AMSOIL Arenacross Interview with Gavin Faith

Team Babbitt's rider is heading to his hometown to race

ELLENTON, FL (March 4, 2016) - Halfway through the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross season, the rider who began the year with a win at the opening round is once again sitting atop of the championship standings. Following his third overall win of the season at the previous round in Tampa, Florida, Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Gavin Faith is in a familiar position heading into his hometown race tomorrow night inside Omaha, Nebraska's CenturyLink Center.

A native of nearby Fort Dodge, Iowa, which sits about two hours outside of Omaha, Faith is enjoying the best season of his professional career in just his second season of full-time AMSOIL Arenacross competition. He's been one of the most consistent riders in the championship and that consistency has put him in a position to be the top seed in the upcoming Race to the Championship, the five-round playoff-style showdown between the top 10 riders in points.

AMSOIL Arenacross caught up with Faith to talk about his successful season, his thoughts on the hometown race and the upcoming battle to claim the Ricky Carmichael Cup.

Faith is the points leader heading into his home race in Omaha tomorrow night.
Faith is the points leader heading into his home race in Omaha tomorrow night.Photo Courtesy of AMSOIL Arenacross and ShiftOne Photography

Gavin, you're coming off your third overall win of the season in Tampa where you enjoyed your best outing with a 1-1 sweep of the Main Events. Talk about that night and how it helped put you back atop the championship standings.
It was awesome. I got my third win of the year and it was my first time going 1-1. I also qualified first and won my Heat Race. You can't really get too much better, other than winning the [RMATV/MC] Head2Head Challenge. It was an awesome night and I'm just hoping to continue the momentum on to Omaha and throughout the rest of the season.

How does it feel to be back on top of the championship standings? Is it something you really even think about? Are you just focused on doing your best each night, letting the points play out as they will, or is this motivation for you heading into the Race to the Championship?
It doesn't really matter that much right now since the championship isn't up for grabs quite yet, but it's just good to have that confidence. I kind of like having a target on my back, having the red plate and the points lead. You know you're the guy right now, so I kind of like the added pressure and more motivation to keep it. I think it just gives me momentum to keep things going.

Do you look at the Race to the Championship and your seeding in it as being important? History shows that the rider that has been ranked first heading into the playoffs each season has gone on to win the championship.
Definitely. Obviously the points don't mean that much [until the Race to the Championship begins] but I feel like [being ranked first] is just confidence. That's the biggest deal. If you have the red plate you've done the best out of the rest of the field so far, so you carry that confidence into the last five rounds. Obviously anything can happen when the points tighten up [for the Race to the Championship] but I just feel like that little bit of added confidence and the momentum will be pretty crucial when the time comes.

Faith has three overall wins this season, tied for the most in the championship.
Faith has three overall wins this season, tied for the most in the championship.Photo Courtesy of AMSOIL Arenacross and ShiftOne Photography

You're in your second full season of AMSOIL Arenacross competition. Having a year under your belt, including finishing third in the Race to the Championship last season, how has that helped you in your preparations to chase your first title in just a few weeks?
Last year I didn't really know what to expect [in the Race to the Championship] being my first time. I was going to each race just taking it how it comes, just treating it like any other race. The intensity ramps up quite a bit more than I thought it would and riders change their way of riding a little bit. This year I feel like I'm going to be more prepared for that. I know who I'm going to watch out for and who I'm going to be on guard with. Just be a smarter rider on top of everything and just keep doing what I'm doing. Get good starts and if I don't, just worry about making quick and aggressive passes and work my way to the front.

This weekend in Omaha essentially serves as a hometown race for you growing up just a short drive away in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Are you looking forward to heading back and racing in front of all your family and friends?
Yeah, this weekend is going to be awesome. It's a couple hours from my house so I have a ton of family and friends coming. They used to have AMSOIL Arenacross in Des Moines [Iowa], so I've grown up with arenacross almost every year. To be back right there [in nearby Omaha] is awesome, especially to be the points leader going into it. It's going to be awesome. Hopefully I can ride smart and be on the box for the hometown crowd.

Halfway through your first season with Team Babbitt's, how has the support and resources of one of AMSOIL Arenacross' top teams helped you enjoy arguably the most successful season of your career?
I definitely feel like Team Babbitt's is the elite team in AMSOIL Arenacross. We have great bikes; Pro Circuit is helping us out with engines and suspension. I feel like with [Team Manager] Denny [Bartz] and my mechanic Big Nasty that everyone there is just a solid group of guys. I know I have the bike to win and that definitely adds confidence. There's a little bit added pressure there, when you're on the elite team. Denny is obviously hiring me to win races and ultimately win a championship, but I kind of feed off that pressure a try to be better. It's a huge difference from last year, transitioning to the Kawasaki. I really like the bike and it's been going really well so far, o hopefully we can just continue to keep plugging away.

Faith earned his first 1-1 sweep at the previous round in Tampa.
Faith earned his first 1-1 sweep at the previous round in Tampa.Photo Courtesy of AMSOIL Arenacross and ShiftOne Photography

The eighth round of the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross season commences tomorrow night from Omaha's CenturyLink Center, starting at 5 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET.

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