Stewart Wraps Up Perfect Vegas Weekend

Jean Turner | October 11, 2009

It was none other than James Stewart who ended the Las Vegas weekend with another win, but the action at the MGM Grand on night two of the U.S. Open made night one look like a snooze fest. Rather than simply checking out from the get-go, Stewart had his work cut out for him to get around GEICO Powersports Honda’s Dan Reardon and Monster Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto before he controlled the race.

Reardon grabbed the holeshot and the early lead, but Villopoto soon worked his way around the Aussie to lead the way. Stewart still had some work to do before he had RV in his sights, and Villopoto used the time to run away and open up as much of a gap as possible. But by the time Stewart got around Reardon (which was actually a few laps) the five seconds Villopoto had put on Stewart just wasn’t enough. Stewart quickly reeled in the number two Kawasaki, and the two handed off the lead through a couple of straights before Stewart secured the lead and proceeded to check out.

Reardon held on to third for much of the race, but Red Bull Honda’s Davi Millsaps and Rockstar Suzuki rider Michael Byrne were closing the gap. In the last laps of the race, Millsaps was able to get around Reardon to take the final podium position. Reardon finished fourth followed by Byrne, who rounded out the top five.

In the overall standings, Stewart collected the spoils with a perfect 1-1 score. Millsaps’ third place on Saturday night gave him second overall and Reardon took third on the weekend with a 3-4 score.

The excitement at the Grand Garden Arena, however, came mostly in the wild Semi and LCQ races. Byrne and Honda-mounted Heath Voss had the crowd in a frenzy as they battled in their Semi for the only qualifying spot. On the last lap, Byrne got inside Voss and took the lead as Voss hit the ground.

The final LCQ was another wild race as Derek Costella and Chris Gosselaar battled neck and neck for the lead on the last lap. The two got together two turns from the finish and they both went down which handed the lead over to Moto Concepts Yamaha’s Matt Goerke. But in the last turn just before the finish, Hart & Huntington’s Matt Boni punted Goerke out of the way to take the final qualifying position of the night.

Main Event Results:

1. James Stewart (Yam); 2. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw); 3. Davi Millsaps (Hon); 4. Dan Reardon (Hon); 5. Michael Byrne (Suz); 6. Matt Boni (Hon); 7. Nick Wey (Yam); 8. Ezra Lusk (Suz); 9. Tyler Bowers (Yam); 10. Chris Blose (Hon); 11. Robert Kiniry (Kaw); 12. Tiger Lacey (Hon); 13. Keith Johnson (Kaw); 14. Josh Hansen (Kaw).

Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.