AURORA, Ill. – Brock Sellards is one of the most familiar names in the AMA Arenacross Series. A longtime racer and top competitor in the series, 2009 has been somewhat of a change for Sellards. Coming towards what he realizes is the end of his professional racing career, he has began making the transition into normal everyday life, picking up a full time job and shifting his focus to what lies ahead after racing. While he is still passionate about the sport and will continue to be a part of the AMA Arenacross Series as long as he can, at 30 years old he is part of the old guard and this chapter of his life is slowly coming to a close.
Last weekend, Sellards grabbed his first win of the 2009 season, ending what for him was a long winless streak that dated back to the end of the 2008 season. After challenging for the title just one year ago, Sellards is now happy to just be running at the front of the pack on a consistent basis after picking up a ride for this season at the last minute. Despite not having the ability to spend as much time on the bike as he’d like week in and week out, he is proud of the accomplishments he’s made this year.
Congratulations on the win Brock. How does it feel to make it back on top?
It feels good. I was getting frustrated with the seconds and stuff, being so close. To finally get a win made me feel like I’m back in place.
It’s been a while since you last won. Is it because the series has become more difficult or has it just taken you longer to get acclimated?
No actually I came out in the first round and would have had the first race won and I crashed. I’ve just been really close but I just couldn’t get the win. There have been mistakes that I’ve made that I usually don’t make that cost me the wins this year. I finally put in an error-free race.
You mentioned on the podium that a lot of people doubted you because you were old. You proved them wrong. Why do you think people thought that?
The whole thing is kind of a joke. Actually, we’re all old. Me, Demuth and Gibson are close to 30, Demuth is 31, I’m going to be 31. Kelly Smith is about 30. Chad Johnson is about 28 or 29. I mean we’re all old and its just kind of a joke. The thing is I went into the season not even planning to race. I didn’t even have a ride then at the last second I got a ride. So basically what I did was have no practice or anything during the summer right into the series and I knew it wouldn’t be till about the halfway point when I figured I’d be back to riding fast enough. So when I almost won at the first round I was surprised.
Let’s build on the ride a little bit. How did the Triple Effect opportunity come about for you?
Actually Denny Bartz (Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki) helped put that together. I was trying to put something together with the Tuf Honda team and then I was trying to do something with (Denny’s team). At the last second he called Charlie (Wallwork) at Triple Effect and put something together with me. So he kind of help put that in place for me.
You mentioned age. A lot of the guys at the front of the pack are veterans. What is it about the AMA Arenacross Series that helps you more experienced riders be successful?
It’s because we’re professional supercross riders that towards the end of our supercross careers (race arenacross). I’ve won a lot in supercross and I’ve won championships and I love the sport so much that I transferred into AMA Arenacross because I could still win. It’s still racing at a competitive level that I can win at. Guys like Jeff Gibson, myself, Chad Johnson, Kelly Smith, Danny Smith and Kevin Johnson. We’re all professional supercross racers and had established ourselves, so we made the transition and put in good results.
There seems to be a lot of parity in AMA Arenacross Series racing. Anyone can win on a given night, what do you think plays into that?
Well there is only so much that can be done with the track given the space available. It’s not like supercross where a lot of variations can be made (due to more space). There is usually around eight jumps. A triple, the finish line, and whoops. So basically everyone races on a pretty consistent track every week and gains a lot of experience. A lot of success is determined by track conditions and getting the holeshot. It doesn’t matter how fast you are because you can only be so fast when everyone is on the same track.
How would you rate your season?
For me my year has been great. I did it for fun. I had no expectations put on myself. I’m not taking it as serious as I usually do because I have a job now. I work all week so I don’t really even practice. I just go out and have fun racing on the weekends. So to still come up there and be able to win, my season has been going great.
Can people expect to see you back next year?
Oh yeah for sure. I’ll be back next year for sure. I know what I have to do now with working and everything else. So next year will be a lot more organized for being able to work in practice for each week. I think it’ll be pretty good with how things have worked out.
What are you looking to achieve for the final three rounds?
I just want to be consistent enough to finish the season (on a positive note). I think Jeff Gibson is out of the question to catch, but I want to finish the series in second. I’m just going to go out there and work my butt off to get as many good finishes and hopefully wins that I can because obviously those give you the most points. To try and get up there and finish the series in the top three is my goal.
This weekend the series heads to Reno, Nev. and the Livestock Events Center for ArenOcross. The action kicks off on Friday, February 27 at 7 p.m. followed by a second night of racing on Saturday, February 28 at 7 p.m. The exciting weekend concludes on Sunday, March 1 with amateur day beginning at 10 a.m.
After an off week, the AMA Arenacross Series heads to Wachovia Arena in Wilkes Barre, Pa., on March 13-15, beginning at 7 p.m.
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