The halfway point of the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross season also signifies one of the most critical junctions in the season-long battle to claim the Ricky Carmichael Cup. Fresh off their first break in the championship, the world's most intense riders will return to action on Saturday, March 5, inside Omaha, Nebraska's CenturyLink Center. Thanks to his third overall win of the season at the previous round, Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Gavin Faith is once again leading the way atop the Arenacross Class standings as the Race to the Championship looms.

It's been one of the most competitive AMSOIL Arenacross seasons in history thus far in 2016, with five different riders earning at least one overall win through the first 10 nights of racing. Just as Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Jacob Hayes appeared to be staking his claim as the rider to beat for the title, a practice crash in Tampa, Florida, left him on the sidelines as his teammate dominated and not only took the win, but also took over control of the championship.

Hayes will be back in action in Omaha, but he now has two riders in the standings ahead of him as TZR/Woodstock KTM's Travis Sewell continues to enjoy a breakout season and currently sits second in points. With the cutoff for the Race to the Championship rapidly approaching, Hayes will look to seize the moment and improve his seeding. Through three seasons of the Race to the Championship the top seed entering the playoff has gone on to win the title, which places added importance on sitting atop the standings in two weekends. Hayes has more Main Event wins than anyone in 2016 and he knows better than anyone how much momentum comes with being the most successful rider in the championship.

With the focus now shifting towards the Race to the Championship, considerable attention will be placed on the trio of riders battling for the final spots between three in the top 10. Reigning AMSOIL Arenacross Champion Kyle Regal, his Husqvarna Factory Racing presented by FMC and OTSFF teammate Kyle Bitterman, and TZR/Woodstock KTM's Cody VanBuskirk sit within 20 points of one another, with Vanbuskirk sitting a mere five points out of 10th.

Regal has missed the last four races as a result of a crash in practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but has continued to maintain a spot inside the top 10 in the standings. He'll make his return to action in Omaha, carrying a 15-point lead over Bitterman. Regal's brief departure from competition was a strategic one, and he's been patiently awaiting his opportunity to get back to full health and return to the track, where he not only wants to secure a spot in the Race to the Championship, but also have the opportunity to defend his AMSOIL Arenacross title.

VanBuskirk and Bitterman were headed in opposite directions in Tampa, where VanBuskirk enjoyed his best outing of the season and Bitterman failed to qualify for the Main Event. That ultimately brought this pair to within a handful of points of one another, and their fight to have a shot at this season's title is something to keep an eye on starting this weekend at the CenturyLink Center.

In the return of the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship, Team DirtBikeMike KTM's Ben Nelko is off to a flying start, winning two of the first three races. However, despite Nelko's early success VanBuskirk has made his presence felt as well. A pair of podium results through the first three races has him just four points out of the points lead heading into Omaha and given the success he's achieving in the premier class, VanBuskirk's confidence is at an all-time high. Carlen Gardner is third in points, just five points out of the lead, with veteran Knor Motorsports/Town & Country Cycle Center Husqvarna rider Dave Ginolfi also within single digits of the lead in fourth, nine points back.

The eighth round of AMSOIL Arenacross from Omaha's CenturyLink Center will kick off at 5 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 5.

Previous Round Results
Amalie Arena - Tampa, Florida
February 20, 2016

Arenacross Class Overall Results (Main Event Results)

1.     Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki (1-1)
2.     Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM (2-3)
3.     Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda (4-2)
4.     Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Husqvarna (3-4)
5.     Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki (5-5)
6.     Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda (6-8)
7.     Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda (8-6)
8.     Chris Blose, Phoenix, Kawasaki (10-7)
9.     Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM (9-9)
10.  Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM (11-11) 

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Results

1.     Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM
2.     Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda
3.     Sean Cantrell, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
4.     Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM
5.     Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha
6.     Ramyller Alves, Coconut Creek, Fla., Yamaha
7.     Brandon Marley, McEwen, Tenn., KTM
8.     Dylan Walker, Lancaster, Ohio, Honda
9.     Scott Meshey, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki
10.  Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM

Championship Standings

Arenacross Class Championship Standings

1.     Gavin Faith, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Kawasaki - 276 (4 Main Event Wins)
2.     Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM - 265 (5 Main Event Wins)
3.     Jacob Hayes, Liberty, N.C., Kawasaki - 262 (8 Main Event Wins)
4.     Chris Blose, Phoenix, Kawasaki - 256 (1 Main Event Win)
5.     Ben Lamay, Forney, Texas, Honda - 185
6.     Jace Owen, Matoon, Ill., Honda - 175
7.     Gared Steinke, Woodland, Calif., Husqvarna - 171
8.     Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda - 148
9.     Kyle Regal, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Husqvarna - 130
10.  Kyle Bitterman, West Pelzer, S.C., Husqvarna - 115

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Standings

1.     Ben Nelko, Aliquippa, Pa., KTM - 45 (2 Main Event Wins)
2.     Cody VanBuskirk, Harvard, Ill., KTM - 41
3.     Carlen Gardner, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM - 40
4.     Dave Ginolfi, Midvale, Utah, Husqvarna - 36
5.     Cheyenne Harmon, Colleyville, Texas, KTM - 33
6.     Dylan Rouse, Florence, Ky., KTM - 30
7.     Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., KTM - 28
8.     Collin Jurin, Monroe, Wash., Kawasaki - 25
9.     Jared Lesher, Ball Ground, Ga., KTM - 19
10.  Brandon Marley, McEwen, Tenn., KTM - 17

Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Standings

1.     Daniel Herrlein, Bethesda, Ohio, Honda - 105 (2 Main Event Wins)
2.     Dylan Walker, Lancaster, Ohio, Honda - 63
3.     Jacob Williamson, Swartz Creek, Mich., Kawasaki - 49 (1 Main Event Win)
4.     Steve Roman, Apollo, Pa., Suzuki - 43
5.     Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha - 42
6.     Lane Staley, Chillicothe, Ohio, KTM - 39
7.     Tyler McSwain, Shelby, N.C., Yamaha - 35
8.     Henry Miller, Rochester, Minn., Honda - 34
9.     Sean Cantrell, Murrieta, Calif., KTM - 30
10.  Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha - 30