Jamie’s Race Report: Salt Lake City, Round 15

Salt Lake City is very different from other cities we visit. It’s much colder in general because it’s an outdoor race, it’s elevation is higher causing jetting and other problems, the city is literally centered around the Mormon Temple and it’s difficult to get a beer after the race. All kidding aside, the city of Salt Lake is very beautiful and they love supercross. The enthusiasm of the fans never ceases to amaze me. They cheer for everything. Although I had to wear three sweaters, two pairs of pants, gloves and a huge down jacket, I loved every minute of Saturday night’s race. Here’s how it went…

Pit Notes

A lot of big names attended the race like Jeremy McGrath, Jimmy Button, Travis Pastrana, Jeff Emig, Greg Albertyn, Michael Byrne, David Vuillemin and Johnny O’Mara (he’s working with Carmichael again). Missing from action was Travis Preston, who re-injured his knee and had a concussion last week while practicing at McGrath’s track. Returning to the scene was Tim Ferry, who seemed to have kicked that Epstein-Barr virus.

I never talk about the KTM Jr. Supercross race in my reports, but this time I have to. We saw something last night that has never been seen since the program began. An eight-year-old rider named Caden Hadley doubled one of the triples. It may not sound that huge but if you saw that little bike fly through the air and land perfectly, you would have died. It was the coolest thing. All the fans in that section were on their feet. The kid was so talented. He had perfect form and needless to say, he won by a landslide! He told me on the podium that his trainer made him do it. “I was scared at first but he made me do it and I just got used to it!” Remember this Utahan’s name!

Heat Races

The first 125-heat race saw a huge pileup in the tight first turn. Andrew Short began in second and passed for the lead on lap four. He’s running the new helmet camera now and is loving his job. The producer of supercross told me that Andrew is taking the job so seriously that he apologized profusely in Dallas for not finishing on the podium! He won the race.

The second 125 race had a big pileup in the first turn as well. Billy Laninovich took the holeshot and Stewart was in fourth. Stewart almost went down in the whoops trying to get around Matt Walker. Stewart won the race but said that incident in the whoops really scared him.

The first 250 heat saw Tim Ferry get the holeshot. Pretty impressive for a guy who hasn’t been racing in five weeks. There was a great battle with Reed, Fonseca and Ferry during the beginning of the race. Fonseca was riding really aggressively, more so than we’ve seen this year. He held Reed off about two-and-a-half laps and then Reed checked out for the win.

Heat two got off to a bad start for Ricky Carmichael. He was almost dead last into the first turn and then he almost spun completely sideways in the turn. Hamblin got the holeshot and then went down on lap three. Ricky made a couple mistakes but prevailed and ended up passing every rider on the track to take the win.

The first 250 semi saw Ryan Clark out in front showing the crowd some great helmet cam shots.

The second 250 semi was pretty exciting, as Larry Ward, Clark Stiles, Jason Thomas and Tommy Hofmaster all battled for the lead for a while. Ward, who just turned 33 last week, took the win in front of his parents who came to watch the race.

The 250 LCQ saw a couple big get-offs. Privateer Zeb Armstrong went down hard bruising his liver and fracturing his femur. The leader, Joe Oehlhof, face-planted with the bike on top of him. Clark Stiles and Isaiah Johnson collided in mid-air on the last lap. They both went down. Johnson, who broke his neck and back in January, took home the Gas Card. Greg Schnell won the race.

125 Main

Billy Laninovich took the holeshot for third time this year. Stewart immediately took over the lead.

Lap six: Matt Walker was riding very fast and aggressively. He and Billy Laninovich were side-by-side after Billy rode a little too cautiously through the yellow flags. Walker tried to pass Billy but was denied when Billy refused to give up his line. Walker leaned into Billy and Walker went down. I was really proud of Billy for riding the way he did. He held his own and didn’t give up his line as easily as he sometimes does.

Lap eight: Matt Walker went down hard in the second set of whoops. He ended up dislocating his knee and yellow flags were out for about three laps.

Final Lap: Stewart was showboating his way around the track as he rode to his seventh consecutive victory of the year. Billy Laninovich came in second about 23 seconds back. James parked his bike and ran into the stands. He was picked up on the shoulders of some excited fans and carried around. The place roared with applause.

Results: 125 Main Event

  1. James M Stewart Jr.
  2. Billy Laninovich
  3. Eric Sorby
  4. Andrew Short
  5. Shane Bess
  6. Joshua Hansen
  7. Chris Gosselaar
  8. Kevin Johnson
  9. Steve Mertens
  10. Tiger Lacey
  11. Daryl Hurley
  12. Edgardo Rojas
  13. Jeremy Chaussee
  14. Ryan Abrigo
  15. Scott Davis
  16. Michael Sleeter
  17. Daniel Blair
  18. Mike Mason
  19. Brandon Butler
  20. Troy Adams
  21. Matt Walker
  22. Jacob Martin

250 Main

Tim Ferry took the holeshot. Larry Ward went down on the ground. Carmichael stuffed Reed in the first turn and they went on to battle for fourth.

Lap three: Reed moved into second, RC was in fourth. Ferry did not move over for Reed to get around. Suddenly RC moved up and it was a three-way battle, three abreast going into the triple. Ferry went down right after they landed. Two turns later, Reed and RC came together and RC went down. Reed took over the lead. RC got up in sixth with a dented pipe.

Lap ten: A good battle was happening for third place between Sean Hamblin and Ernesto Fonseca. I want to know what’s going on with Hamblin? The guy looks super-fast for the first half of the races lately and suddenly he just looks tired and settles into position around lap ten. Perhaps he’s still injured?

Lap fifteen: Fonseca comfortably secured his third place over Hamblin. Reed had about ten seconds on RC at that point.

Final: Reed won by ten seconds over RC. This is the first time in history that the podium has remained exactly the same for five straight races. When Ferry came off the track, RC ran up to his mechanic and had some words and then ran up to Ferry and did the same. A bunch of people got in the middle and James Stewart Sr. grabbed Ricky and pulled him away. The tension was definitely high at this point! RC replied to one of the questions on the podium and said, “Those guys have a lot to lose,” and the crowd booed in unison. He was referring to Yamaha, and how Ferry was racing all of a sudden.

It’s getting hot in here! One race to go! According to Art Eckman, this is only the third time in 14 years that the 250 championship will be decided at the final round. Be sure to watch the Las Vegas race on Sunday on ABC, check your listings!

Results: 250 Main Event

  1. Chad Reed
  2. Ricky Carmichael
  3. Ernesto Fonseca
  4. Nick Wey
  5. Sean Hamblin
  6. Ryan Clark
  7. Tim Ferry
  8. Josh Demuth
  9. Keith Johnson
  10. Heath Voss
  11. Larry Ward
  12. Casey Lytle
  13. Tyler Evans
  14. Jason Thomas
  15. Greg Schnell
  16. Ted Campbell
  17. James Povolny Jr
  18. Doug Dehaan
  19. Thomas Hofmaster
  20. Brian Mason

i> James Povolny Jr

  • Doug Dehaan
  • Thomas Hofmaster
  • Brian Mason