COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (March 7, 2015) – The eighth round of the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, came to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday inside the Mid-America Center. As has been the case on several occasions this season, a tiebreaker was needed to determine the overall winner in the Arenacross Class, but this time it came down to a trio of riders. In the end, a dominant performance in the final main event of the evening allowed Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Matt Goerke to capture his third victory of the season over Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing teammates Gavin Faith and Kyle Regal.
Regal made the first statement of the evening by grabbing the holeshot in the first Arenacross Class main event, ahead of Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki teammates Chris Blose and Jacob Hayes. Earlier in the evening Blose claimed the win in the RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge, while Hayes was looking for his second straight victory after claiming the overall victory on Friday night.
Hayes, the Arenacross Class championship leader entering the evening, encountered misfortune on lap two and crashed in the whoops, dropping to the tail end of the 16-rider field. That allowed Blose to assume control of second, while Faith took over third. Motosport.com/Haeseker Racing KTM’s Gared Steinke sat fourth, while Goerke moved into fifth. Several laps later Goerke slotted himself into fourth to put himself in podium contention. Regal maintained his lead over the field for the entirety of the 15-lap main event, but Blose was pushing hard to catch him and ultimately went down in the whoops on lap 13. Faith took advantage of the misfortune to take over second, while Goerke moved into third. As the checkered flag flew, the top three of Regal, Faith and Goerke remained the same. Hayes fought his way back to eighth, while Blose had to settle for 10th.
Regal had the opportunity to select the inversion for the second main event, and was fortunate enough to select the case with the number zero, meaning no riders would be inverted.
As the second main event got underway, ThermoTec/FMC Racing Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry raced to the holeshot just ahead of Hayes and Goerke. On the opening lap Hayes and Kiniry made contact in the whoops, forcing Hayes to fall and drop back to the tail end of the field, remounting nearly a lap behind. Kiniry stayed on two wheels, but fell all the way to eighth. Goerke seized the opportunity to put himself at the front of the field and took over the lead. Faith and Regal followed to move into second and third by the conclusion of lap one.
The torrid pace set by the top three and the consistency of Goerke, Faith and Regal meant there was little change up front throughout the duration of all 15 laps. Goerke took his fourth main event win of the season, with Faith following in second and Regal third. Hayes did all he could to recover from his early troubles and fought his way back to an 11th-place finish.
The identical first- and third-place finishes by Goerke and Regal locked them into a tie for first in the overall classification, while Faith’s consistent pair of runner-up finishes made him a third player in the tiebreaker. In the end, Goerke’s win in the second Main Event gave him the advantage over the other two, while Faith’s second-place finish slotted him ahead of Regal’s third-place effort. TZR Woodstock KTM’s Travis Sewell finished fourth (5-4) while Steinke rounded out the top five (4-5).
Regal, who entered the night 14 points out of the lead, took over the Arenacross Class points lead as a result of Hayes’ tough night, finishing ninth overall. Hayes and Goerke sit in a tie for second, just one point behind Regal as the schedule heads into the final round, in Southhaven, Miss., March 13-15, before the season-ending Race to the Championship begins.