Jacob Hayes Flies To Arenacross Glory
NAMPA, Idaho – The seventh round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday night in Nampa, Idaho, inside the Ford Idaho Center.
Road to Supercross competitor Jacob Hayes captured his second Arenacross Class overall win of the season aboard his TiLUBE/PBR/TUF Racing Honda just one night after missing the action due to a canceled flight. In the second race of the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship, Frontier Lubricants KTM’s Daniel Blair earned his first win of the regional title fight to move into a tie atop the standings.
Arenacross Class points leader Zach Ames grabbed the holeshot and early lead in the first Main Event of the night aboard his Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis machine, followed by Team Faith/FLY Racing KTM’s Kelly Smith and Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers.
With the early jump on the field, Ames was able to continually extend his advantage over the course of the 15-lap Main Event while his rivals battled behind him. Bowers moved past Smith into second on Lap 5, which allowed Hayes to follow into third after a fourth-place start. Ames, Bowers, and Hayes maintained their positions through to the finish, pitting the top three riders in the championship in a showdown for the overall victory.
Ames selected the inversion for the second Main Event, with eight riders being chosen for the second straight night.
Hayes overcame the inversion to move into the early lead and gain an advantage over Bowers and Ames who started fifth and eighth, respectively. Hayes’ TiLUBE/PBR/TUF Racing Honda teammate Kyle Regal followed in second, with Smith asserting himself in third. Bowers made a charge towards the front of the field, moving into fourth on lap one and third by lap seven. Ames lost a position to fall to ninth on Lap 1, but put forth a resilient ride to fight his way to a top-five result. Out front, Hayes checked out on his teammate but Regal maintained his hold on second despite a late charge by Bowers.
After losing valuable points in the championship on Friday night by not competing, Hayes rebounded to maintain his hold on third in the standings with the victory by virtue of his 3-1 results. Bowers finished second overall (2-3) while Hayes’ rounded out the overall podium in third (1-5).
Earlier in the evening Ames won the Head-to-Head Bracket Racing, defeating Hayes and earning the additional championship bonus point. As a result, he tied Bowers for total points on the evening and lost no ground in the championship battle. The teammates remain separated by three points with the final race before the Race to the Championship looming next weekend.
In the battle for a spot inside the top 10 in the Arenacross Class standings and a spot in the Race to the Championship, 27 points separate Farmers Insurance/Reynard Mods Suzuki’s Cory Green in sixth (ninth on Saturday with 9-10 results) and Smith in 11th (fourth on Saturday with 6-4 results). The other riders within this battle are Motosport.com/MJM Express/Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Willy Browning (7th), TZR Woodstock KTM’s Travis Sewell (8th), Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Colt Nichols (9th), and Motosport Hillsboro Kawasaki’s Gared Steinke (10th), with two nights of racing remaining.
The third race of the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship saw Blair take over the early lead for the third straight night. However, unlike his previous two outings Blair never relinquished control of the top spot and went on to lead all 18 laps of the Main Event. Behind him, BWRengines.com Honda teammates Kyle White and Maxx Malatia moved into second and third, respectively. Malatia passed his teammate on Lap 4 and asserted control of the runner-up spot.
Gateway Cycles Kawasaki’s Steven Mages, who entered the evening as the points leader, moved forward from a fifth-place start and took over third place on Lap 6. However, on the final lap he experienced misfortune while battling with AJ Oilfield Services Kawasaki’s Gray Davenport and fell to ninth, losing significant points to Blair, his closes championship rival.
Blair and Malatia were joined on the podium by Davenport. Blair also moved into the championship lead with his win and now holds a three-point lead over Mages entering the third round of the Western Regional Championship.