Arenacross

Jacob Hayes Emerges Victorious After Wild Opening Night in Grand Rapids

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The second round of the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael's Road to Supercross, began on Friday with the first of two nights of thrilling competition from Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena.

After a pair of action-packed Main Events, Team Babbitt's Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jacob Hayes earned his first overall win of the season in the Arenacross Class. In the Arenacross Lites Class, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider and Road to Supercross competitor Darian Sanayei raced to his second consecutive victory to remain undefeated this season.

The night began with misfortune for the Babbitt's squad after title contender Zach Ames crashed in practice and was forced to miss the evening's action. Ames entered Friday second in the Arenacross Class standings, just two points out of the lead.

In his teammate's absence, Team Babbitt's rider Chris Blose took control of the opening Main Event in search of back-to-back wins to start the season. Blose's early advantage allowed him to open a healthy lead ahead on Hayes and fellow Team Babbitt's Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Matt Goerke.

Soon enough Hayes began to narrow his deficit to Blose, and on Lap 6 he was able to take advantage of a bobble by the points leader to assume the lead. Once out front, Hayes and Blose put on a show for the fans, going bar-to-bar all the way through to the finish. In the end Hayes earned his second straight Main Event win, with Blose second and Goerke third.

With the win Hayes had the opportunity to select the inversion for the second Main Event, ultimately opening the box that said zero, meaning riders would start where they finished in the first Main Event.
Regal's win in Main Event 2 helped secure second overall. - Credit: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography
Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing's Kyle Regal put himself into the early lead in the second Main Event, ahead of Blose and Babbitt's Online Suzuki's Cory Green. On the second lap Blose encountered trouble crashing just after the finish line. The points leader took his time getting up and soon walked off the track, resulting in a DNF and taking him out of contention for the win.

With a little less pressure behind him, Regal was able to take control of the Main Event and open a comfortable margin. Behind him, the battle for second heated up between Green and ThermoTec Yamaha's Bobby Kiniry for second. At the start of Lap 9 Kiniry made an aggressive move on the inside of Green just after the finish line and took both riders to the ground.

That opened the door for Hayes, who started seventh, to complete a charge through the field and move into second place ahead of Goerke. The top three remained unchanged through to the finish with Regal earning his first Main Event win of the season, Hayes capping off a stellar night in second and Goerke bringing home another podium result.

Hayes' 1-2 finish was simply unbeatable and allowed him to secure his first win for Team Babbitt's. Regal brought home a runner-up finish (5-1), while Goerke became the only rider to earn multiple podium finishes this season in third (3-3).

Prior to the Main Events, the Arenacross Class featured an incredible LCQ that featured a intense battle between a pair of Road to Supercross competitors, GEICO Honda's Jordon Smith and Orange Brigade KTM's Alex Frye. The two young stars traded positions in their battle for the second and final transfer spot into the Main Event, and it went all the way down to the final lap, with Smith narrowly taking the last spot in the 16-rider Main Event.

In RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge action, Husqvarna TiLUBE TUF Racing's Gavin Faith took the win in his first AMSOIL Arenacross start of the season, claiming the additional bonus point up for grabs.

With the shakeup, Hayes moves into a tie with his teammate Goerke atop the Arenacross Class standings. However, by virtue of his two Main Event wins, Hayes sits atop the standings. Blose dropped to third, six points out of the lead.

Slaka Wear KTM's Steven Mages controlled the second Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Main Event, just ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green's Mitchell Harrison. Harrison looked to pressure Mages up front, but then crashed on Lap 2.

That allowed FCC Motorsports Honda's Dylan Walker to assume the position ahead of Lakehill Motors Yamaha's Josh Cartwright. Things settled down for the next six laps before another shakeup occurred on Lap 9 when Cartwright moved into second, Sanayei third, and Walker fourth, with A&Y Racing Honda's Daniel Herrlein lurking in fifth. Once in podium position, Sanayei methodically worked his way forward, overcoming a fifth-place start, and made the winning pass with two laps remaining after Mages crashed out of the lead just after the finish line.

Herrlein made a late surge on the final lap to steal second, while Cartwright landed third. Walker experienced misfortune in the final five laps and dropped out of contention, while Mages recovered from his crash to finish fifth.

Sanayei added to his lead in the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship standings and now sits three points ahead of Herrlein, who moved into second. TZR Woodstock KTM's Dave Ginolfi is third, four points out of the lead.

Arenacross Class Results - Overall (Main Event Finishes)
Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (1-2)
Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna (5-1)
Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (3-3)
Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (4-4)
Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM (8-7)
Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki (7-8)
Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM (11-5)
Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (2-15)
Robert Kiniry, Holland Patent, N.Y., Yamaha (6-12)
Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda (10-10)

Arenacross Class Points (Race 2 of 20)
Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki - 55 (2 Main Event wins)
Matt Goerke, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki - 55
Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki - 49 (1 Main Event win)
Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM - 45
Kyle Regal, Grand Prairie, Texas, Husqvarna - 43 (1 Main Event win)
Robert Kiniry, Holland Patent, N.Y., Yamaha - 40
Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki - 35
Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda - 35
Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM - 34
Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Honda - 31

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Results
Darian Sanayei, Orting, Wash., Kawasaki
Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda
Josh Cartwright, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha
Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM
Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, KTM
Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM
Dave Blanchet, Quebec, Canada, Kawasaki
Daniel Blair, Lodi, Calif., KTM
Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM
Josh Struebig, Crown Point, Indiana, KTM

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 2 of 10)
Darian Sanayei, Orting, Wash., Kawasaki - 32 (2 Main Event wins)
Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda - 29
Dave Ginolfi, Boston, N.J., KTM - 28
Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasak - 25
Josh Cartwright, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha - 16
Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM - 16
Dave Blanchet, Quebec, Canada, Kawasaki - 13
Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki - 12
Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM - 10
Randy Woodring, Spring Lake, Mich., Kawasaki - 7

Top Image: Hayes' big night gives him a share of the Arenacross Class points lead.
Credit: Josh Rud / ShiftOne Photography

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