Hayes Takes Second Overall Win, Nelko Captures First Career Western Regional AX Lites Win

| 6 February 2016 12:38 pm

AMSOIL Arenacross Series
Round 5, Night 2: Broadmoor World Arena

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by ShiftOne Photography

Jacob Hayes earned his second win of the season.

Jacob Hayes earned his second win of the season.

AMSOIL Arenacross hosted the second night of its first-ever tripleheader at Colorado Springs’ Broadmoor World Arena on Friday night. In his second race as the championship leader, Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes joined his teammates Chris Blose and Gavin Faith as the only multiple-race winners this season, and thereby extended his points lead.

In the Western Regional Arenacross Lites class, Race Tech KTM’s Ben Nelko broke through for the first win of his career, leading all 15 laps of the main event.

Before the night’s show got under way, the Arenacross class temporarily lost one of its major players when defending champion Kyle Regal crashed his Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing, presented by FMC and OTSFF, machine in practice, forcing him out of action for the evening.

When the battle for victory began, it was Hayes who brought momentum into the pair of Arenacross-class main events by emerging triumphant in the RMATV/ MC Head-to-Head Challenge for the second straight night, beating out Blose in an all-Team Babbitt’s final. That result proved to make the difference when all was said and done at the end of the night, as the additional championship bonus point that Hayes earned would give him the edge he needed to overcome his teammate.

Evans 2014 Story Ad 590When the first main event got under way, Hayes put his Kawasaki at the front of the field, ahead of Blose and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gared Steinke. While the top three went unchanged for the first half of the main event, the battle for third heated up on lap eight after Steinke crashed out of that position, allowing TiLube/ Tuf Racing Honda’s Jace Owen to jump from fifth to third after Woodstock/ TZR KTM’s Travis Sewell was slowed up to avoid hitting Steinke.

Sewell reclaimed the final podium spot on lap nine. Meanwhile, Faith was making a hard charge from a ninth-place start to contend for the podium.

Hayes led all 15 laps and eventually took the checkered flag more than five seconds ahead of Blose. Sewell held on to finish third. Faith charged hard to garner a fourth-place finish. Owen finished in fifth.

With his series-leading sixth main-event win of the season, Hayes chose one of three cases to determine the inversion for the second main event, ultimately selecting the case with the number eight, meaning that half of the field would be inverted.

Art of Moto Story ad 590 x 300 2015 0002 click hereThough Hayes still earned a strong start in the second main event, he was forced to slot in behind Owen, who grabbed the holeshot, and Faith, who then quickly moved into the lead on the opening lap. Blose started in fourth, followed by GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton and Sewell. Blose made an impressive jump to second on lap one, slipping by both Hayes and Owen as they fought for the position.

Check out this video interview with Road to Supercross rider Chase Sexton…

On the next lap, Hayes moved into podium position, behind his Team Babbitt’s teammates.

The top three remained the same throughout the remaining 12 laps, with Faith grabbing his second main-event win in as many nights, two seconds ahead of Blose. Faith led all 15 laps along the way. Hayes got the overall win with a third-place finish. Sexton and Sewell completed the top five.

Chris Blose missed out on a third overall win by just one point.

Chris Blose missed out on a third overall win by just one point.

Hayes’ 1-3 effort, combined with his bonus point from the Head-to-Head Challenge, gave him a one-point advantage over Blose (2-2) in the final classification. Faith (4-1) completed the second one-two-three sweep for Team Babbitt’s this season with his third-place finish. Sewell (3-5) was fourth and Sexton (6-4) was fifth.

Team Babbitt’s went one-two-three for the second time this season.

Team Babbitt’s went one-two-three for the second time this season.

Hayes lead over Faith in the Arenacross Class standings grew to seven points, with Blose holding on to third, 10 points out of the lead. Sewell sits comfortably in fourth while Regal still sits fifth despite missing the race.

C50_T2_BannerAd_590X300Nelko kicked off the Western Regional Arenacross Lites-class main event by racing to the holeshot, ahead of Team DirtBikeMike KTM’s Brandon Marley and Lynwood Motoplex/ RF Motorsports Kawasaki’s Collin Jurin.

Ben Nelko broke through for his first career AMSOIL Arenacross win in the Lites class.

Ben Nelko broke through for his first career AMSOIL Arenacross win in the Lites class.

On lap two, Jurin crashed while chasing Marley for second, allowing Driven MX Racing KTM’s Jared Lesher to assume control of third.

The top three remained the same until lap eight, when Marley encountered misfortune that also collected Lesher, effectively removing both riders from podium contention. Shawnee Motors/ Justified Cultures KTM’s Cheyenne Harmon then moved into second, with Woodstock/ TZR KTM’s Cody VanBuskirk, who’d started ninth, right behind him in third.

As a result of the incidents that took place behind him, Nelko went unchallenged en route to taking the win by more than four seconds over VanBuskirk, who made a last-lap pass on Harmon to finish in the runner-up spot. Link MX KTM’s Dylan Rouse was fourth, with Lesher finishing in fifth.

Nelko’s win vaulted him into the Western Regional Arenacross-class Championship lead; he currently holds a two-point cushion over VanBuskirk. Town & Country Cycle Center Husqvarna’s Dave Ginolfi, who finished seventh, and KTM rider Carlen Gardner, who finished sixth, sit tied for third, four point behind.

The Colorado Springs tripleheader will continue on Saturday for the final night inside Broadmoor World Arena, celebrating the second annual Military Appreciation Race, featuring “Rivalry Night” between the Army and the Air Force. The action will kick off at 6 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. MT/ 9 p.m. ET.

Broadmoor World Arena
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Results: February 5, 2016 (Round 5, Night 2)

AX MAIN 1: 1. Jacob Hayes (Kaw); 2. Chris Blose (Kaw); 3. Travis Sewell (KTM); 4. Gavin Faith (Kaw); 5. Jace Owen (Hon); 6. Chase Sexton (Hon); 7. Ben Lamay (Hon); 8. Gared Steinke (Hsq); 9. Kyle Bitterman (Hsq); 10. Daniel Herrlein (Hon).

AX MAIN 2: 1. Gavin Faith (Kaw); 2. Chris Blose (Kaw); 3. Jacob Hayes (Kaw); 4. Chase Sexton (Hon); 5. Travis Sewell (KTM); 6. Jace Owen (Hon); 7. Ben Lamay (Hon); 8. Daniel Herrlein (Hon); 9. Gared Steinke (Hsq); 10. Jared Lesher (KTM).

AX OVERALL: 1. Jacob Hayes (1-3); 2. Chris Blose (2-2); 3. Gavin Faith (4-1); 4. Travis Sewell (3-5); 5. Chase Sexton (6-4); 6. Jace Owen (5-6); 7. Ben Lamay (7-7); 8. Gared Steinke (8-9); 9. Daniel Herrlein (10-8); 10. Jared Lesher (12-10).

RMATV/MC HEAD-TO-HEAD CHALLENGE: 1. Jacob Hayes (2 points); 2. Chris Blose (1 point); 3. Chase Sexton (1 point); 4. Daniel Herrlein (1 point); 5. Cody VanBuskirk (1 point); 6. Jace Owen (1 point); 7. Ben Lamay (1 point); 8. Gared Steinke (1 point).

WESTERN REGIONAL AX LITES: 1. Ben Nelko (KTM); 2. Cody VanBuskirk (KTM); 3. Cheyenne Harmon (KTM); 4. Dylan Rouse (KTM); 5. Jared Lesher (KTM); 6. Carlen Gardner (KTM); 7. Dave Ginolfi (Hsq); 8. Tanner Berry (Yam); 9. Scott Zont (KTM); 10. Chase Evans (Yam).

Arenacross Class Championship Points Standings (After 7 races): 1. Jacob Hayes (196/ 6 main-event wins); 2. Gavin Faith (191/ 2 main-event wins); 3. Chris Blose (188/ 1 main-event win); 4. Travis Sewell (173/ 3 main-event wins); 5. Kyle Regal (130); 6. Ben Lamay (125); 7. Jace Owen (101); 8. Gared Steinke (99); 9. Daniel Herrlein (97); 10. Kyle Bitterman (85).

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points Standings (After 2 races): 1. Ben Nelko (29); 2. Cody VanBuskirk (27); 3. TIE Dave Ginolfi (25)/ Carlen Gardner (25); 5. Dylan Rouse (22); 6. Cheyenne Harmon (20); 7. Jared Lesher (19); 8. Scott Zont (18); 9. Collin Jurin (13); 10. Brandon Marley (10).

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Category: Arenacross, Interviews, National, POV, Riders, Riders All, Riders' POV, Video

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