Toyota AMA Arenacross Series Notebook: Green Bay - Dirt Rider Magazine

AURORA, Ill. (March 12, 2008) - The entire 19 round, coast-to-coastracing action of the 2007-'08 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series comes down totwo main events in Green Bay (Wis.) this weekend, March 14-15, with abrand new Toyota Tacoma 4x4 truck on the line, along with theprestigious Toyota AMA Arenacross Series' No. 1 plate.The math is pretty simple on this one. Wisconsin's own Chad Johnson (BadBoy/TUF/Honda) enters the final round of the 2007-'08 Toyota AMAArenacross Series with a commanding 30-point (428-398) lead in thechampionship points chase over Monster/Babbitt's/Kawasaki's Kelly Smith.With 50 points on the line it's conceivable, though not highly likely,that Smith could wind up with the title. But for Johnson all that reallyhas to happen - as he'll state in a candid feature story tomorrow - isto stay out of trouble in the start and ride a smooth race.Said Johnson earlier in the week: "I can't think of a better situation -having the points lead and the support of my home state fans. There's alot at stake and I know the competition's going to be fierce, but theBad Boy/TUF/Honda team has put together a great season of racing andwe're confident we can meet our goal of winning the title at the ReschCenter."It wasn't but a month ago the scope of the championship would beconsiderably tighter than it is heading into the last round. Smith hadjust swept the Hampton (Va.) Toyota AMA Arenacross Series rounds and hadcut Johnson's overall points lead to 316-307, a mere nine points. At thenext round, at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Johnsonstepped up - with all of the series racers in town - and delivered whatmany believe to be the knockout blow of the 2007-'08 Toyota AMAArenacross Series when he went 1-1 and would build a 33-point leadbefore the series' penultimate round in Denver (Feb. 29-March 1).AMA official Harv Whipple on this weekend's contest: "Now that theToyota AMA Arenacross Series extends into March - with three more roundsthan it's had in previous years - it still comes down to the finalweekend. That just shows you the depth of the competition in thisseries. The only difference is that Chad could walk away with a newtruck and an AMA # 1 plate on Friday instead of Saturday. He needs tohave 26 points on Kelly after the main event on Friday & it's all his.Anything can happen though, after all this is arenacross. I would behappy with either as the new Toyota AMA Arenacross Series champion. Theyboth deserve it."One racer that was expected to be in the points chase, but just didn'tarrive there for a number of reasons, was last year's Toyota AMAArenacross Series' runner-up, Robbie Reynard. Reynard's going out on alimb with regards to Green Bay: "I am going to win both nights in GreenBay," said Reynard. "I need to leave the season with at least two wins.So hopefully we will finish off the season strong. I wasn't 100% cominginto this season, and never really got back to 100%. The change to thesmaller bikes was definitely a challenge for me. I was riding the 250like it was a 450 and you can't do that! I have learned from mistakesand it has still been a fun season! We have an incredible team and Ican't thank everyone enough for their help Rockstar Suzuki, ReynardMods, No Fear and everyone for being so supportive! We will be back nextyear."Live Nation's Robert Hansen: "Well, it's not too many days till we crownanother Toyota AMA Arenacross Series champion. Chad Johnson is in thedrivers seat, but look farther down the points line and you see the nameTeddy Maier seated in fourth. Teddy's management played the points game,flying him to alternate event weekends to gather as many points aspossible. But that is what makes the Toyota AMA Arenacross Series unlikeany other racing series in the country. There are options and if youplay the game according to the rules you can gain points were you can'tin other series, I was always told choices are good and in Teddy's caseit will turn into cash. The points fund is worth $100,000 and everyposition in the final top ten means money. Look further down the pointsline and you see more Johnsons - Kevin and Keith - and they fullyrealize a move of one position can mean a bonus in the series by way ofcash payout. Look at the race with in the series, every point gainedthis week in Green Bay will mean cash to the top ten riders plus alittle more bargaining power for the rider and his goal to get on achampionship team next season."For the Monster/Babbitt's/Kawasaki team putting two guys in the topthree made for a pretty excellent year, according to team manager DennyBartz who said: "We may not have the championship but what we've got isgood." Smith and Sellards - who'll be joined by a special TBA guest star- are now moving on with the Monster/Babbitt's/Kawasaki team to contestthe remainder of the AMA Supercross class events for Monster EnergySupercross.Another racer you'll likely see back contesting some Monster EnergySupercross rounds is Bobby J's/Yamaha's Keith Johnson. Johnson took asecond to reflect on his 2007-'08 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series season:"The arenacross season has kind of been a roller coaster. They sayanything can happen in AX and it's true. I didn't know what to expectcoming in on 250f's instead of the 450 where I feel most comfortable.Then I hurt my knee and started things off slow. By January my body waswhere it needed to be and I started getting podiums every weekend and Iwould be disappointed in myself if I didn't. Then it took a dip againand I had some bad races until last weekend at Denver. Other than thefirst turn crash on Saturday it was a good weekend. I feel good andexpect to finish out the series with podiums on both nights."The final Media Day of the 2007-'08 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series is
scheduled for Friday, March 14, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Resch
Center. Tickets for this weekend's event area available at the Resch
Center Box Office, or online at:,, www.pmiwi.com2007-'08 AMA Arenacross Class Point Standings
1. Chad Johnson, Hon, 428
2. Kelly Smith, Kaw, 398
3. Brock Sellards, Kaw, 372
4. Teddy Maier, Hon, 342
5. Kevin Johnson, Yam, 333
6. Keith Johnson, Yam, 319
7. Tom Hofmaster, Yam, 267
8. Jim Neese, Suz, 259
9. Gray Davenport, Kaw, 240
10. Robbie Reynard, Suz, 222Advance tickets for the March 14-16 Toyota AMA Arenacross Series roundat Green Bay's Resch Center are available through, at the Resch Center Box Office,,, at the Oneida Casino or call(800) 895-0071 or (920) 494-3401. Show times are Friday and Saturday,7:30 p.m. and Sunday (amateurs) at 12:00. Doors open Friday and Saturdayat 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 11 a.m.. Friday, Saturday and Sunday advancetickets are $20 (all seats), $7 for kids ages 2-12. All seats $2 moreday of show.ABOUT LIVE NATION
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