On a night filled with impromptu boxing matches and otherwise overly aggressive activity (as deemed by AMA Pro Racing), Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed scored his sixth win of the year, and James Stewart broke Jeremy McGrath’s 125cc supercross win record inside Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
MotoXXX’s Damon Huffman easily grabbed the 250cc holeshot, and initially Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Kevin Windham was pretty near him. However, Reed came across the inside of the first turn and parked Windham on the outside. Windham came out about eighth while Reed came out third. That was basically the race. Reed took over the lead by the end of the second lap, but Windham was stuck in traffic. It took Windham until lap 11 to move into second, after passing David Vuillemin, Mike LaRocco, Michael Byrne and Huffman. By that time, Reed had almost 10 seconds in hand. Reed went on to score the win, while Windham finished second, and LaRocco chased down Vuillemin for the final podium spot. LaRocco’s part-time 250cc teammate Travis Preston came from just inside the top 10 to fifth at the finish.
After crashing just past the first turn in his heat race (and coming back to finish fourth), James Stewart grabbed the holeshot in the main event and led every lap, eventually winning by over 25 seconds. Yamaha of Troy’s Josh Hansen was running a strong second for quite a while before falling and getting up fifth. He then caught back up to the second and third-placed riders and looked like he may have a shot at a podium finish anyway, but then fell again and had trouble restarting his YZ250F. After a less-than-stellar eighth-place ride last weekend in Minneapolis, Team Suzuki’s Broc Hepler came from the tail end of the top five to score his second runner-up finish in three tries, and Samsung/Radio Shack Yamaha’s Michael Blose not only scored his first-ever podium, but the first podium for his team after running up front for the whole main event. Actually both Blose, and fourth-place Steve Boniface are west-coast riders, so they didn’t score any points for their finishes. Chevy Trucks Kawasaki’s Paul Carpenter had a strong showing, starting at the tail end of the top 10 to finish fifth. Suzuki’s Davi Millsaps crashed out of the 125cc main pretty early on.
AMA Pro Racing disqualified three riders before the main events even started. In the 125cc LCQ, Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Ryan Mills and Samsung/Radio Shack Yamaha’s Steve Mertens went at it pretty aggressively for the final transfer spot into the main. Mertens got the nod at the finish, and Mills chased him down a couple of turns later and apparently Mills swung at Mertens. Mertens returned the favor, and the two were both disqualified, which gave James Povolny the last transfer spot into the 125cc main. In the first 250cc Semi, Jimmy Wilson put Grant Langston on the ground on the first lap. Langston dropped out of the race, but a few laps later, Wilson’s bike broke and Langston rode up to give Wilson a piece of his mind. The two were separated by security and officials, and Langston was also DQ’d.
The Star Racing Yamaha 250cc team was decimated over the weekend, as Keith R. Johnson crashed over a tricky kicker before the finish-line jump in Friday practice and endoed into the face of the finish. He reportedly suffered some vertebrae fractures, broken ribs, a punctured lung and a lacerated adrenal gland, but he will require no surgery - just time to heal. His teammate (and privateer 250cc standout) Erick Vallejo, fresh off of his best finish of the year in Minneapolis (eighth place), had a very similar crash in his 250cc heat race in the same spot and was carted off the track and taken to the hospital. Early reports say that he’s relatively okay, and nothing’s broken, so his team is hopeful that he can return for Daytona.
250cc MAIN: Chad Reed (Yam); 2. Kevin Windham (Hon); 3. Mike LaRocco (Hon); 4. David Vuillemin (Yam); 5. Travis Preston (Hon); 6. Heath Voss (Yam); 7. Sean Hamblin (Suz); 8. Michael Byrne (Kaw); 9. Tyler Evans (Suz); 10. Andrew Short (Suz); 11. Nick Wey (Suz); 12. Jason Thomas (Hon); 13. Isaiah Johnson (Yam); 14. Nathan Ramsey (Hon); 15. Ted Campbell (Hon); 16. Joe Oehlhof (Hon); 17. David Pingree (Hon); 18. James Povolny (Hon); 19. Damon Huffman (Hon); 20. Ryan Clark (Yam).
THQ/AMA Supercross Series Points Standings (After 9 of 16 rounds): 1. Chad Reed (216/6 wins); 2. Kevin Windham (190/3 wins); 3. David Vuillemin (170); 4. Mike LaRocco (167); 5. Michael Byrne (121); 6. Damon Huffman (111); 7. Nick Wey (105); 8. Heath Voss (96); 9. Sean Hamblin (79); 10. Grant Langston (74); 11. Tyler Evans (68); 12. Erick Vallejo (59); 13. Ryan Clark (55); 14. Keith R. Johnson (54); 15. Ezra Lusk (47); 16. Timmy Ferry (46); 17. (TIE) Travis Preston/Robbie Reynard (34); 19. Nathan Ramsey (32); 20. Joe Oehlhof (31).
125cc MAIN: 1. James Stewart (Kaw); 2. Broc Hepler (Suz); 3. Michael Blose (Yam); 4. Steve Boniface (Suz); 5. Paul Carpenter (Hon); 6. Danny Smith (Yam); 7. Eric Sorby (Kaw); 8. Jeff Gibson (Yam); 9. Steve Lamson (Hon); 10. Kevin Johnson (Yam); 11. Turbo Reif (Hon); 12. Daryl Hurley (Suz); 13. Ryan Clark (Yam); 14. Josh Hansen (Yam); 15. Tyson Hadsell (Yam); 16. Hans Neel (Hon); 17. Tiger Lacey (Hon); 18. James Povolny (Hon); 19. Daniel Blair (Yam); 20. Vincent Blair (Yam); 21. Davi Millsaps (Suz); 22. Brett Metcalfe (KTM).
AMA 125cc Eastern Regional Points Standings (After 3 of 7 rounds): 1. James Stewart (75/3 wins); 2. Broc Hepler (57); 3. Steve Lamson (46); 4. Eric Sorby (44); 5. Ryan Clark (36); 6. (TIE) Danny Smith/Kelly Smith (32); 8. Ryan Mills (27); 9. Paul Carpenter (25); 10. Tiger Lacey (22); 11. Brett Metcalfe (19); 12. Kevin Johnson (17); 13. Daryl Hurley (15); 14. (TIE) Turbo Reif/Tyson Hadsell (12); 16. Billy Laninovich (10); 17. Matthieu Lalloz (8); 18. Davi Millsaps (7); 19. Hans Neel (5); 20. James Povolny/Bradley Ripple/Doug DeHaan (3).