TWMX Race Report: ’04 Las Vegas SX

Viva Chad Reeda!

The big news coming into the final round of the 2004 Supercross series in Las Vegas this weekend was the AMA’s denial of Yamaha’s appeal to the illegal fuel ruling that was made last weekend in Salt Lake City. According to the AMA, Yamaha’s Chad Reed and David Vuillemin did indeed run fuel in Dallas that contained a lead content in excess of the allowable limit. The findings and resultant 25-point reduction to Chad Reed’s total meant that Kevin Windham was within 12 points of Reed heading into the final race. The obvious good news for Windham was that he still had a mathematical chance to win the championship. The bad news, however, was that he’d need Chad Reed, a man who hasn’t finished off of the podium the entire series, to finish outside of the top ten. Reed was definitely in the drivers seat.

In addition to the 250cc title up for grabs, Sam Boyd Stadium was also playing host, as it does every year, to the Dave Coombs 125cc East/West Shootout. The top 20 riders from each coast face off in a grudge match to see which coast reigns supreme. Here is how all of the racing action shook down in Vegas…

125cc East Coast Heat Race

The holeshot went to Suzuki-mounted Broc Hepler, but teammate Davi Millsaps (who is also now four-stroke mounted) made an immediate pass for the lead. Heavy favorite James Stewart started just inside the top ten but put his Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki into the lead by lap three, never to look back again. Millsaps looked great finishing a solid second, and kept Bubba honest the entire heat.


125cc West Coast Heat Race

Newly crowned 125cc West Coast champ Ivan Tedesco snatched the holeshot, and his Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Stephan Roncada moved past Greg Schnell for second on lap one. Roncada, who had already posted the fastest lap times in practice, stayed on Tedesco’s rear fender the entire heat, finishing less than a second behind. Schnell finished in third, and Josh Hansen barely edged out Nathan Ramsey for fourth.


250cc Heat One

Erick Vallejo grabbed the holeshot in front of all of the factory boys, but it was a short-lived lead as Travis Pastrana took over on lap one. Kevin Windham quickly put his CRF450R into the second spot, and the two pulled away from the rest of the field. While dicing back and forth for the lead, Pastrana threw a nac-nac while side-by-side with K-Dub over a triple, while K-Dub pointed back at Travis. The crowd went nuts over the close racing in the early stages, but K-Dub slowly inched away from Pastrana winning fairly easy. Mike LaRocco finished third.


250cc Heat Two

Michael Byrne got the jump out of the gate and led the first four laps before Chad Reed charged past and piloted his YZ250 to a relatively easy win. Behind him, David Vuillemin snuck by Byrner on lap seven but crashed shortly thereafter, forcing him to ride the semi. Byrner and Suzuki-mounted Sean Hamblin rounded out the top three behind Reed.


125cc East/West Shootout Main Event

When the gate dropped for the much anticipated 125cc shootout, it was Stephan Roncada rounding turn one in the lead. Bubba sliced through a few riders to take over the second position by turn two, and West Coast champ Tedesco rounded out the top three. This was exactly what everybody wanted to see. The best from both coasts got the starts they needed and now had 15 laps to prove themselves worthy. Roncada was no doubt a man on a mission as he held off and diced with Bubba for the first few laps. Stewart got by momentarily on lap number three, but Ron Ron showed no signs of intimidation and past him back on the same lap. It wasn’t until the end of lap six that Bubba finally got by Roncada for the final time, but Roncada hung tough and the two continued putting distance between themselves and third place Tedesco. Ivan clearily wasn”t on his game in Vegas, and on the final lap got past by a hard charging Nathan Ramsey who earned the final podium spot. Bubba’s victory made him the first champ to win the East/West shootout since Ramsey did it in 1999. Roncada rode a commendable race, however, and only let Bubba squeeze out a 3.3 second lead at the checkers.


  1. James Stewart
  2. Stephane Roncada
  3. Nathan Ramsey
  4. Ivan Tedesco
  5. Davi Millsaps
  6. Broc Hepler
  7. Josh Hansen
  8. Danny Smith
  9. Troy Adams
  10. Brock Sellards
  11. Greg Schnell
  12. Josh Summey
  13. Chris Gosselaar
  14. Justin Brayton
  15. Jay Marmont
  16. Matthieu Lalloz
  17. Kelly Smith
  18. Steve Lamson
  19. Keith Johnson
  20. Michael Blose

Before the start of the 125cc Last Chance Qualifier, Travis Pastrana came out and announced to the capacity Las Vegas crowd that he was withdrawing from the 250cc Main Event because of a nagging ankle injury.

250cc Main Event

When the 30-second board turned sideways, all eyes were on Chad Reed and Kevin Windham, but it was Moto XXX’s Damon Huffman beating all of the factory bikes down the start straight and through turn one. Huff-Daddy’s lead lasted about two jumps, however, as K-Dub blitzed by before reaching turn two. Series points leader Reed sat in fourth place but quickly moved into the second spot by lap two. With K-Dub out front and Reed sitting exactly where he needed to be to take home his first ever 250cc Supercross title, the rest of the main event, at least as far as the lead was concerned, was about as exciting as staring at a pile of rocks. A mature Reed was no doubt riding his most conservative race of the series with the championship in his grasp, and Windham slowly inched away for the win. Behind the championship contenders up front, Mike LaRocco closed out his 2004 season with another solid podium finish, and David Vuillemin and Nick Wey closed out the top five. Along with crowning Chad Reed the 2004 THQ/AMA Supercross champion in Vegas, Damon Huffman was awarded top privateer honors, and Mach 1 Yamaha’s Heath Voss wrapped up the 2004 World Supercross Championship.



250cc Main Event Results

  1. Kevin Windham
  2. Chad Reed
  3. Mike LaRocco
  4. David Vuillemin
  5. Nick Wey
  6. Sean Hamblin
  7. Heath Voss
  8. Damon Huffman
  9. Craig Anderson
  10. Keith Johnson
  11. Michael Byrne
  12. Ryan Clark
  13. Isaiah Johnson
  14. Tommy Hofmaster
  15. Jason Thomas
  16. Jeff Gibson
  17. Tyson Hadsell
  18. Tyler Evans
  19. James Povolny
  20. Travis Pastrana (DNS)