Going into the weekend, Zach Ames led his Babbit Monster Energy teammate Tyler Bowers by a scant three points. For all the pro riders the weekend was critical as their points would be reset on Saturday and the top 10 racers would go into the Chase for the Championship.
Bowers was on a mission Saturday as he reversed the standings and led Ames by four points. After winning his heat, and a bracket style elimination event, he lined up for the first of two premiere class main events.
"I won the first main, had a good ride then picked that 16 invert so, that's where they invert the start and put all the top riders in the back row and so we got to run through the guys that are the slower riders. No offense to them but it's downright dangerous. You know some guys aren't doing jumps like that and the fast guys are trying to get to the front," he said.
Jacob Hayes led early in the first main with Ames and Bowers chasing him. By the third lap however, Bowers was in command and ran away to the victory.
On the podium the winner of the first main then opened one of three briefcases. Each has a sign telling if the second main will or won't have an inverted start and how many riders will be affected.
Since a full invert was chose that put R.J. Hampshire, who rides the Factory Connection Honda, up front due to his 11th place finish in the first race. And he put his starting position to good use by taking the lead early in the 15-lap event.
Back in the pack Bowers and Jacob Hayes were battling until they came upon a slower rider.
"I passed Hayes in the whoops but he was putting a move on one of the slower riders in front of him and when he was doing the move I was already on the inside, he cut under, we collided and both of us went down," Bowers said. "So we got up from there and I just had to kind of put my head down and try to make up as many spots as I could. I got to start from last then last again half way through, just happy I lived through the night and moved on."
Bowers' first- and seventh-place finishes gave him the overall victory while Ames was fifth. For Hampshire it was time to celebrate his second victory in three races.
"I'm feeling good, got off to a good start, rode smart and I got the win. I actually got a rhythm going through the whoops so it was a good race," he said.
Earlier in the evening Hampshire won the Lites race but it wasn't exactly a cakewalk even though he led from start to finish.
"It was fun out there, I made a mistake in the whoops, regrouped and still got the win so I'm pumped up," he said. "I had a big lead and went down in the whoops about, just before halfway, got passed and I passed him back then just rode smart. It's slick out there, really slick."
In the supporting races, Preston Boespflug was the Pee Wee winner while Austin Black won the Supermini main.
• The first premiere class main on Friday saw Kyle Regal took the early lead with Hayes and Bowers close behind. It took Bowers about four laps to claim the point and head for the victory.
His teammate Zach Ames, and then points leader, had problems and wound up out of the top five.
The second main had a full invert and Regal once again had the advantage on the start with Hayes starting second then taking the lead. Back in the pack Bowers was picking off slower riders one at a time and would wind up fifth while Ames finished second.
When the results of both mains were combined Hayes was the winner, Regal second while Bowers ended up third.
After getting his first place trophy Hayes said, "Last weekend in Nampa, Idaho I missed Friday due to a canceled flight because we got so much snow in North Carolina, came out swinging Saturday and won that round. Came out here tonight, didn't really feel that good in practice but I got it down for the main and went 2-1 for the overall so it's awesome."
When the gate dropped for the Lites main, R.J. Hampshire took off and was never headed. Maxx Malatia tried his best but had to settle for the runner-up spot ahead of Steven Mages.
After the race, Hampshire said, "I pulled the hole shot from the outside, walked away and last few laps kind of cruised around, got the win."
In the supporting events Preston Boespflug won the Pee Wee race while Kyle Greeson topped the Supermini event.
For the pros in the premiere class the points have been reset for the final rounds to determine which of the top 10 riders will claim the championship.
However, unlike NASCAR's method of inflating points for their Chase, in Arenacross any gaps are eliminated and Bowers isn't too happy about this.
"I'm still going to be in the lead because how many points I was ahead in front of Ames so it's not that big of a deal because we had like a 70-point gap on third place," he said. "But what happens when they reset the points I have a one-point gap on second place and third and fourth will be tied so that big 70 point cushion we earned all season is going to go away."
Next weekend the series moves back to a small venue at Tulsa, Okla.
• Points are also important for the amateurs as that determines just who gets invited to a championship event in Las Vegas. That happens the day after the Supercross final round is held.
Unlike years past there were no Nevada riders competing on Friday and Saturday but several raced on Sunday.
The only Nevada rider to win a main was Heishman. The McQueen high school student got the hole shot and roared off to victory in the AX Novice race. Behind him Collin McHaney from Fallon ended up fourth while Carson City racer Nick Cooper was ninth and Darek Kaurich, from Sun Valley was 13th.
The next best Nevadan was Tanner Leach, who ended up second in the AX Lites Intermediate main.
A fast but slippery track like the one used this weekend did cause some problems for a few riders. On Friday three were transported by REMSA to the hospital while on Sunday one of the amateurs earned an ambulance ride.
OTHER RACING NEWS
• Tayler Dalhberg, hurt in last week's MRANN race, is still in ICU at Renown Medical Center's trauma center. While he has improved, his father said there is still a long way for his son to go.
The family appreciated all the prayers directed to the family and his son and asked that everyone please continue.
A fund has been created to help the family's rising medical bills and one drop off place is at Reno Motor Sports located at the intersection of Mill Street and Terminal Way. And updates will be posted on the TaylerDFund site on FaceBook.
• Defending MRANN champion Stephen Tichenor teamed up with his nephew Nick Tichenor and they won the Open Expert Class at the Laughlin Hare and Hound race in Southern Nevada.
• This weekend MRANN moves to the east for the Cheat Bender 100 staged about 30 miles west of Toulon.
On Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m. the Pee Wees race followed by the V Women, who get a big head start, and Mini Bikes. Then at 10 a.m. Sunday the Big Bikes tackle the 44-mile circuit.
• The Sierra Motocross Association (SMRA) kicks off its season out at the Sand Box, or Fernley Lion's MX Track. Practice sessions start Saturday at 10 a.m. while the racing begins a 9 a.m. on Sunday.
• NASCAR's Nevada Trio spent the last week at the Daytona International Speedway.
On Friday Kyle Busch scored the closest finish in the history of the Camping World Truck series. Then on Saturday he was fourth in the Nationwide event while Brendan Gaughan finished sixth.
Then in Sunday's rain delayed Daytona 500 Kurt Busch had problems and ended up 21st while Kyle, after being involved in a last corner crash, finished 19th by backing at high speed across the line.
• Saturday, Feb. 22
Main #1 - 1. Tyler Bowers, 2. Jacob Hayes, 3. Kyle Regal, 4. Colt Nichols, 5. Kelly Smith
Main #2 - 1. R.J. Hampshire, 2. Michael McDade, 3. Cory Green, 4. Colt Nichols, 5. Zach Ames
Overall Results - 1. Tyler Bowers, 2. Colt Nichols, 3. Kyle Regal, 4. R.J. Hampshire, 5. Cory Green
Arenacross Lites West Main - 1. R.J. Hamshire, 2. Michael Horban, 3. Maxx Matatia, 4. Dave Ginolfi, 5. Kyle White
50cc 40 to 8 Main - 1. Preston Boespflug, 2. Jordan Torres, 3. Jacob Jones, 4. Brennan Richamond, 5. Dylan Drake
Dominator Supermini Main - 1. Austin Black, 2. Kyle Greeson,3. Chet Mauer, 4. Antonio Calavano, 5. Zariah Pitts
• Friday, Feb. 21
Main #1 - 1. Tyler Bowers, 2. Jacob Hayes, 3. Kyle Regal, 4. Kelly Smith, 5. Gared Steinke.
Main #2 - 1. Jacob Hayes, 2. Zach Ames, 3. Kyle Regal, 4. Gared Steinke, 5. Tyler Powers
Overall standings - 1. Jacob Hayes, 2. Kyle Regal, 3. Tyler Bowers, 4. Gared Steinke, 5. Kelly Smith
Arenacross Lites West Main- 1. R.J. Hampshire, 2. Maxx Malatia, 3. Steven Mages, 4. Kyle White, 5. Gray Davenport
50cc, 4 to 8 Main - 1. Preston Boespflug, 2. Dylan Drake, 3. Jacob Jones, 4. Nate Freehill, 5. Harley Jefferies
Dominator Super Mini Main - 1. Kyle Greeson, 2. Antonio Calavano, 3. Chet Mauer, 4. Kyle Props, 5. Ty Freehill
• Sunday, Feb. 23 - Amateur Day
Pro Sport - 1. Kyle White, 2. Dylan Rouse, 3. Josh Van DenHeuvel, 4. Tanner Stolz, 5. Ian Naccarato*
Expert - 1. Kyle White, 2. Dylan Rouse, 3. Tanner Stolz, 4. Ian Naccarato, 5. Austin Parr*
AX Novice - 1. Chad Heishman*, 2. Zach Thinger, 3. Sebastian Toth, 4. Collin McHaney*, 5. Randall Leads Jr.
AX Intermediate - 1. Max Harris, 2. Blaine Coon, 3. Garrett Iopplo, 4. Johah Locks, 5. Cody Herzug
AX Lites Novice - 1. Blaine Silveira, 2. Sebastian Thoth, 3. Ryan Holloway, 4. Eddie Tafoya, 5. Tylor Matcham
AX Lites Intermediate - 1. Kyle Merceir, 2. Tanner Leach*, 3. Jonah Locks, 4. Blaine Coon, 5. Cody Herzug
2-Stroke B/C - 1. Nick Whitley, 2. Tyler Griffin, 3. Guy Pene
Pit Bike - 1. J.R. Mason, 2. Brian Haman
Beginner - 1. Matt Hillier, 2. Matthew Husk, 3. Donny Neill, 4. Jeff Peterson, 5. Bret Mellon
40+ - 1. Steve Thinger, 2. Steve Slaney, 3. Paul Mudd*, 4. Bobby Deason, 5. Patrick Vaccieri
35+ - 1. Rusty Holland, 2. Steve Thinger, 3. Paul Mudd*, 4. Steve Slaney, 5. Eric Gillen*
30+ - 1. Rusty Holland, 2. Rommy Jean*, 3. Steve Thinger, 4. Jeremiah Gottas, 5. Michael Young
25+ - 1. Rusty Holland, 2. Ryan Ferris*, 3. Ian Naccarato*, 4. Steve Thinger, 5. Derek Cappiello
Collegeboy - 1. Max Harris, 2. Jonah Locks, 3. DavidBlew, 4. Kyle Mercier, 5. Tanner Leach*
Schoolboy 13-16 - 1. Cody Herzug, 2. Corey Mattews, 3. Carson Carr, 4. Sebastian Thoth, 5. Dominic Greeson
Women - 1. Ryann Bradley, 2. Tiana Falls, 3. Tori Ryan, 4. Mandy Epperson, 5. Emily VanRoekel
Girls 7-13 - 1. Kaylee Willis, 2. Maddison Freatas, 3. Alyssa Bell, 4. Desirae Horsky
Senior Mini - 1. Austin Black, 2. Zach Darnley, 3. Kyle Greeson, 4. Colby Copp, 5. Gage Swanson
Supermini 13-16 - 1. Austin Black, 2. Kyle Greeson, 3. Antonio Calvano
Supermini 9-15 - 1. Austin Black, 2. Zach Darnley, 3. Colby Copp, 4. Kyle Greeson, 5. Zariah Pitts
Junior Mini 7-11 - 1. Hawk Hand, 2. Tristan Edmonds, 3. Ty Freehill, 4. Dalton Hoyos, 5. Chandler Jones
65cc 10-11 - 1. Rider Fisher, 2. Chandler Jones, 3. Revin Easley, 4. Raymond Mahoney, 5. Austin Enget
65cc 7-9 - 1. Ty Freehill, 2. Chase Meyer-Dellerrera, 3. Talin Easley, 4. Derrick Fisher, 5. Nathan Koster
50cc 7-8 - 1. Jordan Torres, 2. Jacob Jones, 3. Dylan Drake, 4. Nate Freehill, 5. Logan Edwards
50 4-6 - 1. Lucas Jones, 2. Dalton Caudill, 3. Taitten Cowan, 4. Caleb Mason, 5. Dulin Hukari
50cc 4-8 - 1. Jordan Torres, 2. Jacob Jones, 3. Dylan Drake, 4. Brock Archuleta, 5. Nate Freehill