After a memorable first night of action, the AMA Arenacross Series round from Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena came to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday night, following a pair of captivating main events in both the Arenacross and Arenacross Lites classes. FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson, of Blacklick, Ohio, grabbed his first win of the 2012 season in the premier Arenacross class, while Motocross Ministries Kawasaki’s Michael McDade, of Indiana, Pa., stole the Arenacross Lites class victory with a last-lap pass.
Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/Stormlake Honda’s Nathan Skaggs, of Chillicothe, Ohio, grabbed the holeshot out of the gate in the 25-lap Arenacross class main event, with Gibson and night one winner, Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., in tow aboard his Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis. Gibson, the 2009 series champion, pressured Skaggs throughout the early portion of the race, eventually making his move to the front of the field on Lap 6. Once out front, Gibson established himself as the rider to beat, however, he would be challenged heavily before the main event was completed.
After several attempts, Bowers battled his way by Skaggs, moving into second on Lap 9. As the laps wound down, Bowers paced Gibson, keeping his rival honest and looking to force a mistake, but Gibson never faltered. As the pair entered the final five laps, Bowers put the pressure on, looking to get by Gibson at virtually any point on the track, and showing his wheel on several occasions. Despite the immense pressure and multitude of attempted passes, Gibson fended off all of Bowers’ advances to take home the victory and become the second different winner of the young season.
Bowers settled for the runner-up spot, coming up just over a second short from a third consecutive win to start his title defense. Skaggs held on for third, withstanding considerable pressure from the Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Josh Demuth, of North Richland Hills, Texas, and Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis.
In the Arenacross Lites class, South of the Border Kawasaki’s Cody Robbins, of Huntersville, N.C., took over the lead early in the main event, but was quickly brought under pressure from a trio of riders, led by TUF Racing Honda’s Aviery Hickey, Southlake, Texas. Hickey made short work of Robbins out front, bringing Dragon Fuels KTM’s Michael Willard, of Newark, Ohio, and McDade with him.
The trio battled at the front of the field throughout the 18-lap main event, before McDade worked his way into position to take over the lead, doing so on the final lap of the race. The impressive move brought the fans to their feet, while Willard was also able to take advantage of Hickey and move into the second position before the finish. When all was said and done, McDade stood atop the podium, followed by Willard, with Hickey falling two spots to third on the final lap.
In the Dash for Cash, Bowers replicated his effort from Friday evening, to take home another win.
The 2012 AMA Arenacross Series continues next weekend from Madison, Wis., and the Alliant Energy Center. Two nights of action kick off on Friday, November 11, followed by another high-octane evening of excitement on Saturday, November 12. Opening ceremonies for both nights begin at 7 p.m. CT.
Arenacross Class Results (Baltimore, Md.)
1. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
2. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
3. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
4. Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Kawasaki
5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
6. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
7. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM
8. Shawn Rife, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, Honda
9. Kurt McCabe, Marion, Iowa, Honda
10. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM
Arenacross Lites Class Results (Baltimore, Md.)
1. Michael McDade, Indiana, Pa., Kawasaki
2. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM
3. Aviery Hickey, Southlake, Texas, Honda
4. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatlong, N.J., KTM
5. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM
6. Austin Coon, Spencer, W.Va., Honda
7. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, KTM
8. Cody Robbins, Huntersville, N.C., Kawasaki
9. Maxx Malatia, Itasca, Ill., Honda
10. David Buller, Acworth, Ga., KTM
Arenacross Class Points (After Race 3 of 19)
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 72
2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda – 63
3. Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Kawasaki – 62
4. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 54
5. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 42
6. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM – 41
7. Shawn Rife, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, Honda – 39
8. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki – 36
9. Tyler Bright, Hamer, S.C., KTM – 30
10. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM – 26
Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 2 of 10)
1. Michael McDade, Indiana, Pa., Kawasaki – 47
2. Cody Robbins, Huntersville, N.C., Kawasaki – 33
3. Ryan Smith, Axton, Va., Suzuki – 25
4. Maxx Malatia, Itasca, Ill., Honda – 25
5. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM – 22
6. T.J. Phillips, New Castle, Pa., Kawasaki – 21
7. Travis Sewell, Westfield, Ind., KTM – 21
8. Sean Lipanovich, Tallahssee, Fla., Suzuki – 17
9. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki – 16
10. Austin Coon, Spencer, W. Va., Honda – 15
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.