Jamie’s Race Report: Dallas

Saturday night’s 250cc main event will go down in the history books as one of the best head-to-head battles ever. There were at least eight lead changes between Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed in the first 12 laps. The two riders proved they are the best riders in the world as they battled back and forth with very clean racing. At the conclusion of the race we witnessed something never before seen between the two riders, a handshake and smile. It seems as though RC is learning to deal with defeat a little easier and starting to respect Reed’s talent a little more. Reed seems to be reciprocating the respect.

Aside from an unbelievable 250 main, James Stewart stole the show with a flawless performance in the 125 main. He took home his sixth win of the season and his first-ever supercross championship. It was a great night of racing in the Lone Star State.

Heat Race Notes

In the first 125 heat, the privateer Tiger Lacey got another holeshot. You wonder how someone with no expensive bikes, trainers, or coaches goes out week after week and gets holeshots! Travis Preston didn’t get the best start and found himself back in the pack for a while. Meanwhile, Eric Sorby and Josh Hansen had a good battle until Sorby took over. Sorby has battled with arm pump this year, and broke a couple bones in his hand during the break in the 125 West action. He rode very well in the heat race and took the win.

The second 125 heat saw Stewart grab a huge holeshot and run away. He was the only 125 rider doing the quad after the rhythm section. Stewart took the win, and heat two was about 27 seconds faster than heat one. That could be a new heat race record!

The first 250 heat saw privateer Brain Mason take the holeshot. Reed went from fourth to first through the whoops! It was déjà vu for Brock Sellards (who crashed last week and had someone run into him) except this time he was the one hitting a downed rider. Ryan Clark went down in the whoops and Sellards nailed him. I loved the camera angle from Clark’s helmet cam. That made for some good TV! Reed was just flawless!

The second 250 heat saw freestyler and ex-racer Kenny Bartram on the line with Travis Pastrana as his mechanic. Travis told Kenny that he should just go out and do a backflip and that he’d go down in the history books. I guess he was trying to mess with the fans as he did a partial loop with his bike and the steerer tube snapped when he landed! His bike was hauled off in two pieces and I was shocked. I ran over to see if he was all right and Pastrana was there apologizing saying, “See what happens when you let me be your mechanic!” It was quite a spectacle. In the meantime, RC had grabbed the holeshot but a couple laps later he made a crazy mistake! It looked like he just parked his bike up next to the tough blocks right before the whoops and jumped off. It was so funny looking. So, I looked up and saw his bike sitting there upright, and RC was out of sight on the other side of the blocks! Hamblin took over the lead when RC went down but he suddenly went down hard himself. The medics checked him out and were worried about internal bleeding because he racked his side pretty hard. RC worked his way back to first and took the win. That was one of the most action-packed heat races in ages! Wow!

250 semi one saw top privateer Keith Johnson go down hard before the whoops. He was in the middle of traffic for about four laps. He went on to take second in the 250 LCQ and admitted he didn’t know what race he was in when he fell, he thought it was the main! Mr. Helmet Cam himself Ryan Clark got the win.

The second 250 semi saw Sean Hamblin return despite his hard get off in the heat. This kids charges! Ernesto Fonseca took the lead early and rode very well to take the win.

125 Main

Jamees Stewart had to get third or better to take the championship. Otherwise, it would be determined in Salt Lake. I don’t think he was worried!

Billy Laninovich took the holeshot but fell literally right after he crossed the line. He got back up in dead last. Stewart took the lead almost immediately. Andrew Short was second and Matt Walker third. The question we announcers were asking was if Bubba ran the pace he did in his heat, could he lap all the way up to a podium rider in the main? It turned out he backed off a bit and said he had the championship on his mind.

Lap six is where Travis Preston and Matt Walker got around Andrew Short for second and third. They would finish in that order. James lapped up to sixth place by lap 14. He was absolutely flawless. When he came across the finish line, Clear Channel had Tony Haines’ hip-hop song playing over the PA. Haines is James’s best friend and his mentor. At that time, James threw down his bike and started dancing. It was great. I called him, “A legend in the making.”

125cc Main

  1. James Stewart Jr.
  2. Travis Preston
  3. Matt Walker
  4. Andrew Short
  5. Chris Gosselaar
  6. Josh Hansen
  7. Steve Mertens
  8. Jeremy Chaussee
  9. Troy Adams
  10. Tiger Lacey
  11. Billy Laninovich
  12. Eric Sorby
  13. Jeff Gibson
  14. Hans Neel
  15. Adam Cini
  16. Jacob Martin
  17. Ty Conner
  18. Brandon Butler
  19. Kevin Johnson
  20. Edgardo Rojas
  21. Shane Bess
  22. Scott Davis

250 Main

Larry Ward pulled another holeshot. It seems nobody can stop that Honda CRF450 off the line. RC took over the lead after the second corner. Reed was in fourth. He was able to get next to RC by the second lap. Lap three saw Reed take the lead. Lap four, RC took the lead back. Reed out jumped him and took it again. And it went on like that for another seven laps! Reed’s bike seemed to be hooking up on the slick dirt much better than RC’s the whole night. With all the lead changing going on, the bikes never touched once! Reed took the lead on lap ten and it looked like he surprised RC. They would change leads two more times until Reed took it for the last time on lap 11.

Nick Wey and Ernesto Fonseca had quite a battle going on for third the entire race. Unfortunately, they were overshadowed by the amazing race in front. Wey and Fonseca swapped places at least five times. Fonseca got around Wey on about lap 18 for the final time. Wey looked pretty tired. Wey has never finished on the podium in the 250 class. The final lap saw Reed running perfectly in front and RC looked like he settled into second and knew he wouldn’t get around Reed again. For the fourth week in a row, Reed won with RC second and Fonseca at least 30 seconds behind. Only 13 seconds separate Reed from RC now.

Ricky said on the podium, “I got beat straight up tonight. The best man won and there’s nothing else to say, I got beat.”

250cc Main Event

  1. Chad Reed
  2. Ricky Carmichael
  3. Ernesto Fonseca
  4. Nick Wey
  5. Heath Voss
  6. Ivan Tedesco
  7. Larry Ward
  8. Brock Sellards
  9. Casey Lytle
  10. Jason Thomas
  11. Josh Demuth
  12. Keith Johnson
  13. Greg Schnell
  14. Ryan Clark
  15. Tyler Evans
  16. Brian Mason
  17. Clark Stiles
  18. James Povolny Jr.
  19. Tommy Hofmaster
  20. Sean Hamblin (DNS)

See you in two weeks from Salt Lake City for round 15!