AURORA, Ill., (January 2, 2006) – Arenacross fans in North Carolina and Michigan are in for a treat to start the new year when the stars of the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series roll into town for the new year’s opening weekend of the 2006-’07 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series, Jan. 5-7.
Heading up the N.C. field will be a couple of locals from the Southeast. North Carolina’s Jim Chester (Lenoir) and Jim Neese (Julian), both of whom make up the new “Carolina Express” MX team, bring years of arenacross experience to the table and will challenge for the top positions
“I’m pumped and definitely looking forward to racing in front of the hometown fans,” said Chester. who’s been traveling across the United States with the tour the past several months. “Last year was a blast racing at Charlotte Bobcats Arena – the first motocross race they’ve ever held in the building. The crowd was really into it and I’m looking forward to another great battle there this year.”
Added teammate Neese: “It’s always good to race in front of your friends and family, adds to the excitement for everybody.”
Michigan boasts a handful of talented up-and-coming racers, including Kyle Brown (Lake Odessa) and Nick Adams (Hudsonville), along with Nick Vaughn (Grand Rapids) and Kyle Glass (Hudsonville).
“Van Andel Arena is always packed for this race,” said Brown. “It’s always exciting racing at Van Andel. The crowd’s really into it and we’ve had some great battles there in the past.”
Said Robert Hansen, director of arenacross for Live Nation: “There’s a certain buzz surrounding the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series coming to Michigan and North Carolina, with the nationally-ranked racers competing against the local hot shots. Historically, these states have produced some great motocross racers that have gone on to do well in supercross, namely Michigan’s Jeff Stanton and North Carolina’s Damon Bradshaw. The two Toyota AMA Arenacross Series events on the weekend of January 5-7 will be a chance for both Michigan and North Carolina motorsports fans to see ‘who’s next’ in terms of potential supercross talent from those regions.”
On top of the standings in the AMA Toyota Arenacross Series is Team TUF Racing’s Danny Smith. The winner of the opening night’s AMA Arenacross class race in Des Moines (Iowa), Smith has tallied 123 points after six races (two each in Des Moines, Albany, N.Y. and Reno, Nev.). But right on his heels – and coming awfully fast – is the series’ defending champion, Wisconsin’s Chad Johnson (95 points). Also figure in Oklahoma’s Robbie Reynard, a true privateer and fan-favorite on the series tour, who is one point behind Johnson, and the racing is unprecedented.
Furthermore, if one Johnson wasn’t enough, the series features two more – the always entertaining brothers Keith and Kevin Johnson, both of whom have won main events this year and are tied for 4th place overall with 90 points each.
“I did pretty well at Charlotte last year,” said Kevin Johnson, who went 2-2 in the two-evening main event format. “I hope to improve upon that this year.”
Facts on the upcoming Toyota AMA Arenacross Series race in Charlotte and Grand Rapids:
DATE: January 5-7, 2007
VENUE: Charlotte Bobcats Arena & Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena
EVENT TIME: Friday, Jan. 5 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, Jan. 6 – 7:30 PM
Doors open on Fri/Sat at 6:30 PM.
Sunday, Jan. 7 – 12:00 PM
Doors open on Sunday at 11:00 AM
FORMAT: Fri / Sat – AMA Arenacross Series and AMA Arenacross Lites
Indoor Motocross Racing
Sun – Amateur Racing / qualifying for the Amateur Arenacross World Finals.
REGISTRATION: Riders interested in registering, can call 800-216-7482 or log onto arenacross.com for more information.