Race Report:
Jeremy McGrath Invitational, Saturday Program

Just like on the first night of action at the Jeremy McGrath Invitational at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, Team Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Kevin Windham ran away with every race he entered. All night, Windham rode like the rider everyone has come to know—smooth and effortlessly—as he raced away from the entire field. Once again, one of the biggest surprises of the night—if you consider he was mounted aboard a 250cc four-stroke—was the fact that Windham’s biggest competition came from his teammate Josh Grant. Grant rode the wheels off his bike all night, and even held down lap times that were nearly identical to those of Windham. And just like the night before, the two riders finished one-two in the head-to-head competition. In the final main event of the night, Grant finished a respectable third.

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FAST LAP QUALIFYING

Just like the previous night, the first portion of the program saw two groups of riders circulating the track for five minutes with each rider’s best lap time determining the lineup for the head-to-head match racing.

In the first session, Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda teammates Kevin Windham and Josh Grant took to the track along with Team MDK’s David Vuillemin, Honda-mounted Jeff Willow, Suzuki riders Greg Schnell and Joe Oehlhof, Honda riders Danny Smith and Robbie Reynard, and the Mace brothers Kyle and Justin. As the session progressed, the riders began to spread out as Windham slowly inched ahead to become the rider to beat for the fastest lap. Meanwhile, Grant turned in some blistering lap times, however, it just wasn’t enough to beat the times that Windham was turning in. When the checkered flag waved, Windham barely edged out Grant for the fastest lap time.

The second session saw Team MDK’s Nick Wey take to the track first followed by this year’s Arenacross Champion Chad Johnson, Honda-mounted Jason Thomas, Team Red Bull KTM’s Josh Hansen, French rider Eric Sorby, Yamaha riders Jiri Dostal and Jeff Dement, Honda Privateer Heath Voss, Suzuki’s Travis Pastrana, Team Moto XXX’s Kyle Lewis, and Honda-mounted Cole Seibler. Wey was turning in super-fast lap times; however, it all came to a stop when he crashed hard in a tricky step-on-step-off section of the track. At the end of the session, it was another 250F rider, Hansen, who turned in one of the top times. But it wasn’t enough, as Pastrana clocked the fastest lap time of the second group.

TOP-16 QUALIFIERS (Advanced to the head-to-head bracket racing):

  1. Kevin Windham (Hon)
  2. Travis Pastrana (Suz)
  3. Josh Grant (Hon)
  4. Josh Hansen (KTM)
  5. Nick Wey (Hon)
  6. Heath Voss (Hon)
  7. David Vuillemin (Hon)
  8. Jeff Dement (Yam)
  9. Chad Johnson (Suz)
  10. Jason Thomas (Hon)
  11. Danny Smith (Hon)
  12. Jiri Dostal (Yam)
  13. Cole Seibler (Hon)
  14. Eric Sorby (Hon)
  15. Greg Schnell (Suz)
  16. Joe Oehlhof (Suz)

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MOTO ONE

When the gate dropped for the eight-lap race that determined the gate-pick order in the 16-lap main event later in the evening, it was privateer Cole Seibler with the holeshot, however, he was quickly passed by Team Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Kevin Windham while Honda rider Jason Thomas sat in third. Suzuki-mounted Greg Schnell circulated the track fourth, with Yamaha rider Jeff Dement in fifth.

As the laps wore on, Windham began to pull out to a comfortable lead as Thomas moved into second followed by Schnell and Honda privateer Danny Smith. Behind Smith, Windham’s teammate Josh Grant was making a spirited charge through the pack, as he quickly moved up to the rear fender of the Smith’s Honda. Soon after, he took over fourth.

Near the halfway point, Grant moved into second, however, his teammate Windham was too far ahead catch. Thomas held on to third while Schnell and Smith battled for fourth. On the final lap, Smith made a pass stick on Schnell and took over the position. From there, the riders remained in the same running order, with Windham taking the win, followed by Grant and Smith.

MOTO ONE RESULTS:

  1. Kevin Windham (Hon)
  2. Josh Grant (Hon)
  3. Jason Thomas (Hon)
  4. Danny Smith (Hon)
  5. Greg Schnell (Suz)
  6. Heath Voss (Hon)
  7. Jeff Dement (Yam)
  8. Josh Hansen (KTM)
  9. Eric Sorby (Hon)
  10. Kyle Lewis (Hon)
  11. Jiri Dostal (Yam)
  12. Cole Seibler (Hon)
  13. Chad Johnson (Suz)
  14. Robbie Reynard (Hon)
  15. Kyle Mace (Kaw)
  16. Jeff Willoh (Hon)
  17. Justin Mace (Kaw)
  18. Joe Oehlhof (Suz)
  19. David Vuillemin (Hon)

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HEAD-TO-HEAD, SINGLE ELIMINATION BRACKET RACES

Just like last night the first few rounds of head-to-head action weren’t too exciting, as the faster riders easily moved on to the next round of competition.

The excitement kicked-in after three head-to-head races, when privateer Eric Sorby and Team Red Bull KTM’s Josh Hansen matched up. The two played cat and mouse into the first turn, and continued to stay close. Then put on a block-passing session as they traded plastic in seemingly every corner of the track. At the end, although Hansen put in a valiant effort aboard his 250f, Sorby came away victorious.

The next big action to liven up the crowd was when Joe Oehlhof and Travis Pastrana faced off. Oehlhof held the lead for the entire race, and while Pastrana came close to passing Joe, he never did, as the privateer managed to hold off the likable Pastrana to move on to the second round of elimination with one of the most unexpected victories of the night.

Perhaps the best race of the night was the battle between Team Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Josh Grant and Team MDK’s David Vuillemin. In the first turn, DV block passed Grant and held the lead for the entire race as Grant hounded him. In the last turn, of the final lap, however, Grant ran it in on DV and took the win.

The final head-to-head race of the night was nearly a carbon copy of the night before, as Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda teammates Kevin Windham and Josh Grant matched up once again. When the gate hit the dirt, Windham and Grant flew neck and neck into the first turn and down the first two straights. A few turns later, however, Windham took over the lead and never looked back, as he raced away to take the victory ahead of his impressive younger teammate.

OVERALL HEAD-TO-HEAD RESULTS:

  1. Kevin Windham (Hon)
  2. Josh Grant (Hon)
  3. Heath Voss (Hon)
  4. Danny Smith (Hon)
  5. Jason Thomas (Hon)
  6. Eric Sorby (Hon)
  7. David Vuillemin (Hon)
  8. Joe Oehlhof (Suz)
  9. Kyle Mace (Kaw)
  10. Chad Johnson (Suz)
  11. Cole Seibler (Hon)
  12. Josh Hansen (KTM)
  13. Greg Schnell (Suz)
  14. Jeff Dement (Yam)
  15. Travis Pastrana (Suz)
  16. Jiri Dostal (Yam)

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MAIN EVENT

When the pack thundered into the first turn for the final race of the weekend, it was Team Moto XXX’s Kyle Lewis taking the holeshot, followed by privateer Eric Sorby, Team Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Kevin Windham and Team MDK’s David Vuillemin. Windham’s young teammate Josh Grant was buried back in sixth. From there, Windham went on to take over the lead after only a few turns, and put a comfortable gap between himself and the rest of the field. Meanwhile, Grant put on another charge to the front, and after only a few laps, was into third behind Vuillemin.

As the race wore on, Windham continued to stretch out his lead over Vuillemin while Grant tried all he could to catch the two 450cc four-stroke mounted riders. Behind the front trio, Honda rider Heath Voss took over fourth and raced around the track uncontested.

As the race neared the halfway mark, Windham continued to lead, but Vuillemin followed only a few seconds back. Grant held on to a lonely third, with Voss fourth and Honda privateer Jason Thomas fifth. With only a few laps left, the running order at the front didn’t change, and Windham went on to take another win. He was followed by Vuillemin in second and Grant in third.

On the podium, Windham was pretty happy to get the lion’s share of the huge purse. “By far, this was the biggest payday of my life. I just have to thank Jeremy for putting this on,” Windham said. “It’s too bad he couldn’t have been here tonight, but I wish him a speedy recovery. In the main, I just wanted to get myself up front, because it’s hard to be in the back and do those ramp jumps. Those are easily the gnarliest jumps I’ve seen on a Supercross track.”

As for the impressive Grant, he had fun as well. “This race was good practice for me, but it was hard racing against those 450s,” Grant said. “It was good practice to get ready for the West Coast Supercross Lites series. I’d like to thank Jeremy for inviting me, for sure.”

MAIN EVENT RESULTS (Unofficial):

  1. Kevin Windham (Hon)
  2. David Vuillemin (Hon)
  3. Josh Grant (Hon)
  4. Heath Voss (Hon)
  5. Jason Thomas (Hon)
  6. Greg Schnell (Suzuki)
  7. Chad Johnson (Suzuki)
  8. Josh Hansen (KTM)
  9. Danny Smith (Honda)
  10. Jiri Dostal (Yamaha)
  11. Kyle Mace (Kawasaki)
  12. Joe Oehlhof (Suzuki)
  13. Eric Sorby (Honda)
  14. Justin Mace (Kawasaki)
  15. Robbie Reynard (Honda)
  16. Jeff Dement (Honda)
  17. Jeff Willoh (Honda)
  18. Kyle Lewis (Honda)
  19. Cole Seibler (Honda)

is lead over Vuillemin while Grant tried all he could to catch the two 450cc four-stroke mounted riders. Behind the front trio, Honda rider Heath Voss took over fourth and raced around the track uncontested.

As the race neared the halfway mark, Windham continued to lead, but Vuillemin followed only a few seconds back. Grant held on to a lonely third, with Voss fourth and Honda privateer Jason Thomas fifth. With only a few laps left, the running order at the front didn’t change, and Windham went on to take another win. He was followed by Vuillemin in second and Grant in third.

On the podium, Windham was pretty happy to get the lion’s share of the huge purse. “By far, this was the biggest payday of my life. I just have to thank Jeremy for putting this on,” Windham said. “It’s too bad he couldn’t have been here tonight, but I wish him a speedy recovery. In the main, I just wanted to get myself up front, because it’s hard to be in the back and do those ramp jumps. Those are easily the gnarliest jumps I’ve seen on a Supercross track.”

As for the impressive Grant, he had fun as well. “This race was good practice for me, but it was hard racing against those 450s,” Grant said. “It was good practice to get ready for the West Coast Supercross Lites series. I’d like to thank Jeremy for inviting me, for sure.”

MAIN EVENT RESULTS (Unofficial):

  1. Kevin Windham (Hon)
  2. David Vuillemin (Hon)
  3. Josh Grant (Hon)
  4. Heath Voss (Hon)
  5. Jason Thomas (Hon)
  6. Greg Schnell (Suzuki)
  7. Chad Johnson (Suzuki)
  8. Josh Hansen (KTM)
  9. Danny Smith (Honda)
  10. Jiri Dostal (Yamaha)
  11. Kyle Mace (Kawasaki)
  12. Joe Oehlhof (Suzuki)
  13. Eric Sorby (Honda)
  14. Justin Mace (Kawasaki)
  15. Robbie Reynard (Honda)
  16. Jeff Dement (Honda)
  17. Jeff Willoh (Honda)
  18. Kyle Lewis (Honda)
  19. Cole Seibler (Honda)