This weekend the Toyota National Arenacross Series stops in Des Moines, Iowa, for Round Two of the 2005/’06 Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series. No longer at the old Veterans Arena in downtown Des Moines, this year the brand new Wells Fargo Arena will play host to some of the world’s top motocross racers ¿ including “Rad” Chad Johnson, Brock Sellards, Jeff Northrop and a freestyle motocross show sponsored by the United States Air Force. With more than 15,000 seats for events such as ice hockey and basketball, the new Wells Fargo Arena is sure to rock this Friday and Saturday nights.
The curiosity factor for piling dirt on a brand new multi million dollar facility brought the media out in droves this week. “It only happens once that you can pile dirt on the floor of a new building for the first time,” said one of Wells Fargo Arena’s custodial staff members. “It’s going to be interesting to see how this all cleans up.” No worries, according to Clear Channel Motor Sports’ Director of Arenacross, Robert Hansen. “We’ll have it all cleaned up in plenty of time for the puck to drop on the Iowa Stars/Milwaukee Admirals game next Tuesday (Nov. 8th).”
Also keep in mind that the inaugural MidAmerica Powersports Expo will be taking place at the building adjacent to Wells Fargo Arena ¿ Hy Vee Hall (Nov. 4-6). Motorsports fans can check out all the latest bikes from Harley Davison, Honda and Kawasaki, along with custom choppers, ATVs, boats, snowmobiles, personal watercraft and more.
Local racers Brady Peck and Ryan Simonton were the subject of this week’s “Toyota AX Feature” story. Check it out on www.arenacross.com .
Is anybody going to catch “Rad” Chad Johnson? After watching the Wisconsin native tear up to comp at Albany, the No. 4 Yamaha’s for sure the bike to beat this weekend in Des Moines.
At Albany, with all the rain in the Northeast during the past month, track builder Rigg Hipps had to pull off a miracle to get the track in racing order. His secret? “Ten tons of lime,” said Hipps. Note: Lime contains magnesium carbonate and does wonders to turn mud into a raceable arena surface. Many of the racers were commenting on how well the track held up versus previous years.
A big front page sports feature ran last Friday on John “Junkyard” Dowd in the Albany Times Union. All weekend long Dowd, 40, got the biggest applause from the fans. And a well-deserved applause at that given Dowdy made the podium both nights.
Another veteran racer mixing it up with the young guns at Round One was Suzuki-mounted Barry Carsten. The likeable racer from nearby Bayville, N.J., seemed like he was on the track every time you turned around, doubling up in both classes. Carsten pulled two fourths in the Lites class, and backed that up with a 10th on Friday in the Arenacross class.
Taking the Weekend Warrior Trailer $500 Holeshot awards on both nights at Albany was Zach Ames of Columbus, Ohio.
Keep an eye on this kid: Robby Marshall from Stow, Mass. The young Southwick local scored a couple sixth-place finishes in the Lites class, backed that up with a top ten in the Arenacross class on Saturday night.
Arenacross Lites (formerly 125 class) champion Shawn Clark (1/1) had a good deal set up by the guys at Virtually Real Motocross (VRM.com). Clark’s Unbound/VRM/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki was the class of the Lites class, as the Indiana native easily won both nights