AMA Arenacross Series Notebook:
Buckeye Battle in Dayton

AURORA, Ill. (January 20, 2012) – The second half of the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series season is set to kick off tomorrow night from one of the sport’s most treasured venues. For many years, Dayton, Ohio, and the Nutter Center have served as hosts to some of the most memorable races in series history. The state of Ohio is a hotbed for arenacross, with eight full-time competitors calling the state their home.

The highest profile of those riders is current championship runner-up Jeff Gibson and his FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda. The 2009 AMA Arenacross Series Champion lost control of the points lead last weekend, but with a return to his home state, one can bet he’ll be ready to battle back in front of his hometown crowd.

A Buckeye Battle is brewing, with Gibson and current series points leader Tyler Bowers, who rides for Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis, leading the way. However, fellow Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki rider Chad Johnson is looking for more success after capturing his second win of the 2012 season last weekend.

Moreover, the large contingent of Ohio natives – including Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/Storm Lake Honda’s Nathan Skaggs, Bella’s Cupcakes/Club MX Kawasaki’s Zach Ames, and Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/Storm Lake KTM’s Willy Browning – are all looking to turn their seasons around and get the ball rolling over the final six rounds of the season.

While Bowers has garnered the most victories with seven, the competition for a podium finish has been incredible. Beyond Gibson and Johnson, who each have two wins apiece, several other riders have taken their shots at landing on the box, including Skaggs, Ames and Team Faith KTM’s Kelly Smith.

With only six weeks remaining in the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series season, it’s go time for every rider in the premier Arenacross Class. Bowers’ advantage currently sits at 12 points over the field and with eight main events remaining; there is still ample opportunity for a championship shakeup. With so much additional motivation to succeed tomorrow night in Ohio, the Buckeye natives will be a group to keep an eye on as the night unfolds.

The Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Championship will host its penultimate round in Dayton. Ohio native, and Dragon Racing Fuels/AG Motorsports KTM rider, Michael Willard has controlled the championship throughout most of the season, but a late surge by Reed & Reese KTM’s Dave Ginolfi has made this championship much more intriguing.

Currently, Motostar Kawasaki’s Michael McDade leads the way in the standings. Despite having just one win, as opposed to three for Willard and two for Ginolfi, McDade has been a picture of consistency throughout the season. His six-point advantage might not be much, but every point matters with only 36 laps of competition remaining in this championship. Both Willard and Ginolfi are likely to come out firing tomorrow night, but McDade still controls his own destiny. While a win would make a huge statement to his rivals, McDade’s consistency has gotten him to this point. All eyes will be on this trio as the tension builds tomorrow night.

This weekend, the intimate and exciting action of the AMA Arenacross Series will be showcased at the Ervin J. Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University. Serving as southwest Ohio’s premier sports and entertainment complex, the Nutter Center is home to NCAA Division I Wright State Raiders athletics.

The Nutter Center opened in 1990 and is named after famous Ohioan Ervin J. Nutter. The main arena of the center seats a maximum of 12,000, but the facility also houses four basketball courts, a recreation running track, a fitness center, classrooms, and 60,000 square feet of exhibit space.

The action commences for the Dayton Arenacross on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Amateur Day concludes an exciting weekend of action on Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. ET

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Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.