It’s Ames In Arenacross Opener
WORCESTER, Mass. — The opening night of the 2013 season was a historic one for AMSOIL Arenacross, Featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross inside the DCU Center.
The innovative and exciting new racing format was unveiled to the New England crowd on Friday, as championship points were on the line throughout the evening in the premier Arenacross Class, highlighted by a pair of main events.
In the end, reigning back-to-back champion Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., and Michael McDade, of Edinburg, Pa., grabbed the checkered flags, but it was Zach Ames, of Prospect, Ohio, who stood atop the podium as the first overall winner of the new era of AMSOIL Arenacross.
Additionally, McDade capped off an impressive and memorable evening for himself by capturing the Arenacross Lites Class victory.
As the gate dropped on the first 12-lap main event, Bowers quickly asserted himself at the front of the field aboard his Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis machine. Behind him, Advocare Suzuki’s Daniel Blair, of Lodi, Calif., and Ames, Bowers’ teammate, began their battle for second. As the pair jockeyed for position early, Bowers took advantage by pulling away to a substantial lead. Just a few laps into the main event, Ames made his way past Blair and set a consistent pace to keep his rival at bay. Out front, Bowers made quick work of the field, kicking off his title defense with a convincing win in main event one, with Ames and Blair hanging on for podium results.
After Bowers celebrated his first step towards defending his title, the field was subjected to an inversion for main event two, where zero, eight, or the entire 16-rider field’s gate selection would be reversed based on how they finished in the first Main Event.
In the second Main Event, Ames overcame his gate position and took control of the field off the start, looking to give his new Babbitt’s Kawasaki team a clean sweep of the evening. However, after capturing the Arenacross Lites Class win earlier in the evening, McDade was on his game in search of his first premier class victory aboard his Mosites Motorsports Kawasaki and stayed close to Ames’ rear fender. While the lead duo set the early pace, Bowers was forced to overcome a 15th-place start after stalling his bike on the opening lap, but immediately capitalized on his aggressive riding style to move forward quickly.
Ames and McDade were never separated by much more than a bike length throughout the entire main event, setting the stage for a dramatic finish. After patiently waiting for his opportunity to make a move, McDade utilized a last-lap pass on Ames to steal the victory and reap the benefits of the historic triumph. Massachusetts local Robbie Marshall, of Stow, rounded out the podium in third, while Bowers battled his way to a fifth-place result. By virtue of Ames’ consistency across each main event, he garnered the most points on the evening to secure the overall with his pair of runner-up efforts.
In the Arenacross Lites Class Main Event, McDade, the defending Eastern Regional Champion, was forced to fend off a formidable challenge from Luevanos Racing Kawasaki’s Gared Steinke, of Woodland, Calif., in an intense 18-lap race between the two. The duo was so fast that they lapped up to third place, which was secured by BWRengines.com Honda’s Kyle White, of Freeport, Ill. McDade withstood Steinke’s advances to take the win and set a successful tone for the rest of his evening.