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AX Field Ready to Rumble at Series’ Inaugural Visit to Tampa

| 19 February 2015 5:36 pm

AMSOIL Arenacross Series
Round 6, Night 2: Amalie Arena

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Josh Rud/ ShiftOne Photography
TAMPA, FL, FEB. 18, 2015

AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, observed its first off weekend of the 2015 season, and with an early-season break now under their belts, the entire championship field is feeling refreshed and ready to get back into action this Saturday night. The series’ first-ever visit to Tampa, Florida’s Amalie Arena on February 21 will serve as a pivotal point in the championship. The action will kick off at 7 p.m. EST/ 4 p.m. PST.

The most recent winners, Matt Goerke (36) and Bobby Kiniry (116), along with the rest of the AMSOIL Arenacross field, are set to invade Tampa for the first time ever.

The most recent winners, Matt Goerke (36) and Bobby Kiniry (116), along with the rest of the AMSOIL Arenacross field, are set to invade Tampa for the first time ever.

Through the first eight nights of Arenacross-class competition this season, six different riders have emerged with an overall victory, making 2015 one of the most parity-driven seasons in the sport’s history, despite the fact that the season has yet to reach its halfway point! With a week of downtime, the contenders have had the opportunity to rest – and, in some cases, heal up – setting the stage for one of the most anticipated races of the championship, to be held right in the back yard of Feld Motor Sports.

Matt Goerke (36) will be a hometown favorite as he searches for back-to-back wins.

Matt Goerke (36) will be a hometown favorite as he searches for back-to-back wins.

Adding to the anticipation of Saturday’s race will be a special guest appearance by none other than the legendary Ricky Carmichael, a five-time Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship title holder and the creator of the highly successful Road to Supercross program. As a native of Tallahassee, Florida, the series’ inaugural visit to Tampa is as close to home as it gets for Carmichael, who will be celebrated for the recent announcement that he’s an inductee for the 2015 American Motorsports Hall of Fame. The racing icon will lend his continued support to AMSOIL Arenacross and the rising stars of the Road to Supercross by taking part in the pre-race track party, the opening ceremonies, and more.

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At the previous stop of the 2015 season in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, two weeks ago, two nights of action produced two first-time overall winners in AMSOIL Arenacross competition. While both ThermoTec/ FMC Racing Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry and Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Matt Goerke are veterans in the racing world, this year marks their full-time debut in AMSOIL Arenacross. Both riders have proved to be formidable contenders since the championship began, and their continued pursuit of victory paid off in a big way.

Kiniry narrowly missed out on his inaugural overall win earlier this season, and in Wilkes-Barre he seized the opportunity to break through with his first main-event win, which ultimately proved to be the deciding factor in his victorious effort.

 

Check out this video interview with night-one winner Bobby Kiniry…

 

For Goerke, the win was long overdue after an incredible start to the 2015 season, in which he finished inside the top five through the first five races of the year and led the championship points chase early on.

 

Check out this video interview with night-two winner Matt Goerke…

 

Despite the break in the action, this duo has the momentum coming into Tampa and will be the ones to keep an eye on as they try to join the Team Babbitt’s duo of Jacob Hayes and Chris Blose as the only two-time winners this season. The series’ inaugural visit to Tampa also holds extra significance for Goerke, who is a native of nearby Lake Helen. As he is the “hometown rider,” the crowd will surely be on his side as he attempts to claim back-to-back wins and continue to close the deficit he faces to Hayes in the championship standings, in which he currently sits second.

Jacob Hayes (2) remains in control of the Arenacross-class championship points standings heading into Tampa.

Jacob Hayes (2) remains in control of the Arenacross-class championship points standings heading into Tampa.

The Arenacross class has been as unpredictable as it could be through five rounds, and there’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue with one night of action inside Amalie Arena.

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Complementing the edge-of-your-seat action that will highlight the Arenacross Class will be the closing stages of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites-class Championship. A total of four nights remain in the title fight, in which Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Dave Ginolfi has seized control of the points, thanks to a win and a runner-up effort in Wilkes-Barre. The former Arenacross Lites champion is arguably the most experienced rider in the division, and it’s proving to be a significant benefit, as he’s beginning to close in on another title.

Dave Ginolfi (13) is hoping to inch even closer to the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites title.

Dave Ginolfi (13) is hoping to inch even closer to the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites title.

The sixth round of AMSOIL Arenacross will get under way this Saturday, February 21, for the first time ever inside Tampa’s Amalie Arena. Racing will begin at 7 p.m. EST/ 4 p.m. PST.

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Broadcast Alert: The Grand Rapids round of the 2015 season will premiere on Fox Sports 1 this Sunday at 9 a.m. EST/ 6 a.m. PST.

For more information on the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross season, and to purchase tickets, log on to www.Arenacross.com.

[For more from round five of the Arenacross Series, including race coverage, results and more photos, please see “Kiniry Becomes Fifth Different Overall AX Winner of 2015” and “Goerke Takes First Career AX Win on Night Two in Wilkes-Barre”… Editor]

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Category: Arenacross, National

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