Saddlemen

Faith Clinches Back-to-Back AX Titles!

| 6 May 2017 11:35 am

AMSOIL Arenacross Series
Round 14: Orleans Arena

Courtesy of Feld Entertainment
Photos by ShiftOne Photography
LAS VEGAS, NV, MAY 5, 2017

Gavin Faith is a back-to-back AMSOIL Arenacross Champion.

Gavin Faith is a back-to-back AMSOIL Arenacross Champion.

AMSOIL Arenacross entered its final night of competition for the 2017 season on Friday night inside Orleans Arena. Just eight points separated the top three riders in the Race to the Ricky Carmichael Cup, with reigning champion Gavin Faith leading rivals Chris Blose and Jace Owen. When the dust settled following a pair of 250AX-class main events, Faith not only stood atop the podium with the overall victory, he also put the finishing touch on a second straight AMSOIL Arenacross title and hoisted the Ricky Carmichael Cup for the second consecutive year in Las Vegas.

In the AX Lites-class Regional Shootout, a pair of champions were crowned in the Eastern and Western regions. In the Eastern Regional Championship, Yamaha/ Rock River bLU cRU rider Justin Cooper captured his first career title, while Team Babbitt’s/ GPF/ Monster Energy Kawasaki/ MMCR rider Ryan Breece emerged triumphant in the Western Regional Championship. Team Babbitt’s/ GPF/ Monster Energy Kawasaki/ MMCR’s Jacob Williamson took the shootout win.

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The key to Faith’s triumphant night began with the RMATV/ MC Head-2-Head Challenge, in which the Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki, presented by AP Design, rider outlasted Blose and his Rockstar Energy/ OTSFF/ Yamaha, in association with Cycle Trader and Rock River, machine. The additional championship bonus point put even more pressure on his contenders.

The first 250AX-class main event saw Owen surge to the early lead aboard his Team TiLube/ Jack’s Links/ TUF Racing Honda, leading Blose, his teammate Ben Lamay, and Faith. Needing to gain points, Blose made an early move to take over the lead from Owen on lap one, while Faith moved past Lamay to take over third.

On the ensuing lap, Faith disposed of Owen and slotted into second, with less than a second sitting between he and Blose.

The Kawasaki rider stalked Blose for several laps and then pulled the trigger on lap seven, passing Blose in the whoops and immediately opening up a lead of more than a second before the completion of the lap.

Once out front, Faith continued to add to his lead and took the checkered flag just over four seconds ahead of Blose, further padding his points lead. Owen was third, followed by Lamay and Team Babbitt’s/ GPF/ Monster Energy Kawasaki/ MMCR’s Jacob Williamson.

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When the gate dropped for the second main event, Faith once again seized control and put his Kawasaki at the front of the field, closely followed by Blose and Owen. Faith didn’t quite have the pace of the first main event and gave up the lead to Owen on lap one, bringing Blose along with him into second and dropping Faith into third.

In his quest for the lead, Blose encountered misfortune, losing control of his Yamaha and flipping over the bars on lap two, which effectively ended his title hopes. That allowed Faith to move into second, while Lamay jumped into third.

Owen effectively maintained his lead out front, while Faith proceeded to protect his lead in the championship. Perhaps looking to potentially help his teammate in the championship battle, Lamay closed in on Faith and got to within a few bikelengths of the Kawasaki rider, but the champ resisted the advance and remained in firm control of second.

Owen ended his 2017 season the same way he started it, with a main-event win, and took the checkered flag 6.5 seconds ahead of Faith, who knew he simply needed to cross the finish line to secure the championship. Lamay followed in third, with Williamson fourth and Team Babbitt’s/ Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Travis Sewell in fifth.

Blose eventually re-entered the race, two laps down, and soldiered home to finish 12th.

Jace Owen capped off his 2017 season with a main-event win and a runner-up finish in both Las Vegas and in the final championship standings.

Jace Owen capped off his 2017 season with a main-event win and a runner-up finish in both Las Vegas and in the final championship standings.

Faith’s 1-2 results, combined with his win in the Head-2-Head Challenge, gave him his third overall win in the Race to the Ricky Carmichael Cup and, along with it, he clinched the championship.

So far, Gavin Faith (left, with Ricky Carmichael) is the only rider in history to win the Ricky Carmichael Cup, doing so in each of its first two seasons.

So far, Gavin Faith (left, with Ricky Carmichael) is the only rider in history to win the Ricky Carmichael Cup, doing so in each of its first two seasons.

Owen (3-1) completed a breakout season in second, while his teammate Lamay (4-3) helped put two TiLube Hondas on the podium, in third. Williamson (5-4) was fourth, with Sewell (6-5) fifth.

When the final points for the season were tallied, Faith finished 10 points ahead of Owen, who moved from third to second. Blose completed the championship podium in third, 17 points behind Faith.

In the two seasons since the introduction of the Ricky Carmichael Cup, Faith, a rider coached by The GOAT himself, is the only rider to have his name etched on the trophy. He’s the first back-to-back titleholder since Tyler Bowers in 2013 and 2014. He also gave Team Babbitt’s Kawasaki its seventh title in the past eight seasons.

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When the 16-rider field of the AX Lites-class Regional Shootout lined up on the gate, a champion had to be crowned in both the Eastern and Western regions. When the gate dropped, Cooper was able to put his Yamaha out front, ahead of Breece and Williamson. The action at the front of the field and the battle for the lead started immediately on lap one, when Breece seized control of the lead in the whoops. Williamson followed along into second shortly after that.

Needing a win to keep his hopes of an Eastern Regional title alive, Williamson was on a mission, and he immediately applied pressure on Breece for the lead. After persistent pressure, he took control on lap four and immediately pulled away, establishing a multiple-second lead in a matter of laps. Williamson continued to extend the lead aboard his Kawasaki and soon found himself more than five seconds out front.

Jacob Williamson (91) captured the AX Lites-class Shootout victory.

Jacob Williamson (91) captured the AX Lites-class Shootout victory.

While Williamson continued to make a statement out front, the battle for second intensified between Breece and Cooper, the respective championship leaders. Cooper was patient and bided his time before making a move, and then successfully passed Breece on lap 12.

Out front, Williamson added to his advantage and cruised to the win 9.5 seconds ahead of Cooper. Breece rounded out the podium in third.

Cooper carried a 15-point lead over Williamson in the Eastern Regional standings entering the finale, and ultimately gave up just one point to his main rival to secure the championship with his runner-up finish.

Justin Cooper is the 2017 Eastern Regional AX Lites-class Champion.

Justin Cooper is the 2017 Eastern Regional AX Lites-class Champion.

In the intense Western Regional title fight, Breece entered the evening knotted in a tie atop the standings with Woodstock KTM’s Hunter Sayles. Breece’s podium finish, combined with a ninth-place finish by Sayles, helped him emerge with his first career championship.

Ryan Breece is the 2017 Western Regional AX Lites-class Champion.

Ryan Breece is the 2017 Western Regional AX Lites-class Champion.

The final weekend of AMSOIL Arenacross in Las Vegas will continue on Sunday, May 7, with the AMSOIL Amateur National Arenacross Championship inside Orleans Arena.

Orleans Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada
Results: May 5, 2017 (Round 14)

250AX MAIN 1: 1. Gavin Faith (Kaw); 2. Chris Blose (Yam); 3. Jace Owen (Hon); 4. Ben Lamay (Hon); 5. Jacob Williamson (Kaw); 6. Travis Sewell (Kaw); 7. Daniel Herrlein (KTM); 8. Jared Lesher (KTM); 9. Cody Van Buskirk (KTM); 10. Josh Cartwright (Yam).

250AX MAIN 2: 1. Jace Owen (Hon); 2. Gavin Faith (Kaw); 3. Ben Lamay (Hon); 4. Jacob Williamson (Kaw); 5. Travis Sewell (Kaw); 6. Jared Lesher (KTM); 7. Daniel Herrlein (KTM); 8. Cody Van Buskirk (KTM); 9. Josh Cartwright (Yam); 10. Richard Jackson (KTM).

250AX OVERALL: 1. Gavin Faith (1-2); 2. Jace Owen (3-1); 3. Ben Lamay (4-3); 4. Jacob Williamson (5-4); 5. Travis Sewell (6-5); 6. Jared Lesher (8-6); 7. Daniel Herrlein (7-7); 8. Chris Blose (2-12); 9. Cody Van Buskirk (9-8); 10. Josh Cartwright (10-9).

RMATV/MC HEAD-2-HEAD CHALLENGE: 1. Gavin Faith (2 points); 2. Chris Blose (1 point); 3. Jace Owen (1 point); 4. Ben Lamay (1 point); 5. Josh Cartwright (1 point); 6. Daniel Herrlein (1 point); 7. Travis Sewell (1 point); 8. Jared Lesher (1 point).

AX LITES REGIONAL SHOOTOUT: 1. Jacob Williamson (Kaw); 2. Justin Cooper (Yam); 3. Ryan Breece (Kaw); 4. Jared Lesher (KTM); 5. Jeramy Taylor (KTM); 6. Curren Thurman (Hsq); 7. Austin Walton (Yam); 8. Jake Hogan (Yam); 9. Hunter Sayles (KTM); 10. Jake McKinney (Kaw).

Final Race to the Championship Points Standings: 1. Gavin Faith (196/ 9 main-event wins); 2. Jace Owen (186/ 17 main-event wins); 3. Chris Blose (179/ 4 main-event wins); 4. Daniel Herrlein (144/ 1 main-event win); 5. Travis Sewell (123/ 1 main-event win); 6. Gared Steinke (113); 7. Cody Van Buskirk (109); 8. Ben Lamay (106/ 1 main-event win); 9. Matt Goerke (40/ 1 main-event win); 10. Josh Osby (37).

Final Eastern Regional AX Lites Class Championship Points Standings: 1. Justin Cooper (131/ 3 main-event wins); 2. Jacob Williamson (117/ 3 main-event wins); 3. Isaac Teasdale (99); 4. Scott Zont (62); 5. Heath Harrison (58/ 2 main-event wins); 6. Brandon Gourley (52); 7. Josiah Hempen Argyle (31); 8. Broc Gourley (30); 9. Jayce Pennington (28); 10. TIE Dylan Greer (26)/ Jake McKinney (26).

Final Western Regional AX Lites Class Championship Points Standings: 1. Ryan Breece (128/ 3 main-event wins); 2. Hunter Sayles (122/ 2 main-event wins); 3. Jared Lesher (112/ 2 main-event wins); 4. Jeramy Taylor (61); 5. Hunter Hilton (54); 6. Austin Walton (44); 7. Parker Fleming (38); 8. TIE Connor Pearson (32)/ Robbie Wageman (32); 10. Jake Hogan (30).

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Category: Arenacross, National

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