Chad Johnson Races to Opening Round Victory in Grand Rapids

An excited crowd filled Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena on Friday night as the 2010 AMA Arenacross Series kicked-off its season with a come from behind victory by two-time champion Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis. Defending Central Regional champion Kurt McCabe, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, captured the AMA Arenacross Lites class victory.

A tacky track greeted the riders and the tricky conditions made for memorable racing in each class. As the gates dropped on the AMA Arenacross main event, Johnson found himself in seventh place after lap one. Traditionally, a poor start spells disaster in the tight, technical layout but the Babbitt’s Monster Energy TiLube Kawasaki put on an impressive charge, working his way through the field. During his charge, Johnson and his Babbitt’s teammate Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., came together with Johnson gaining the advantage. In the closing laps, Johnson moved in on reigning champion Jeff Gibson, of Thornville, Ohio, and made the winning pass with just four laps to go. Gibson would hold on for the runner-up spot aboard his Tuf Honda, leading the majority of the main event on a 250 as opposed to his 450-mounted counterparts. Spinechillers/Storm Lake Honda’s Zach Ames, of Prospect, Ohio, finished third.

A young, talented lineup rocketed out of the gates in the AMA Arenacross Lites main event. McCabe, aboard a Storm Lake Honda, found his way to the front of the field early and never looked back, maintaining the momentum he garnered at the Des Moines prequel in November. As he completed the final lap, McCabe scaled back his pace, allowing a determined GPF/Babbitt’s Kawasaki rider in Daniel Aulsaybrook, of Ortonville, Mich., to close in at the line for a photo finish. Foremost Insurance Yamaha’s Tyler Bright, of Lexington, N.C., rounded out the podium in third.

The season-opening Grand Rapids Arenacross continues tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Tickets are available online at www.arenacross.com, www.ticketmaster.com, www.tickets.com.

AMA Arenacross Class Results, (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
1. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
2. Jeff Gibson, Thornville, Ohio, Honda
3. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda
4. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
5. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
6. Tyler Bright, Lexington, N.C., Yamaha
7. Colton Facciotti, Aldergrove, B.C., Yamaha
8. Brock Sellards, Sherodsville, Ohio, Honda
9. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatlong, N.J., Suzuki
10. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Kawasaki

AMA Arenacross Class Lites Results (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
1. Kurt McCabe, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Honda
2. Daniel Aulsaybrook, Ortonville, Mich., Kawasaki
3. Tyler Bright, Lexington, N.C., Yamaha
4. A.J. Catanzaro, Middlefield, Conn., Kawasaki
5. Devon Pilkington, Virginia Beach, Va., Kawasaki
6. Justin Kelly, Lelumia, Ill., Kawasaki
7. Chad Wages, Frederick, Md., Suzuki
8. Matt Schneider, Ft. Wayne, Ind., Yamaha
9. Randy Woodring, Spring Lake, Mich., Yamaha
10. Seth Caldwell, Cheswig, S.C., Yamaha

AMA Arenacross Class Points (After Race 1 of 19)
1. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 25
2. Jeff Gibson, Thornville, Ohio, Honda – 22
3. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda – 20
4. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 18
5. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 16
6. Tyler Bright, Lexington, N.C., Suzuki – 15
7. Colton Facciotti, Aldergrove, B.C., Yamaha – 14
8. Brock Sellards, Sherodsville, Ohio, Honda – 13
9. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatlong, N.J., Suzuki – 12
10. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, Kawasaki – 11

AMA Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 1 of 19)
1. Kurt McCabe, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Honda – 25
2. Daniel Aulsaybrook, Ortonville, Mich., Kawasaki – 22
3. Tyler Bright, Lexington, N.C., Suzuki – 20
4. A.J. Catanzaro, Middlefield, Conn., Kawasaki – 18
5. Devon Pilkington, Virginia Beach, Va., Kawasaki – 16
6. Justin Kelly, Lelumia, Ill., Kawasaki – 15
7. Chad Wages, Frederick, Md., Suzuki – 14
8. Matt Schneider, Ft. Wayne, Ind., Yamaha – 13
9. Randy Woodring, Spring Lake, Mich., Yamaha – 12
10. Seth Caldwell, Cheswig, S.C., Yamaha – 11