Willoh/Chiudioni/Oettel Racing for Regional AX Championship and New Toyota TruckWednesday, March 15, 2006 | 5:26 AM
AURORA, Ill., (March 14, 2006) – One weekend remains for the racers of the Toyota AMA Regional Arenacross season where racers have been banging bars for the past four months in hopes of winning the championship and new 2006 Toyota Tacoma.
Honda’s Michael Chiudioni, of Las Cruces, N.M., started the 2005-2006 Toyota Regional Arenacross season with consistent finishes and built up a solid points lead until defending champion Jeff Willoh returned from an injury suffered at Louisville, Ken. Willoh returned to racing and narrowed the points deficit to 29 (Racers can earn up to 100 points in a weekend at Toyota AMA Regional Arenacross). Also in the hunt for the title is Dave Oettel, of Guilford, Ind., who is 42 points behind Chiudioni.
This weekend there are two Toyota Regional Arenacross races taking place, Raleigh, N.C. and Omaha, Neb. The cat and mouse game between Chiudioni, Willoh and Oettel will play out this weekend as the three enter their final race weekend of the season. None of the three racers have formally announced which race they will attend. With 100 points available on the weekend, spread out among four races, one bad race for Chiudioni and the season could be decided on the last main event.
“Unlike the national tour, where riders earn points in one class on a weekend, the regional arenacross races offer 100 points each weekend (in two racing classes); therefore, the 29-point lead held by Chiudioni isn’t that big,” said Robert Hansen, director of arenacross. “With the Toyota Tacoma truck on the line, the top three riders are not publicly announcing where they will be racing. This not only adds excitement, it brings in a unique strategy on the riders’ part. Also, just like the Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series, we will crown a champion at the final race on Saturday night. Any time a sporting event is taken down to the wire, the excitement is always buzzing.”
Toyota’s loyal support to regional arenacross this season has been a major asset to the teams and riders with their top-shelf hospitality. This weekend is a special moment for Toyota and the winner of the Toyota Regional Arenacross championship.
"It has been great for Toyota to be part of the arenacross family this year," says Doug Frisbie, events and promotions manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "The fans and the riders have been amazing and really welcomed us into the fold. As part of the family, Toyota is excited to award the Toyota Regional Arenacross champion with a new Toyota Tacoma pickup truck this weekend."
Toyota AMA Regional Arenacross points
1. Michael Chiudioni 564
2. Jeff Willoh 535
3. David Oettel 522
4. Brian Edwards 463
5. Randy Woodring 399