Jayme Dalsing Interview
The excitement of the 2010 AMA Arenacross Series is just around the corner, but before the intense competition of the New Year is officially underway; fans will have the chance to get a taste of the bar-banging action this weekend at the second annual Des Moines Prequel Race from Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
$11,000 in prize money is on the line for several of the world’s best AMA Arenacross racers as they compete for bragging rights in a sneak peek of what lies ahead for the upcoming year.
The man behind the scenes that is responsible for the unforgettable, jaw dropping action of the AMA Arenacross Series is Director of Operations Jayme Dalsing. For the second year, one of most beloved venues in AMA Arenacross Series history serves as the site for what is arguably the most exciting race of the year with no pressure or points and nothing but cash on the line when the gates drop on Saturday night.
We caught up with Dalsing to ask him what the dedicated Iowa fans can expect to see this weekend and for the highly anticipated 2010 season.
Question: Jayme, last season was a great year for the AMA Arenacross Series and featured a first-time champion in Jeff Gibson. What can fans expect to see in 2010 and will Jeff be coming back to defend his title?
Jayme Dalsing: 2010 is shaping up to be another great year. We have heard a lot of interest from current and former supercross racers as well as our top Arenacross riders from the past few years. One of the great things about Arenacross is the fact that year after year we have had 7 – 10 different main event winners in each season.
Jeff has committed to coming back and seems very determined to defend his title. I think we’ll see a great list of guys lining up at Grand Rapids aiming at that number one.
Question: There are some changes to the schedule this year. Some new cities and venues as well as a much more compact season overall. Can you talk about whats new for 2010?
Jayme Dalsing: The season schedule really came out great this year. As you said there are a few changes in the schedule from last year, we have a few cities that we have been away from for quite some time that were very eager to have Arenacross back such as Hampton, Va., Kansas City, Mo., San Antonio, Texas, Council Bluffs, Iowa and Denver, Colo. We’ve added an event weekend to the schedule this year as well so we will be running straight through from January 8th to March 27th without a break. One of the biggest changes that we made to Arenacross this year actually takes place during our Sunday Amateur events. Every Sunday at Arenacross we will be holding qualifiers for the Amateur National Arenacross Championships which will be held this year on May 9th in Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium. Each class winner at Las Vegas will be crowned with a prestigious AMA National Championship.
Question: Before the gate drops on the regular season in January, a special prequel race is being run at Des Moines this weekend. What is this race all about and what kind of opportunities does this present for riders in preparation for the upcoming year?
Jayme Dalsing: This year with the switch to 450′s for the premier Arenacross class, riders will be looking to get some race time on their new bikes and Des Moines will be just the place to do it. As we saw last year with Michael Willard, this is a great race to come out and see where you stack up with the rest of the Arenacross field. Michael was able to put on a great weekend of racing and earn himself a factory ride for the 2009 season. I’m sure we will see some surprise visitors testing their skills at Des Moines again this year. We will also have a one night $11,000 purse up for grabs.
Question: Des Moines has been a big part of the AMA Arenacross Series for many years. What makes it such a special race?
Jayme Dalsing: The fans make this race special. Des Moines just loves Arenacross and great fans make a great event. We’ve been coming to Des Moines for 12 years and this year is proving to be the best ever.
Question: Who can the fans expect to see this weekend?
Jayme Dalsing: We’ve had a lot of commitments from our top guys like Babbitt’s Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad Johnson and Josh Demuth, Junior Jackson Racing KTM’s Kelly Smith, Triple Effect Kawasaki’s Gray Davenport, as well as Robbie Reynard from Reynard Mods Suzuki. Local Fort Dodge, Iowa rider Teddy Maier will be attending along with Des Moines favorite Tom Hofmaster, who will make a return to Arenacross for this special one-off race. We’ve also had a few rumors flying around about some guys that could be a threat to the podium such as Tyler Bowers, Gavin Gracyk, and Zach Osborne. Add the Spinechillers Racing/Storm Lake Honda team of Willie Browning, Nathan Skaggs and Zach Ames and this could end up being the best line up of riders Des Moines has seen in a long time.
Question: There is nothing quite like the sport of Arenacross and it hooks a lot of first time viewers. For those who have never been to an AMA Arenacross Series race before and are maybe thinking about checking it out this weekend, what kind of things can they expect to see on Saturday night?
Jayme Dalsing: Arenacross is and always will be some of the best, tightest racing you can find. 16 riders on an eight-man gate with a 20-foot wide first turn combined with the tight corners and short laps make for an exciting race every time.
For more information on the AMA Arenacross Series: www.arenacross.com.