2008 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series – Anaheim 2

The 80’s are back, or were for a night this weekend in Anaheim. Fluorescent colors, stonewashed jeans, and rat’s nest hairdos flooded the pits of the A2 pits for the 1986 Throwback Supercross. Featuring a replica of that famous race from ’86, complete with a monster triple and choppy sand turns, the retro track offered racers something different and fans new excitement.
However, the 80’s theme took a back seat to the devastating news from the Monster Energy Kawasaki pit just before race time. Just after 6 pm, James Stewart invited members of the press inside his truck for an impromptu press conference where he regretfully informed us that he would not be racing and that there was a good chance that his Supercross season was over. He explained that he had been hiding another knee injury that he suffered December 23nd during a practice session. He had been riding through the pain, but the pain has now become too great and the risk of permanent damage is high. Stayed tuned to Monday Kickstart for the full story.
With Stewart sidelined, A2 was a different race, with or without the throwback theme. Did Chad Reed take advantage of Stewart’s absence? Did another rider from the premier class step into the spotlight? Read on…

Supercross Lites Heat 1

When the gate dropped at the start of the first six-lap Supercross Litesheat race, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider Ryan Dungey led the pack throughturn one. Broc Hepler forced his way past the Minnesota native on lapone, however, and was followed by Pro Circuit’s Bret Metcalfe. Dungeyregrouped on lap two and motored past Metcalfe and back into second,setting his sights on the leader. On lap five, Dungey began to turn upthe heat and began to pressure the Yamaha rider heavily. Dungey forcedhis way past Hepler on the third base line on the sixth and final lapand went on to score the win. Hepler tried to strike back in the lastcorner but lost his front end in the sand and dropped to third behindMetcalfe. Last week’s winner, Jake Weimer, was fourth, and MDK KTM’s BillyLaninovich rounded out the top five.

Supercross Lites Heat 2

After the excitement of the first heat race, the crowd was on its feetfor the start of the second Supercross Lites heat race. When the gatedropped, Daniel Blair led the way, while Jason Lawrence was miredmid-pack. That didn’t matter, however, as J-Law ripped past half a dozenriders and took over the lead before even one lap was in the recordbooks. Behind Lawrence came MDK KTM’s Justin Brayton, Austin Stroupe,Blair and Bob Kiniry. Brayton stalled his KTM in the sand section on lapthree and dropped to fifth, but was right on the rear fenders of Kiniryand Blair as soon as he got going again. Lawrence cruised to an easy winaboard his Boost Mobile/Yamaha/Troy Racing YZ250F, well ahead of Stroupeand Brayton, who worked back into the third spot by the checkered flag.Blair held on for fourth, and Kiniry was fifth.

Supercross Class Heat 1

Heat 1 of the Supercross class meant redemption for more than one rider. After a rear shock blowout last week at Phoenix, Grant Langston was looking to tally some solid finishes. Davi Millsaps also had a rough weekend the previous week at Phoenix which included a early race wreck in the Main Event. These guys wanted to regain some momentum and A2 was their chance. When the gates dropped, the Factory Yamaha rider, Grant Langston, blasted out front to take the holeshot, Red Bull Honda’s Davi Millsaps moved in right behind the South African and the race was on! Millsaps made his movein the third turn and settled into the lead. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Josh Hansen BTO Sports/Butler Brothers’s Jason Thomas battled for the third place position behind the front runners. Current top privateer, Paul Carpenter, rounded out the top five by the end of the first lap. Monster Kawasaki’s Timmy Ferry clawed his way through the pack and moved in to take Eric Sorby’s position. Meanwhile, Millsaps and Cool G opened their lead on the rest of the group. Aer getting around Sorby, Ferry moved in on Thomas. When the checkers flew, Millsaps and Langston finish one two respectively, well ahead of the rest of the pack.

Supercross Class Heat 2

The anticipation ran through the crowd as the racers lined up for the second Supercross class heat of the night. Who would capitalize on Stewart’s absence? Not unsurprisingly, super-starter Mike Alessi jumped out front and grabbed the holeshot, but didn’t hold onto the lead for long. Torco Racing Fuels/Honda’s Kevin Windham passed Alessi and settled into the lead position. Josh Summey chased down Mike Alessi while Honda’s Andrew Short and Yamaha’s Josh Hill rounded out the top five after the first lap. The race tightened up and Andrew Short was able to take third. Short’s teammate Ivan Tedesco made chase and took over fifth place midway through the heat while Chad Reed bobbed and weaved through the pack after a disappointing start. The San Manuel/Yamaha pilot battled with Josh Hill while teammates Short and Tedesco locked horns. In the end, KW took the win, with Reed finishing third.

Supercross Lites LCQ

When the gate dropped at the start of the four-lap Supercross Lites LCQ,Andrew “T Back” McFarlane led the charge, which included his MotosportKawasaki teammate Tommy Hahn, Richardson’s RV rider Michael LaPaglia andTroy Lee Honda’s Gavin Gracyk. With only four spots available, theaction was intense, but McFarlane kept his cool and looked great at thefront of the pack. Hahn mounted a tremendous charge on the final lap,but he would have to settle for second. Gracyk was a close third at thefinish.

Supercross Class LCQ

The Supercross LCQ saw David Vuillemin ride his own race out front for the majority of the race. Mike Sleeter, aboard his throwback KTM jumped out front early, but he could not hold onto the lead and DV12 took full advantage. Nathan Ramsey of the San Manuel/Yamaha camp rode impressively through the group, making multiple passes during the last chance qualifier and grabbed the final position in the Main behind Vuillemin.

Supercross Lites Main Event

Stroupe stole the holeshot at the start of the 15-lap Supercross Litesmain and pulled out an immediate lead, as he was the only rider to jumpthe big triple on lap one. Dungey, Kyle Cunningham, Bret Metcalfe andKiniry gave chase in the early going.Dungey began to reel in Stroupe by lap four, and Lawrence swooped in outof nowhere to move into third after starting the race well outside thetop 10. The flash of brilliance was just that, however, as Lawrencecrashed on the far side of the course, allowing Metcalfe to slip into adistant third. Up front, meanwhile, Dungey and Stroupe traded the leadrepeatedly. Dungey made the pass stick on lap six and began to inch awayfrom the rookie Kawasaki rider. Back in third, Metcalfe had his handsfull wit Dan Reardon and Hepler, who were breathing down his neck.Hepler found his way past Metcalfe and into third on lap eight, and setout after Stroupe. Hepler took over the runner-up position from Stroupe withfour laps to go, and set his sights on Dungey. Lap by lap, Hepler didclose the gap on the Suzuki rider, but in the end he ran out of time andwas forced to settle for second. Dungey scored his second win of theseries and extended his series point lead. Hepler was second, Stroupewas third and Metcalfe was fourth, just ahead of his fellow AustralianReardon. For Stroupe, it was the first Supercross Lites podium finish ofhis young career.

RESULTS
1.Ryan Dungey
2. Broc Hepler
3. Austin Stroupe
4. Dan Reardon
5. Brett Metcalfe
6. Robert Kiniry
7. Billy Laninovich
8. Gavin Gracyk
9. Justin Brayton
10. Thomas Hahn

Supercross Class Main Event

James Stewart may have sat this main event out, but there was no lack of speed coming from the start gate. The gates dropped and Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki’s Mike Alessi shot off the line like a slingshot and nabbed the Progressive Holeshot Award. Chad Reed didn’t let Alessi get away and hunted him down before the midway point of the first lap. Davi Millsaps, using the momentum from his heat race win, took over the third place position with the young Yamaha pilot, Josh Hill in tow. The riders made their way around the difficult reproduction of the 1986 track, constantly changing and learning lines. As the first lap went down in the books, Eric Sorby misjudged the final turn before the finish line jump and fell. Grant “Cool G Langston and Andrew “Get it Shorty Short could not maneuver past the fallen Sorby and both joined him in the dirt.
Meanwhile, Kevin Windham chased Josh Hill like he had shaved KW’s mustache in his sleep. The track, however, refused to let the riders take over, and claimed Davi Millsaps in the early laps. He returned to action but could not make up the time on the leaders. Chad Reed, on the other hand, must have requested a wake up call because he checked out early.
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates kept it interesting as they battled alongside Nathan Ramsey. Fourth through seventh place switched hands almost every turn through out the mid laps. Josh Hill, who also didn’t want to deal with room service, checked out from the rest of the group as well. With Reed, Hill, and Windham now comfortably out front with plenty of space in between eachother, eyes turned toward the battle for the top five spots. Hot Sauce himself, Ivan Tedesco didn’t want to be left out and chased down Ramsey and the JGR boys.
Where was Grant Langston you ask? Cool G staged an attack on the frontrunners after his early crash, making up tons of ground. But, in lap 18, his bad luck from Phoenix rose again and GL’s rear tire blew. He had to be discouraged after that.
After 20 laps, Chad “I got the cover of the new TWMX Reed took the win, marking his second at Anaheim on the season. Josh Hill kept up the pace and grabbed his first podium with an impressive second place finish, and Kevin Windham held on for his second podium appearance in a week.

RESULTS
1. Chad Reed
2. Joshua Hill
3. Kevin Windham
4. Mike Alessi
5. Ivan Tedesco
6. Tim Ferry
7. Nathan Ramsey
8. Josh Hansen
9. Andrew Short
10. Charles Summey

AMA SUPERCROSS LITES CURENT STANDINGS
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 72
2. Broc Hepler, Kittanning, Pa., Yamaha, 50
3. Dan Reardon, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 49
4. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 47
5. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 38
6. Brett Metcalfe, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 38
7. Austin Stroupe, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki, 36
8. Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Kawasaki, 33
9. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Honda, 31
10. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Yamaha, 30

AMA SUPERCROSS CLASS CURRENT STANDINGS
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha, 72
2. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 56
3. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 48
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki, 47
5. Tim Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki, 46
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 43
7. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 38
8. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha, 38
9. Joshua Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 37
10. Josh Hansen, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 27

get away and hunted him down before the midway point of the first lap. Davi Millsaps, using the momentum from his heat race win, took over the third place position with the young Yamaha pilot, Josh Hill in tow. The riders made their way around the difficult reproduction of the 1986 track, constantly changing and learning lines. As the first lap went down in the books, Eric Sorby misjudged the final turn before the finish line jump and fell. Grant “Cool G Langston and Andrew “Get it Shorty Short could not maneuver past the fallen Sorby and both joined him in the dirt.
Meanwhile, Kevin Windham chased Josh Hill like he had shaved KW’s mustache in his sleep. The track, however, refused to let the riders take over, and claimed Davi Millsaps in the early laps. He returned to action but could not make up the time on the leaders. Chad Reed, on the other hand, must have requested a wake up call because he checked out early.
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates kept it interesting as they battled alongside Nathan Ramsey. Fourth through seventh place switched hands almost every turn through out the mid laps. Josh Hill, who also didn’t want to deal with room service, checked out from the rest of the group as well. With Reed, Hill, and Windham now comfortably out front with plenty of space in between eachother, eyes turned toward the battle for the top five spots. Hot Sauce himself, Ivan Tedesco didn’t want to be left out and chased down Ramsey and the JGR boys.
Where was Grant Langston you ask? Cool G staged an attack on the frontrunners after his early crash, making up tons of ground. But, in lap 18, his bad luck from Phoenix rose again and GL’s rear tire blew. He had to be discouraged after that.
After 20 laps, Chad “I got the cover of the new TWMX Reed took the win, marking his second at Anaheim on the season. Josh Hill kept up the pace and grabbed his first podium with an impressive second place finish, and Kevin Windham held on for his second podium appearance in a week.

RESULTS
1. Chad Reed
2. Joshua Hill
3. Kevin Windham
4. Mike Alessi
5. Ivan Tedesco
6. Tim Ferry
7. Nathan Ramsey
8. Josh Hansen
9. Andrew Short
10. Charles Summey

AMA SUPERCROSS LITES CURENT STANDINGS
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 72
2. Broc Hepler, Kittanning, Pa., Yamaha, 50
3. Dan Reardon, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 49
4. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 47
5. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 38
6. Brett Metcalfe, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 38
7. Austin Stroupe, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki, 36
8. Tommy Hahn, Alvord, Texas, Kawasaki, 33
9. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Honda, 31
10. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Yamaha, 30

AMA SUPERCROSS CLASS CURRENT STANDINGS
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha, 72
2. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 56
3. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 48
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki, 47
5. Tim Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki, 46
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 43
7. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 38
8. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha, 38
9. Joshua Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 37
10. Josh Hansen, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 27