2012 AMA Arenacross Series Notebook: Tyler Bowers Kentucky Homecoming
The AMA Arenacross Series is preparing to leave its mark on another new venue tomorrow night, and without a doubt, there isn’t a rider looking forward to the opportunity to race inside Rupp Arena, in Lexington, Ky., more than reigning series champion and current Arenacross Class points leader Tyler Bowers.
The Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider has experienced a tremendously successful season, boasting a series-leading nine wins. Bowers hails from nearby Danville, which is a short 35-mile drive from Lexington. Sure, the AMA Arenacross Series has competed in Kentucky in the past, but this is Bowers’ back yard.
Like Bowers, who currently wears the number one plate as the defending champion, the permanent tenants of Rupp Arena, the University of Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Team, is also the number one team in the country. The state of Kentucky and the city of Lexington is passionate about its sports and the Wildcats program has established a legacy of success, winning a total of seven NCAA National Championships.
While Bowers has only one title to his credit, he is looking to establish a similar legacy as one of the most prolific athletes in the history of the AMA Arenacross Series. Since coming to the championship full time in 2010, Bowers has established himself as one of the most consistent competitors in the sport. He continues to find ways to improve, despite being faced with the arguably the toughest and most deeply-talented field of competitors in the history of the AMA Arenacross Series.
As one of its proverbial hometown sons, the city of Lexington and the surrounding Northern Kentucky region are sure to embrace Bowers and come out in droves to Rupp Arena to watch him take on the world’s best Arenacross competitors. Additionally, they will come in awe of the spectacle that is the AMA Arenacross Series, converting one of the most recognizable arena floors into a man-made dirt battleground.
While a large contingent of family, friends and local supporters are sure to be on hand to watch Bowers go for his 10th victory of the 2012 season, many of the champion’s closest rivals will be eager to ruin the homecoming. FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson is hungry to get back on top of the box, as is Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Chad Johnson. Both riders sit within striking distance of Bowers in the championship, and are looking to make inroads as the season enters its final month.
Additionally, Team Faith KTM’s Kelly Smith is looking to keep the momentum going from his big win one week ago, becoming just the fourth different winner in the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series.
In the Arenacross Lites Class, an Eastern Regional Champion will be crowned tomorrow night. Currently, Motostar Kawasaki’s Michael McDade holds a 17-point lead in the championship thanks to tremendous consistency and he’ll be gunning for the win to set a high-energy tone for the rest of the evening.
Rupp Arena is the iconic venue of Lexington. Opening in 1976, it serves as the centerpiece of the Lexington Center, a local convention, shopping and entertainment center. With an official capacity of 23,500, it is viewed as the largest basketball arena in the Unites States. On Saturday night, the rafters will be filled with the roar of engines while thousands of fans pack into the stands to witness one of the most unique forms of racing on the planet for the first time.
The action commences for the inaugural Lexington Arenacross tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. Amateur Day concludes an exciting weekend of action on Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. ET