?> Weekend In Worcester Kicks Off AMSOIL Arenacross - Transworld Motocross

Weekend In Worcester Kicks Off AMSOIL Arenacross

Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Zach Ames stayed away from the wild takeouts and leaves Worcester with the points lead in the Arenacross class.

By: Matt Wozney | Photos: Matt Rice

Worcester, Massachusetts, played host to the opening rounds of the 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross series, and despite the subzero temperatures and accumulating snowfall outside, fans filled the DCU Center for two nights of racing. The series returns with the multiple main event format, bracketed head-to-head racing, and gate pick inversions that kicked off a new era of Arenacross racing last year, as well as the beginning of the Ricky Carmichael’s Road To Supercross program. The system, designed to guide up and coming amateur racers through the ranks, give young racers a taste of the tight racing, fan participation, and style that they will encounter in Monster Energy Supercross. Qualifying for three Arenacross class main events in three separate cities is a requirement of attaining a license for the Monster Energy Supercross series.

Inside the DCU Center was a track that no one spent the offseason preparing for. A technical layout was built with a dark gray clay that developed deep ruts as the laps clicked off. The fast line through the whoop section was to link together and jump through the rollers, make a tight turn, and then launch down a long rhythm section. Many were looking to get through the first rounds unscathed and head to the harder packed soil they will race in the coming weeks.

Tyler Bowers was dominant on Friday night, winning both AX main events and setting the tone for the new year. Saturday night a different story, however, as he experienced a number of issues and finished 14th overall. The defending champion is currently sixth overall in the championship standings.

The racing in the Arenacross class was a clash of past champions and young racers, and all were looking to make their mark on the new season. Three time and defending champion Tyler Bowers came into the weekend as the heavy favorite alongside Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/Kawasaki teammate Zach Ames and Colt Nichols. Looking to steal the glory from the team was a list of top finishers from 2013 that included Mike McDade, Kelly Smith, Gared Steinke, Dave Ginolfi, Willy Browning, and Cory Green, as well as rookies Jacob Hayes and Keith Tucker.

Arenacross Class

Tyler Bowers dominated Friday night’s twin 15-lap main events, the first after a long battle with Mike McDade, the second after a rise through the pack. Teammate Zach Ames claimed second overall, while Jacob Hayes ended the night in third. Hayes built his confidence and skill during the offseason racing the FMF Indoor Winter Series, and his victory over Tyler Bowers in the head-to-head heat races proved he will be a contender throughout the season.

Arenacross Class Results – Main Event One (Friday)
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
2. Michael McDade, McDonald, Ohio, Kawasaki
3. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Kawasaki
4. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
5. Keith Tucker, Fugacy-Varina, N.C., Yamaha
6. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM
7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
8. Gavin Gracyk, Cairo, Ga., KTM
9. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, KTM
10. Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Kawasaki

Arenacross Class Results – Main Event Two (Friday)
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
2. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
3. Gavin Gracyk, Cairo, Ga., KTM
4. Colt Nichols, S. Muskogee, Okla., Kawasaki
5. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Kawasaki
6. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
7. Keith Tucker, Fugacy-Varina, N.C., Yamaha
8. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM
9. Michael McDade, McDonald, Ohio, Kawasaki
10. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM

Arenacross Class Results – Overall (Friday Main Event Finishes)
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki (1-1)
2. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki (4-2)
3. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Kawasaki (3-5)
4. Gavin Gracyk, Cairo, Ga., KTM (8-3)
5. Michael McDade, McDonald, Ohio, Kawasaki (2-9)
6. Keith Tucker, Fugacy-Varina, N.C., Yamaha (5-7)
7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM (7-6)
8. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM (6-8)
9. Colt Nichols, S. Muskogee, Okla., Kawasaki (15-4)
10. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM (11-10)

Arenacross Class Points (After Race 1 of 19)
1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 33
2. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki – 29
3. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Kawasaki – 28
4. Michael McDade, McDonald, Ohio, Kawasaki – 24
5. Gavin Gracyk, Cairo, Ga., KTM – 23
6. Keith Tucker, Fugacy-Varina, N.C., Yamaha – 23
7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM – 22
8. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM – 20
9. Colt Nichols, S. Muskogee, Okla., Kawasaki – 16
10. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM – 13
11. Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Kawasaki – 13

After nearly taking a win in Saturday night’s first main event, Mike McDade nabbed the holeshot in the second feature and sped off to a moto win and the overall victory.

Saturday racing was the complete opposite to what was seen the night before. Mike McDade grabbed the holeshot and early lead in main event one, but was eventually tracked down by Bowers and Hayes. The tight confines and intense action of Arenacross racing got the better of both in the middle of the race, as Hayes went for a contact pass on Bowers that put both on the ground; both would remount and finish the race with Bowers 12th and Hayes 14th. With two competitors out of the running, Zach Ames managed to reel in leader McDade and snatched the main event win.

Jacob Hayes proved that he is more than willing to bang bars with the Arenacross best, taking a podium finish on Friday night but crashing with Tyler Bowers on Saturday.

McDade pulled another holeshot in the second main event of the night and led the race from start to finish, his 2-1 scores taking the overall victory. Ames worked through the main event to take fifth place, and paired with his main event win was enough to take second place overall. Two nights of steady riding put Ames in control of the championship as the series heads to Baltimore, Maryland, for rounds three and four. His closest challenger is Willy Browning, also performed consistently over two nights of racing and trails Ames by a mere two points in the standings. Defending champion Bowers’ title defense was dealt another blow in the second main event and ended the night 14th overall, which puts him sixth in the overall standings.

Arenacross Class Results – Main Event One (Saturday)
1. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
2. Michael McDade, McDonald, Ohio, Kawasaki
3. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM
4. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM
5. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
6. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM
7. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki
8. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki
9. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM
10. Colt Nichols, S. Muskogee, Okla., Kawasaki

Arenacross Class Results – Main Event Two (Saturday)
1. Michael McDade, McDonald, Ohio, Kawasaki
2. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
3. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM
4. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Kawasaki
5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
6. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki
7. Colt Nichols, S. Muskogee, Okla., Kawasaki
8. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM
9. Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Kawasaki
10. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTMHaye

Arenacross Class Results – Overall (Saturday Main Event Finishes)
1. Michael McDade, McDonald, Ohio, Kawasaki (2-1)
2. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki (1-5)
3. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM (5-2)
4. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM (6-3)
5. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM (3-8)
6. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki (7-6)
7. Colt Nichols, S. Muskogee, Okla., Kawasaki (10-7)
8. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM (4-13)
9. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Kawasaki (14-4)
10. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (9-10)

Arenacross Class Points (After Race 2 of 19)
1. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki – 58
2. Michael McDade, McDonald, Ohio, Kawasaki – 56
3. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM – 49
4. Jacob Hayes, Greensboro, N.C., Kawasaki – 45
5. Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., KTM – 44
6. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 43
7. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM – 39
8. Keith Tucker, Fugacy-Varina, N.C., Yamaha – 33
9. Colt Nichols, S. Muskogee, Okla., Kawasaki – 33
10. Gavin Gracyk, Cairo, Ga., KTM – 25

Robby Marshall was the hometown hero in Worcester, and he carded a number of consistent finishes to be placed fifth in the overall standings. 

Arenacross Lites Class

Arenacross rookie Keith Tucker wasted no time showing his skill in Worcester, and the Triangle Cycles/Yamaha star took the Arenacross Lites win on Friday night and sixth overall in the Arenacross class. His finish in the premier class made him ineligible for the Lites class on Saturday night and opened the door for a new winner. Steve Roman outlasted the field in a wild main event to take the win and championship points lead. Roman has competition for the championship in Tony Archer, who worked through the pack after a first-turn crash to second place in the rushed feature. Rounding out the top-three is Fredrik Noren of Sweden, who finished on the podium both Friday and Saturday night.

Arenacross Lites Class Results (Friday)
1. Keith Tucker, Furgacy-Varina, N.C., Yamaha
2. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, KTM
3. Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki
4. Tony Archer, Waldorf, Md., Kawasaki
5. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM
6. Sunny Drake, Fulton, N.Y., Kawasaki
7. Lane Staley, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM
8. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Yamaha
9. Aaron Lampi, Fishkill, N.Y., Suzuki
10. Tyler Wozney, Clayton, Del., Kawasaki

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 1 of 9)
1. Keith Tucker, Furgacy-varina, N.C., Yamaha – 16
2. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, KTM – 15
3. Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki – 14
4. Tony Archer, Waldorf, Md., Kawasaki – 13
5. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM – 12
6. Sunny Drake, Fulton, N.Y., Kawasaki – 11
7. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Yamaha – 9
8. Aaron Lampi, Fishkill, N.Y., Suzuki – 8
9. Tyler Wozney, Clayton, Del., Kawasaki – 7
10. Logan Pfleiderer, Galion, Ohio, KTM – 6

Triangle Cycles/Yamaha’s Keith Tucker dominated the AX Lites main event on Friday night and even grabbed a spot in the top-10 in the Arenacross class. He is a pupil of the all-new Ricky Carmichael Road to Supercross program in effect at all rounds of the 2014 AMSOIL Arenacross series.

Arenacross Lites Class Results (Saturday)
1. Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki
2. Tony Archer, Waldorf, Md., Kawasaki
3. Brandon Glenn, Mesquite, Texas, KTM
4. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Yamaha
5. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, KTM
6. Travis Delnicki, Woodstock Valley, Conn., Suzuki
7. Michael Lang, Saugerties, N.Y., Honda
8. Lane Staley, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM
9. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
10. Justin Kelly, Lamoille, Ill., Honda

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 2 of 9)
1. Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki – 30
2. Tony Archer, Waldorf, Md., Kawasaki – 28
3. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, KTM – 27
4. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Yamaha – 22
5. Keith Tucker, Furgacy-Varina, N.C., Yamaha – 16
6. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM – 15
7. Brandon Glenn, Mesquite, Texas, KTM – 14
8. Michael Lang, Saugerties, N.Y., Honda – 14
9. Tyler Wozney, Clayton, Del., Kawasaki – 13
10. Travis Delnicki, Woodstock Valley, Conn., Suzuki – 11
11. Sunny Drake, Fulton, N.Y., Kawasaki – 11
12. Logan Pfleiderer, Galion, Ohio, KTM – 11