Tulsa, OK (January 17, 2022) — The Kicker AMA Arenacross headed Texas on Saturday for round three of the 2022 Series. This round took place at the Amarillo National Center in Amarillo, Texas. This stop on the series has been the championship round for the entirety of the series until this year. With the shake up from the norm alongside a very different track layout from years past, shakeups, action and adjustments were plentiful to start the night.
The 250 Pro qualifying races kicked off the evening with Kyle Peters in the first heat. Peters had an unusual start as he was in fourth place through the first lap before falling back to the seventh spot in lap two. From there he got into a rhythm and made his way back to the second spot ahead of teammate Heath Harrison (3rd) by the end of the race. The first heat was dominated and won by Matthew Curler.
Mike Alessi and Lance Kobusch headed up the second heat and through the first lap looked to be bringing the battle for the top spot. But during the second lap of the race Alessi came out of a turn and lost control of his bike and crashed. His bike got in the path of Kobusch and caused him to go down as well. Both riders remained down for much of the heat but were able to walk it off by the end of the race. This ended Alessi’s racing for the evening, but Kobusch was able to shake it off before the 450 Pro qualifying races. Rylan Smith (1st), Devin Xindaris (2nd) and Adam Conway (3rd) were the top three finishes for the second heat of the 250 Pro qualifiers.
The third and final heat of the 250 Pro qualifiers was led off the gate by newcomer Henry Miller for the first handful of laps, but by lap five of the eight lap heat race Kyle Bitterman took the lead and held onto that to finish first in the third heat. He finished ahead of Henry Miller (2nd) and Collin Hinrichs (3rd).
The 450 Pro qualifying racers were up next and again Peters started the first heat in fourth place. He found his groove a little quicker this go around and secured the lead for the final few laps of the race and took first place. He finished ahead of Matthew Curler who had been leading the race for the first five laps. Brendan Sipple rounded out the podium for heat one.
Kobusch was back in action as he lined up for the second heat of the 450 Pro qualifier. He seemed to start out a little skittish after the crash in the 250 Pro heat, but quickly cast aside any nerves and went on to win the heat ahead of Bitterman (2nd) and Spencer Winter (3rd).
Miller dominated the third heat of the 450 Pro qualifier ahead of Heath Harrison (2nd) and Nate Mason (3rd).
From there Kobusch headed to the 250 Pro last chance qualifying race after being unable to finish the heat race earlier in the evening. Kobusch took the win ahead of Sipple, with both qualifying for the main race.
Adam Conway and Kyler Hawkey were the top two in the 450 Pro last chance qualifier and secured the final two gate spots for the 450 Pro main.
Up next was the first main race of round three, the 250 Pro class. After some rough starts in the qualifying races, Peters came out of the gate and into an early and easy lead and dominated the race. The drama and action for 250 Pro was for the second and third podium spots, with Curler, Bitterman, Harrison and Kobusch battling it out. Kobusch had to start on the second row for the race due to his last chance qualifier spot and took a few laps to get into the action. Curler was in second most of the race narrowly ahead of Bitterman in third and Harrison in fourth. Harrison made a move on Bitterman in the seventh lap, but was short lived as Bitterman reclaimed the third spot by lap eight. The final few laps became a battle between Curler and Bitterman for second and Harrison and Kobusch for fourth. On the last turn of the night, Bitterman got it done and pushed past Curler taking second place, and Kobusch did the same to Harrison as Kobusch took fourth. All four of the top five racers finished within three seconds of one another, making for an exciting and action packed end to the main. The top five: Kyle Peters (1st) Kyle Bitterman (2nd) Matthew Curler (3rd) Lance Kobusch (4th) Heath Harrison (5th).
The 450 Pro main was the next and final race for the round. Curler, who had been riding excellent all night, took the holeshot and the lead for the first 3 laps ahead of Peters. Peters made the pass by the fourth lap and pulled away from the pack from there. The battle was tight yet again for the other two podium spots between Curler, Kobusch, Harrison and Bitterman. Curler, Kobusch and Harrison took turns in the second spot throughout the race, with Bitterman just behind the pack of three. By the eighth lap the racers had sorted themselves into the spots they would ultimately finish in ending the dramatic action a bit earlier than the race before. Kobusch finished the race in second ahead of Curler, Harrison and Bitterman, respectively The top five: Kyle Peters (1st) Lance Kobusch (2nd) Matthew Curler (3rd) Heath Harrison (4th) Kyle Bitterman (5th).
The racers head to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for the fourth and fifth rounds of the series. This is the largest track in the series, and will definitely lend itself to the competition and battles we’ve seen the first three rounds.
Peters leads the series with 153 points ahead of Kobusch (150 points) and Bitterman (106 points). The full results for the weekend and series standings are below.