By: Feld Motorsports
ELLENTON, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2016) – Five rounds into the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross season, the battle to see who will ultimately walk away with the coveted Ricky Carmichael Cup as champion appears to be wide open. In eight races, a total of five different riders in the Arenacross Class have captured an overall win, and as the halfway point of the season approaches, the intensity is sure to pick up even more. On Saturday night, Feb. 13, the most fearless riders on the planet will make their inaugural visit to Birmingham, Ala., and Legacy Arena, with the potential for another new winner to emerge.
The most recent and newest first-time winner in AMSOIL Arenacross is TZR/Woodstock KTM’s Travis Sewell, who enjoyed the best night of his career last Saturday night in Colorado Springs, Colo., to claim his first ever overall victory. Sewell’s triumph capped a three-night showcase in the Rocky Mountains that saw a different winner each night, as the Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki duo of Gavin Faith and Jacob Hayes emerged victorious on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
While parity within the premier class has been exceptional, the Team Babbitt’s squad has been the most consistent presence at the front of the field, with Faith, Hayes and Chris Blose all earning two overall wins apiece this season. Despite the seemingly dominant effort by the Kawasaki trio, Sewell has been right there with them nearly every step of the way. He won the first main event of the season in Cincinnati and has picked up four more Main Event victories since then, highlighted by his 1-1 sweep on Saturday.
Beyond Sewell, the TiLUBE/Tuf Racing Honda tandem of Ben Lamay and Jace Owen is starting to come into its own as well. With years of experience in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, both riders have the tools to succeed in AMSOIL Arenacross and are getting more and more comfortable with the intensity of AMSOIL Arenacross with each passing weekend. Given the success of Tuf Racing over the years and the talent those two riders possess, it won’t be a surprise if both riders add their names to the growing list of winners this season.
Entering the 2016 season, the Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing presented by FMC and OTSFF team appeared as if it would be one of the teams to beat, with defending champion Kyle Regal and the hard-charging Gared Steinke leading the way. However, the team has had to battle through adversity at times already this season. Steinke has made his presence felt in several races and is sure to get stronger as the season goes on, but the team faced arguably its biggest blow in Colorado Springs when Regal was forced to the sideline after a crash in practice, missing the last two nights of racing. With the timetable for Regal’s return still to be determined, the Junior Jackson-led team will have veteran Austin Stroupe fill in for the time being. Stroupe has one Arenacross Lites Class win to his credit this season. Regal currently sits sixth in points, with the Race to the Championship scheduled to begin in just about a month.
A total of 22 points separate Hayes atop the Arenacross Class standings and Sewell, who is currently fourth. Fifth, occupied by Lamay, through 10th, currently where Kyle Bitterman sits, are separated by 45 points. Only the top 10 riders in the Arenacross Class standings will qualify for the Race to the Championship.
This weekend’s debut in Birmingham also marks the return of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship, which gave way to the Western Regional Championship last weekend. Currently, championship leader Daniel Herrlein carries a healthy 30-point lead aboard his A&Y Racing Honda and has won three of the last four Main Events he’s entered. His closest rival, Jacob Williamson, also has a main event win this season and will look to chip away at the deficit he faces aboard his Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki.
The sixth round of AMSOIL Arenacross from Birmingham’s Legacy Arena will kick off at 5 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 13.