“If that would have happened to me again on Saturday, I would have gone home and looked for a job,” joked Robbie Reynard, who is currently second in the points standings behind TUF Racing’s Danny Smith.
The Toyota AMA Arenacross Series is enjoying record numbers for rider entries in both the pro and amateur racer divisions after two rounds of racing. Todd Jendro, sr. director of operations for Live Nation, said that since first being involved with arenacross in 1998 – this is the most impressive rider turnout the series has had, which has resulted in the most competitive start to a season yet. Racers like Justin Buckelew (TUF Racing) agree.
“There is more competition and definitely way more pro and amateur riders than anyone expected,” said Buckelew yesterday in an interview on www.arenacross.com. “I was surprised to see this kind of turnout.”
Jendro noted that, at the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series opener in Des Moines, an amazing 91 pro racers registered for the AMA Arenacross class and an equally impressive 87 pro racers registered for the AMA Arenacross Lites class. The numbers at Albany (N.Y.) tailed slightly (as they typically do in the second weekend of racing), but were still way up from last year with 77 AMA Arenacross class and 60 AMA Arenacross Lites class pro entries.
“When you consider only 15 riders make the main event, that put 76 pro racers into rider’s seating on Friday and Saturday night at Des Moines,” said Jendro. “Never before has the series been this stacked!”
Reynard, Shane Bess, Scott Metz, Kody Molitor (Saturday Des Moines Lites winner) and perennial veteran favorites Jim Chester, Greg Schnell and Jim Neese have all failed to make AMA Arenacross class main events this year at some point.
“I’ve been around arenacross for 20 years and the parity is the best it’s ever been,” said Director of Arenacross Robert Hansen. “The talent pool is so deep that the racing on the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series is at an all-time high in terms of down-to-the-wire battles. So in the end it’s the fans that are really going to benefit from this rise in pro rider entries.”
Also benefiting from the popularity of Toyota AMA Arenacross Series are the amateurs. In two Sunday programs thus far there have been more than 1,000 amateur rider entries – significantly up from previous years.
“We’ve had to staff more race officials in order to handle the outpouring of amateur rider class entries,” said Live Nation’s Pam Lambert. “So we’re all getting a good look at the future stars of supercross on Sunday as well.”
This weekend the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series rolls into Reno’s (Nev.) Livestock Events Center. Tickets are available online at www.arenacross.com, www.ticketmaster.com, www.tickets.com. For more information on the Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series log on to www.arenacross.com.