SALEM, VA – March 22, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) –
- Phoenix Racing Honda rider clinches crown two rounds early
- Peters recovered from a broken neck incurred last year
For the fourth time in as many years, Phoenix Racing Honda rider Kyle Peters has earned the AMA Arenacross Championship, clinching the crown with a 2-1 main-event tally aboard his CRF250R this weekend at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia. This crown was the sweetest yet for Peters, in part because it was clinched in front of his hometown crowd. (Peters hails from Greensboro, North Carolina, about two hours south of Salem, and had about 50 family and friends on hand.) Perhaps more importantly, it came following a long recovery from a burst fracture of his C5 and C6 vertebrae, incurred in a crash shortly after earning last year’s Arenacross crown.
The day after suffering the injury at the April 9 St. Louis round of the AMA Supercross series, Peters went into surgery to have six vertebrae fused, and he spent six days in the ICU. “After that, it was game on for the recovery,” said the 26-year-old Peters. “I went into physical therapy two weeks later and spent every day in there for the next six or seven months, doing everything I could just to live a normal life. Obviously, racing was in the back of my head, but I wasn’t sure what was going to be possible. The Lord blessed me with an amazing recovery; the healing went super-quick, and I was back on a bike in seven or eight months. A lot of hard work and persistence, and here we are! Honestly, it’s been an incredible season, even if I wasn’t coming back from injury. It’s just such a blessing to be able to do what I love at this level, so this one is a lot different, emotionally—a big weight off my shoulders.”
As if his recovery weren’t enough, Peters faced additional obstacles. Series officials made revisions for 2023, building more challenging tracks and putting the top finishers from each round’s first main event on the back row to start the second main event. Peters fought the move, arguing that it introduced unnecessary risks, but he actually swept both main events at the series opener, and at eight of the ensuing rounds. In the end, his performance was dominant, and he clinched the championship with two rounds remaining.
This actually marks the fifth-consecutive AMA Arenacross crown for David Eller-owned Phoenix Racing Honda, as the North Carolina-based team won it with Jace Owen in 2019. Phoenix stays busy campaigning a number of championships aboard Honda machinery, including the AMA Supercross 250SX East Region series, AMA Grand National Cross Country (GNCC), AMA National Enduro (NEPG), U.S. Sprint Enduro and Amateur National Motocross.
“Everyone at Honda sends a huge congratulations to Kyle,” said Brandon Wilson, Manager of Sports & Experiential at American Honda. “Even one AMA Arenacross Championship is impressive, but four in a row is amazing—and this one is even more incredible given his injury and recovery. Congrats are also in order for David Eller and Phoenix Racing Honda, who have once again demonstrated why they’re such an important racing partner for American Honda. We look forward to continued success.”
About American Honda
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and Side-by-Sides in the United States. American Honda’s Power Sports & Products Division conducts the sales, marketing and operational activities for these products through independent authorized Honda retail dealers. For more information on Honda products, go to powersports.honda.com.
Source: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.