The traditional final race of the American racing season kicked off tonight in downtown Las Vegas. With many of the race teams’ contracts still in limbo due to the lagging economy, the turn out was not quite to the same standards as it has been in years past. Still, riders such as James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, and Davi Millsaps came to show the audience a good time and they certainly did not disappoint. Don’t forget, there is a potential $250,000 up for grabs to the person who can sweep the event, and all we have to say is that James Stewart is looking very comfortable aboard his trick looking 2010 YZ450F.
Racing: Night One
Racing started off with a one-on-one format that pitted the fastest qualifiers against each other. With Tyler Bowers, Chris Blose, Dan Reardon, James Stewart, and Ryan Villopto taking their individual wins. The results will have an eventual effect on their payouts come the end of night two.
Three different heat races were run to thin out the pack, with Villopoto, Millsaps, and Stewart taking the wins. Only the top four transferred to the main with everyone else going through semi final and the LCQ.
James Stewart on his San Manuel/L&M/Yamaha nabbed the holeshot ahead of Dan Reardon. With the confines of the start straight being so tight, not only was Matt Goerke forced to start in the second row after winning the LCQ, but Josh Hansen was push off of the straight on the start. Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider, Hansen, went over a tuff black, falling against the backside of the finish line take off. For a second it looked as though officials may red flag the race but the track was cleared just in time as the race leaders came around.
With laps clicking off, Stewart did not seem to be pushing the issue, as he was confident in his lap times. Unlike he had done in practice, the number one machine opted not to do the tricky triple-triple section in the middle of the track. Still he had the rest of the course dialed and slowly but surely put time between himself and Reardon.
Ryan Villopoto had a mid-pack start but for unknown reasons pulled off the track about a quarter way through the race.
Millsaps had started near the front of the pack but certainly had a few riders to work through to get up front, with Reardon being his main competition. The Red Bull Honda rider was able to sneak past the Reardon after the whoop section with about nine laps remaining.
Just off of a podium position, Matt Goerke, on the newly factory supported Moto Concepts/Yamaha ride, was putting in a great ride for fourth place just ahead of Christian Craig on a JGR supported YZ450F.
Out front, Stewart was seemingly unstoppable, lapping much of the field on his way to a very dominating win. At this point his odds look very good in taking the lion’s share of the winnings.
Stayed tuned to www.transworldmx.com for more racing tomorrow from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.