The pros race in either Arenacross or Lites but both use 250cc bikes and both championships were at stake.
On the Arenacross side, Tyler Bowers was only 18 points ahead of challenger Jeff Gibson and both men showed they came to race.
After winning Saturday’s AX main and sweeping the weekend, Bowers said, “I just tried to pressure Gibbi and hoped he’d make a mistake. I needed some guy to get between us but it’s hard to do as I’m riding perfect and he’s riding perfect. But it is what it is so just going into next weekend and hopefully and just get another win.”
When Saturday’s main began, Gibson jumped into the lead with Nathan Skaggs, Travis Sewell, Kelly Smith and Bowers giving chase. It took only a lap for Bowers to claim second and the chase was on.
Lap after lap, he and Gibson tore around the track, flying over the jumps and rocketing through the whoop section. Finally on lap 10, Bowers saw his chance, made his move and took over the point.
From that point Bowers just ran away from everyone else while Gibson raced to a solid second.
At the victory ceremony Gibson said, “My hat’s off to Tyler, he’s on his game.”
On Friday things appeared a bit different as both Bowers and Gibson had a tremendous heat race that set the stage for the weekend. After a place-swapping duel Gibson came out on top.
When the field left the starting gate Gibson was in the lead with Bowers not having such a good start but he soon took second. After a dozen laps he finally got past Gibson and stormed off to the victory.
“I got off the gate, got sideways and actually stomped on my back brake,” Bowers said. “I went into the turn not good but saw an opening, pinned it and able to squeak by some guys and came out in third place.”
Despite his weekend, he fell short of his goal of having a 25-point lead going into the final event. If he had left Reno 25-points in the lead, Bowers would have missed the final Arenacross round and raced in the Supercross East Lites race at Atlanta next weekend.
But looking at next weekend, Bowers said, “As long as I start the main I’ll win the championship.”
After that he’s planning on racing some more Supercross Lites East races. Mainly due to the fact he’s got so much time on 250F bikes that are now used in both Arenacross divisions.
When asked about Reno, he said, “I love coming here and if I could only do one Arenacross I’d do it here. I love the track, the dirt and it’s fun.”
The Arenacross Lites title was also up for grabs. Coming into the weekend the battle was between points leader Chad Cook and Kevin Markwardt.
Saturday was a miserable time for Cook, as he was plagued with bike problems and ended up 11th in the main while his opponent finished fifth.
When the gate dropped for Saturday’s Lites main Markwardt grabbed the hole shot and took off while Cook was ninth at the end of the first lap. On the 10th lap eventual winner Dave Ginolfi grabbed the point and was never headed.
From that point Markwardt began to fade and ended up fifth while Cook held on for an eighth place finish. Going into the final round for the Lites West series both men are separated by just one point with Cook holding that razor thin advantage.
After winning Saturday’s Lites main, Ginolfi said, “I was second behind Kevin (Markwardt) and once I got in front I just started jumping.”
Friday’s winner was Daniel Blair and after his victory he said, “I was second in the last two races to it’s good to be first.”
Due to the tight point races this event was covered by Speed, which marks the first time Reno has ever gotten national television coverage. The round will be shown in mid-March.
Amateurs are part of any Arenacross event with two classes of young riders rounding out the program when the pros race. Then on Sunday it’s all amateurs on a course altered for safety.
Chris Nunes won on all three days as he dominated the 65cc 7-11 class.
In Friday’s 85cc support race Reno rider Gavin Clouser was going for the lead until contact dropped him in the dirt and out of contention. Austin Black won with Dawson Newby second and 13-year-old Spanish Springs rider Mason Olson scoring his first ever podium finish.
When Saturday’s 85cc event began it appeared that Clouser was destined for a third place finish in his final race before moving up to a 250F bike.
He got a big gift when both leaders took themselves out, which handed him the lead and victory. As for Olson, he scored his second podium finish in as many days with another third place.
Sunday began early as a host of amateur riders began to ride heat races that would determine their starting positions or eliminate them. Finally the fields were set and racing began.
After 24 motos the building fell silent as riders headed home and the Arenacross crew removed the course, extra dirt and packed up for the trip to Minnesota.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•This week’s racing will be the second round of SMRA’s spring series. The Old Timer’s chapter will stage the event at the Lion’s Fernley Motocross Track with the action beginning around 10 a.m. on Sunday.
•If all goes according to plan, Sparks native T.J. Bell (Now living in North Carolina) will race in Saturday’s Nationwide race at the Daytona International Speedway.
ARENOCROSS - Arenacross Series, Round 11
Livestock Events Center, Reno
• Sat., Feb. 18
65cc Main - 1. Chris Nunes, 2. Anthony Castaneda, 3. Tyson Johnson, 4. Montana Johnson, 5. Tanner Whipple
85cc Main - 1. Gavin Clouser, 2. Javier Loera, 3. Mason Olson, 4. Dawson Newby, 5. Austin Johnson
Heat Winners - #1 Chad Johnson, #2 Jeff Gibson
Main (25 laps) - 1. Tyer Bowers, 2. Jeff Gibson, 3. Zach Ames, 4. Travis Sewell, 5. Michel Willard
AX Lites West:
Heat Winners - #1 Dave Ginolfi, #2 Michael McDade
Main (18 Laps) - 1. Dave Ginolfi, 2. Steven Mages, 3. Michael McDade, 4. DanielBlair, 5. Keven Markwardt
• Friday, Feb. 17
65cc, 7-11 Main - 1. Chris Nunes, 2. Montana Johnson, 3. Wade Huffman, 4. Dylan Cunha, 5. Ryan Cunha
85cc, 9-15 Main - 1. Austin Back, 2. Dawson Newby, 3. Mason Olson, 4. Javier Loera, 5. Austin Johnson
Heat Winners -
Main (25 laps) - 1. Tyler Bowers, 2. Jeff Gibson, 3. Michael Willard, 4. Chad Johnson, 5. Zach Ames
AX Lites West:
Heat Winners - #1 Michael McDade, #2 Daniel Blair
Main (18 laps) - 1. Daniel Blair, 2. Tiger Lacey, 3. Michael Modade, 4. Steven Mages, 5. Kevin Markwardt
Sunday, Feb. 19
(4-6) - 1. Wryder, Huffman, 2. Talin Easley, 3. Jaye Blackett, 4. Kavin Holmgren
(7-8)- 1. Wade Huffman, 2. Chandler Jones, 3. Ty Freehill, 4. Casey Carmichael, 5. Ryder Hefrick
(7-9) - 1. Chris Nunes, 2. Wade Huffman, 3. Dylan Cunha, 4. Dalton Hoyos, 5. Mitchell Keen
(10-11) - 1. Tyson Johnson, 2. Anthony Castaneda, 3. Montana Johnson, 4. Tanner Whipple, 5. Ryan Cunha
(7-11) - 1. Austin Black, 2. Chris Nunes, 3. Tyson Johnson, 4. Kayce Holmgren, 5. Tanner Whipple
(12-15) - 1. J.T. Battman, 2. Sebstian Toth, 3. Dawson Newby, 4. Javier Loera, 5. Antonio Calavano
(Jr.) - 1. J.T. Blattman, 2. Rookie White, 3. Tanner Scogin, 4. Callion McHaney, 5. Sebastian Toth
(Sr.) -1. Rookie White, 2. J.T. Blattman, 3. Tanner Scogin, 4. Callion McHaney, 5. Dawson Newby
Pit Bikes - 1. Devin Galvan, 2. Garrett Leone
Over 40 - 1. Kevin Williams, 2. Steve Thinger, 3. Patrick Vaccieri, 4. Bobby Deason, 5. Patrick Helfrick
Over 35 - 1. Beau Judge, 2. Jason Labare, 3. Steve Thinger 4. Kevin Williams, 5. Jon Fisher
Over 25 - 1. Beau Judge, 2. Chase McGrath, 3. Jason Labare, 4. Steve Thinger, 5. Derek Archuleta
Girls (7-13) - 1. Kaylee Darby, 2. Kayce Holmgren
Women - 1. Tiana Falls, 2. Mandy Epperson, 3. Tori Ryan, 4. Lauren Hammond, 5. Ericka Endicott
(Jr.) - 1. Rookie White, 2. Jace Robertson, 3. Callion McHaney, 4. Javier Loera, 5. J.T. Blattman
(Sr.) - 1. Tanner Sawyer, 2. Conner Monks, 3. Kinser Endicott, 4. Nick Decarli, 5. Holden Flaig
Collegeboy - 1. Brian Burns, 2. Miles Daniele, 3. Nick Gonzales, 4. Cordell Iverson, 5. Austin Holmgren
Pro Sport - 1. Steven Mages, 2. J.B. Buller, 3. Daniel Blair, 4. Duane Rigel, 5. David Pulley
(Nov.) - 1. Nick Decarli, 2. Blaine Craft, 3. Jace Robertson, 4. Tyler Nelson, 5. Devin Galvan
(Intr.) - 1. Brian Burns, 2. Miles Daniele, 3. Kinser Endicott, 4. Tanne Swyer, 5. Conner Monks
(Beg.) 1. Tyler Lamar, 2. Jake Wolfe, 3. Travis Caldera, 4. Justin Rasmussen, 5. Beau Coursey
(Nov.) 1. Blaine Craft, 2. Dominic Greeson, 3. Nick Decarli, 4. Anthony Montoys, 5. Cody Olmsted
(Intr.) - 1. Brian Burnes, 2. Conner Monks, 3. Miles Daniele, 4. Tanner Sawyer, 5. Robert Duggan
(Exp.) - 1. Steven Mages, 2. J.B. Buller, 3. Jessee Waelty, 5. Cody Church, 5. Corey Radcliff