Arenacross

Gavin Faith Leads Team Sweep on Opening Night At ArenaCross Opener

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The 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross season kicked off on Saturday night from Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena. Despite not winning either of the Arenacross Class Main Events, Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Gavin Faith capitalized on consistency to take the first overall win of the season in his debut outing for the team, leading the way for a Team Babbitt's sweep of the overall podium.

In the first race of the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship, Triangle Cycles Yamaha's Keith Tucker posted a wire-to-wire victory.

As the gate dropped on the first 15-lap Arenacross Class Main Event of 2016, Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing presented by FMC and OTSFF rider Gared Steinke raced to the holeshot ahead of Woodstock/TZR KTM's Travis Sewell and Faith.

Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Chris Blose was fourth while last year's top two finishers in the championship, Kyle Regal and Jacob Hayes, slotted eighth and 11th, respectively. However, on Lap 2 Regal, the reigning AMSOIL Arenacross Champion, went down right before the finish and dropped back to the tail end of the field.

Steinke kept a hard-charging Sewell at bay for the first half of the Main Event, but Sewell's persistence paid off on Lap 7 and he seized control of the lead. The top three remained Sewell, Steinke and Faith for the next few laps until Faith made his move to take over second on Lap 11. Sewell race to the checkered flag for the Main Event win, with Faith second and Steinke third. Blose followed in fourth while Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Hayes battled from outside the top 10 to finish fifth. Following his crash, Regal fought his way back to put his Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing machine 10th.

With his win Sewell had the opportunity to pick the inversion for the second Main Event from three suitcases and ultimately selected the case with 0, meaning the field would line up as it finished the first Main Event.

As the field rushed out of the gate to begin the second Main Event it was Keith Tucker, fresh off his Arenacross Lites win earlier in the evening, who grabbed the holeshot with Hayes and Faith in tow. Steinke stayed close in fourth, followed by Regal and Blose. It was a reversal of fortune for Sewell, who crashed on the first lap and crossed the line in 15th.

Tucker maintained his lead despite heavy pressure from Hayes, with Faith just a few bike length behind, and the trio would stay that way for nearly the entire Main Event. However, on the final lap Hayes made his move and took the lead with a pass that nearly took himself out of action right before the finish. He maintained the momentum and secured the win just three tenths ahead of Tucker with Faith a close third. Blose was fourth with Steinke fifth. Regal's tough first night of his title defense continued on Lap 5 when he dropped a couple positions to seventh. He would drop another two spots on the final lap to finish ninth.

Faith's 2-3 results landed him atop the overall standings, narrowly edging out his teammate Hayes for the win by a single point. Blose completed the overall podium in third to give Team Babbitt's a 1-2-3 sweep on opening night for the second straight season. A three-way tie for third left Steinke in fourth and Sewell fifth. Regal ended the night eighth.

Earlier in the evening, Regal earned the win in the Head-to-Head Bracket Racing to earn an additional championship bonus point.

In the initial Arenacross Class point standings, Faith carries a one-point lead over Hayes in Second. Blose, Steinke and Sewell all sit tied for third, three points out of the lead.

In the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Main Event, Tucker made easy work of the field after grabbing the holeshot ahead of NST/Spinechillers KTM's Lane Staley and Woodstock/TZR KTM's Scott Zont.

Tucker opened a healthy lead over the field and maintained it throughout the 15-lap Main Event, taking the win over five seconds ahead of Staley, while Honda rider Henry Miller passed Zont for third. A&Y Racing Honda's Daniel Herrlein put in an impressive ride to finish fourth after starting 10th, with FCC Motorsports Honda's Dylan Walker rounding out the top five.

Staley now has a one-point lead over Miller in the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class point standings, with Walker in third, three points back.

The 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross season continues next weekend with the second round of the championship from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.
Faith (center) led his Team Babbitt's teammates Hayes (right) and Blose (left) to a 1-2-3 sweep in Cincinnati. - Credit: ShiftOne Photography
2016 AMSOIL Arenacross Rd1 - Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena

Arenacross Class Overall Results (Main Event Results)
1. Gavin Faith, Duncombe, Iowa, Kawasaki (2-3)
2. Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (5-1)
3. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Kawasaki (4-4)
4. Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Husqvarna (3-5)
5. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (1-7)
6. Keith Tucker, Fuquay Varina, N.C., Yamaha (6-2)
7. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki (7-6)
8. Kyle Regal, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Husqvarna (10-9)
9. Justin Cooper, Cold Springs Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (8-11)
10. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda (11-10)

Arenacross Class Championship Standings
1. Gavin Faith, Duncombe, Iowa, Kawasaki - 30
2. Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki - 29 (1 Main Event Win)
3. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM - 27 (1 Main Event Win)
4. Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Husqvarna - 27
5. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Kawasaki - 27
6. Keith Tucker, Fuquay Varina, N.C., Yamaha - 26
7. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki - 22
8. Kyle Regal, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Husqvarna - 17
9. Justin Cooper, Cold Springs Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha - 15
10. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda - 13

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Results
1. Keith Tucker, Fuquay Varina, N.C., Yamaha
2. Lane Staley, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM
3. Henry Miller, Rochester, Minn., Honda
4. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda
5. Dylan Walker, Lancaster, Ohio, Honda
6. Ben Nelko, Aliquippa, Pa., KTM
7. Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki
8. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha
9. Tyler McSwain, Shelby, N.C., Yamaha
10. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Standings
1. Lane Staley, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM - 15
2. Henry Miller, Rochester, Minn., Honda - 14
3. Dylan Walker, Lancaster, Ohio, Honda - 12
4. Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki - 10
5. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha - 9
6. Tyler McSwain, Shelby, N.C., Yamaha - 8
7. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM - 6
8. Drayke Sizemore, Tamaroa, Ill., Yamaha - 5
9. Isaac Teasdale, Robbinsville, N.C., KTM - 4
10. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., Yamaha - 2

Top Image: The Arenacross Class field launches out of the gate for the first time in 2016.

Credit: ShiftOne Photography

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