Babbitt's Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki's Bowers and Johnson Podium in Fresno2012-02-15 22:01
Throughout the 2012 AMA Arenacross series, at least one Babbitt’s Monster Energy Amsoil Kawasaki rider has made the podium in every arenacross class main event. This Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., both Tyler Bowers and Chad Johnson reached the podium, finishing second and third, respectively. Bowers and his Kawasaki KX™250F rocketed off the start and rounded the first turn right on the back wheel of the leader. Bowers patiently waited for an opportunity to take lead, but a mistake in the rhythm section put him to the ground. Bowers remounted in fifth and passed back up to second place, but ran out of laps to catch first. Johnson also started up front and inherited second place when Bowers went down, but was passed by Bowers before the finish and ended the night in third.
Capitalizing on Mistakes
Coming into Fresno, Bowers knew he was getting close to clinching the championship and was focused on getting through the weekend safe and maintaining his points lead. The racing began with the Dash for Cash where Bowers sat in second until the leader went down with one lap remaining, handing Bowers the lead and the win. In the main event, Bowers got off to another great start in second and looked to pressure the leader into making another mistake, but on lap six it was Bowers who would make a mistake in one of the rhythm lanes and go down. He remounted in fifth and wasted no time working his way back to the front, but could not catch the leader and settled for second.
“I had a great night,” said Bowers. “I was handed the win in the Dash for Cash to start the night. In the main, had it not been for my crash I think I had the speed to win it too. My crash was a freak thing. The front end was compressing so much in the transitions through the rhythm section and on lap six, I had my weight a bit too far forward and it bucked me off. I got up in fifth and just didn’t have enough time to catch the leader.”
Back on the Box
After missing the podium last week, Johnson was set to return to the top and try to make up some ground in the points standings. Last week, the start buried him in the back of the pack, but this weekend his KX250F powered him up front into the first corner where he came out third. Knowing how difficult the track was, he simply matched the leaders pace and stayed consistent. When his teammate Bowers went down, Johnson took over the second-place spot, but was still a few seconds back from the leader. Towards the end of the main event he would drop back to third place and finished on the podium.
“I really felt good tonight, and that made all the difference,” said Johnson. “They did a great job prepping the track, my Kawasaki was super fast, and it made for a really fun night.”
With only two stops left on the AMA Arenacross calendar, Bowers has a chance to wrap up the championship this weekend at Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nev. February 17-19, 2012. Bowers holds an 18-point lead on second, while Johnson sits comfortably third in the points.
AMA Arenacross Series
Save Mart Center – Fresno, Calif.
February 11 – 12, 2012
Arenacross Class Results
1. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
2. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI
3. CHAD JOHNSON, RHINELANDER, WIS., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI
4. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM
5. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, KAWASAKI
6. Travis Sewell, Westville, IN, KTM
7. Cole Siebler, Emmett, Idaho, Honda
8. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
9. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM
10. Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
Arenacross Class Points
1. TYLER BOWERS, DANVILLE, KY., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 352
2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda, 334
3. CHAD JOHNSON, RHINELANDER, WIS., BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAKI, 268
4. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM, 250
5. ZACH AMES, PROSPECT, OHIO, KAWASAKI, 236
6. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda, 223
7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM, 191
8. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM, 141
9. JOSH DEMUTH, NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS, BABBITT’S MONSTER ENERGY AMSOIL KAWASAK, 127
10. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM, 125
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