The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team came into the seventeenth and final round of the 2017 AMSOIL Arenacross series with the fight for the championship hanging in the balance. It was a repeat scenario of last year as Chris Blose and Gavin Faith sat first and second in the points chase, setting the fans up for a battle all the way until the final checkered flag of the season.
The Arizona native rose to the occasion in timed qualifying as he set the second fastest lap time of the AX class, only a couple of tenths behind pole position. Blose was able to carry that momentum into the racing action as he stormed out to an early lead in the first AX heat race of the evening. He established the lead ahead of the third member of the championship showdown, Jace Owen, consistently putting a couple of tenths into the Honda rider per lap. The Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, rider clocked the fastest lap of the race on the third lap and eventually cruised to a flawless victory in preparation for the RM/ATV MC Head 2 Head Challenge.
He was matched up against Gavin Faith’s Team Babbitt’s Kawasaki teammate, Travis Sewell, in his first two-man race of the evening. Blose was able to get the best of the rider out of Indiana, advancing himself to the next round against Jace Owen. He replicated his performance in the heat race and put himself ahead of the Honda rider at the checkered flag, setting up a championship showdown in the final round against Faith. The two of them banged bars, battling back and forth, but the defending champion was able to maintain the lead across the finish line.
In the first main event of the night show, Blose was able to put his Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, out front as he settled into second position behind Jace Owen. He quickly forced his Yamaha past the Honda, forcing his way into the lead. Meanwhile, Faith moved into second position and the battle for the championship was on as the three main contenders rode within a couple of seconds of one another at the front of the field. Blose clicked off consistent laps as he withstood the pressure from Faith, but he was only able to maintain the lead until the halfway point of the race. Faith slotted into first position and eventually put a little cushion behind him, forcing Blose to settle for second place. In the second main event, the three championship combatants started 1-2-3 again. They chopped and changed positions over the course of the opening two laps as Blose did his best to make moves towards the front of the field. Unfortunately, he made a slight mistake at the end of a rhythm section and ended up coming off of his motorcycle, eventually rejoining the race in thirteenth position.
Team Manager, Steve Simms, commented “We had another roller coaster weekend in Las Vegas; it didn’t go quite as we had planned but, I’m proud of everyone for all their hard work and for always pushing forward throughout the season. Chris went into the second main and knew he was gonna have his work cut out for him. He left it all out there on the track and we are just glad he was able to walk away from the big crash. Thanks to the whole crew for a great year: Andre, Scott, Chris, Keith, Brad, Monique, Orten, Kerry and Matt, and all of our amazing sponsors that allowed us to put together the AX program. We put up a fight till the end and that’s all we could ask of everyone.”
All in all, it was a successful season for the whole Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, in association with Rock River and CycleTrader, team as they were in the fight for the championship until the very end. It’s the second year in a row that Blose has taken the season down to the wire and finished top three in the overall points standings. Now that the 2017 AMSOIL AX series is wrapped up, the team will place their focus on the first race of the 2017 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals at the beginning of June.