TUF Honda, one of the most successful teams in AMA Arenacross Series history, will boast a talented three-rider lineup for the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series. Former series champion Jeff Gibson, along with 2011 race winner Cole Siebler, return to the team, and will look to bring the title back to the TUF stable for the first time since the 2009 season. Additionally, TUF welcomes back up-and-comer Michael Lang, who is coming off a solid year in Arenacross Lites class competition.
From 2007 to 2009, there wasn’t a more successful team in the AMA Arenacross Series than TUF Honda. Three consecutive championships vaulted the team to juggernaut-like status, and while the premier-class title has fallen just out the team’s reach over the past two seasons, TUF Honda has been in the thick of the title fight.
“We are really looking forward to switching back to 250F motorcycles this year,” said TUF Honda Team Manager Dave Antolak. “TUF has always had the fastest bikes, and with the 250’s, we will be able use that to our advantage. To have the fastest bike is important, and that’s what makes it fun. Ron Hamp and Scott Venning have built us some very potent engines this year, and we are ready to go racing.”
Gibson is a true veteran of the AMA Arenacross Series. After making his return to competition with an exceptional title-run in 2009, Gibson has overcome adversity to return to top form, finishing runner-up in the championship last season, on the heels of three wins. Ironically, the series’ move to 250cc machines could work into Gibson’s favor. The last time such a rule was in place, it was Gibson who prevailed to take the championship, and he will look to rekindle that magic for the upcoming season.
After several years honing his ability on the larger tracks of Monster Energy Supercross, Siebler joined the AMA Arenacross Series full time in 2010 with TUF Honda, and was one of the championship’s bright spots. He posted an underdog win, turning many heads within the industry, and while injury cut his season short, Siebler had established himself as a contender. With a return back to the TUF Honda team for 2012, he will be one of a handful of riders battling for the championship.
As one of the youngest riders in the AMA Arenacross Series, Lang continues to develop as a rider, and under the tutelage of Antolak, will surely be a contender for this season’s Arenacross Lites title. In 2011, Lang captured one heat-race win, posting six top-10 finishes en route to sixth in the Eastern Regional Championship. With experience under his belt, look for Lang to be a consistent challenger for podium results.
With a potent duo leading the way, and a progressive young talent honing its skills, TUF Honda is poised to challengeÃ‚Â and rekindle the championship magic that graced the team throughout the final portion of the last decade.
In addition to the team’s rider lineup, TUF has also welcomed the addition of a pair of new primary sponsors that will give the team added support throughout the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series season. The new FMF Power Beverage, an all-natural energy drink, and Poynt, an all-in-one utility app for smartphones, have teamed up to serve as title sponsor of the newly-named FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda Racing Team.
“We are honored to be chosen as the first FMF Power-sponsored team in Arenacross,” added Antolak. “We have worked exclusively with FMF over the past few years, using their exhaust systems in our engine-development program. A lot of our success has been because of this relationship, and we are thrilled to take it to the next level with the energy drink. We have also added Poynt as a sponsor, which is a really cool free app for your phone, which allows you to find whatever you are looking in just one touch.”