AURORA, Ill., (Feb. 13, 2007) – The stage is set for an all-or-nothing battle between TUF/Cernic’s/Honda Racing’s Danny Smith and Robbie Reynard (Reynard Modifications/Honda) this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 16-17) at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium for the overall 2006-’07 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series championship.
Heading into this weekend, Smith holds a solid, though not insurmountable, 19-point lead in the overall standings, 354-335 after nine rounds of racing. This past weekend Smith opted to race the Wheeling, W.Va., round with teammate Justin Buckelew, while Reynard duked it out with Teddy Maier (Ti Lube/StormLakeHonda.com) and the Johnson brothers (Kevin/Team Faith Yamaha and Keith/Bobby J’s Yamaha) in Saginaw (Mich.).
“A 19-point lead can be erased in one main event on either night – so it’s nowhere close to being over,” said Robert Hansen, director of arenacross for Live Nation. “Both Danny and Robbie are equally deserving of the title, so it’s going to come down to who wants it more this weekend in Nashville.”
While Reynard added to his series-leading total of seven main event wins on Saturday in Saginaw, Smith played it cool in Wheeling, going 2-2 on a weekend that featured two different winners – Jim Neese (Carolina Xtreme/Suzuki) and Buckelew. Noteworthy: Buckelew’s win gave the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series its 10th different winner of the season!
Said Reynard on Nashville: “I am just going racing to win.”
Reynard is in a must win situation as the strategy for Smith is pretty simple this weekend – keep the mistakes to a minimum and, above all, keep Reynard at an 18-point arm’s length. If it ends up in a tie, Reynard would win the overall given he’s got more individual race victories (seven to three).
Added Smith: “I’m definitely looking forward to racing this weekend.”
Also shaping up to be quite a battle is the race for the third and final Toyota AMA Arenacross Series Arenacross class podium spot. Another milestone for the series is the success of the Johnson Brothers. They have a shot at an overall podium finish as Kevin Johnson leads his brother Keith by four points, 303-199, for the third and final podium spot in the AMA Arenacross class.
Along with the aforementioned winners (Smith, Reynard, Maier and Buckelew), winners of this past weekend’s AMA Arenacross Lites classes included: Shane Sewell and Cory Green in Saginaw, along with Daniel Blair and Brad Modjewski in Wheeling.
AMA Arenacross Lites
Shane Sewell, Kawasaki 1. Cory Green, Honda
Kurtis McCabe, Honda 2. Shane Sewell, Kawasaki
Cameron Lansing, Suzuki 3. Cameron Lansing, Suzuki
Nick Vaughn, Kawasaki 4. Kevin Markwardt, Honda
Kevin Markwardt, Honda 5. Kody Molitor, Honda
Teddy Maier, Honda 1. Robbie Reynard, Honda
Robbie Reynard, Honda 2. Teddy Maier, Honda
Kevin Johnson, Yamaha 3. Kevin Johnson, Yamaha
Cory Green, Honda 4. Cory Green, Honda
Keith Johnson, Yamaha 5. Travis Sewell, Kawasaki
AMA Arenacross Lites
Daniel Blair, Yamaha 1. Brad Modjewski, Yamaha
Brad Modjewski, Yamaha 2. Daniel Blair, Yamaha
Jim Neese, Suzuki 3. Jim Chester, Suzuki
Jim Chester, Suzuki 4. Steve Roman, Kawasaki
Steve Roman, Kawasaki 5. Michael Parker, Honda
Jim Neese, Suzuki 1. Justin Buckelew, Honda
Danny Smith, Honda 2. Danny Smith, Honda
Justin Buckelew, Honda 3. Jim Neese, Suzuki
Matt Barnes, Honda 4. Vincent Blair, Suzuki
Daniel Blair, Yamaha 5. Matt Barnes, Honda
Toyota AMA Arenacross Series points (through eight rounds)
1. Danny Smith (3) 354
2. Robbie Reynard (7) 335
3. Kevin Johnson (2) 303
4. Keith Johnson (2) 299
5. Teddy Maier (2) 268
6. Brock Sellards (4) 247
7. Jim Neese (2) 243
8. Justin Buckelew (1) 240
9. Chad Johnson (2) 237
10. Matt Barnes 236
This weekend the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series wraps up with its championship round at Nashville’s (Tenn.) Municipal Auditorium. For more information catch the action in this down-to-the-wire title chase, the current series’ point standings and results, or the latest news on the series are all available at www.arenacross.com.