By: Feld Motorsports
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 4, 2017) – AMSOIL Arenacross hosted its fifth round of the 2017 season on Saturday with an exciting night of competition from Freedom Hall. A sweep of the 250AX class main events gave Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki, presented by AP Design, rider Gavin Faith his second overall victory of the season. In the Eastern Regional AX Lites Class, Yamaha Rock River bLU cRU rider Justin Cooper raced to his third win of the season, extending his points lead.
Before the main events got underway, defending AMSOIL Arenacross Champion Faith raced to his fourth RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge win of the season, outlasting TiLUBE/Jack Link’s/TUF Racing Honda rider and championship leader Jace Owen.
Faith carried the momentum of the Head 2 Head Challenge right into the first main event, grabbing the holeshot over Owen, with Rockstar Energy/OTSFF/Yamaha, in association with Cycle Trader and Rock River, rider Matt Goerke in third. By the conclusion of the opening lap Faith already held a lead of over one second on the field, which he would never relinquish. Owen was able to keep Faith in sight and solidified his hold on second, while teammates Goerke and Blose engaged in an exciting battle for third over the early stages of the race.
Faith pulled away over the second half of the race to take the win by 3.5 seconds over Owen. Behind them, Goerke fended off Blose for third, with Motosport Hillsboro Kawasaki’s Gared Steinke in fifth.
As the field roared out of the gate to start the second main event, Owen edged out Faith for the holeshot, taking the early lead. TiLUBE/Jack Link’s/TUF Racing Honda’s Ben Lamay was third, with Goerke fourth. Owen and Faith began a battle for the top spot that saw the gap between them hover around a second. As they entertained the crowd out front, Goerke made the pass on Lamay for third on lap four. Faith’s persistence paid off on lap eight as he was able to get by Owen for the lead. In the closing laps, Owen fell into the clutches of a hard-charging Goerke, who made the pass for second on lap 12.
Faith went on to take the win 1.4 seconds ahead of Goerke, with Owen third. Blose fought his way from seventh to finish fourth, with Steinke fifth.
Faith’s sweep of the main events gave him his second overall victory of the season. Goerke’s late pass on Owen was enough to land him second overall (3-2) with Owen third (2-3). Blose was fourth (4-4) and Steinke was fifth (5-5).
Faith was able to close his deficit to Owen in the 250AX class standings, which now sits at 17 points. Goerke held on to third, 25 points out of the lead.
The start of the 15-lap Eastern Regional AX Lites class main event saw an early battle between Woodstock KTM’s Hunter Sayles and Cooper out of the gate, but it was Babbitt’s/GPF/Monster Energy Kawasaki/MMCR’s Jacob Williamson who emerged with the lead coming out of the whoops. He was able to sprint out to an early lead, while Cooper settled into second and Sayles into third. However, the race turned to Cooper’s favor on lap two when Williamson crashed out of the lead in the whoops and dropped to the back of the field and set him back multiple laps. That allowed Cooper to take over control of the race, where he proceeded to check out on the field. Behind him, Sayles and MTF Yamaha’s Wilson Fleming fought for the final two spots on the podium, but it was Isaac Teasdale who was the rider to watch. After starting seventh, the KTM rider began an impressive march to the front, taking over fourth on lap three, and passing Fleming for third on lap five. He methodically closed in on Sayles for second place, waiting for the opportunity to make the pass and successfully doing so on lap 11.
Cooper went unchallenged for the win and crossed the finish line more than 12 seconds ahead of Teasdale. Sayles rounded out the podium in third.
Cooper added to his championship lead, and now sits 18 points ahead of Williamson, who finished 15th. Teasdale moved into third, 19 points out of the lead.
AMSOIL Arenacross will observe its first off weekend of the season and will continue with the sixth round from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. on Saturday, February 18. The action kicks off at 8 p.m. Eastern time.