The Opening round of the inaugural K&N Filters BooKoo Arenacross Championship Series, Powered by Toyota, held at the Fort Worth Convention Center saw a pair of first-time winners stand atop the podium each night in the two Pro divisions.
Team Fun Center/PPG/Suzuki’s Josh Woods claimed the premier 450 Pro win on both nights, while teammate Shane Bess (102) swapped second- and third-place positions with BooKoo Honda Proton Oils’ Tiger Lacey over the two nights of competition.
In the 250 Pro class, it was Team Babbitt Kawasaki’s Brad Ripple taking the top position each night, beating teammate Josh Demuth and Sano System’s Tommy Hofmaster to the line on Friday night, then backing it up with a win over Lacey and Bess on Saturday night.
During Friday’s 450 main, Bess squeezed through the tight first turn to take the early lead, but on lap three, Woods capitalized on a great drive through the long and torturous whoop section and passed his teammate in the following turn for the lead. From there, the 23-year-old from Michigan cruised home with the win, while Lacey made an aggressive pass on Bess in the hairpin turn before the start straight to grab the runner-up position with just a few laps remaining in the race.
Saturday’s 450 race was almost a repeat of Friday’s race, with Bess again grabbing the holeshot and leading until Woods made a pass in the whoops. This time, however, Bess held off the hard-charging Lacey for second.
In Friday’s 250 main, Ripple worked his way through a logjam of riders in the first turn and found himself with the lead by the end of the whoops, with Suzuki-mounted Nick Metcalf and Hofmaster in tow. However, Hofmaster put his Honda on the point after a couple of aggressive laps, only to case it on the triple, handing the lead back to Ripple, where he remained for the duration of the race.
In the meantime, Demuth was recovering from a midpack start and, by the end of the 16-lap event, had worked his way past Hofmaster for second.
On Saturday, Ripple pulled the holeshot and cruised to an easy flag-to-flag win, while Lacey and Bess settled for second and third, respectively.
When the final points were tallied, Woods, Lacey and Bess were deadlocked in a three-way tie in the championship points standings as the series heads to St. Charles and The Family Arena for round two of the series next weekend.