2014 AMSOIL Arenacross Worcester Preview
The 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross Championship, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, begins this Friday, Jan. 3, at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. The venue will host live racing Friday and Saturday.
And garnering the headlines due to his impressive performance since joining the series four years ago is Team Bobbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers.
The Kentuckian has won the last three consecutive titles, winning 44 times in those years. Bowers is now fourth on the all-time win list. With his three straight titles, Bowers joined the elite Arenacross company of Buddy Antunez and Dennis Hawthorne, the only back-to-back-to-back winners before him.
Bowers will battle hard for a fourth title this year, and hopefully duplicate the efforts of these great Arenacross riders, each of whom won five consecutive titles.
Tyler Bowers says: “I’m honestly just enjoying the competition and challenge that AMSOIL Arenacross brings, the records and accolades are just bonuses.
“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.”
With two 15-lap Main Events during each night of competition and the season-ending Race to the Championship, winning an AMSOIL Arenacross title is harder than its ever been 28 years of competition.
Last season, Bowers captured eight overall victories and enjoyed a 60-plus point advantage in the standings before giving way to the Race to the Championship, which reset the points for the top 10 riders for the final four rounds of the season.
After suffering a broken collarbone in a practice crash leading into the first round of the Race to the Championship, Bowers received emergency surgery and was forced to compete while injured, yet somehow managed to overcome the odds to win two more races and the title by just three points.
The compelling drama was true representation of the racing format that AMSOIL Arenacross provides and is the reason why the 2014 season is as unpredictable as ever despite Bowers’ recent string of dominance.
Tyler Bowers says: “I’ve definitely learned that nothing is guaranteed anymore now that we have two Main Events every night and the Race to the Championship. 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.”
Leading the group of challengers in their quest to dethrone Bowers is his Team Babbitt’s teammate Zach Ames. Last year, Ames finished third in the championship but actually held the lead following the first round of the Race to the Championship.
As Bowers’ longtime friend and training partner, there isn’t a rider in AMSOIL Arenacross who knows what it takes to beat the champion more than Ames. However, it will take a season worth of consistent execution in order to ultimately accomplish that feat.
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.
This group of riders and the rest of the AMSOIL Arenacross field will line up on the gate for the first time this Friday night inside the DCU Center in hopes of emerging as the early title favorite for the 2014 season. Action from Worcester begins at 7 p.m. ET, following by a second night of competition on Saturday, also beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
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.