The second half of the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross season is officially underway and this weekend's inaugural visit to Lafayette, Louisiana, will mark one of the most critical junctions in the battle to claim the Ricky Carmichael Cup. On Saturday, March 12, the CAJUNDOME will host the final opportunity for riders to secure one of 10 spots in the Race to the Championship, AMSOIL Arenacross' version of the playoffs that will ultimately crown this season's champion. With Team Babbitt's/Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki's Gavin Faith leading the way on the heels of back-to-back overall wins, 11 riders remain eligible for a spot in this intense battle for one of sport's most coveted trophies.

Broadcast Alert: AMSOIL Arenacross action from the previous round in Omaha will air Sunday, March 13, at 5:00 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on FS1.

Through eight rounds, which has featured 11 nights of racing, a total of five different riders have claimed an overall win in what has become one of the most competitive Arenacross Class fields in history. Last Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska, Faith took the reigns as the most successful rider this season, sweeping the Main Events for the second consecutive round for his fourth overall victory. That vaulted the Kawasaki rider to a 17-point lead in the standings and puts him in a position to claim the top seed for the Race to the Championship in Lafayette. That distinction is a significant one as each top seed since the inception of the Race to the Championship in 2013 has ultimately held on to win the title.

Keeping Faith honest throughout the season have been his Team Babbitt's teammates Jacob Hayes and Chris Blose, along with TZR/Woodstock KTM's Travis Sewell. They each have at least one overall win to their credit this season and are surefire challengers in the Race to the Championship. Collectively they occupy the top four positions in the Arenacross Class standings with locked in spots for the playoff, and thus enter Lafayette with their sights set on improved seeding. Beyond them, three other riders have also clinched a spot in the Race to the Championship - TiLUBE/Tuf Racing Honda's Ben Lamay and Jace Owen, and Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing presented by FMC and OTSFF rider Gared Steinke.

The final three positions will come down to what is sure to be an thrilling battle between four riders - A&Y Racing Honda's Daniel Herrlein, Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna Factory Racing's Kyle Bitterman, defending AMSOIL Arenacross Champion Kyle Regal, and TZR/Woodstock KTM's Cody VanBuskirk. A total of 19 points sit between this foursome, with just four points between Bitterman, Regal and VanBuskirk. With a maximum of 34 points available on Saturday night in Lafayette, there's definitely some additional shakeup coming for the remaining spots in the Race to the Championship.

Bitterman enjoyed one of his best outings of the season in Omaha, finishing eighth, which helped him move past his teammate Regal in the standings from 10th to ninth. Regal has missed five races since a practice crash in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but has continued to maintain his position inside the top 10 in the standings. He's taken his time in getting back to full health, even choosing to sit out Omaha after practice, and now that he occupies the 10th and final spot in points there's no better time than now for the current titleholder to solidify his spot in the Race to the Championship and have the chance to defend his number one plate. A surging VanBuskirk, who has won back-to-back Arenacross Lites Class Main Events, will need to do all he can to break into the top 10 for the first time this season and continue what has become a breakout season for the young rider.

Although the Eastern Regional Arenacross Lites Class Championship has already been decided, this deep class of up-and-coming AMSOIL Arenacross competitors is providing a glimpse into the bright future of the sport. At the last Eastern Regional stop in Tampa, Florida, VanBuskirk broke through for the first win of his career. He heads to Lafayette on a winning streak and all eyes will be on the KTM rider to see if he can make it three in-a-row.

The ninth round of AMSOIL Arenacross from Lafayette's CAJUNDOME will kick off at 5 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 12.