AMA Supercross, second in motor sportspopularity only to NASCAR, enjoyed another banner season of televisioncoverage in 2002, announcing a record for most television viewers in asingle season with some fifteen million fans tuning into the weeklybroadcast on ESPN2 and the four ABC Sports shows.
“With nearly fifteen million fans watching AMA Supercross from their homeson both cable and network television, we are assured that the future of AMASupercross is brighter than ever,” said Mike Weber, executive vicepresident, Clear Channel Entertainment – Motor Sports. “All fans, riders,and sponsors can be comforted by knowing the future of AMA Supercross notonly lies in the spectacular live events, but also in the ever-growingtelevision package.”
The unprecedented field of racers competing for the coveted 250cc title andthe emergence of 125cc rookie James Stewart, the first African-American towin a 125cc Regional victory, has attracted a record fans base. Moreover,seven-time supercross champion Jeremy McGrath has evolved into a householdname and has been instrumental in branding supercross to mainstream America.
Leading the 16-round tour’s televised broadcast was the San Diego round,held at Qualcomm Stadium, where 438,618 fans tuned in to see Stewart win hisfirst 125cc Western Regional championship. The victory for Stewart wasdedicated to his friend and former racer Tony Haines. Stewart currentlyruns #259 on his number plate to commemorate his fellow competitor Haines.