Herrlein breaks through for first AMSOIL Arenacross Victory in New Orleans

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Williamson Earns Second Eastern Regional AX Lites Class Win to Extend Title Fight

NEW ORLEANS – The final night of action before AMSOIL Arenacross’ annual Race to the Championship commenced in “The Big Easy” on Saturday, in front of a captive audience inside Smoothie King Center. With momentum on the line heading into the battle for the Ricky Carmichael Cup, Woodstock KTM’s Daniel Herrlein picked an opportune time to capture the first 250AX Class overall win of his career. In the Eastern Regional AX Lites Class, Team Babbitt’s/GPF/Monster Energy Kawasaki/MMCR’s Jacob Williamson took a big win, preventing Yamaha/Rock River bLU cRU rider Justin Cooper from clinching the championship.

Before the Main Event action in the 250AX Class got underway, the RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge set the tone for the battle for victory, with Rockstar Energy/OTSFF/Yamaha, in association with Cycle Trader and Rock River, rider Chris Blose taking the win over Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki, presented by AP Design, rider Gavin Faith. Blose earned an additional championship bonus point with his triumphant effort.

When the opening Main Event got underway it was Faith who put his Kawasaki out front early over Herrlein and TiLUBE/Jack Link’s/TUF Racing Honda’s Jace Owen, the championship leader. The clear track allowed Faith to sprint out to a healthy multiple-second lead after just one lap, with Owen passing Herrlein to move into second. From there the lead group stabilized, with Faith maintaining his margin of about three seconds.

The defending 250AX Class Champion appeared to be on his way to his sixth Main Event win of the season but disaster struck on Lap 11 when Faith lost control of his bike in the rhythm section and crashed out of the lead. The misfortune handed control of the Main Event to Owen, who sat comfortably ahead of Herrlein in second and his TiLUBE/Jack Link’s/TUF Racing Honda teammate Ben Lamay in third. With a championship leading 13th Main Event win within reach, Owen also made a crucial mistake and crashed in the whoops on Lap 13. That opened the door for Herrlein to move out front, with Lamay moving into second. Owen was able to get back on his bike quickly and reentered in third.

Herrlein maintained his hold on the lead to take a surprise Main Event win, the first of his 250AX Class career. He crossed the line 3.7 seconds ahead of Lamay, while Owen soldiered home to finish third. Woodstock KTM’s Cody VanBuskirk was fourth, with Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Travis Sewell fifth. Faith reentered the race in 11th following his crash, losing a lap to the leader, and stayed there through the finish.

When the gate dropped on the second 250AX Class Main Event it was Sewell who put himself out front ahead of Lamay and Blose, while Owen settled into fourth, Herrlein fifth, and Faith sixth. Blose was able to make the pass on Lamay for second on Lap 2, while Herrlein moved past Owen for fourth. A handful of laps later Owen dropped out of the top five after getting tangled with a lapped rider, giving up two positions to Faith and Sportland 2/TZR/Kawasaki Team Green’s Josh Osby.

Herrlein was in control of his own destiny as the race passed the halfway point and successfully moved into podium position on Lap 9 with a pass on Lamay. One lap later Blose crashed out of contention while running second, giving the runner-up spot to Herrlein and third to Lamay. Blose dropped all the way to 10th.

Sewell went unchallenged en route to his first Main Event win of the season, taking the checkered flag 6.4 seconds ahead of Herrlein and lapping all the way up to fifth place. Lamay followed in third, with Faith fourth and Osby fifth. Owen finished sixth.

When the overall results were tallied, Herrlein’s impressive 1-2 results were more than enough to give him a breakthrough win. Lamay grabbed the runner-up spot (2-3), while Sewell’s second Main Event win gave him the final spot on the podium in third (5-1). Owen was fourth (3-6), his worst outing of the season, while Osby finished fifth (6-5).

With the Race to the Championship set to get underway, the 250AX Class standings were reset with Owen earning the top seed on the heels of 12 Main Event wins and seven overall victories. Faith will begin the Race to the Championship in second, just one point out of the lead. Goerke (3rd) and Blose (4th) will sit two points back of Owen, while Lamay (5th) and Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Gared Steinke (6th) sit three points behind. Herrlein (7th) and Sewell (8th) are four points out of the lead, while Woodstock KTM’s Cody VanBuskirk (9th) and Osby (10th) round out the Race to the Championship field, five points behind Owen.

With a title on the line, the 15-lap Eastern Regional AX Lites Class Main Event began with Woodstock KTM’s Hunter Sayles grabbing the early lead, followed by Williamson and Sportland 2/TZR/Kawasaki Team Green’s Scott Zont. Cooper, the championship leader, found himself mired back in ninth and in need of gaining several positions if he hoped to clinch the title.

While Williamson looked to hunt down Sayles for the lead out front, Cooper was able to jump up to seventh after Lap 1, but then dropped to 10th on the following lap. After patiently waiting for his opportunity to make a pass for the lead, Williamson successfully took control of the Main Event on Lap 4 and proceeded to check out on the field. From there all eyes were on Cooper to see if he would be able to make enough passes to clinch the title.

As Williamson’s lead grew to double digits, Cooper was going to work, methodically making critical passes over the second half of the Main Event. He broke into the top five on Lap 12 and needed only to pass his main championship rival, Babbitt’s KTM rider Isaac Teasdale, for fourth to become champion.

Williamson was dominant en route to his second Main Event win of the Eastern Regional Championship, crossing the line 9.7 seconds ahead of Sayles, with Zont rounding out the podium. Cooper made a late charge on Teasdale for fourth, but came up just a couple feet short at the finish.

The victory by Williamson moved him from third to second in the Eastern Regional standings with one round remaining, 15 points behind Cooper. The fifth-place result by Cooper left him just one point shy of clinching his first professional title. Only he and Williamson will be eligible to claim the championship at the finale in Las Vegas on May 5.

AMSOIL Arenacross will kick off the highly anticipated Race to the Championship next Saturday, March 18, from Portland, Oregon’s Moda Center. Six nights of racing will determine which rider walks away with the Ricky Carmichael Cup in Las Vegas on May 5.

AMSOIL Arenacross
Smoothie King Center – New Orleans
March 11, 2017

250AX Class Results – Main Event 1
1. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, KTM
2. Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda
3. Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda
4. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM
5. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Kawasaki
6. Josh Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Kawasaki
7. Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM
8. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Yamaha
9. Cade Autenrieth, Hemet, Calif., Yamaha
10. Hunter Sayles, Merrill, Wis., KTM

250AX Class Results – Main Event 2
1. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Kawasaki
2. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, KTM
3. Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda
4. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki
5. Josh Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Kawasaki
6. Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda
7. Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM
8. Hunter Sayles, Merrill, Wis., KTM
9. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM
10. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Yamaha

250AX Class Overall Results (Main Event Results)
1. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, KTM (1-2)
2. Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda (2-3)
3. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Kawasaki (5-1)
4. Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda (3-6)
5. Josh Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Kawasaki (6-5)
6. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM (4-9)
7. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki (11-4)
8. Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM (7-7)
9. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Yamaha (8-10)
10. Hunter Sayles, Merrill, Wis., KTM (10-8)

RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge Results (Bonus Points)
1. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Yamaha (2 points)
2. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki (1 point)
3. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, KTM (1 point)
4. Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda (1 point)
5. Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda (1 point)
6. Josh Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Kawasaki (1 point)
7. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM (1 point)
8. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Kawasaki (1 point)

Eastern Regional AX Lites Class Results
1. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki
2. Hunter Sayles, Merrill, Wis., KTM
3. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ind., Kawasaki
4. Isaac Teasdale, Robbinsville, N.C., KTM
5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha
6. Nick Schnagl, Stillwater, Minn., Honda
7. Jeramy Taylor, Canton, Ohio, KTM
8. James Weeks, Fort Pierce, Fla., Yamaha
9. Jake McKinney, Hamersville, Ohio, Kawasaki
10. Jonah Locks, Dixon, Calif., Kawasaki

Race to the Championship Standings
1. Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda – 6 (12 Main Event Wins)
2. Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki – 5 (5 Main Event Wins)
3. Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Florida, Yamaha – 4 (1 Main Event Win)
4. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Yamaha – 4 (1 Main Event Win)
5. Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda – 3 (1 Main Event Win)
6. Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Kawasaki – 3
7. Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, KTM – 2 (1 Main Event Win)
8. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., Kawasaki – 2 (1 Main Event Win)
9. Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM – 1
10. Josh Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Kawasaki – 1

Eastern Regional AX Lites Class Championship Standings
1. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 116 (3 Main Event Wins)
2. Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki – 101 (2 Main Event Wins)
3. Isaac Teasdale, Robbinsville, N.C., KTM – 99
4. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., Kawasaki – 62
5. Heath Harrison, Silverhill, Ala., KTM – 58 (2 Main Event Wins)
6. Brandon Gourley, Boonville, Ind., KTM – 52
7. Josiah Hempen, Argyle, Iowa, Yamaha – 31
8. Broc Gourley, Boonville, Ind., Suzuki – 30
9. Jayce Pennington, Walnut Hill, Ill., Yamaha – 28
10. Dylan Greer, Summerfield, Fla., Yamaha – 26

For more information on the 2017 AMSOIL Arenacross season, and to purchase tickets, log on to www.Arenacross.com.

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