Unlike its Supercross cousin, no clear defined winner has emerged in the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross series thanks primarily to the reset of points two rounds ago.
Both racing series have four rounds remaining in their respective seasons and in Supercross Ryan Dungey pretty much has the 2015 title locked up. In Arenacross, anyone in the Top 10 has a shot.
Since the "Race to the Championship" quasi-playoff format started in New Orleans, Chris Blose has nailed down three wins in the four Motos raced. But he's not in first. Kyle Regal takes a four point advantage into this weekend's Round 12 in Spokane, WA. Regal has just one win, but thanks to Blose finishing in 14th for the other Moto raced, that gives Regal the points advantage.
In case you're just tuning in, the "Race for the Championship" format of Arenacross reset the points for those riders in the Top 10 after Round 9 which this year was in Southaven, MS. Here's how it works: The rider in first place starts the final six rounds of the "Race" with six points, second place gets five points, third and fourth place start with four points, fifth and sixth get three points, seventh and eighth get two points and ninth and 10th start with one point.
So here's what happened: Regal led the field heading into Round 9 by just one point over Jacob Hayes and Matt Goerke then entered Round 10 in New Orleans still as the leader by just by one point. But the point spread with the rest of the field was drastically different. Prior to the Southaven round, Regal had a 60 point lead over fourth-place Travis Sewell and held an insurmountable 140 point lead over Cory Green in 10th place. Entering Round 10, Regal's lead over Sewell dropped to three and while Green remained in 10th place he was only five points down. Green managed to slip into the Top 10 in the final rounds leading up to the cutoff, otherwise he'd be out of the "Race" and now he's seventh-place, 13 points back of Regal. The Top 5 riders are within 10 points of each other so even second and third-place for the season are up for grabs. The twist in the series certainly makes for an exciting end to the Arenacross season and gives those mathematically out of reach for the Championship just a few rounds ago a chance to ride away with the 2015 title.
Gared Steinke battles Jacob Hayes - All Photos: AMSOIL Arenacross
MotoSport rider Gared Steinke is one of those riders and he stepped on the podium for the first time all season after the points reset (good timing!) though he sits in ninth-place with 40 points, 21 back from Regal, thanks to a 13th place finish the same night he stepped on the box. His work is cut out for him but he's got a reason to ride as anything can happen in Arenacross during the next four rounds.
"I've never felt better, the bike is running great and I'm continuing to practice on starts," Steinke said. "I need to get more aggressive in the final races to finish in the Top 5 and prove to myself I can compete at this level."
It won't be easy for Steinke as the current front-runners are pretty much the same riders who enjoy the familiar positioning in the standings before the points reset. Hayes who won the most Mains in the first nine rounds is in third-place with 55 points, Bobby Kiniry is right behind him with 54 points, and in fifth-place is Goerke who impressed early in the season with so much consistency he led the field in points without having won a Moto though he's since stood center podium.
Arenacross class riders have four rounds (eight Motos) left in the season totaling 128 points to build on leads or climb in the standings. Riding smart by avoiding not only crashing but others who have crashed is key and more important than ever with the season winding down.
Daniel Blair close to wrapping up first career Championship
The West Lites class is a different story as Daniel Blair looks poised to hoist his first career Championship trophy. The MotoSport rider leads the West Lites class by 35 points and despite his two closest competitors not racing in the last round Blair looks nearly untouchable. He's won two straight rounds which includes an East Lites class win (doesn't count for points) and he has three wins in four West Lites rounds (six Motos) giving him 85 points. For the year he has five wins and 10 Top 5 finishes.
"I'm feeling great and on a roll right now," he said. "I've won four of the last eight Mains (Motos) and hope to end the season with nothing but wins and clinch that Championship."
The East Lites class is in the books as Dave Ginolfi dominated that series winning the Championship with a round remaining by more than 50 points.
Arenacross resumes 7 p.m. Saturday at Spokane Arena. Buy tickets online or at the box office, 720 W. Mallon Ave. in Spokane, WA.
2015 Race to the Championship Standings
- Kyle Regal (61)
- Chris Blose (57)
- Jacob Hayes (55)
- Bobby Kiniry (54)
- Matt Goerke (51)
- Gavin Faith (50)
- Cory Green (48)
- Travis Sewell (46)
- Gared Steinke (40) - MotoSport rider
- Steven Mages (34)
Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points
- Daniel Blair (85) - MotoSport rider
- Cody VanBuskirk (50)
- Brandon Glenn (48)
- Jake Locks (39)
- Clay Elliott (34)
- Josh Struebig (26)
- Mason Wharton (24)
- Jason McConnell (23)
- Jonah Locks (19)
- Dalton Oxborrow (18)
- Benjamin Nelko (18)
Written By: AndrewT