Team Babbitts News Release, Weekend race report brought to you by Maxxis.
It was a two for two win weekend for the Babbitt’s Monster Energy TiLube Kawasaki presented by Maxxis Tires. Round 4 in the Denver Coliseum this past weekend was the series’ first double-header of racing. Friday night featured a Team Babbitt’s podium sweep reminiscent of the 2010 season as Tyler Bowers took first, Chad Johnson finished second, and Gray Davenport rounded out the podium with third. Saturday night’s racing saw Chad Johnson capture first, with Tyler Bowers in second, and Gray Davenport finishing fourth. Johnson now lies second in championship points, six points behind Jeff Gibson, with Bowers only two points behind Johnson.
Friday night’s main started out extremely well for Gray Davenport as he exploded out of the gate, and pulled an awesome holeshot. During the early laps it was Davenport in first, with Bowers and Chad Johnson following. By mid-point of the race Bowers was pressuring his new teammate, and eventually got by. “We made some progress with some slight changes to the bike and it worked awesome; I’m really feeling good on it. I felt strong out there, but Tyler had me covered in the whoops” explained Davenport. Talking about his race strategy, Tyler Bowers would say “I had a decent start, and just tried to ride smart, and be relaxed and patient. Gray was riding great, but I found an area where I could pass him”. Back in third was Chad Johnson, who was watching the battle between his teammates for first, unfold. “I was behind Tyler much of the race; after I saw him pass Gray, I saw my opening to get into second. It was pretty cool to have us all in the top three, and racing cleanly. Gray was riding excellent, and I’m proud of him” explained Chad. Taking their first podium sweep of 2011, it brought back great memories of the 2010 AMA Arenacross series when it was often the case that Team Babbitt’s would finish first, second, and third, and according to Team Manager Denny Bartz, “it doesn’t get any better than this!”
Saturday night’s main event saw another Team Babbitt’s holeshot – this time by Chad Johnson; who simply put his head down, rode smart and led start to finish. Despite repeated attempts by Jeff Gibson to pass him, Johnson would eventually pull away. As Chad would say “the combination of my good start, riding smart, and help from the team with bike set up worked out well for me. It’s nice to get this first win over.” Bowers wasn’t quite as fortunate as the previous night and suffered a terrible start. But soon he would work his way toward the front to catch up to the Johnson and Gibson battle. Bowers then attempted a mid-air pass on Gibson for second, but would actually jump into Johnson! “I got into third and was waiting for mistakes from Johnson and Gibson. I saw an opening landing into turn, and tried it – but ended up accidently t-boning my teammate Chad! Fortunately he was okay, and my bike was still running, so I got back up and going in third. Then I rode smart, got past Gibson, and almost caught Johnson – but second was okay for a wild night like that” said Bowers. Little did everyone know that Chad’s knee brace was broken in the crash, and part of it was gouging at his leg. Immediately after the race “Chad threw his bike down and pulled off his gear” according to Denny Bartz. Although he finished one step off the podium in fourth, Gray Davenport may have earned the “tough guy award” as he competed with a badly injured hand. “In my heat race I hit my hand on something in the first turn. It really hurt, and quickly got pretty swollen. I wasn’t sure that I was even going to race, but I did” said Davenport. Immediately after the race, Davenport was on his way to the local hospital to have it checked out.
Expanding on the team’s visit to Denver Denny Bartz would add “All around we had a good weekend. The entire team did great, and I’m especially proud of how Gray did; he’s right there, and has some good momentum going. Also, it was very nice to have Ryan Holliday (Kawasaki Team Green Race Manager) here to support us.”
Now armed with a handful of confidence, the team makes it way eastward to the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio for another double-header weekend of racing Friday and Saturday nights. For more on the team, check out www.teambabbitts.com