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Title Contenders Begin to Emerge in AX Race to the Championship

| 22 April 2015 2:50 pm

AMSOIL Arenacross Series
Round 14:
Save Mart Center

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Josh Rud/ ShiftOne Photography
FRESNO, CA, APR. 22, 2015

The days are winding down before AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, crowns a champion. After yet another thrilling night of racing in the Pacific Northwest this past weekend, the Race to the Championship now travels to the Golden State of California for the second-to-last round of the 2015 season. Current points leader Kyle Regal and his Husqvarna/ TiLube/ TUF Racing machine will lead the 10-rider Race to the Championship field into in Fresno’s Save Mart Center this Saturday, April 25. Racing will kick off at 10 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. PDT.

Broadcast Alert: The Tacoma round will premiere on Fox Sports 1 this Sunday, April 26, at noon EDT/ 9 a.m. PDT.

Kyle Regal (4) will lead the Race to the Championship field into Fresno, California.

Kyle Regal (4) will lead the Race to the Championship field into Fresno, California.

The points reset that took place among the top 10 Arenacross-class riders heading into the Race to the Championship provided a platform for consistent change among the title contenders from week to week. While Regal has been able to maintain a top-two position throughout the first four rounds of the Race to the Championship, the bulk of his rivals have had ups and downs. However, the nature of the Race to the Championship means there is a consistent opportunity for any rider to get back into title contention with a strong outing. That is exactly the case for Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki teammates Jacob Hayes and Matt Goerke.

Jacob Hayes (2) kick-started his championship hopes with a win in Tacoma.

Jacob Hayes (2) kick-started his championship hopes with a win in Tacoma.

Last weekend in Tacoma, Washington, Hayes was dominant, posting 1-1 main-event results to claim his first overall win in the Race to the Championship. Hayes led the Arenacross-class standings for most of the season, but after a somewhat slow start in the Race to the Championship, he finally had the breakout ride he needed to get back into title contention. Hayes never doubted himself, and his patience paid off with one of his most impressive efforts of the season. As a result, he vaulted from fourth to second, just eight points behind Regal.

Check out this video interview with Tacoma winner Jacob Hayes…

The same can be said for Goerke, who has also been a mainstay in the championship battle this season. Goerke does have a main-event win in the Race to the Championship, but he hasn’t been a podium threat since finishing second at the first of the final six rounds in New Orleans.

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Tacoma provided Goerke with the opportunity he needed to get himself back into the top three, following his teammate across the line in second in each main event to give Babbitt’s Kawasaki its second one-two finish in the Race to the Championship. Like Hayes, Goerke made up big ground in the championship standings, moving from fifth to third, and he is now only 11 points out of the lead.

Matt Goerke (36) is picking up the pace at an opportune time in the Race to the Championship.

Matt Goerke (36) is picking up the pace at an opportune time in the Race to the Championship.

While both Hayes and Goerke are resurging, the third Babbitt’s Kawasaki rider, Chris Blose, is in need of a rebound. The main threat to Regal thus far in the Race to the Championship appeared to be on his way to another big night in Tacoma, but a crash in the first main event set the tone for a difficult night, in which he posted his worst finish of the Race to the Championship, in ninth.

Prior to Tacoma, Blose had finished on the overall podium in two of the three Race to the Championship rounds, including scoring a win in New Orleans. While he now faces a bit of an uphill battle after having fallen from second to fourth in the championship standings, looking at a 15-point deficit, Blose is one of the most experienced competitors in AMSOIL Arenacross, despite this being his first full season of competition in the discipline.

Chris Blose (left) and Gavin Faith (right) are currently tied in the Race to the Championship standings as they attempt to close the gap on their rivals.

Chris Blose (left) and Gavin Faith (right) are currently tied in the Race to the Championship standings as they attempt to close the gap on their rivals.

Also lurking in the championship, sitting in a tie with Blose for fourth, is Regal’s Husqvarna/ TiLube/ TUF Racing teammate Gavin Faith. While Faith has yet to put himself at the front of the field in the Race to the Championship, he has quietly been consistent and amassed solid results, and he could be ready to break through as another serious threat to the title.

Check out these video highlights from the Tacoma race…

While Regal remains on top, thanks largely to three straight overall podium finishes and two overall wins, he has some familiar foes breathing down his neck with just two rounds remaining until AMSOIL Arenacross crowns a new champion in Las Vegas on May 1.

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The 14th round of AMSOIL Arenacross and the penultimate weekend in the Race to the Championship will get under way this Saturday, April 25, inside Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. Racing will begin at 10 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. PDT.

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

[For more from the Tacoma round of the Arenacross Series, including race coverage, results and more photos, please see “Hayes Dominates in Tacoma for First Overall Win in AX Race to the Championship”… Editor]

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