by Michael Strickland

The competition has been exceptional to start AMSOIL Arenacross’ Race to the Championship, and after two rounds the most intense racing of the entire 2016 season has seen several title hopefuls make their presence known. That is why I was delighted when a friend of mine ask me to help her shoot video at the AMSOIL Arenacross Series coming Friday  4/22/16 at 7pm and Sat 4/23/16 at 5pm and 7pm to the For8c1fa7b6f6d29fc9fffefb9dcef59ec8d Idaho Center.

It occurred to me that the action of motocross would be a great topic to write about for my various platforms.

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The supercross stars of tomorrow can be found today in the AMSOIL Arenacross Series, which attracts the best up-and-coming riders in the world, all set to prove they can make it to the top tier of the sport. Staged in intimate arena settings, arenacross tracks are among the tightest in the world, filled with difficult challenges, amazing airtime, intense speed and all the close-contact racing audiences expect.

The return of AMSOIL Arenacross to one of the country’s most scenic landscapes comes on the heels of a historic period for the sport, which recently hosted its first ever race at an outdoor venue. The Salinas Sports Complex on California’s central coast had the potential to be one of the most exciting races in AMSOIL Arenacross history and it didn’t disappoint, as weekend rains provided wet conditions that resulted in a battle of survival. The rider who made the least amount of mistakes was sure to emerge with a victory and when all was said and done TiLUBE/TUF Racing Honda’s Ben Lamay walked away with his first career overall victory in AMSOIL Arenacross.

While Lamay enjoyed the spoils of victory, Blose left Salinas with a smile on his face as well. The Race to the Championship leader ended up in a tie with Lamay for the overall win, but settled for second after a tiebreaker. As a result, he added to his lead in the championship standings and brings the momentum of his near-perfect start to the playoff into Tacoma. Blose has two overall wins and one runner-up finish in three Race to the Championship races and looks comfortable sitting atop the standings with the red number plate.


While Blose left Salinas with even more confidence, his Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki teammate Gavin Faith was left wondering what could have been. The top seed in the Race to the Championship has paced Blose every step of the way in the playoff and in Salinas it was clear that Faith was the rider to beat. After a win in the RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge and a dominant ride to victory in the first Arenacross Class Main Event, Faith was comfortably out front in the final Main Event and looked to be on his way to a clean sweep of racing. A win in both Main Events would have given Faith the edge to move back atop the Race to the Championship standings, but a mistake late in the second Main Event put him on the ground and relegated him to a fifth-place result. His resiliency to soldier on after the crash allowed him to secure third overall, but in the big picture of the title fight Faith lost an additional point to his teammate.

The Team Babbitt’s duo has been exceptional to this point in the Race to the Championship and their consistency has been the key to establishing a little separation in the points. However, with Lamay’s big win, the strong efforts from his TUF Racing teammate Jace Owen, and the rock solid style of Jacob Hayes, any hiccup by Blose or Faith could open the door for one of these riders to close the gap. Thanks to its sprawling floor space, the Tacoma Dome will present a slightly larger, more unique track layout for the Race to the Championship competitors, which should result in another night of intense and unpredictable competition.

For the third consecutive race, the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class welcomed a first-time winner in Salinas. While many of his main rivals for the win encountered trouble in the wet conditions, DrivenMX/MEPMX KTM’s Jared Lesher focused on executing consistent laps and keeping his bike on two wheels. That focus and determination carried the up and coming rider from Georgia to the first win of his career. While Lesher savored his breakthrough achievement, points leader and TZR/Woodstock KTM’s rider Cody VanBuskirk added a little more distance to his competitors in the championship standings. Despite missing out on a podium result for the first time in five races, VanBuskirk’s still finished ahead of his challengers and now has a three-point lead over Team DirtBike Mike/KTM Sports Center of Little Rock KTM’s Ben Nelko, who finished sixth. Shawnee Motor Company/Justified Cultures KTM’s Cheyenne Harmon, who sits third in the championship standings, finished right behind VanBuskirk in fifth and sits 10 points out of the lead. Read more at

I am excited to write and help shoot this tremendous action!

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