Tensions High as 2015 AMSOIL AX Race to the Championship Gets Under Way This Saturday Night in New Orleans
AMSOIL Arenacross Series
Round 10: Smoothie King Center
Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Josh Rud/ ShiftOne Photography
NEW ORLEANS, LA, MAR. 18, 2015
The bumps, bruises and other potential injuries suffered by the top 10 riders in AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, since January has come down to this, as the season-ending Race to the Championship commences this Saturday, March 21, inside New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center.
Fresh off a two-night sweep in Southaven, Mississippi, last weekend, Husqvarna/ TiLube/ TUF Racing’s Kyle Regal will lead the top 10 into action, which is set to kick off at 8 p.m. EST/ 7 p.m. CST/ 5 p.m. PST.
After the checkered flag flew last Saturday night in Southaven, the championship points standings in the Arenacross class were reset to reflect the Race to the Championship. The top 10 riders in points secured their place in the season-ending, playoff-inspired showdown. They will each have an opportunity to earn the coveted AMSOIL Arenacross title when the championship comes to a dramatic conclusion in Las Vegas’ South Point Arena on Friday, May 1 – where, for the first time ever, fans will have the chance to watch champions be crowned in both the AMSOIL Arenacross Series and the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, Series on the same weekend, in the same city. It’s the ultimate showcase of off-road motorcycle racing!
Check out this video interview with Southaven Night One winner Kyle Regal…
…and this video interview with Southaven Night Two winner – also Kyle Regal!…
With the Race to the Championship points reset, Regal now holds a slim one-point lead over Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Matt Goerke in second, two points over Team Babbitt’s Jacob Hayes and ThermoTec/ FMC Racing Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry, three points over TZR Woodstock KTM’s Travis Sewell and Team Babbitt’s Chris Blose, four points over his Husqvarna teammate Gavin Faith and Motosport.com/ Haeseker Racing KTM’s Gared Steinke, and five points over Slaka Wear KTM’s Steven Mages and Babbitt’s Online Suzuki’s Cory Green. With just a handful of points separating first from 10th, the opportunity is there for any one of these riders to step up and make a run at the title.
While Regal’s advantage over the rest of the field has been dwindled down to single digits, he still carries a tremendous amount of momentum into New Orleans as a result of his dominance in Southaven and the two-race winning streak he brings into Smoothie King Center. Regal had never led the championship standings in his AMSOIL Arenacross career until Southaven, but with the red number plate on his bike for the first time, he’s peaking exactly when he needs to, and he is undefeated as the points leader coming into New Orleans.
Undoubtedly, Regal’s most formidable challengers will be the Team Babbitt’s tandem of Goerke and Hayes. Between them, these three riders have claimed the most overall victories in AMSOIL Arenacross and have controlled the points standings for most of the season. However, they won’t be alone in their hunt to win the Race to the Championship.
Cory Green talks about qualifying for the Race to the Championship…
Now that the points have been reset, both Blose and Faith are in a prime position to throw their names into the mix. Blose has a pair of overall wins to his credit in 2015, while Faith’s five main-event wins tie him for the second most. The only reason this duo was not more of a fixture in the weeks heading into the Race to the Championship was the fact that they each missed multiple races due to injury or other misfortune. With the Race to the Championship, the past is all but a distant memory for Blose and Faith, and they have all the talent to make this a five-rider battle for the title.
Lurking as a potential dark horse in the Race to the Championship is Bobby Kiniry, the only other rider inside the top 10 who has an overall win to his credit.
With so few points separating the field heading into New Orleans, no one can be counted out from having a shot at winning his first major professional title in the States. Sewell, Steinke, Mages and Green have been fixtures in the top 10 for most of the 2015 season, and if they can be consistent over the final six rounds, they will be sure to have a shot at walking away with a championship in Las Vegas.
While New Orleans will serve as the opening round of the Race to the Championship, it will also be the penultimate stop of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites-class Championship. College Hunks Moving Junk/ Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Dave Ginolfi, who has won two main events and has been on the podium in seven of nine races, captured the second Arenacross Lites title of his career last weekend, but bragging rights are still on the line heading into Smoothie King Center.
The 10th round of AMSOIL Arenacross and the opening round of the Race to the Championship will get under way this Saturday, March 21, inside New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center. Racing will begin at 8 p.m. EST/ 7 p.m. CST/ 5 p.m. PST.
Broadcast Alert: The Southaven round of the 2015 season will premiere on Fox Sports 1 this Sunday, March 22, at 1 p.m. EST/ 10 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 the two nights of the ninth round of the series, including race coverage, results and more photos, please see “Regal Rakes In Third Overall Victory of 2015, Ginolfi Captures Eastern Regional AX Lites Championship” and “Regal Sweeps Southaven for Fourth Overall Victory of 2015”… Editor]