When the field of riders launched out of the gates for the 18-lap Arenacross Lites main event, it was privateer Suzuki rider Austin Primavera, of Larue, Ohio, who grabbed the early lead. However, recently-crowned Arenacross Lites Western Regional Champion Chad Cook, of Oklahoma City, Okla., made a run at the top spot aboard his House of Kawasaki machine and held the lead for a short period before making a mistake. Cook’s misfortune opened the door for Primavera, who reclaimed the number one spot and never looked back.
Massie challenged Primavera throughout the remainder of the race and if he wanted to force the issue, could have looked at making a pass for the lead. However, with championship thoughts on his mind, Massie easily secured the runner-up spot and used his tremendous consistency and one race win in 2011 to carry him to his first career professional title.
Airide Kawasaki’s Jake Locks, of Dixon, Calif., rounded out the podium in third.
As the stars of the Arenacross class surged into the first corner for their 25-lap main event, Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/HondaofFairfield.com’s Nathan Skaggs, of Chillicothe, Ohio moved into the early lead while Smith and championship points leader Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., followed.
Skaggs paced the early portion of the race before Smith made a pass for the lead on Lap 6, which ultimately resulted in the winning move of the race. Bowers and his Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki presented by Maxxis machine quickly moved into second and set his sights on the lead.
However, just one week after posting his worst result of the season, Bowers experienced similar misfortune, tipping over the bike as he looked to slip by Smith. The 10-race winner was unable to re-enter the action in a timely fashion and ended up losing a lap to the leaders. After giving his championship rivals considerable points one week prior, it looked as if the same fate was destined for Bowers in Friday night.
Meanwhile, Smith slowly extended his advantage over the field and cruised to make it back-to-back wins to become the third different rider this season to achieve such a feat. Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki’s Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis., grabbed the second spot while Skaggs held on for third.
Bowers rebounded to secure a respectable eighth-place finish, losing just a few points to his closest championship challengers Johnson and TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson, of Blacklick, Ohio.
Bowers’ advantage in the standings sits at 33 points with just two races remaining.
The AMA Arenacross Series from Rockford continues tomorrow night from the MetroCentre. The action kicks off at 7 p.m. CT.
2011 Arenacross Rockford Friday Results:
1. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha
2. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
3. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
4. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda
6. Dano Aulseybrook, Ortonville, Mich., Suzuki
7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda
8. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
9. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha
10. Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki
2011 AMA Arenacross Lites Rockford Friday Results:
1. Austin Primavera, Larue, Ohio, Suzuki
2. Patrick Massie, Washington Court, Ohio, Honda
3. Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., Kawasaki
4. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., Honda
5. Michael Furlin, Pismo Beach, Calif., Honda
6. Michael Lang, Saugerties, N.Y., Honda
7. Justin Kelly, Lelumia, Ill., Kawasaki
8. Brandon Marley, McEwen, Tenn., Honda
9. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM
10. Lee Chavous, Perkasie, Pa., KTM
2011 Arenacross Championship Points:
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 375
2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda – 342
3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 340
4. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda – 271
5. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., Yamaha – 257
6. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 249
7. Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki – 247
8. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Yamaha – 204
9. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 190
10. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda – 179
2011 AMA Arenacross Lites Eastern Regional Points:
1. Patrick Massie, Washington Court, Ohio, Honda – 169
2. Austin Coon, Spencer, W.V., Honda – 96
3. Adam Gulley, Jonesburg, Mo., Kawasaki – 95
4. Austin Primavera, Larue, Ohio, Suzuki – 94
5. Steve Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki – 86
6. Kenneth Henry, Ashtabula, Ohio, KTM – 77
7. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., Honda – 65
8. Tyler Sehr, Belleville, Ill., Honda – 65
9. Michael Lang, Saugerties, N.Y., Honda – 64
10. Kyle Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., Suzuki – 63
New for 2011! Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMA Arenacross Series. To follow the intense racing action live, log onto www.Arenacross.com. For all media requests, please contact Brandon Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-365-5750.