Team Faith’s Kevin Johnson Sweeps Baltimore

The Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series’ “other” Johnson steps up to prove he’s “The” Johnson at 1st Mariner Arena this past Friday and Saturday

AURORA, Ill., (Jan. 16, 2006) ¿ Two big nights of Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series racing came to a conclusion this past Saturday at Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena with the series’ other Johnson ¿ Kevin Johnson ¿ making a name for himself as “The” Johnson as he completed the two-night sweep of the AMA Arenacross class in front of the most boisterous crowd of the year thus far.

Making it easy on the fans was the racing of Toyota AMA Arenacross’ top stars ¿ Team Yamaha’s Chad Johnson, Thor/Honda/TUF Racing’s Brock Sellards and veteran Suzuki  mount Jim Neese. “On Saturday, during the last four laps, nobody in the arena was in their seat,” said announcer Tim Cotter. “This was not only the biggest crowd, in terms of Friday night attendance, but also the loudest we’ve had all year. They’re definitely into their arenacross in downtown Baltimore.”

With Chad Johnson on the sidelines pretty much all week recovering from the flu, the door was open to make a run at his points lead. Sellards, trailing by only 17 points entering the race, was chomping at the bit to get after Chad Johnson. His Thor/Honda/TUF Racing teammate Jeff Northrop was also poised to clear a big gap in the standings. But in order to do this they’d both have get through the dreaded `Friday the 13th’ jinx, something that would inevitably hammer both Thor/Honda/TUF Racing riders and, at the same time, benefit Team Faith’s Kevin Johnson and Chad Johnson as well.

“Man, I got bit by the Friday the 13th bug,” said Sellards, who threw a chain in his heat race, managed to get through his semi OK, but had to start the main event on the back row. “I got out pretty good in the main, then stalled my dang bike and couldn’t get it started ¿ lost like three laps there.”

And things weren’t much better for Northrop, who entered Baltimore ¿ a race that he shared victory in last year ¿ in third place overall in the points and left in fifth place overall. “First turn of Friday’s main I smashed my pointer finger and middle finger ¿ enough so that both fingernails are black,” said Northrop, who managed to soldier on for 4th on Friday. “Then on Saturday I ran into the back of Shawn Clark, broke the shroud off my fork and had my brake line come loose. I had to pull over so they could zip tie my brake line so it wouldn’t get caught up in the wheel.”

While the Thor/Honda/TUF Racing guys were battling to stay in things, Team Faith’s Kevin Johnson was on it. Surviving a early race tangle with Chad Johnson on Friday, Kevin Johnson got the lead and held onto it the whole way. Team ROCKSTAR/Suzuki’s Greg Schnell also made up some valuable points, on the podium on Friday (2nd) and moving past Northrop for fourth in the overall standings. The series’ point leader, Chad Johnson, struggled all night but was able to pull off a fifth and some valuable points ¿ especially when Sellards stalled his bike late in the race.

“I felt real good, even had my fastest lap of the night on lap 14,” said Kevin Johnson of his effort on Friday. “Just needed to catch a couple breaks and I did on Friday, which gave me the confidence to go out and back that win up on Saturday with another one.”

Saturday night was the best racing the series has seen all year. With everybody gunning for Chad Johnson, Neese pulled the holeshot and ran it hard for the first half of the race. When Neese got into some lappers, Kevin Johnson got around him and started to check out. But all the while Chad Johnson, burning the flu bug out of his system, caught up to Kevin Johnson ¿ with Neese and Sellards in tow. Over the last four laps all four riders were litelly on top of each other, lead changing corner after corner with Neese up ahead of Kevin Johnson and Sellards sticking his nose in there as well.

“Lunch box carryin’, blue collar racing at its finest,” is how Cotter would call it.

When the dust finally settled on 1st Mariner Arena, the four horsemen of the evening ¿ both Johnsons, Sellards and Neese would be high-fiving each other as they left the track to thunderous applause – knowing they’d just put on the best racing performance of the year.

The AMA Lites class featured a first-time winner on Saturday, Jeremy Cook. Team VRM.com Racing’s Shawn Clark continued to shine on the Lites bikes as he took another win on Friday.

The Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series returns to action in this weekend when the world’s top arena-based motocross racers converge on Guthrie’s (Okla.) Lazy E Arena for Round Seven of the ten-round series. For more information on the Guthrie race please visit www.arenacross.com or contact the Lazy E Arena box office at (800)  511-1552.

Results

Friday

AMA Arenacross Lites AMA Arenacross

  1. Shawn Clark, Kawasaki
  2. Jim Neese, Suzuki
  3. Jim Chester, Suzuki
  4. Roy Horton, Honda
  5. Sonny Nighman, Kawasaki
  1. Kevin Johnson, Yamaha
  2. Greg Schnell, Suzuki
  3. Jim Neese, Suzuki
  4. Jeff Northrop, Honda
  5. Chad Johnson, Yamaha

Saturday

AMA Arenacross Lites AMA Arenacross

  1. Jeremy Cook, Kawasaki
  2. Josh Schmitt, Honda
  3. Roy Horton, Honda
  4. Kody Molitor, Yamaha
  5. Jared Boothroyd, KTM
  1. Kevin Johnson, Yamaha
  2. Brock Sellards, Honda
  3. Jim Neese, Suzuki
  4. Chad Johnson, Yamaha
  5. Greg Schnell, Suzuki

Arenacross Class Overall Points

  1. Chad Johnson 257
  2. Brock Sellards 238
  3. Kevin Johnson 225
  4. Greg Schnell 206
  5. Jeff Northrop 205
  6. Jim Neese 203
  7. Shawn Clark 161
  8. Zach Ames 136
  9. Scott Metz 115
  10. Jim Chester 105

For more information about the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, please log on to www.supercross.cc.com.

About Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP¿/Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series

Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP is a 17-round global off-road motorcycle stadium racing circuit. Riders must compete in the international rounds to be eligible to win the world championship. In 2005-2006, the 17-event Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP will be comprised of two international events and 15 of the 16 events that are conducted in major cities throughout the United States as a part of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series.  Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series is a 16-event series solely conducted in the United States.  The other Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series event held in Daytona Beach, Fla., is independently produced by the International Speedway Corporation and is not a part of the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP. An Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series rider will be crowned as the national champion for the series of events conducted in the United States only. 

The FIM, Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, is the body that globally governs motorcycle sport at the world level. Among other matters, the FIM groups together 85 affiliated National Federations relating to the sport of motorcycle racing. AMA Pro Racing is the National Federation representative that sanctions motorcycle-racing events in the United States. Dorna Off Road S.L. is an internationally recognized sports management group established in 1988 with an emphasis on major international motor sports events.  Dorna is headquartered in Madrid, Spain with branch offices in Barcelona, London and Tokyo. In addition to its involvement with Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP, Dorna manages the rights to MotoGP. For more information on Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP/ Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, log on to www.supercross.cc.com.  

About AMA Pro Racing

AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF, the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.

 

that sanctions motorcycle-racing events in the United States. Dorna Off Road S.L. is an internationally recognized sports management group established in 1988 with an emphasis on major international motor sports events.  Dorna is headquartered in Madrid, Spain with branch offices in Barcelona, London and Tokyo. In addition to its involvement with Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP, Dorna manages the rights to MotoGP. For more information on Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP/ Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, log on to www.supercross.cc.com.  

About AMA Pro Racing

AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF, the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.