After a brief break in the action, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship resumes this Saturday for the fifth stop of the 12-round series, at Blountville, Tennessee's Muddy Creek Raceway. Last year was the inaugural race for the legendary southeastern racing venue, and this weekend’s action promises to be exciting.
The Muddy Creek race also marks the championship's network television debut this season on NBC, with live second moto coverage of the 450 Class.
As far as action on the track, the 450 Class has been a four-rider showdown between the Red Bull KTM duo of Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey, Team Yoshimura Suzuki's James Stewart and Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard.
Meanwhile, in the 250 class, Monster Energy Pro Circuit’s Blake Baggett has come on strong in the last two races after Yamalube/Star Racing teammates Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb dominated the first two races of the season.
One of the big questions heading into the race weekend is whether Stewart will race at Muddy Creek in light of his recent suspension by the FIM. Days following his dominant 20th career 450 Class win at High Point, the Suzuki rider was notified that his test results from a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) drug test at the Seattle stop of the FIM/AMA Supercross season in April tested positive for amphetamine, a banned substance. While the FIM provisionally suspended Stewart from competition at its sanctioned events, his status for the non-FIM affiliated Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has been uncertain. MX Sports Pro Racing, organizers of the championship, have issued the following statement confirming Stewart's eligibility at this weekend's Red Bull Tennessee National:
"The provisional suspension of James Stewart by the FIM as a result of an alleged anti-doping violation on April 12, 2014, does not at this time involve MX Sports Pro Racing or the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. At this stage in the results management process, the decision to compete at a National level remains with the athlete, FIM and WADA, as MX Sports Pro Racing is not a Signatory to the WADA Code and does not have the authority to impose a provisional suspension. Our sanctioning body, AMA Pro Racing, has indicated that it will not restrict Stewart from competing in the upcoming Tennessee National and will reevaluate its position pending the final decision of the FIM International Disciplinary Court (CDI). If this position changes we will be notified accordingly. Until then, Mr. Stewart is free to compete without restriction."
Action for the Red Bull Tennessee National this Saturday, June 28, begins at 8:30 a.m. ET with timed practice. Opening ceremonies get underway at 12:25 p.m. ET, with the first gate drop scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.