Blose Makes First Statement in AX Race to the Championship

| 2 April 2016 11:43 am

AMSOIL Arenacross Series
Round 10, Night 1: Citizens Business Bank Arena

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photo by ShiftOne Photography
ONTARIO, CA, APR. 1, 2016

Blose is back on top of the point standings after winning the first night in Ontario.

Blose is back on top of the point standings after winning the first night in Ontario.

The quest to capture the Ricky Carmichael Cup began Friday, April 1, in Southern California as the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross Race to the Championship kicked off the first of two nights of action inside Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. An intense night of action saw Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Chris Blose emerge with his third overall win of the season and move into the points lead.

In the Western Regional Arenacross Lites class, Shawnee Motor Company/ Justified Cultures KTM’s Cheyenne Harmon captured the first win of his professional career with a wire-to-wire romp, closing the gap to his rivals in the championship points standings.

Broadcast Alert: The opening round of AMSOIL Arenacross’ Race to the Championship will air on Monday, April 11, at 3 p.m. ET / noon PT on FS1.

The start at Citizens Business Bank Arena was one of the most unique of the season, with the gate positioned outside the venue and leading into the arena.

The start at Citizens Business Bank Arena was outside, resulting in exciting battles for the holeshot.

The start at Citizens Business Bank Arena was outside, resulting in exciting battles for the holeshot.

In the first Arenacross-class main event, it was Race to the Championship top seed Gavin Faith who captured the holeshot aboard his Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki, ahead of his teammate Blose and TiLube/ Tuf Racing Honda’s Jace Owen. Blose made an early attempt to pass Faith for the lead on the opening lap, but the points leader held him off and was looking to control the 15-lap main event.

Despite his best efforts, Faith was unable to keep Blose and Owen more than just a few bikelengths away, and on lap four Blose was able to assume the lead briefly before Faith took it back.

The two battled for the top spot again at the start of lap seven, with Blose getting the upper hand this time. Once in the lead, he established a small gap that would allow him to carry on to the win.

Team Babbitt’s teammates Gavin Faith (3) and Chris Blose (6) battled it out for the win.

Team Babbitt’s teammates Gavin Faith (3) and Chris Blose (6) battled it out for the win.

Faith came under pressure from Owen for second late in the race and lost the position to the Honda rider on lap 11. They would follow Blose across the line in second and third, respectively. TZR/ Woodstock KTM’s Travis Sewell was fourth, with Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing, presented by FMC and OTSFF, rider Gared Steinke in fifth.

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As the field roared into the arena to start the second main event, it was TiLube/ Tuf Racing Honda’s Ben Lamay who earned the holeshot, over Blose and Faith, with defending champion Kyle Regal running in fourth aboard his Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing machine and Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes in fifth.

Lamay showed impressive speed early in the main event and was able to distance himself from Blose, who knew he would secure the overall win if he stayed in front of Faith. The top three riders settled into their positions, but Hayes wasn’t far behind after making the pass on Regal for fourth.

Lamay went unchallenged for the win, while Blose rode 15 solid laps to maintain a firm hold on second. Faith had to deal with some late pressure from his teammate for third, but he held on. Hayes was fourth, with GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton in fifth.

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When the overall results were tallied, Blose’s 1-2 finishes, combined with his win in the RMATV/ MC Head-to-Head Challenge earlier in the evening, gave him his third victory of the season. It was his first since the third round of the season.

“I need to keep bringing it every night and try to minimize the mistakes [on the track]; keep getting good starts and keep it on two wheels,” said Blose. “I’ll get a good night’s rest and try to come back out here tomorrow and do it again.”

Check out this video interview with Ontario night-one winner Chris Blose…

Faith’s consistent 3-3 effort landed him in second overall and snapped a three-race winning streak that he carried into the Race to the Championship.

Lamay’s second-ever main-event win in the last race of the evening was enough to overcome a tough first main event, and his 7-1 tally put him in third overall.

Lamay’s teammate Owen (2-7) finished fourth after salvaging a solid finish in the second main event that saw him start near the tail end of the field.

Hayes (6-4) rounded out the top five.

Blose’s stellar night vaulted him from fourth to first in the Race to the Championship standings. He will carry a two-point lead over Faith into the second night of racing in Ontario. Lamay jumped from fifth to third, seven points out of the lead, with Owen fourth, eight points back, and Hayes fifth, nine points back.

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When the gate dropped for the 15-lap Western Regional Arenacross Lites-class main event, it was Harmon who emerged from the outdoor start with the lead, grabbing the holeshot as the field raced into the arena. Thousand Oaks/ Elusive Graphics Yamaha’s Blake Green slotted into second, ahead of MX Athletics KTM’s Carlen Gardner. Championship leader Ben Nelko started fifth aboard his Team DirtBikeMike/ KTM Sports Center of Little Rock KTM, just behind TZR/ Woodstock KTM’s Cody VanBuskirk, who entered the evening second in points.

Harmon set a torrid pace early on to open up a lead over the rest of the field, while Green and Gardner both held on to podium spots for the first handful of laps.

On lap six, VanBuskirk moved past Gardner and into podium position and then proceeded to move into the runner-up spot on the ensuing lap by passing Green.

As they battled for third, Green and Gardner made contact just after the finish to start lap 12, which allowed a patient Nelko to pick up two spots and move into third.

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Out front, Harmon rode a near-flawless main event to claim the first win of his career. VanBuskirk followed in second, with Nelko third. DrivenMX/ MEPMX KTM’s Jared Lesher finished fourth, with TZR/ Woodstock KTM’s Scott Zont rounding out the top five.

Cheyenne Harmon’s first career Arenacross Lites-class win came after leading every lap of the main event.

Cheyenne Harmon’s first career Arenacross Lites-class win came after leading every lap of the main event.

Harmon, VanBuskirk and Nelko occupy the top three spots in the Western Regional Championship, and with their finishing order in the main event reversing their position in the points standings, the title fight has grown even tighter.

“I worked my butt off to be up here,” said Harmon. “Two days before the season, I wasn’t even sure I would be racing, so it’s crazy to see how far I’ve come since then. This is my first career professional win, and I really wanted it tonight. I’m just so pumped, and I really want to make a run for this [Western Regional] title.”

Nelko’s podium effort helped him maintain control of the lead in the Western Regional Championship, but his advantage now sits at just two points over VanBuskirk. Harmon remains in third, but the win closed him to within 12 points of the lead.

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The opening round of the Race to the Championship will continue tomorrow night, April 2, inside Citizen’s Business Bank Arena. Racing will begin at 7 p.m. PT/ 10 p.m. ET.

Citizens Business Bank Arena
Ontario, California
Results: April 1, 2016 (Round 10, Night 1)

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

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

AX OVERALL: 1. Chris Blose (1-2); 2. Gavin Faith (3-3); 3. Ben Lamay (7-1); 4. Jace Owen (2-7); 5. Jacob Hayes (6-4); 6. Chase Sexton (8-5); 7. Gared Steinke (5-8); 8. Travis Sewell (4-10); 9. Kyle Regal (9-6); 10. Kyle Bitterman (13-9).

RMATV/MC HEAD-TO-HEAD CHALLENGE: 1. Chris Blose (2 points); 2. Gavin Faith (1 point); 3. Jacob Hayes (1 point); 4. Travis Sewell (1 point); 5. Jace Owen (1 point); 6. Kyle Regal (1 point); 7. Kyle Bitterman (1 point); 8. Sean Cantrell (1 point).

WESTERN REGIONAL AX LITES: 1. Cheyenne Harmon (KTM); 2. Cody VanBuskirk (KTM); 3. Ben Nelko (KTM); 4. Jared Lesher (KTM); 5. Scott Zont (KTM); 6. Dylan Rouse (KTM); 7. Dave Ginolfi (Kaw); 8. Parker Fleming (Hsq); 9. Dillon Cloyed (Hon); 10. Blake Green (Yam).

Race to the Championship Standings: 1. Chris Blose (37/ 3 main-event wins); 2. Gavin Faith (35/ 6 main-event wins); 3. Ben Lamay (30/ 2 main-event wins); 4. Jace Owen (29); 5. Jacob Hayes (28/ main-event wins); 6. Travis Sewell (26/ 5 main-event wins); 7. Gared Steinke (24); 8. Kyle Regal (21); 9. (TIE) Cody VanBuskirk (1)/ 10. Daniel Herrlein (1).

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points Standings (After 5 races): 1. Ben Nelko (74/ 2 main-event wins); 2. Cody VanBuskirk (72/ 1 main-event win); 3. Cheyenne Harmon (62/ 1main-event win); 4. Scott Zont (54); 5. Dylan Rouse (48); 6. (TIE) Carlen Gardner (46)/ Dave Ginolfi (46); 8. Jared Lesher (44); 9. (TIE) Collin Jurin (25)/ Brandon Marley (25).

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