AURORA, Ill. (Jan. 21, 2008) -- A title chase reminiscent of the great 2005-’06 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series is brewing and will again come to a boil this weekend when Round 12 of the series stops at Louisville’s (Ky.) Broadbent Arena, Jan. 25-26.
Leading the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series is the 2005-’06 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series champion Chad Johnson (Bad Boy Energy/TUF/Honda). Johnson’s title, the lone Toyota AMA Arenacross Series title of his career, came at the expense of rival Brock Sellards (Monster Energy/Babbitt’s/Kawasaki) as Johnson won the overall 19-race championship series by one single point: 417-416.
In 2006 the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series split up on the weekend of the Louisville round, with racers having a choice between two other venues (Grand Rapids, Mich., and Hampton, Va.). Both Johnson and Sellards happened to choose Hampton, where Sellards got the upper hand, going 1-1 to Johnson’s 2-4.
This weekend in Louisville there will be no ‘other venue’ strategy as Broadbent Arena is the only Toyota AMA Arenacross Series round scheduled. This means fans at Broadbent Arena will not only see Sellards -- who won this past weekend’s Dayton (Ohio) round -- squaring off against Johnson (2nd at Dayton), but a field that could produce a winner from Sellards and Johnson all the way down to the 12th racer in the premier AMA Arenacross class standings.
The Toyota AMA Arenacross Series head official Harv Whipple put it best last week when he said: “I was talking to Dave Antolak (Bad Boy Energy/TUF/Honda) last week and we both agreed that we’re seeing end-of-the-season races at the midway point of the season. If you’re anywhere close to Broadbent Arena in Louisville, I’m telling you to pull out all the stops to check it out. These have been some of the best races I’ve seen in a long, long time.
Extending the front runners to a three-horse lead for the 2007-’08 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series championship is Sellards’ teammate, Kelly Smith. The Michigan native is currently 2nd overall in the points chase, trailing Johnson 232-222. Sellards is 3rd -- and charging hard -- at 219 points.
“I’ve been around the sport for 12 years and that’s the best racing I’ve seen, said Sellards and Smith’s team manager, Monster/Babbitt’s/Kawasaki’s Denny Bartz.
2007-’08 AMA Arenacross Class Point Standings (as of 1/21/08)
1. Chad Johnson, Hon, 232
2. Kelly Smith, Kaw, 222
3. Brock Sellards, Kaw, 219
4. Teddy Maier, Hon, 195
5. Kevin Johnson, Yam, 188
6. Keith Johnson, Yam, 185
7. Danny Smith, Hon, 149
8. Jim Neese, Suz, 144
9. Tommy Hofmaster, Yam, 141
10. Nathan Skaggs, Hon, 138
Tickets for the Jan. 25-27 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series at Louisville’s Broadbent Arena are available through www.arenacross.com, at the Broadbent Arena Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at (502) 367-5001. Fees and handling may apply. Show time is Friday at Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday (amateurs) at noon. Doors open Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday advance tickets are $20 to $25 for adults, $5 for kids ages 2-12. Sunday’s tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for kids. All tickets $2 more day of show.
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