Industry News 3/24/2015

B$Z: Reshuffled Race to the Championship Field Continues Season-Ending Battle in Austin

With its short six-round run, the Race to the Championship serves as the ultimate free-for-all battle, as every point and every position could potentially make or break a rider's title hopes. Last weekend AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross, began its version of the playoffs in New Orleans, pitting the top 10 riders in the championship point standings against one another. In the end Team Babbitt's Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Chris Blose swept the evening's Main Events to take over the Arenacross Class points lead for the first time since the opening round and will lead the way into the Race to the Championship's second weekend from Austin, Texas, and Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, March 28, beginning at 8 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. CDT/ 5 p.m. PDT.

Chris Blose is back atop the AMSOIL Arenacross championship standings.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography



Blose has been one of the most formidable contenders in 2015, his first full season of AMSOIL Arenacross competition. He's had to endure injury and dramatic ups and downs en route to the Race to the Championship, but after the top 10 points were reset the opportunity was there for Blose to once again become the focal point of the title fight. After entering the Race to the Championship as the sixth seed, Blose captured the win in each Arenacross Class Main Event for the second time this season and with his perfect effort, jumped into the points lead with a three-point advantage over his Team Babbitt's teammate Matt Goerke heading into Austin.

 

Goerke was the runner-up in New Orleans and is the only rider in the Race to the Championship that did not change his place in the standings after the race. He remains second overall and continues to enjoy consistent success in his first full season of AMSOIL Arenacross. Goerke's ability to contend for the podium is a major reason why he's been a fixture in the championship all season and it's not a surprise that trend has continued into the most important part of the season.



Matt Goerke's consistency is keeping him in the thick of the championship battle.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography



The rider who arguably lost the most momentum in New Orleans was Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing's Kyle Regal, who entered the Race to the Championship as its top seed. Regal experienced some misfortune in each Main Event, which ultimately hindered is results, but he still emerged with a fourth-place effort to fall just two spots into third. He faces a six-point deficit coming into Austin and likely brings a chip on his shoulder after the way his night went last weekend.

 

Regal's TUF Racing teammate Gavin Faith jumped from seventh to fourth in the Race to the Championship after a third-place effort in New Orleans and is just an additional point behind Regal, seven points out of the lead. Rounding out the top five is a three-way tie between Team Babbitt's Jacob Hayes, ThermoTec/FMC Racing Yamaha's Bobby Kiniry and Babbitt's Online Suzuki's Cory Green, who all sit 11 points behind Blose.


Kyle Regal lost control of the points lead and will do whatever it takes to get it back in Austin.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography



Fittingly enough, each of the season's former winners - Blose, Goerke, Regal, Faith, Hayes and Kiniry - remain in the thick of the title hunt, while Green, the 10th and final seed coming into the Race to the Championship, has given his title aspirations new hope heading into Austin. Entering last weekend's start of the Race to the Championship only five points separated first from 10th. With one weekend of action completed, the difference from Blose in first to Slaka Wear KTM's Steven Mages in 10th is just 18 points, meaning the title is still anyone's to win.

With the final round of the season looming in Las Vegas on May 1, there are only five rounds remaining. The tension within the Race to the Championship field is sure to intensify with each new weekend, meaning the on-track competition will be more aggressive and dramatic than its been at any point in 2015.


A third-place finish last weekend has Gavin Faith sitting fourth in the Race to the Championship.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography



AMSOIL Arenacross' visit to Austin also signifies the stretch run of the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship. Fresh off a runner-up finish last weekend, Motosport.com/Haeseker Racing KTM's Daniel Blair has had firm control of the title fight for the majority of the season. Blair's two wins and three podium finishes have helped him build a 19-point lead over TZR/Woodstock KTM's Cody VanBuskirk.

 

The 11th round of AMSOIL Arenacross and the second weekend in the Race to the Championship gets underway this Saturday, March 28, inside Austin's Frank Erwin Center. Racing begins at  8 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. CDT /5 p.m. PDT. 



Daniel Blair looks to inch closer to his first AMSOIL Arenacross Lites Class title.

Photo: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography