ELLENTON, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2015) – AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, observed its first off weekend of the 2015 season and, with an early season break now under their belts, the entire championship field is feeling refreshed and ready to get back in action on Saturday night. The first-ever visit to Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Feb. 21 will serve as a pivotal point in the championship, and the action kicks off at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Through the first eight nights of Arenacross class competition this season, six different riders have emerged with an overall victory, making 2015 one of the most parity-driven seasons in history despite having yet to even reach the halfway point. With a week of downtime, the contenders have had the opportunity to rest, and in some cases heal, setting the stage for one of the most anticipated races of the championship right in the backyard of Feld Motor Sports®.
Adding to the anticipation of Saturday’s race will be a special guest appearance by legend Ricky Carmichael, a five-time Monster Energy AMA Supercross title holder and creator of the highly successful Road to Supercross program. As a native of Tallahasse, Fla., the inaugural visit to Tampa is as close to home as it gets for Carmichael, who will be celebrated for the recent announcement that he’s an inductee for the 2015 American Motorsports Hall of Fame. The racing icon will lend his continued support to AMSOIL Arenacross and the rising stars of the Road to Supercross by taking part in the pre-race track party, opening ceremonies and more.
At the previous stop of the 2015 season two weeks ago in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., two nights of action produced two first-time overall winners in AMSOIL Arenacross competition. While both ThermoTec/FMC Racing Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry and Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL/Kawasaki’s Matt Goerke are veterans in the racing world, this year marks their full-time debut in AMSOIL Arenacross. Both riders have proven to be formidable contenders since the championship began and their continued pursuit of victory paid off in a big way.
Kiniry narrowly missed out on his first overall win earlier this season, and in Wilkes-Barre he seized the opportunity to break through with his first main event win, which ultimately proved to be the deciding factor in his victorious effort. For Goerke, the win was long overdue after an incredible start to the 2015 season in which he finished inside the top five through the first five races of the year and led the championship standings early on.
Despite the break in action, this duo has the momentum coming into Tampa and will be ones to keep an eye on as they look to join the Team Babbitt’s duo of Jacob Hayes and Chris Blose as the only two-time winners this season. The inaugural visit to Tampa also holds extra significance for Goerke, who is a native of nearby Lake Helen. As the hometown rider, the crowd will surely be on his side as he looks to claim back-to-back wins and continue to close the deficit he faces to Hayes in the championship standings, where he currently sits second.
The Arenacross class has been unpredictable through five rounds, and there’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue with one night of action inside Amalie Arena
Complementing the edge-of-your-seat action that highlights the Arenacross class are the closing stages of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship. A total of four nights remain in the title fight, where Spinechillers Racing KTM’s Dave Ginolfi has seized control of the points thanks to a win and runner-up effort in Wilkes-Barre. The former Arenacross Lites class champion is arguably the most experienced rider in the division, and that experience is proving to be a significant benefit as he begins to close in on another title.
The sixth round of AMSOIL Arenacross gets underway this Saturday, Feb. 21 for the first time ever inside Tampa’s Amalie Arena. Racing begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The entire AMSOIL Arenacross season will air on FOX Sports 1, including re-airs on Fox Sports 2.