NAMPA, Idaho — official series release — Arenacross photo —
The penultimate round of AMSOIL Arenacross’ Race to the Championship came to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday night inside Ford Idaho Center.
One night after the overall win moved him into sole possession of the lead in the Race to the Championship, Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Gavin Faith cemented his hold of the point lead with a sweep of the action in Nampa. In the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class, Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing, presented by FMC and OTSFF rider Kyle Bitterman did the same, winning both Main Events over the weekend.
Before the Main Events in the Arenacross Class got underway, Faith out-dueled his Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki teammate and main championship rival Chris Blose to win the RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge, earning an additional championship bonus point.
TiLUBE/TUF Racing Honda’s Jace Owen got the holeshot in the first Arenacross Class Main Event, but was quickly passed in the whoops by Blose and Faith. Drama then ensued as Blose attempted to take the inside line on his teammate, resulting in contact that took both riders to the ground. Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes was able to slide past his teammates and take the early lead ahead of TiLUBE/TUF Racing Honda’s Ben Lamay and Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kyle Regal. Faith completed the first lap in sixth, while Blose found himself back in 14th.
Regal slipped by Lamay to take over second on lap two, and on the following lap Lamay lost several more positions and dropped to fifth, with TZR/Woodstock KTM’s Travis Sewell moving into third and Strikt/Triple Effect Yamaha’s Ryan Breece into fourth. Faith’s march to the front started by moving into the top five on lap four and then into fourth just a few laps later on lap seven. On Lap 10, Regal dropped from second to fourth, moving Sewell into second and Faith into third.
Hayes took his first Main Event win of the Race to the Championship with Sewell in second and Faith in third. Regal was fourth, with TiLUBE/TUF Racing Honda’s Jace Owen in fifth. Blose rebounded from his start outside the top 10 to finish eighth.
Faith seized the moment to take the lead to start the second Main Event, with Blose and Owen in tow. After starting fourth, Hayes was able to pass Owen to take control of third. From there the top three remained unchanged with Faith carrying on to take his first Main Event win of the Race to the Championship and solidify his overall victory. Blose bounced back from a challenging first Main Event to finish second, with Hayes third, Sewell fourth and Owen fifth.
With his 3-1 finishes and his victory in the Head 2 Head Challenge Faith edged out Hayes (1-3) for the overall win. Sewell finished third overall (2-4), with Blose fourth (8-2) and Owen fifth (5-5).
Faith’s one-point lead in the Race to the Championship extended to eight points over Blose.
Bitterman opened the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Main Event with the holeshot, but quickly lost the lead to Team DirtBike Mike/KTM Sports Center of Little Rock KTM rider Ben Nelko. However, that didn’t last long as Bitterman reclaimed the lead on Lap 1 and never looked back. Nelko settled into second ahead of DrivenMX/MEPMX KTM’s Jared Lesher and Project Filter/FLY Racing/WPS KTM’s Cole Siebler. Hometown rider Siebler brought the crowd to its feet by making a pass for third on lap two. Bitterman went on to lead 14 of the 15 laps and claim back-to-back victories, one night after breaking through for his first career win, with Nelko in second and Siebler in third. Western Regional Championship leader Cody VanBuskirk finished fourth aboard his TZR/Woodstock KTM, with Scott Sports/Knor Motorsports Husqvarna’s Dave Ginolfi in fifth.
Nelko was able to chip away at his deficit to VanBuskirk in the Western Regional standings, and now eight points separate the two with one round remaining.
CREDIT: AMSOIL Arenacross