Langston, Hughes trying to keep Stewart at bay in 125 class
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 26, 2003) — The 2003 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship is heading down the homestretch as the tour comes to Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa., on Sunday, Aug. 30. Sunday’s race at Steel City is the traditional series finale, but July flooding in the Midwest put Kenworthy’s Motocross Park under water and that round was re-scheduled for Sept. 7, making Steel City the penultimate round.
Defending three-time AMA 250 Motocross champ Ricky Carmichael is hoping to lock up a record fourth 250 class title this weekend. The No. 4 Honda rider needs only 37 points at Steel City to clinch the championship. Meanwhile in the 125 class, that title chase is coming down to the wire. South African Grant Langston holds a narrow 10-point lead on Red Bull KTM teammate Ryan Hughes, but Kawasaki’s James Stewart is closing in fast after winning six straight 125 races.
With his win last week in Binghamton, N.Y., Carmichael put himself in a solid position to become the first rider in AMA Motocross to win four 250 class titles. The champ has turned in another stellar season, winning eight rounds this year despite the return to competition of Kevin Windham. Carmichael and Windham have had a couple of great head-to-head races this season. For Carmichael’s part he’s seen Windham’s return as a boon to the series.
“Kevin really has stepped up the competition for me this year,” Carmichael said. “To win by big margins every race is one thing, but to have tough battles is not only great for the fans, but it definitely gives me a lot of incentive to keep on top of my game as well.”
The great Carmichael-Windham showdowns have resulted in record attendance in the series this season.
Needing just 37 points means Carmichael could go 3-3 in the two motos at Steel City and still wrap up the championship. Chances are good that he will get the points he needs since Carmichael has not finished below second in a moto for nearly two years. Carmichael is a two-time winner of the 250 class at Steel City, and also has won a pair of 125 races there.
Windham and Mike LaRocco are both former 250 winners at Steel City.
The 125 class is turning into one of the most exciting late-season battles in the history of the series. Grant Langston is trying to hold on to his slim points lead and win his first AMA Motocross title. Langston has a lot to worry about. The bulldog-determined Hughes is trying to chase down his KTM teammate. At the same time Stewart is up to third in the standings and closing by leaps and bounds with win after win since returning from injury in June. Steel City’s race will go a long way in determining how the 125 championship race will play out.
Robbie Reynard is slated to race in the 125 class at Steel City. The Oklahoman is a three-time winner of the race. Pennsylvania motocross fans will be rooting on newcomer Broc Hepler. The young rider from Kittanning, Pa., recently completed an outstanding amateur career and just turned pro a few weeks ago. Hepler has already scored impressive results in his two pro outings. He will be looking to crack the top-10 in the 125 class this Sunday.
Steel City features supercross-like jumps mixed with high-speed sweeping turns, uphill fliers, tabletops and tough rhythm sections. It’s a demanding track that puts as high a price on a rider’s jumping skills as it does on speed skills. Steel City will be taped and shown on ESPN2 on Saturday, Sept. 7, beginning at 2 p.m. EST. For additional information on the Steel City race contact (304) 284-0084 or visit the www.steelcitymx.com.
For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information, regular collumnists and much more, log onto www.USMotocross.com.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
HIGH POINT RACEWAY, MT. MORRIS, PENNSYLVANIA – MAY 25, 2003
SATURDAY MAY 24, 2003
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Semi Truck Parking
10:00 AM – Paddock open to all National credential holders
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Registration and Tech at track for all professional riders
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Will Call
1:30 PM – Riders Meeting
2:00 PM – 125 Non-Seeded riders practice
2:20 PM – 250 Non-Seeded riders practice
2:40 PM – 125/250 Seeded riders practice
3:00 PM – 125 Non-Seeded riders practice
3:20 PM – 250 Non-Seeded riders practice
3:40 PM – 125/250 Seeded riders practice
4:15 PM – Pre-Qualifiers
SUNDAY MAY 25, 2003
8:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Will Call
8:30 AM – Riders Meeting (mandatory)
8:45 AM – Chapel Service
9:00 AM – 9:20 AM – 125 National riders practice
9:20 AM – 9:40 AM – 250 National riders practice
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM – 125 National riders practice
10:00 AM 10:15 AM – 250 National riders practice
10:30 AM to completion – Qualifiers
12:30 PM – Opening Ceremonies
1:00 PM – Moto 1- 125 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps
2:00 PM – Moto 1- 250 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps
3:30 PM – Moto 2- 125 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps
4:10 PM – 125 Victory Circle
4:20 PM – Moto 2- 250 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps
5:10 PM – Victory Circle
About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship, the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship, the AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship and the AMA Red Bull Supermoto Championship. Nearly 2 million race fans attended AMA Pro Racing events during the 2002 season. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.
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