Center in Minneapolis. Opening ceremonies kick off at 7 p.m. CT.
Arenacross Class Points (After Race 18 of 19)
- Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki (12 wins) – 402
- Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda (3 wins) – 378
- Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki (2 wins) – 318
- Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM (1 win) – 275
- Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki – 272
- Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 245
- Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM – 206
- Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM – 173
- Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM – 161
- Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 139
Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 8 of 9)
- Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 98
- Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., Honda – 94
- Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM – 82
- Cody Church, Grand Junction, Colo., Kawasaki – 57
- Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM – 47
- Chris Proscelle, Dulzura, Calif., Honda – 36
- Patrick Massie, Washington Court House, Ohio, Honda – 35
- Brandon Marley, McEwen, Tenn., KTM – 24
- Tiger Lacy, Beaverton, Ore., Kawasaki – 22
- Nick Myers, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki – 22
Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMA Arenacross Series returns for the 2012 season. To follow the intense racing action live, log onto Arenacross.com.