The competition has been exceptional to start AMSOIL Arenacross' Race to the Championship, and after two rounds the most intense racing of the entire 2016 season has seen several title hopefuls make their presence known. This weekend the Race to the Championship reaches its pivotal halfway point with AMSOIL Arenacross' return to the Pacific Northwest and Tacoma, Washington's legendary Tacoma Dome on Saturday, April 16. Fresh off his third straight overall podium result of the Race to the Championship, points leader and Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki rider Chris Blose will lead the 10-rider field into action

Broadcast Alert: The second round of AMSOIL Arenacross' Race to the Championship from Salinas, California, will air Sunday, April 17, at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT on FS1.

The return of AMSOIL Arenacross to one of the country's most scenic landscapes comes on the heels of a historic weekend for the sport, which hosted its first ever race at an outdoor venue this past Sunday. The Salinas Sports Complex on California's central coast had the potential to be one of the most exciting races in AMSOIL Arenacross history and it didn't disappoint, as weekend rains provided wet conditions that resulted in a battle of survival. The rider who made the least amount of mistakes was sure to emerge with a victory and when all was said and done TiLUBE/TUF Racing Honda's Ben Lamay walked away with his first career overall victory in AMSOIL Arenacross.

While Lamay enjoyed the spoils of victory, Blose left Salinas with a smile on his face as well. The Race to the Championship leader ended up in a tie with Lamay for the overall win, but settled for second after a tiebreaker. As a result, he added to his lead in the championship standings and brings the momentum of his near-perfect start to the playoff into Tacoma. Blose has two overall wins and one runner-up finish in three Race to the Championship races and looks comfortable sitting atop the standings with the red number plate.

While Blose left Salinas with even more confidence, his Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki teammate Gavin Faith was left wondering what could have been. The top seed in the Race to the Championship has paced Blose every step of the way in the playoff and in Salinas it was clear that Faith was the rider to beat. After a win in the RMATV/MC Head 2 Head Challenge and a dominant ride to victory in the first Arenacross Class Main Event, Faith was comfortably out front in the final Main Event and looked to be on his way to a clean sweep of racing. A win in both Main Events would have given Faith the edge to move back atop the Race to the Championship standings, but a mistake late in the second Main Event put him on the ground and relegated him to a fifth-place result. His resiliency to soldier on after the crash allowed him to secure third overall, but in the big picture of the title fight Faith lost an additional point to his teammate.

The Team Babbitt's duo has been exceptional to this point in the Race to the Championship and their consistency has been the key to establishing a little separation in the points. However, with Lamay's big win, the strong efforts from his TUF Racing teammate Jace Owen, and the rock solid style of Jacob Hayes, any hiccup by Blose or Faith could open the door for one of these riders to close the gap. Thanks to its sprawling floor space, the Tacoma Dome will present a slightly larger, more unique track layout for the Race to the Championship competitors, which should result in another night of intense and unpredictable competition.

For the third consecutive race, the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class welcomed a first-time winner in Salinas. While many of his main rivals for the win encountered trouble in the wet conditions, DrivenMX/MEPMX KTM's Jared Lesher focused on executing consistent laps and keeping his bike on two wheels. That focus and determination carried the up and coming rider from Georgia to the first win of his career. While Lesher savored his breakthrough achievement, points leader and TZR/Woodstock KTM's rider Cody VanBuskirk added a little more distance to his competitors in the championship standings. Despite missing out on a podium result for the first time in five races, VanBuskirk's still finished ahead of his challengers and now has a three-point lead over Team DirtBike Mike/KTM Sports Center of Little Rock KTM's Ben Nelko, who finished sixth. Shawnee Motor Company/Justified Cultures KTM's Cheyenne Harmon, who sits third in the championship standings, finished right behind VanBuskirk in fifth and sits 10 points out of the lead.

The highly anticipated return to Tacoma for the third round of AMSOIL Arenacross' Race to the Championship from the Tacoma Dome will kick off at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 16.

Previous Round Results:
Salinas Sports Complex - Salinas, California
April 9, 2016

Arenacross Class Overall Results (Main Event Results)

1.     Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda (3-1)
2.     Chris Blose, Phoenix, Kawasaki (2-2)
3.     Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki (1-5)
4.     Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki (5-3)
5.     Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda (7-4)
6.     Kyle Regal, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Husqvarna (6-6)
7.     Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Husqvarna (4-9)
8.     Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (8-7)
9.     Kyle Bitterman, West Pelzer, S.C., Husqvarna (11-8)
10.  Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM (9-10)

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Results

1.     Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM
2.     Carlen Gardner, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM
3.     Devin Harriman, Brush Prairie, Wash., Suzuki
4.     Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM
5.     Cheyenne Harmon, Colleyville, Texas, KTM
6.     Ben Nelko, Aliquippa, Pa., KTM
7.     Ashton Hayes, Rockford, Mich., Suzuki
8.     Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha
9.     Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM
10.  Dillon Cloyed, Papillion, Neb., Honda

Race to the Championship Standings

1.     Chris Blose, Phoenix, Kawasaki - 99 (3 Main Event Wins)
2.     Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki - 96 (8 Main Event Wins)
3.     Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki - 84 (8 Main Event Wins)
4.     Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda - 83 (1 Main Event Win)
5.     Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda - 77 (3 Main Event Wins)
6.     Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM - 69 (5 Main Event Wins)
7.     Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Husqvarna - 67
8.     Kyle Regal, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Husqvarna - 58
9.     Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM - 30
10.  Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda - 1 

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Standings

1.     Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM - 99 (1 Main Event Win)
2.     Ben Nelko, Aliquippa, Pa., KTM - 96 (2 Main Event Wins)
3.     Cheyenne Harmon, Colleyville, Texas, KTM - 89 (1 Main Event Win)
4.     Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM - 73 (1 Main Event Win)
5.     Carlen Gardner, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM - 73
6.     Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM - 63
7.     Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM - 58
8.     Dave Ginolfi, Midvale, Utah, Husqvarna - 56
9.     Brandon Marley, McEwen, Tenn., KTM - 35
10.  Dillon Cloyed, Papillion, Neb., Honda - 33