Tomorrow night, the second half of the 2011 AMA Arenacross Series season begins from ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. SaturdayÃ¢Â€Â™s eighth round of the 14-race championship concludes a two-race west coast swing and Arenacross class leaders Tyler Bowers and Jeff Gibson are prepared for an all out challenge from their competitors in their quest for the series crown.
BabbittÃ¢Â€Â™s Monster Energy/TiLUBE Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Bowers has captured the win over the last three races, but despite a series-leading four wins overall, holds just a 12-point lead over TUF HondaÃ¢Â€Â™s Gibson.
While the duoÃ¢Â€Â™s advantage over the field leaves them with confidence, both Bowers and Gibson hope that the term Ã¢Â€Âœwild wild westÃ¢Â€Â doesnÃ¢Â€Â™t reign true from the state capital. The last time the AMA Arenacross Series visited Sacramento, an exciting 25-lap main event led to veteran Brock SellardsÃ¢Â€Â™ first win of the season.
Bowers continues to improve from his season-ending broken leg suffered last season and based on his performance in recent weeks, looks as if he might be back in top form. The same can be said for Gibson, who looks a lot like the rider who invaded the AMA Arenacross Series in 2009 to take the championship.
Both Bowers and Gibson are aware that at any instance, their fortunes can change. Based on their efforts throughout the first half of the season, neither rider has been forced to face much adversity. One might think that at some point, both ridersÃ¢Â€Â™ resiliency will be tested and it is with that potential opportunity that their competitors could climb back into the championship picture.
For the remainder of the Arenacross class field, the next seven weeks will be about consistency and being at the right place at the right time. Former two-time champion and BowersÃ¢Â€Â™ BabbittÃ¢Â€Â™s teammate Chad Johnson heads the lineup of riders looking to battle their way back into the title fight. He along with riders like TUF HondaÃ¢Â€Â™s Cole Siebler, Foremost Insurance/Spinechillers/HondaofFairfield.comÃ¢Â€Â™s Zach Ames and Nathan Skaggs, Team Faith YamahaÃ¢Â€Â™s Kelly Smith, and third BabbittÃ¢Â€Â™s rider Gray Davenport have all showcased brilliant speed at various points throughout the season and each rider is poised to make their move to the top step of the podium in the second half.
Additionally, the AMA Arenacross Lites Western Regional ChampionshipÃ¢Â€Â™s most inspirational rider, Vicki Golden continues her historic quest to qualify for a main event. Since making her debut in Denver several weeks ago, Golden has been knocking on the door to break into an Arenacross Lites class main event. SheÃ¢Â€Â™ll resume her quest tomorrow night while points leader Chad Cook looks to extend his advantage.
This weekendÃ¢Â€Â™s venue, ARCO Arena, is one of the most familiar arenas in the country thanks to its role as the permanent home of the NBAÃ¢Â€Â™s Sacramento Kings. The AMA Arenacross Series has been a temporary tenant of the arena since 2003.
Completed in 1988, ARCO Arena is also home to the WNBAÃ¢Â€Â™s Sacramento Monarchs. At $40 million dollars, it was the least expensive of all current NBA arenas to build.
Despite its small scale, ARCO Arena still packs a punch in the noise department. Its acoustics garnered a Guinness World Record back in 2006 for the loudest sports roar, reaching over 130 decibels during a Kings basketball game against the Detroit Pistons. With over 50 four-stroke dirt-bikes filling the arena, that energizing noise level will surely present itself on Saturday night.
The action commences for the Sacramento Arenacross this Saturday at 7 p.m. PT. Amateur Day concludes an exciting weekend of action on Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. PT
Advance tickets are available for the Sacramento arenacross at the ARCO Arena Box Office, Ticketmaster charge by phone and ticketmaster.com. Tickets cost $2 more the day of the race.