The penultimate round of the 2013 AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, also signified the third round of the inaugural Race to the Championship from Kansas City, Mo., and the Sprint Center. After claiming his first overall victory in the Race to the Championship and reclaiming the points lead, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Tyler Bowers backed up his triumphant effort with another dominant victory.
Bowers swept each of the Main Events last Saturday night, leading all but three laps across both 12-lap races. It signified his 10th overall victory of the 2013 season, making it the third consecutive year in which Bowers has won at least 10 races in a championship. It also helped Bowers extend his lead in the championship standings with the final round looming from Denver in two weeks.
Bowers followed Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Kelly Smith out of the first corner in the opening Main Event in Kansas City, but passed him early and pulled away for the win. His closest championship rivals, Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Jeff Gibson and Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Zach Ames, followed in second and third.
After drawing no inversion heading into the second Main Event, Bowers grabbed the holeshot with Gibson in tow. A slight bobble after crossing the finish allowed Gibson to slip by into the lead and control the tempo for a couple laps, but Bowers made an aggressive move to retake the spot and check out. Gibson ultimately gave way to Ames on the final lap, with the duo finishing second and third, respectively.
Bowers’ Main Event sweep ensured the overall win, while Ames’ late move in the second Main Event helped him steal second overall. Gibson settled for third.
Bowers, who also claimed the bonus point in the Head-to-Head Bracket Racing, moved to six points ahead of Gibson in the Race to the Championship and seven points ahead of Ames, in third. Collectively, the lead trio extended its advantage to 13 points over Mosites Motorsports Kawasaki’s Michael McDade in fourth.
Following the win, Bowers revealed on the podium that he suffered a broken collarbone in a practice crash with Ames at the Kawasaki test track in Corona the week leading into the opening round of the Race to the Championship from Little Rock two weeks ago. Bowers went into surgery almost immediately and had the break plated, still allowing him to compete. His fifth-place effort in Little Rock was the worst outing of the season for Bowers and caused him to lose the lead in the Race to the Championship. However, he bounced back in Wichita to take the win and reclaim the points lead and has now backed that up with another victory.
Bowers insists that following this season’s lone break in action this coming weekend, he’ll be close to 100% for the final round in Denver, which will feature two nights of action on March 15th and 16th. Only four Main Events and 48 laps of racing remain to crown the 2013 AMSOIL Arenacross Champion.
In the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class, Letko KTM’s Tanner Moore won in front of his hometown crowd with a dominant wire-to-wire performance. He became the fifth different winner in six races this season and was joined by BWRengines.com Honda’s Kyle White and TZR Woodstock KTM’s Scott Zont on the podium.
Following tough nights by championship leader Michael Lang, who finished 14th aboard his Ticketwow.com Honda, and BWRengines.com Honda’s Maxx Malatia, who finished seventh, the battle for the Western Regional title became even closer.
Malatia moved into the top spot and will lead the field into the final round of action with a one-point lead over Lang. White’s runner-up effort helped him move to within three points of the lead.