Toyota AMA Arenacross Series’ Baltimore NotebookThursday, January 11, 2007 | 6:46 AM
AURORA, Ill., (January 11, 2007) – Defending Toyota AMA Arenacross Series champion Chad Johnson (Junior Jackson Racing/Suzuki) scored his first win of the season last weekend in Charlotte, making him the sixth rider in five weekends of racing to notch a victory in the premier AMA Arenacross class.
TUF Racing/Honda’s Danny Smith has been the most consistent racer on the tour, and the overall points prove that. Out of the eight races, Smith has only finished off the box one time (12th on Friday in Reno, Nev.). Three other riders – the Brothers Johnson, Kevin & Keith (Team Faith Yamaha) and Robbie Reynard (Honda) – all have as many wins as Smith (two), but have not been as consistent with their podium finishes.
Smith has a 29-point lead over Chad Johnson, and all the riders back to fifth place (Reynard) are still well within striking distance should Smith falter in just one moto.
Rider turnout’s still blazing! This past weekend at Grand Rapids’ (Mich.) Van Andel Arena and Charlotte’s Bobcats Arena, Toyota AMA Arenacross enjoyed a super turnout of riders, not to mention fans. At Grand Rapids there were almost 400 riders registered to race for the weekend, including more than 100 pros. At Charlotte there were more than 300 riders and more than 50 pros!
Tale of the turnstiles at both events was huge as well. Both stops of the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series this past weekend were big local draws. The Series played to capacity crowds on Saturday night in both Charlotte and Grand Rapids.
Greg Schnell packs it up. Junior Jackson Racing/Suzuki’s Schnell has decided to try his luck on the Amp’d Mobile Supercross tour and is leaving the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series. Schnell, who’s currently 10th overall in the AMA Arenacross class points chase, said he was having problems adapting to arenacross. “My dream since I was a kid was to race supercross,” said Schnell. “I definitely wish JJ and Chad well. Hopefully they can win another title.” Added Junior Jackson: “Greg is highly professional and a solid arenacross racer. Unfortunately, things just didn't come together like we'd planned. I truly wish Greg the best in whatever he decides to do, as does the rest of the Junior Jackson Racing Team - including Chad Johnson."
New sponsor for Toyota AMA Arenacross Series. Torco Racing Fuels has signed on as the official fuel sponsor for the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series. Based out of Decatur, Mich., Torco Racing Fuels is the manufacturer of high performance racing and power products - the engine builders & pro’s choice for extreme power and consistency of their blend stock. Torco Racing Fuels will be available at the track, for a discount rate, to both pro and amateur Toyota AMA Arenacross Series racers. For more information on Torco Racing Fuels, link to: www.torco.com
How about TUF Racing’s Brock Sellards? Last year’s runner-up to Chad Johnson swept the Grand Rapids stop of Toyota AMA Arenacross Series, though it didn’t come easy as Teddy Maier (Honda) and Matt Barnes (Honda) gave the Sellards all he could handle. With the win/win effort last Friday and Saturday at Van Andel Arena, Sellards vaulted from ninth to fourth in the overall standings.
Last year at Baltimore it was Kevin Johnson who rocked the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series, sweeping both Friday and Saturday’s AMA Arenacross class main events, while eventual champion Chad Johnson went 5-4 on the weekend. In the AMA Arenacross Lites class Shawn Clark won on Friday and Jeremy Cook on Saturday. Clark’s out this year with an injury and Cook is not racing the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series either. Look for Carolina Xtreme’s Jim Neese to be up front in the AMA Supercross Lites class.
A little bit more about 1st Mariner Arena: 1st Mariner Arena began as the Civic Center in 1962. In 1986 the facility was renamed the Baltimore Arena and in 2003 was again renamed 1st Mariner Arena. The official opening of the Civic Center began with a Baltimore Clippers game with entertainment by Paul Anka. From there, the list of stars and guests increased with acts like the Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, the Supremes, and more.
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