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2012 Arenacross: Jeff Gibson Makes it Two-in-a-Row at Opening Night in Madison

Published November 12th, 2011

Michael Willard Grabs Second Arenacross Lites Victory of Season

The opening night of the third round of the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series season produced arguably the most impressive outing of the young season. Following his first win of the year last weekend, FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson, of Blacklick, Ohio, dominated on Friday night inside the Alliant Energy Center, leading all 25 laps in the Arenacross class main event. In the second round of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites class championship, Dragon Racing Fuels KTM’s Michael Willard, of Newark, Ohio, raced to his second victory of the year, in similarly convincing fashion.

Gibson emphasized the value of a good start earlier in the week, and proceeded to grab the holeshot and early lead as the gate dropped. Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis., and Team Faith KTM’s Kelly Smith, of Ludington, Mich., followed Gibson at the conclusion of the opening lap and kept the veteran rider honest.

While the lead trio looked to pull away from the field, Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/Storm Lake Honda’s Nathan Skaggs, of Chillicothe, Ohio, and Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., battled for position to take their shot at the podium. Bowers moved by Skaggs quickly, and then set his sights on Smith. After battling the KTM rider for a few laps, Bowers made the move and continued to push forward. In the closing stages of the race, he slipped by his teammate Johnson for second, where he would finish, over five seconds behind Gibson. Wisconsin-born Johnson rounded out the podium in third.

In the Arenacross Lites class, Dragon Racing Fuels KTM’s Dalton Carlson, of Dayton, Minn., raced to the holeshot with Willard in tow. Before the conclusion of the opening lap, Willard took over the lead and then proceeded to pull away from his competitors. Behind him, the battle for the podium continued, but no one had anything for the Ohio rider.

Willard crossed the finish line multiple seconds ahead of his teammate, Carlson, who gave Dragon Racing Fuels KTM a 1-2 finish with a career-best performance. KTM rider Travis Sewell, of Westville, Ind., grabbed the final spot on the podium.

In the Dash for Cash, Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/Storm Lake Honda KTM’s Willy Browning, of Pleasantville, Ohio, took an impressive win, with proceeds going to the local Lussier Teen Center.

The Madison Arenacross continues tomorrow night from the Alliant Energy Center. Opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. CT.

Arenacross Class Results (Madison, Wis.)

  1. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
  2. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
  3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
  4. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM
  5. Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Kawasaki
  6. Kurt McCabe, Marion, Iowa, Honda
  7. Tyler Bright, Hamer, S.C., KTM
  8. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM
  9. Michael McDade, Indiana, Pa., Kawasaki
  10. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM

Arenacross Lites Class Results (Madison, Wis.)

  1. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM
  2. Dalton Carlson, Dayton, Minn., KTM
  3. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM
  4. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki
  5. Michael McDade, Indiana, Pa., Kawasaki
  6. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM
  7. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatlong, N.J., KTM
  8. Adam Gulley, Jonesburg, Mo., Kawasaki
  9. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, KTM
  10. Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., Honda

Arenacross Class Points (After Race 4 of 19)

  1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki – 94
  2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda – 88
  3. Josh Demuth, North Richland Hills, Texas, Kawasaki – 78
  4. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki – 62
  5. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 61
  6. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM – 59
  7. Tyler Bright, Hamer, S.C., KTM – 44
  8. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki – 41
  9. Kurt McCabe, Marion, Iowa, Honda – 40
  10. Shawn Rife, Mechanicsburg, Ohio, Honda – 39

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 3 of 10)

  1. Michael McDade, Indiana, Pa., Kawasaki – 63
  2. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatlong, N.J., KTM – 50
  3. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM – 47
  4. Travis Sewell, Westfield, Ind., KTM – 41
  5. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki – 34
  6. Maxx Malatia, Itasca, Ill., Honda – 34
  7. Cody Robbins, Huntersville, N.C., Kawasaki – 33
  8. Dalton Carlson, Dayton, Minn., KTM – 31
  9. T.J. Phillips, New Castle, Pa., Kawasaki – 28
  10. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, KTM – 26


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