Kawasaki¿s Stewart Completes Unbeaten Supercross Season
Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki rider wins 17th 125 main event of career
PONTIAC, Mich. (April 3, 2004) ¿ Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki¿s James Stewart put the finishing touches on a nearly-perfect season with a win on Saturday in the 125 Eastern Region AMA THQ Supercross Series finale at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich. The victory was Stewart¿s sixth of the season and 17th of his career, further extending his mark as the sport¿s all-time winningest 125 Supercross rider.
Heading into the season, one of Stewart¿s goals was to win all seven 125 Eastern Region Supercross races and become only the second rider in the sport¿s history to complete a perfect season. A crash in practice at Indianapolis kept him from racing in the evening¿s program and ultimately kept Stewart from attaining one of his goals.
At the Silverdome, he was once again a dominant force. After grabbing the Butterfinger Holeshot Award at the start of the main event, Stewart simply checked out and quickly pulled away from the field. His only troubles came when he encountered lapped riders on Lap 10, but Stewart still managed to win by a 13.827-second margin.
¿This was a good season and I feel I continued to improve each week, which was one of my goals coming into the season,¿ said Stewart. ¿I knew the track was pretty different tonight and the dirt was really slick. It was one of those tracks where the faster you tried to go, the slower you went. I just tried to get the lead and ride my own race.¿
Stewart¿s Chevy Trucks Kawasaki teammate Paul Carpenter was looking to climb a few positions in the final season point standings with a good finish in the main event. But after being taken wide in the first turn, his hopes of finishing in second placed were all but ruined. He did put in a good ride, however, and charged from the back to finish eighth. He wound up finishing in fourth place in the final standings.
Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki¿s Michael Byrne kept his streak of top-ten finishes alive with a 10th place finish in the 250 main event. After finishing third in his heat race, Byrne got spun in the first turn and wound up at the back of the pack as the rest of the field exited the first turn. He did manage to get it going later in the race, but could finish no better than 10th. Chad Reed was the winner.
Byrne remains in fifth place in the 250 point standings as Reed continues to hold a comfortable lead.
The 16-race AMA THQ Supercross Series takes a week off before resuming for the 14th round event at Texas Stadium in Dallas on April 17.