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Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers Stretches Points Lead in Home State

February 7, 2012

Irvine, Calif. (February 7, 2012) – Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers took the win at the AMA Arenacross event at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., stretching his points lead to 21 over the competition. In front of a hometown crowd, Bowers powered his Kawasaki KX™250F to the top of the podium in the Dash for Cash before going on to earn his 10th main event win of the season. Bowers’ teammate Chad Johnson battled through the pack to finish sixth, and currently sits third in the championship points. Kawasaki-privateer Zach Ames tried to catch Bowers before the finish, but ran out of laps and finished in the runner-up spot on the podium. In the lites class, Michael McDade clinched the AMA Arenacross Lites Eastern Region Championship aboard his KX250F, earning the first AMA championship of his career.


Hometown Advantage
In the series debut at Rupp Arena, only minutes from his home in Kentucky, Bowers started the night strong, grabbing the holeshot in the Dash for Cash and went on to win the cash prize. In the main event, he got another good start and spent the first half of the race battling bar-to-bar for the lead. Bowers eventually made his way out front to take the checkered flag. He currently sits at the top of the leaderboard with a 21-point lead.

“I pulled the holeshot in the Dash for Cash and ran away with it from there,” said Bowers. “In the main I got a great start and pulled in behind the leader. I kept the pressure on him and we battled pretty hard for the first half of the race, it got pretty aggressive. Every time I went through the whoops behind Jeff (Gibson) I almost ran into his back end because I would get such a good drive. Halfway through the race I used my advantage in the whoops to get around him and then checked out. It was nice to take the win in front of my hometown crowd. I was actually surprised about the size of the crowd, I would say it was one of our best turnouts of the year.”

Caught Up in the Chaos
Johnson came to Rupp Arena looking to edge closer to the number two spot on the leaderboard. After the gate dropped in the main, Johnson got knocked off the track going around the first turn and pulled back onto the track around mid-pack. He began meticulously working his way toward the front of the field on the challenging track. Johnson was able to pick off a few riders before the checkered flag to finish the race in sixth. He currently sits third in the championship points.

“I haven’t been having the type of weekends I would like to have,” said Johnson. “I got myself off to an okay start, but got knocked off the track and ended up finishing sixth, which is not really where I want to be. Getting on the podium is important to me, so if I’m not up there it’s pretty disappointing. Overall, I thought the track design was awesome, but the dirt was really slippery, almost greasy. It was difficult to put the power to the ground. If you got out of the main groove you really had to watch yourself or you could end up on the ground really quick.”

A Champion is Crowned
Coming into the final round of the AMA Arenacross Lites Eastern Region, Kawasaki-privateer McDade held a 17-point lead over the competition. In the lites main event, McDade took the holeshot aboard his Kawasaki KX250F and looked to pull away from the field. But in the second lap, another racer tried to pass McDade and the ensuing battle left McDade on the ground, allowing several racers by. As he was charging to reclaim the lead, he made a mistake and went down again. McDade finished the night in 13th place, which afforded him enough points to secure the overall AMA Arenacross Lites Eastern Region championship.

Westward Bound
Next weekend, Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki’s Arenacross team heads to Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., for the next round of the 2012 AMA Areancross Series. With only three events left in the series, Bowers hopes to grab another win and continue extending his points lead while Johnson looks to get back on the box and work his way into the number two spot in the championship points.

Results

2012 AMA Arenacross Series
Rupp Arena – Lexington, Ky.
February 4, 2012


Arenacross Class Results – Saturday
1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI
2. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, KAWASAKI

3. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
4. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
5. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, KTM

Arenacross Class Points
1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 330

2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda, 309
3. CHAD JOHNSON, RHINELANDER, WIS., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 268
4. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM, 241
5. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, KAWASAKI, 220

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