Photo: AMSOIL Arenacross
If the gloves haven't come off yet, don't expect any on for the final race of the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross series on Friday in Las Vegas.
Jacob Hayes and Kyle Regal lead the field, tied in points, heading into Round 15 and mathematically, seven riders remain in contention for the Arenacross title. It's been a battle since Round 1 with crashes, wipe-outs, and injuries setting riders back just after they get ahead.
Hayes who led the field early in the season dropped back a few spots once the "Race to the Championship" format started for Round 10 which reset the points for those riders in the Top 10 after Round 9. Chris Blose swept Round 10 grabbing first away from Kyle Regal but then Regal came back and won the overall for Rounds 11 and 12 taking back the top spot. Hayes sat in fourth 15 points back from Regal prior to Round 13 in Tacoma when he swept for his first overall since the points reset. He jumped from fourth to second and then another overall in Fresno tied him with Regal.
It's been like that all season as Blose won the Round 1 January opener in Cincinnati and then a few rounds later crashed and fell out of the Top 5. Gavin Faith has been up and down the points board so has Bobby Kiniry. Cory Green managed to sneak into the Top 10 to qualify for the "Race to the Championship" in the final few rounds leading to the cutoff and now he's in sixth-place just a point behind Blose and Faith and in contention for the Championship and the final podium.
Heartbreak hit MotoSport rider Gared Steinke in Fresno after a blown head gasket took him out of podium contention in Moto 1 and ended his night. He dropped from eighth to ninth-place in the standings and lost too many points to now consider finishing in the Top 5 for the season. He was a favorite to podium in Fresno since just two rounds earlier in Spokane he won his first Main of the year and followed that up with a third-place effort in Moto 1 at Tacoma. Fresno was considered a home race since he lives just a few hours outside the city.
Kirk Lauerman, team manager for the MotoSport.com/Lauerman MX team said it was devastating to the whole team but he expected Steinke to finish up strong and come into Las Vegas with fire in his eyes. A sweep can only get Steinke into seventh-place to end the season but any podium results would certainly salve some wounds.
The West Lites class also wraps up competition where MotoSport rider Danial Blair already claimed the Championship a few weeks ago. However, racing for the series is as competitive as ever and Blair finished second last time out. A final win gives him five on the season plus a nice exclamation to his 2015 Championship title and any spot on the box would give him 11 podiums for the year.
Check out all the action at 8 p.m. Friday at South Point Arena. Buy tickets online or at the box office, 9777 Las Vegas Blvd South in Las Vegas.
2015 Race to the Championship Standings
- Jacob Hayes (140)
- Kyle Regal (140)
- Matt Goerke (133)
- Chris Blose (124)
- Gavin Faith (124)
- Cory Green (123)
- Travis Sewell (109)
- Bobby Kiniry (97)
- Gared Steinke (89) - MotoSport rider
- Steven Mages (78)
Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points
- Daniel Blair (127) - 2015 West Lites Champion
- Jake Locks (65)
- Cody VanBuskirk (51)
- Jason McConnell (49)
- Brandon Glenn (48)
- Clay Elliott (46)
- Josh Struebig (41)
- Mason Wharton (34)
- RJ Wageman (32)
- Jonah Locks (29)