Sixty-four professional Arenacross rider and 63 professional Arenacross lites riders made for an exciting and stressfully day of qualifying Friday January 10, 2014. Since only 30 riders advanced to the night program these numbers really put the pressure on all 60 plus racers. So not only is an arenacross track built in such a way to prepare riders for a smoother transition into supercross the Ricky Carmichael Road to Supercross plan has caused the turn out numbers to mirror supercross also. This was an aspect of the plan from the changes implemented last year that many had hoped for but didn't expect this soon in the 2014 schedule. That doesn't mean the promoters aren't ready, no sir, they welcome these numbers as much as the fans do.
Amsoil Arenacross is tight racing from it's inception so when you add a turn out like this you just know there is going to be some bar banging and aggressive passing taking place right from the first timed practice all the way through to the main events.
They are all racing again today but you can never say it will be a repeat of Friday's racing because there are so many variables that cause the final results that you never get a true account of the race by just checking the results on-line. This is one of many reasons why arenacross is making a come back in popularity.
However the numbers look a lot different when you try to find your favorite rider from Pennsylvania. There were only 4 riders from the keystone state in the AX Lites class and none in the premier Arenacross Class.
The day time qualifiers saw the 96 of Anthony Laird from St. Marys, PA qualify 22nd on his Kawasaki, the 228 of Anthony Marisa from Tire Hill, PA qualify 42nd on his Suzuki, the 59 of Zak Klaptosky from Spring City, PA qualify 45th on his Honda and the 56 of Mitchell Knorr from Bloomsburg, PA quailify 59th on his KTM. Only Anthony Laird's time was fast enough to advance him into the night program out of that group of qualified PA riders.
You might be asking yourself, what about Steve Roman? After all he won the Lites main it Worcester, MA last Saturday. Well his name was listed in last with no time posted so he must of crashed out in an open practice session before the time qualifying started and then left before the Harrisburg Motocross Examiner arrived on the scene. This was a huge disappointment to his fans because he positioned himself last weekend to be a contender for the Lites East championship.
That left the 96 of Anthony Laird to try to carry the Pennsylvania flag into the main. Unfortunately he missed it by two positions in his heat race when he finished 9th and missed it again in the LCQ when he finished 11th because only the top 2 move to the main event out of that race. This is proof positive that areancross in 2014 is no joke! If you are a pro rider and you want to even qualify for a AX Lites main event you have to be prepared and on your A-game.