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Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series Notes: Memphis

 

The Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series can now be seen on Speed Channel, beginning with the airing of the Albany (N.Y.) opener from this past October on Feb. 2nd (1 p.m. EST). Round Two of the Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series – Des Moines (Iowa) – will air this Sunday (Feb. 5th) on the Speed Channel beginning at 4 p.m. (EST). Hosts of the show will be longtime Arenacross announcer Tim Cotter, GNCC announcer Jason Weigandt and Toyota AMA Arenacross floor announcer Ryan Gauld. Here’s a link to the rest of the Toyota/AMA Arenacross races airing on Speed Channel: http://www.arenacross.com/tvList

 

This weekend’s race at Memphis’ FedEx Forum will mark the first time Toyota AMA National Arenacross has raced in the home of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. A hotbed for motocross, Tennessee is home to the Ski Nautique AMA Amateur National MX Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. So if the pro races on Friday and Saturday weren’t exciting enough, the amateur draw for Sunday at the FedEx Forum should be one of the best all year. Noteworthy: This isn’t the first time the new building has entertained a dirt-based motorsports event. The Forum has also hosted Live Nation’s freestyle motocross and monster truck events.

 

Think Thor/Honda/TUF Racing’s Brock Sellards could use that new Toyota Tacoma 4x4 truck they’re  handing out to the winner of the Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series? A true do-it-yourselfer, Sellards has cobbled together one running Frankenstein monster VW pickup truck out of three junker vehicles and has been driving it for years. A new Tacoma 4x4? “Danny Smith said last week that if I won the Tacoma I’d probably trade it back to Toyota for a bunch of used ones,” said Sellards with a laugh.

 

Team Faith/Yamaha’s Kevin Johnson has a new nickname. “They’re calling him Kevin ‘Lap Time’,” said team manager Robby McQuary. For six consecutive main events Kevin Johnson has put up the fastest lap times on the Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series circuit. Also out of the Team Faith camp, IFMA competitor Greg Hartman will jump for the Team Faith FMX team at Memphis. And Rob Lewis, injured at Baltimore, will return to jump at Memphis as well.

 

Speaking of Kevin Johnson, keep an eye on him and the No. 2 bike of Team Thor/Honda/TUF Racing’s Jeff Northrop. The hard-charging NorCal racer parked Johnson early in Saturday night’s main event, only to have Johnson return the favor late in the race to make the podium. Those two will definitely have an eye on each other this weekend in Memphis.

 

North Carolina’s Jim Chester (Suzuki) was on it this past weekend in Hampton (Va.), sweeping the AMA Arenacross Lites class for the first time this year. Rival Roy Horton (Honda) should make a good go of it at Memphis, provide Shawn Clark (Undound/VRM.com/Kawasaki) doesn’t decide to go all out in the Lites class. Clark has been the top Lites racer before Chester dominated Hampton.

 

And finally, it’s hard to believe now that a mere seven points separates Chad Johnson and Brock Sellards in the AMA Arenacross class points chase. At the beginning of the season Johnson was up by 34 points. The veteran Sellards, one of the preseason favorites, kept chipping away at Johnson’s lead and now has him in his sights with four races (two at Memphis and two at Denver) to go. Definitely the closest Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series points chase in a long, long time!

 

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