Fant Files: Arenacross Champion Gavin Faith

We hooked up with Gavin Faith, current Arenacross Champ, down at Ricky Carmichael’s farm and here’s what he had to say…

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Q: Last year you weren’t a defending champion. You were fighting to get to that spot. Do you feel like the target is kind of on your back now that you are defending a title and if so have you changed the way you go into racing each night?

A: Ya for sure it’s different this year but I’ve done well so far. Jace ( Jace Owen current points leader) has been pretty solid but I’ve been there every weekend and it’s not like he has a huge points lead on us. Weekend to weekend I don’t feel any added pressure holding the number one plate on the bike for the most part. At the first round it seemed like it a little bit because it was the start of the new season but once we started rolling it was no big deal. I know I need to keep up the consistency and prepare for the points to reset here shortly.

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Q: This week you have your parents down from Iowa staying at your home in Georgia. Your family has always been very involved with your riding. Talk about having them come visit.

A: My parents usually come down for a couple weeks when the races are close to my home here in Cairo, Georgia. It’s nice to have them down as well as my mechanic “Big Nasty” came to stay so we’ve been working on fine tuning the bike. I kind of missed the pre-season testing this year due to injury so I really never got a chance to spend some time dialing the bike in. So far we have been doing race to race and changing things as we go. It was a huge help having him and having my parents down here. Their very supportive and help me with my racing. Their headed home soon and I’m ready to get the ball rolling with some wins and get some momentum going for the points chase.

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Q: Talk about having someone like Ricky Carmichael in your corner to help you.

A: It’s awesome having Ricky in my corner. Even my mechanic worked with Nick Wey and has been around the sport for a lot of years. Having those two really help me out. They point me in the right direction when we’re trying new stuff on the bike and help with technique in different sections of the track. We gained a lot of progress this week and its awesome having people like that in my corner.

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Q: Gavin talk about growing up in Iowa and racing small local stuff to racing under the lights with thousands in the stands watching.

A: Growing up we were never really that serious. It was just a family thing on the weekends that we did. Didn’t really expect it to go anywhere. We just started off doing local races but its tough in Iowa with the weather being so cold for about 5 months out of the year. I didn’t get to ride a whole lot. It wasn’t until I graduated high school, I moved down south, so I was a little behind the 8 ball. We did the Loretta’s thing a little bit but I was 13 my first time there also. I did the traditional high school experience, where most kids were home schooled at that point and maybe we were a little behind on the racing thing but I feel like it made me who I am and I’m glad I got to experience that side of things growing up in Iowa.

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Q: Talk about your strategy and decisions you have to make when it’s time to make a pass in Arenacross.

A: Ya for sure the track is tight and the main events are short. You really have to get a start every time to have a shot at the overall. One of my strong points has been the whoop section. I’ve put a lot of focus on getting through the whoops and it’s a great spot to make passes. I’m a little bit taller so I have good leverage on the bike so I feel like I have an advantage there.

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Q: Gavin the race this weekend is similar to the Maryland track? Does that help you going into the weekend at all because you might know some places you can gain ground already?

A: You know every weekend its different but the same. The catapult might be in a different spot or the whoops might be different but for the most part we have 4 lanes to work with. It’s pretty easy to adapt to quickly and obviously for the guys who have done Arenacross for a couple years now can get going quickly. It’s an advantage over a guy who is just entering this style of racing. This weekend is all about a great starts, that’s the number 1 key and get through the whoops clean. We’ve made some great improvements to our Pro Circuit suspension and I feel like my starts have come a long ways. I’m really excited for this weekend. It’s a 2 nighter and I’m looking forward to getting on the top of the box.

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We look forward to watching the rest of the Arenacross season unfold as Gavin Faith fights for another championship. This weekend Arenacross is in South Haven, Mississippi and the rest of the season is followed below.

March 11-12    New Orleans, Louisiana

March 18-19   Portland, Oregon

March 24-26  Reno, Nevada

April 1-2          Sacramento, California

April 22-23     Denver, Colorado

May 5-7           Las Vegas, Nevada

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