Brock Sellards & Chad Johnson Split Rockford AX
Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series heats up before holiday break
AURORA, Ill., (Dec. 5, 2005) – Thor/Honda/Tuf Racing’s Brock Sellards took the AMA Arenacross class in Friday’s main event at the Metrocentre in Rockford, Ill., while Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series points leader “Rad” Chad Johnson (Yamaha) battled back to win Saturday’s main in some of the best racing action during the first half of the season.
Sellards’ effort, coupled with Johnson’s crash on Friday, did take an eight-point chunk out of the Team Yamaha rider’s overall points lead, cutting the margin to 25 points (180-155). In fact, Sellards had the opportunity to cut even further into Johnson’s lead on Saturday night, but a poor start and untimely crash kept the Ohioan back in fifth place.
“My goal was to make up about six points on Chad this weekend, so coming out eight points ahead was cool,” said Sellards.
On Friday Sellards was on it, though he did benefit from a Johnson wreck that took out the point leader’s front brake.
“On the second lap I’d stalled my bike, got back going and made it up to fifth by about the fourth lap when Jeff (Northrop) came up short on that double after the triple and we came together,” said Johnson. “He (Northrop) was able to ride away, but I came down on his rear fender and ‘whiskey’d’ out of it - next thing I know is I’m chasing my bike across two lanes. Broke the front brake lever and I had to ride the next 16 laps with no front brake.”
Not to diminish Sellards’ win, the longtime supercross and AMA Nationals great has his A-game on, coming through the pack on fire and catching up to Johnson and Greg Schnell (Rockstar/Suzuki) after a tenth-place start.
“It seemed on Friday that everything was happening to everybody else and not me,” said Sellards. “Guys are hitting each other – my teammate (Northrop) and (Jim) Neese, Chad stalled, Schnell had a huge lead and I finally chased him down by lap 14 or 15.”
Schnell had his best race of the season thus far, going 2-2 – the best overall two race finish out of anybody at Rockford if you use the AMA’s two-moto MX National points scoring breakdown. Team Faith/Yamaha’s Kevin Johnson also had an excellent evening, going 4-3 and moving ahead of Northrop for third in the overall points thus far, 139-137.
“Greg Schnell was on it,” said Toyota AMA Arenacross announcer Tim Cotter. “I think he’s finally gotten over his injuries from the wreck he had at this year’s U.S. Open and that’s going to make for one heck of a points chase when we return to action Jan. 6-8 in Dallas.”
On Saturday Johnson turned the tables on Sellards, again taking advantage of a poor Sellards start (hung up on starting gate this time) and staying with race leader Schnell before getting by him on lap five before eventually pulling away to a half track lead by the checkers.
“I’d re-grouped for Saturday, told myself I was not going to get into a situation like I got myself into on Friday,” said Johnson. “Kevin Johnson and I had a great heat race, which fired me up for the main. I got like a fifth or sixth-place start and was able to get up to the leader (Schnell) with no real aggressive passes. I battled past Greg on lap five and he stayed right there with me for like three laps, then I was able to pull away for the win.”
Taking top spots in the AMA Arenacross Lites class were Iowan hot shot Cody Gilmore on Friday and the ageless wonder, Jim Chester, on Saturday. Here’s the overall results:
AMA Arenacross Class
1.) Brock Sellards, Honda 1.) Chad Johnson, Yamaha
2.) Greg Schnell, Suzuki 2.) Greg Schnell, Suzuki
3.) Jim Neese, Suzuki 3.) Kevin Johnson, Yamaha
4.) Kevin Johnson, Yamaha 4.) Shawn Clark, Kawasaki
5.) Cody Gilmore, Kawasaki 5.) Brock Sellards, Honda
1.) Cody Gilmore, Kawasaki 1.) Jim Chester, Suzuki
2.) Travis Hodges, Honda 2.) Randy Woodring, Kawasaki
3.) Roy Horton, Honda 3.) Brady Peck, Honda
4.) Jim Chester, Suzuki 4.) Roy Horton, Honda
5.) Shawn Clark, Kawasaki 5.) Joshua Schmitt, Honda
The Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series takes its traditional one month break before returning to action on Jan. 6-8 at Dallas’ Reunion Arena. For more information on the Dallas race, check out www.reunionarena.org or contact Reunion Arena at (214) 800-3000.
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