AMA

Arenacross: Denver summary, Springfield preview

REYNARD DOMINATES DENVER Toyota AMA Arenacross Series' defending champion Chad Johnson, currently 2nd in points, will sit out remainder of season with leg injury AURORA, Ill., (Jan. 30, 2007) -- Oklahoma's Robbie Reynard (Reynard ...

REYNARD DOMINATES DENVER
Toyota AMA Arenacross Series' defending champion Chad Johnson, currently 2nd in points, will sit out remainder of season with leg injury

AURORA, Ill., (Jan. 30, 2007) -- Oklahoma's Robbie Reynard (Reynard Modifications/Honda) weathered a charge from a motivated Colorado contingent of privateers on Friday at the Denver Coliseum, then ran away with the show in front of a near sellout crowd on Saturday to go 1-1 on the weekend and cut Danny Smith's (TUF Racing/Honda) overall points lead to 18 with three races remaining on the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series tour schedule.

But possibly the biggest news to come out of Denver is that defending series champion Chad Johnson (Junior Jackson Racing/Suzuki) is reportedly through for the season -- the result of a terribly painful groin muscle injury.

"As of right now it looks like we're done for the season," said a dejected Jackson. "We tried everything we could do, pushed as hard as we could, but in the end Chad was injured worse than everybody thought."

Jackson added that Johnson is still in a Denver hospital and will fly back to Illinois for further evaluation later this week, noting that Johnson will still attend the remaining Toyota AMA Arenacross Series rounds to meet with fans and sign autographs.

"Chad knows he did everything he could to finish the season and didn't lay down easy," added Jackson.

Back on the Coliseum floor, Reynard was met Friday night by a swarm of Honda-mounted local Colorado pros including No. 62 Travis Bannister, No. 809 Kyle Calderini and No. 383 Bobby Fitch. The three native racers would battle hard against Reynard and Keith Johnson (Bobby J's/Yamaha, 2nd overall) and would eventually round out the top five positions.

Adjusting to the altitude had all the out-of-town pros scrambling, the most obvious being Smith, who was having difficulties staying with the leaders in Friday's main event, along with Chad Johnson who was seen receiving some wrench help in the pits from competitor Kevin Johnson (Team Faith/Yamaha).

But keeping it all together on Friday, and eventually Saturday, was Reynard and his father, Robert Sr.

"Robbie's Dad deserves the game ball for this weekend," said Toyota AMA Arenacross Series announcer Tim Cotter. "As a team they knew what had to be done and got it done. It's got to be one of the highlights of Mr. Reynard's racing career."

Smith did make a run at Reynard on Saturday, rebounding after a tough loss on Friday. Kevin Johnson, who ran into mechanical issues on Friday, was in the hunt versus Reynard on Saturday as well, winding up 4th overall on the night.

In the AMA Arenacross Lites class at Denver, Reynard's traveling partner, Cory Green (Oklahoma), swept both nights' competition.

At Louisville, Ky., some of the eastern-based stars of Toyota AMA Arenacross Series made their way to Broadbent Arena on the campus of the University of Louisville for some equally exciting racing action. Carolina Xpress' Jim Neese nearly pulled off the impossible sweep, winning the AMA Arenacross Lites class on Friday and Saturday and the premier AMA Arenacross class on Friday. Neese made the podium (3rd) in the AMA Arenacross class on again Saturday -- the best multi-class result this year for a racer. Also doing well in the Arenacross class at Louisville was Brock Sellards (TUF Racing), who won on Saturday night.

This weekend the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series stops in Springfield, Ill., for two nights of racing at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. Here's the facts on this weekend's event:

-credit: live nation

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