The AMA Arenacross Series is ready to return to the track, kicking off its 2012 season on Saturday night, October 29, from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Following one of the most impressive single-season performances in series history, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers is ready to defend his Arenacross class title against a talented field of challengers.
Two of Bowers’ toughest competitors in the championship will flank him under the Babbitt’s tent. Both Chad Johnson and Josh Demuth are former series champions, and have been fixtures in the title fight in recent years. Johnson is coming off a third-place finish in the 2011 season, while Demuth will return to action for the first time since his title-winning 2010 season, fully healed from a broken wrist that eliminated him from competition last year.
“I’m excited to be back with Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki,” said Johnson. “We have a lot of good things going on with the team, and we’ve been doing a lot of testing. I’m excited to get back to Arenacross and seeing everyone. I think it’s going to be a really good year. The racing will be great for the fans, and we wouldn’t be able to do this without them.”
In addition to the trio of riders from the Babbitt’s Kawasaki stable, FMF Energy/Poynt TUF Honda’s duo of Jeff Gibson and Cole Siebler are expected to be in the mix. Both riders claimed victories in 2010, and Gibson’s championship-winning experience from 2009 is a valuable asset to both riders’ efforts this season.
“I’ve been working really hard this offseason to get ready to defend my title,” said Bowers. “Last year was huge for me, and to be healthy for an entire season has helped me be even more prepared. I’m excited to get the season started, and I know that the competition is going to be tough.”
While much of the preseason attention is being given to the five riders that make up to Babbitt’s Kawasaki and TUF Honda squads, a long list of experienced riders are ready for the challenge as well. The veteran duo of Kevin Johnson and Kelly Smith will lead Team Faith/FLY Racing/Pilot/Flying J KTM into action, while Airide KTM will bring Daniel Blair into the fold. Additionally, familiar names like Nathan Skaggs, Zach Ames, Gray Davenport, Willy Browning, and Cory Green will also look to throw their names into the title mix.
While the world’s best Arenacross riders engage in bar-to-bar action over the course of 12 rounds, which will total in 19 races, the up-and-coming riders that compile the Arenacross Lites class will also grab the spotlight throughout the season. Beginning on Saturday night in Des Moines, the Western Regional Championship will host six rounds en route to determining a champion. In the Eastern Regional Championship, five rounds of competition will lead to a titleholder. New faces rising to the front of the field are a consistent trademark in the Arenacross Lites class, which saw a pair of new names, in Chad Cook and Patrick Massie, stand above the rest last season.
No matter how things play out over the course of the next four months, it is sure to be exciting. The AMA Arenacross Series is one of the most unique forms of racing on the planet and the close, bar-banging competition is guaranteed to produce fireworks. It all kicks off in just a few days from Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena, Saturday, October 29, starting at 8:00 p.m. ET.
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 www.Arenacross.com.
For more information on the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series, log on to www.Arenacross.com.