B$Z: 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross Season Features Wide Open Field of Contenders for Vacant Title
The U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati will host the season opening round. Fans in attendance can expect to see an all out fight to the finish as riders attempt to make their presence known early in the championship hunt. The showdown, which takes place this Saturday night, January 10, will highlight the top riders in the world in both the premier Arenacross Class as well as the opening round of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship.
With Bowers' transition into supercross, some talented new faces have emerged in AMSOIL Arenacross and they will look to achieve success in the highly competitive environment.
Multi-time championship-winning Team Babbitt's Monster Energy Kawasaki is always among the top teams in AMSOIL Arenacross. The team that helped Bowers achieve so much success through his career has reloaded in its quest for the championship. With veteran frontrunner Zach Ames returning to the team, following his most successful season a year ago where he earned five Main Event wins and finished 3rd place in the championship, their future looks bright. Ames is close friends with Bowers and the pair trained together while teammates at Babbitt's, which suggests that the Ohio native will be considered a favorite to follow in his friend's footsteps in 2015. Babbitt's has also enlisted the services of Bowers' number one competitor from a year ago, Jacob Hayes. The second-year rider turned a lot of heads last year with a breakout season that saw him claim six Main Events. With a full year of competition under his belt, Hayes has the talent to be even better in his second season.
To round out the team, a pair of veteran Monster Energy Supercross riders will turn their attention to AMSOIL Arenacross in 2015. Both Chris Blose and Matt Goerke are familiar with running alongside the world's elite and both have cut their teeth in supercross. While the transition to the more technical and intimate world of AMSOIL Arenacross is sure to require some adjustment thanks to faster lap times, more intense racing and unmatched aggression, the duo is experienced enough to adapt quickly and provide a very intriguing element to the 2015 season.
Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing has always been in the AMSOIL Arenacross elite, winning three consecutive titles from 2007-2009. Last season, TUF Racing returned to the forefront of the sport with Hayes at the helm along with former Monster Energy Supercross rider Kyle Regal. While Hayes has moved on, Regal returns and hopes to build off the fourth-place finish in the championship he enjoyed a year ago..The team's move from Honda to factory support with Husqvarna is another intriguing part of the upcoming season and appears to be a step forward for the TUF team.
Flanking Regal this season will be two-time Australian Supercross Champion Gavin Faith. Growing up racing indoors as an Iowa native, Faith is no stranger to AMSOIL Arenacross. He has tremendous raw speed and has matured into a great rider. While he hasn't embarked on a full time season of AMSOIL Arenacross in several years, his familiarity with the discipline makes him a surefire contender and creates a formidable tandem at TUF Racing.
The ThermoTec Yamaha FMC Racing team may be a newcomer to AMSOIL Arenacross, but is owned by multi-time AMSOIL Arenacross champion mechanic and veteran of the sport, Junior Jackson. Looking to put his team in the thick of the hunt for this year's title, Jackson will rely on Mike McDade as his lead rider. The perennial front-runner has been a factor in the championship since coming to AMSOIL Arenacross in 2013, earning a pair of Main Event wins last season. While injuries have ultimately proven to keep McDade from truly battling for the title, he's feeling better than ever coming into 2015 and is on arguably the best equipment since joining the championship. That bodes well for a potential breakout season.
Joining McDade at ThermoTec is another Monster Energy Supercross veteran, Bobby Kiniry. The New York native has been a fixture in the Canadian Motocross Championship in recent years and has supercross experience that dates back all the way to 2004. Kiniry is known for being aggressive when he needs to be, which should play favorably in his adjustment to AMSOIL Arenacross. If there was ever a dark horse in this 2015 season, one could argue that Kiniry is it.
Spinechillers Racing is one of the longest-running AMSOIL Arenacross teams in the pits and it will once again bring a talented effort into the 2015 season. Willy Browning has been is considered to be one of the most consistent riders in the sport. He finished sixth in the final championship standings a year ago and hopes to earn some Main Event wins this season while once again contending for the title. Alongside Browning is former Arenacross Lites Class Champion Dave Ginolfi. The New Jersey native is always one to keep an eye on when the gate drops and the 2015 season will be no different.
TZR Woodstock KTM has made a name for itself in AMSOIL Arenacross thanks to consistently strong outings by Travis Sewell and Scott Zont. This year the team has enlisted the services of Club 57 trainers Brad Jerominiski and Drew Whitehead, who they hope will assist in putting them over that edge they'll need in order to make a run at the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross Championship. The team is also expanding this year by welcoming Cody VanBuskirk and Erik Utech. Zont has come close to winning a title in the Arenacross Lites Class and the experience both he and Sewell bring to the team should be beneficial to the development of the young talent of VanBuskirk and Utech.
A couple riders who will embark on the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross season on their own but still are more than capable of challenging for victory are Cory Green and Gared Steinke. Green is one of the most experienced riders in AMSOIL Arenacross and he enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2014 by finishing fifth in the final championship standings. He'll look to put his Babbitt's Suzuki at the front yet again throughout the 2015 season. For Steinke, he's shown consistent progression since joining AMSOIL Arenacross full time, highlighted by an eighth-place finish in the championship last season. He'll ride for Motosport.com/Fly Racing/Haeseker KTM in 2015 in hopes of building off his success a year ago and once again challenging for the title.
This elite group of competitors could produce incredible parity this season, with virtually every one of the aforementioned riders capable of winning on any given night. Consistency will be the key to success and peaking when the Race to the Championship commences at Round 10 could ultimately be what pushes someone to the title. Motivation is high all around and the desire to succeed under such wide open circumstances makes for what should be a truly exciting opening round in Cincinnati on Saturday night and a unpredictable battle for the championship.
The opening round of AMSOIL Arenacross kicks off this Saturday night, January 10th, from Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena. Racing begins at 7 p.m. ET.
Tickets for each round of AMSOIL Arenacross are on sale now!
The entire AMSOIL Arenacross season will air on FOX Sports 1, including re-airs on Fox Sports 2.
Live timing and scoring from each round of the AMSOIL Arenacross season returns for the 2014 season! To follow the intense racing action live, log onto www.Arenacross.com.