After filling in for an injured Team TUF/FMF Power Poynt Racing rider in 2001, Jeff Gibson was given the option to return as a team member the following year. With intentions of continuing to ride in the Supercross division, the rider graciously declined the offer. That said, eight years later, Gibson did become a part of the TUF team, and immediately began making his mark in the AMA Arenacross Series. In fact, at the season's end, the rider had managed to secure the points championship.
This was the turning point for Jeff, and from this race on, it was really only a battle for the championship between Jeff and Bowers.
Gibson has continued to fill a spot on the team, and as one might suspect has also continued to make a name in Arenacross racing. In fact, although finishing the most recent season second in the points race, Gibson actually led more laps this year than Tyler Bowers, who took the championship by only thirty points. That said, the battle for the title literally came down to the final race of the season.
When asked Jeff Gibson's strong point as a rider, TUF founder, Dave Antolak, said, "Jeff can adjust very quickly to changes on the track. In arenacross everything happens very quickly because of the tight tracks, so lappers and downed riders are as much of an obstacle as the track itself. Jeff handles those situations better than anybody."
Beginning the season at the wells Fargo Arena, at Des Moines, Iowa, Jeff took a third place finish. Although the third spot is nothing to shake a stick at, according to Antolak, the race at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, was the event when the competition between Gibson and Bowers seemed to have appeared to heat up. "Jeff got the holeshot in the main event and led wire to wire," recalled Antolak. "This was the turning point for Jeff, and from this race on, it was really only a battle for the championship between Jeff and Bowers."
Jeff got the holeshot in the main event and led wire to wire.
As the season continued, the battle between the two riders did as well. In fact, going into the season finale, at the Target Center, at Minneapolis, Minnesota, the title was still up for grabs. After winning his heat race over Bowers, Gibson anticipated a good run in the main and hopefully the championship title, but as luck would have it, things simply didn't go as planned. In fact, Bowers hit the gate in the main, and in turn finished the race in fourth, relinquishing any hopes of walking away from the venue as the points champion.
Although Jeff Gibson ended the season in second place, he and his team can still hold their heads high, as their accomplishments were plenty. In fact the rider didn't log a DNF throughout the entire year. "Not only this season, but we haven't had a DNF for so long that I can't remember one," shared Antolak. "The TUF Racing team as a group is quite a good racing team. Everyone puts in a one hundred percent effort, and that is really why we have not had a DNF."
Referring to the importance of the team, Antolak continued, "I give the team a lot of credit, not only for Jeff's success, but really for the success of all the riders we had. Tracin Seng and Andy Brannon are the two mechanics. Both have been with us for over eight years, and I don't believe we have had a DNF ever during their time with us. Ron Hamp and Scott Venning build all of our motors in house. During that time, we have won three times, finished second four times, with fourth our worst overall finish. The three championships were won by three different riders, so I think that backs up the team aspect."
The Founder of TUF was also quick to agree that K&N products have played a role in Jeff Gibson and the team's success. "We use both the K&N air and oil filters," explained Antolak. "Using the air filters, we definitely see a horsepower gain, which is always a good thing in racing. But having the right filters is always a big plus in us not having any DNF's, so if you can get both, it really works out well."
When asked what fans can expect from Jeff Gibson and TUF racing during the upcoming season, Dave Antolak said, "Although you can never guarantee to win a championship, one thing I can guarantee is that Jeff Gibson and TUF racing will be there next year giving it one-hundred percent towards winning another one. Championships are just something that you can never have too many of."
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.