Racing in the AMA Amsoil Arenacross Series, Team Faith has experienced a great success of performances during the 2013 season. Recently traveling to the Denver Coliseum, the crew was geared up and ready to embark upon their final event of the year.
Team Faith's impressive season earned them the 2013 Amsoil "Team of the Year" award.
"The team was feeling pretty good" explained the president of Team Faith Racing Ministry, Brian O'Rourke in reference to their confidence level. "Both Jeff Gibson and Kelly Smith had been riding great. But more importantly, our road pastor, Larry Dean, had been getting us spiritually prepared, and as a team, we were all pretty solid. We knew whatever happened would be okay."
Team Faith finished the season with mere points separating them from the Amsoil Arenacross championship.
Although prepared to accept whatever might come their way, anticipation was high, as Jeff Gibson was but a few points behind Team Babbitt's rider, Tyler Bowers. Of course, Bowers would have to falter, but Gibson was in the running for the series championship.
On the opening night, the Team Faith riders dazzled the spectators with incredible rides. In fact, at the night's end, Gibson and Smith earned the top two spots on the podium.
The team got the ball rolling in the right direction on the following night, as Kelly Smith earned a win in the first heat and Jeff Gibson took the third place position in heat number two.
Although Team Faith Rider, Jeff Gibson will be retired in the upcoming season, the crew is looking forward to continuing their string of success.
In reference to Smith's win, O'Rourke said, Kelly had been fast all season long and just had some bad stuff happen during the races that wasn't indicative of how well he was actually riding. We knew it was a matter of time before he would win one of them. He's a pretty cool cat actually," continued O'Rourke. "He doesn't seem to get too excited. But I know he was just relieved to have things finally go his way. I know he was really looking forward to using his talent to glorify God from the top of the box."
Eager to continue the winning streak Gibson took the hole shot in the first Main and Smith fell into the second-place position. Gibson never looked back and when the dust had settled, he had taken the checkered flag. Smith had an impressive run as well, crossing the finish line in fourth place.
Team Faith is eagerly anticipating success in the upcoming season.
All drivers were inverted in the second main event, leaving both riders on the back row prior to the waving of the green flag. But Smith and Gibson had no intentions of letting their misfortunes slow them down.
To take the championship title, Gibson had to finish six places in front of Bowers. That in mind, he focused on passing everyone standing between him and the finish line. When the race was over, Gibson had managed to take the checkered flag, earning the top spot on the podium. But as sweet as the victory might have been, the championship title was still up for grabs. If Bowers managed to finish less than six positions behind Gibson, he would hold on to the points lead. And if not, Gibson would hold the title.
As the riders started crossing the finish line, all questions were answered when Tyler Bowers finished in fifth place, allotting him the title of champion.
"Jeff did everything he could possibly do to win the championship," recalled O'Rourke. "But hats off to Bowers. He was super strong all year and did what he needed to to earn another title.
"Jeff had a lot of things to adapt to, with moving to our team," explained O'Rourke. "He had new bikes to get used to, by switching to KTM's new suspension. And a new team who, quite frankly, did not have a full-time designated mechanic for either guy at each event. So given all of those changes and a lack of consistent personnel at each event, Jeff adapted well. It just took a little time to get settled into the new format on Arenacross as well."
Although Gibson missed the series championship by mere points, the team was honored for their accomplishments. "Earning the "Team of the Year" award was great, ensured O'Rourke. It affirmed to the entire team that we indeed were successful at doing what we came to do on the Amsoil Arenacross Series. I think the folks at FELD and the participants of Arenacross noticed that we as a team aren't just there to compete against them. Rather we are there to try and meet their physical and spiritual needs as well. In the pits, we are always trying to help if someone needs a resource we happen to have. Also, if a rider gets injured, we are there for spiritual support for both the rider, his family and friends that may want that."
To meet their goals, Team Faith is acutely aware that they must pay close attention to maintenance. That in mind, they depend upon K&N products to keep the internal components of their engines contaminant free.
"We use several K&N products," explained O'Rourke. We use their air filters and air filter adapters in both watercraft and bikes, where applicable. We use K&N oil filters on the bikes. We use the K&N cleaning products too!
They're simply the best," he continued. "I cant think of another manufacturer we'd want to go with. The K&N brand speaks for itself."
With the 2013 season behind them, Team Faith is already looking forward to the future. When asked what fans can expect from the crew in the upcoming season, O'Rourke said, "We have some great, new things developing with our relationship with KTM that we are really excited about. Unfortunately, Jeff Gibson is retired, so he won't be making another run at the championship. But we are looking at a couple of guys to be teammates with Kelly Smith next year. And it should be good."