Ames Makes A Statement In Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. – AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, kicked off its Race to the Championship on Saturday night inside the BOK Center.
Entering the night in second, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Zach Ames took over the championship lead with his second overall victory of the season. Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Kelly Smith grabbed the win in the final round of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class.
Ames started off the night by taking over the early lead in the first 15-lap Arenacross Class Main Event, with PBR/TiLube/TUF Racing Honda’s Kyle Regal and Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers in third. On lap three, Bowers moved into the lead but crashed on lap eight, allowing Ames to reclaim the position. Regal took over second, while Bowers fell to 13th. Ames held on to take the win with Regal in second, while Farmers Insurance/Reynard Mods Suzuki’s Cory Green finished third.
Ames selected the inversion for the second Main Event, picking zero.
Green capitalized on a strong start to take the lead in the second Main Event, with Regal and Ames close behind. Bowers started just outside the top five. Green paced the field for most of the race, but gave way to Ames on lap 10.
Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Colt Nichols made a strong charge into the top three halfway through the Main Event and took over second on lap 13. In the closing two laps, Bowers also surged forward, moving from fifth to third to give the Babbitt’s squad a 1-2-3 finish.
Ames’ 1-1 effort was his most impressive outing of the season and was more than enough to secure him the overall victory. Nichols secured his best career overall result in second (4-2), while Green rounded out the podium in third (3-4). Bowers, who entered the night as the championship leader, finished sixth (13-3).
Earlier in the evening, Bowers defeated Regal to win Head-to-Head Bracket Racing, earning a valuable championship bonus point.
Ames assumes control of the Race to the Championship and is currently the points leader, holding a seven-point lead over Regal and Nichols. The pair both have 31 points, but Regal sits in second by virtue of higher finishes, while Nichols sits third. Green is in fourth, eight points out of the lead, while Bowers is fifth, 12-points behind Ames.
Smith was dominant in the final Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship Main Event of the season. KMS KTM’s Dave Ginolfi started the race in second, but was never able to challenge Smith for the lead, maintaining the spot throughout to finish in the runner-up position.
BWRengines.com Honda’s Maxx Malatia started the race in third, but battled with Team Faith/FLY Racing Honda’s Cheyenne Harmon for the spot early. Malatia quickly reclaimed the spot and held on to it through the remainder of the race.