SIX DIFFERENT RIDERS MAKE TOYOTA AMA ARENACROSS SERIES PODIUM @ SPRINGFIELD! First time winner Teddy Maier is tops on Friday, while overall points leader Danny Smith extends his series lead with win on Saturday AURORA, Ill., (Feb. 6, 2007) --...
SIX DIFFERENT RIDERS MAKE TOYOTA AMA ARENACROSS SERIES PODIUM @ SPRINGFIELD!
First time winner Teddy Maier is tops on Friday, while overall points leader Danny Smith extends his series lead with win on Saturday
AURORA, Ill., (Feb. 6, 2007) -- For the first time this season an amazing six different racers made up the Friday and Saturday podiums at Springfield's (Ill.) Prairie Capital Convention Center, Round Eight of the 2006-'07 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series.
This weekend racing action takes place at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Mich., and Wes Banco Arena in Wheeling, W.V. Once again the decision of where to race plays into the weekend's race strategy.
Top that with two different winners in the AMA Arenacross Lites class -- and five separate lites racers on the podium -- and an unbelievable 11 different riders made up the 12 podiums spots in the two nights of racing.
"I've never seen anything like that before," said Robert Hansen, director of arenacross for Live Nation. "Teddy Maier's win on Friday gave us our ninth different premier class main event winner on the season. I honestly don't know if that's ever happened in the history of the sport before."
In Friday's main event Vincent Blair (Eternal Industries/Suzuki) pulled the holeshot and quickly went to battle with Maier (Ti-Lube/StormLakeHonda.com). With current No. 1 and No. 2 points leaders -- Danny Smith (TUF Racing/Honda) and Robbie Reynard (Reynard Modifications/Honda) -- starting outside the top ten, Maier got past Blair and pulled a tight field of riders that included Keith Johnson (Bobby J's/Yamaha), Kevin Johnson (Team Faith/Yamaha) and Brock Sellards (TUF Racing/Honda).
"Teddy Maier was on it Friday night," said Toyota AMA Arenacross Series announcer Tim Cotter. "He's been racing so well all season long and just missed winning on a couple occasions. So it was good to finally see him get a win."
Back behind Maier, both Smith and Reynard were charging hard to catch up to the top five, which meant with the current talent level in the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series the two championship contenders really had to put it on the line to make up places. Ironically, both racers would be collected in a crash with Brad Modjweski (Rock River Powersports/Yamaha). Smith got up and finished 7th while Reynard came in 8th.
Joining Maier on the podium Friday were the brothers Johnson, Kevin and Keith, in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Saturday night in Springfield played to yet another capacity crowd on the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series and points leader Smith came out firing -- bringing in his most important win of the year since taking the season opener in Des Moines (Iowa). As Smith pulled the holeshot and led every lap to, fans kept a close eye on Reynard, who started in 15th and put on possibly the season's best charge in trying to catch Smith -- racing all the way up to 2nd place at the checkers.
"I got a horrible start and just decided that if I still want a shot at the title in Nashville, I'd better make the podium," said Reynard. "I did everything I could to catch back up to the leaders and was able to make a pass with a few laps to go for 2nd place. I lost a few points here tonight in the points chase, but it could have been a whole lot worse."
As it stands, Smith increased his 18-point lead heading into Springfield to 22 points over Reynard, 310-288. With two races remaining the two have distanced themselves from the rest of the field -- with Keith and Kevin Johnson 20 points or more behind Reynard.
"Again, anything can happen in this sport," said Hansen. "A 20-point lead can be wiped out in one night. The riders will pumped these next two races, the mechanics will be on edge and I strongly believe the entire season will come down to the last race in Nashville."
In AMA Arenacross Lites division racing at Springfield Jim Neese (Carolina Xpress/Suzuki) and Modjewski split the wins with Neese winning on Friday and Modjewski on Saturday.