AMA AX: Jacob Hayes Sweeps in Tacoma; Claims First Overall Win of Race to the Championship

RaceChaser Staff Arenacross, Motorcycle Racing, Northwest, West Leave a Comment

TACOMA, Wash. – official series release — Josh Rud/ShiftOne Photography photo —

AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, hosted the second of back-to-back visits to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday inside the Tacoma Dome.

The fourth round of the playoff-inspired Race to the Championship featured a dominant outing by Team Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Jacob Hayes.

Hayes claimed his fourth overall win of the season and his first of the Race to the Championship with a sweep of the Arenacross Class Main Events.

In the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class, Slaka Wear KTM’s Steven Mages posted a sweep of both races in the Pacific Northwest, racing to his fourth Main Event win of the season.

Hayes made his presence felt early by grabbing the holeshot in the first Arenacross Class Main Event, with his Team Babbitt’s teammates Chris Blose and Matt Goerke in tow. While Hayes opened a slight gap over his fellow Kawasaki riders, Goerke slipped past Blose into second on Lap 1. From there, the top three settled into a rhythm out front.

Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing’s Kyle Regal, the Race to the Championship points leader, had to overcome an eighth-place start and fought to work his way forward, moving into sixth on Lap 6. Just a couple laps later Blose went off the track and crashed while navigating the track’s wall obstacle, dropping to ninth. Hayes went on to take the win ahead of Goerke and Motosport.com/Haeseker Racing KTM’s Gared Steinke. Babbitt’s Online Suzuki’s Cory Green finished fourth, while Regal fought his way into fifth. Blose’s misfortune left him with a 10th-place finish.

Hayes’ victory provided him with the privilege of selecting the inversion for the second Main Event. With the help of the Tacoma Dome crowd, Hayes selected the case with eight, meaning half the field would be inverted.

Despite the eighth gate pick, Hayes was still able to put himself out front in the second Main Event, once again taking the holeshot ahead of Mages and ThermoTec/FMC Racing Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry. Goerke was able to slot into fourth, with Regal fifth. It didn’t take long for Hayes to once again seize control of the race, leaving the battle to ensue behind him.

Goerke was the rider on the move in the early laps, passing Kiniry for third on Lap 3 and pressuring Mages for second for a handful of laps before taking the spot on Lap 8. That same lap Kiniry pulled off the track with an apparent issue and was unable to continue. That allowed Regal to move into fourth and his Husqvarna teammate Gavin Faith into fifth. Regal took advantage of the opportunity to break into podium contention by passing Mages for third on Lap 11. On the ensuing lap, Mages lost a couple more positions and dropped out of the top five. Hayes took the checkered flag just over three seconds ahead of Goerke, with Regal third, TZR Woodstock KTM’s Travis Sewell in fourth, and Faith fifth.

Hayes was the clear winner when the overall standings were tallied, while Goerke’s pair of runner-up finishes gave Team Babbitt’s a 1-2 sweep. Regal’s podium result in the second Main Event moved him into third overall (5-3), earning the tiebreaker for the position over Sewell (6-4), who earned an additional championship bonus point for winning the RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge earlier in the evening. Green rounded out the top five (4-6).

CREDIT: AMSOIL Arenacross

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