NEWS

Johnson Grabs Much-Needed Win in Effort to Close In on Championship

After another exciting evening of the most intimate form of motorcycle racing, the 2010 AMA Arenacross Series has just one round remaining after a boisterous crowd inside Dayton, Ohio’s Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University witnessed the penultimate round of the season. In the absence of teammate and former series points leader Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki’s Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis., kept the team’s dominance intact by winning his second AMA Arenacross class race of the year. One week after the most successful weekend of his young career, GPF/Babbitt’s Kawasaki’s Daniel Aulsaybrook, of Ortonville, Mich., took advantage of a runner-up finish in the AMA Arenacross Lites class to win his first-career title in the Eastern Regional Championship.

After news broke late this week that Bowers suffered a season-ending injury with only two rounds remaining, all eyes were on the remaining Babbitt’s duo of then-second place holder Josh Demuth, of North Richland Hills, Texas and Johnson down in third place. While the 19-point difference between Bowers and Demuth atop the standings would almost certainly be erased, a manageable 25-point margin separated Demuth from Johnson. After a stellar year for the entire Babbitt’s squad, it was only these two riders with any realistic chance at claiming the vacant top spot in the standings.

As the gates dropped on the 25-lap main event, as expected, it was a battle between the pair of two-time series champions. While Johnson held the advantage throughout, Demuth lurked in his shadow, keeping Johnson honest as he looked for a way by to claim his sixth win of the season. However, Johnson entered the Nutter Center with business to take care of and it was clear he wasn’t going to walk away satisfied with anything but a win. As the checkered flag flew, Johnson prevailed for just his second win of 2010. Demuth held on for second for a Babbitt’s 1-2 while Triple Effect Kawasaki’s Gray Davenport, of Lehi, Utah, put together his best performance of the season to claim his first podium result of the year in third.

Last weekend in Council Bluffs, Iowa, second-year GPF-rider Aulsaybrook made the pair of races on Friday and Saturday night his own personal breakout party. The Michigan native posted a win and a runner-up finish, gaining considerable momentum heading into the Eastern Regional finale tonight. With just four points separating himself and Chad Wages at the top of the standings, Aulsaybrook needed a strong outing if not a win and was able to pull off an impressive runner-up effort to overcome the deficit and claim the title by just three points over Wages, who finished sixth. Reynard Mods Kawasaki’s Cory green, of Nowata, Okla., grabbed the win while former class points leader Devon Pilkington, of Virginia Beach, Va., finished third.

By virtue of his runner-up effort, Demuth surpassed Bowers to claim the top spot in the standings by three points. Johnson sits in third, 22 points out of the lead with two races to go in the final round of the season. Regardless of what happens next weekend, the Babbitt’s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki trio is guaranteed to sweep the top three positions in the championship. The AMA Arenacross Lites Western Regional Championship resumes action for its final round.

The 2010 AMA Arenacross Series comes to a dramatic conclusion next weekend from Denver, Colo., and the Denver Coliseum, March 26-28.
AMA Arenacross Class Results (Dayton, Ohio)
1. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
2. Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Kawasaki
3. Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki
4. Jeff Gibson, Thornville, Ohio, Honda
5. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda
6. Tyler Bright, Lexington, N.C., Yamaha
7. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Kawasaki
8. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
9. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda
10. Devon Pilkington, Virginia Beach, Va., Kawasaki
AMA Arenacross Lites Class Results (Dayton, Ohio)
1. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Kawasaki
2. Daniel Aulseybrook, Ortonville, Mich., Kawasaki
3. Devon Pilkington, Virginia Beach, Va., Kawasaki
4. Jim Neese, Julian, N.C., Yamaha
5. A.J. Catanzaro, Middlefield, Conn., Kawasaki
6. Chad Wages, Frederick, Md., Suzuki
7. Patrick Massie, Washington Court, Ohio, Honda
8. Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., Kawasaki
9. Auston Albers, Commerce, Ga., Kawasaki
10. Dan Petrie, Sunfield, Mich., Kawasaki
AMA Arenacross Class Points (After Race 17 of 19)
1. Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Kawasaki – 351
2. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 348
3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 329
4. Jeff Gibson, Thornville, Ohio, Honda – 278
5. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 265
6. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Honda – 250
7. Gray Davenport, Lehi, Utah, Kawasaki – 213
8. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatlong, N.J., Suzuki –186
9. Tyler Bright, Lexington, N.C., Yamaha – 175
10. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, Honda – 150
AMA Arenacross Lites Eastern Regional Points (After Race 9 of 9)
1. Daniel Aulseybrook, Ortonville, Mich., Kawasaki – 148
2. Chad Wages, Frederick, Md., Suzuki –145
3. Tyler Bright, Lexington, N.C., Yamaha – 142
4. Devon Pilkington, Virginia Beach, Va., Kawasaki – 142
5. Patrick Massie, Washington Court, Ohio, Honda – 85
6. Taylor Futrell, Clinton, N.C., Honda – 74
7. Davey Sterritt, Athens. N.Y., Kawasaki – 64
8. Kurt McCabe, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Honda – 43
9. Kyle White, Freeport, Ill., Honda – 38
10. Ryan Zimmer, Angier, N.C., Honda – 36