TWMX Race Report: ’04 Atlanta SX

”Hotlanta my ass... It’s cold here,” was the theme during the beginning of the weekend at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Race teams were welcomed by a snowstorm on Thursday when many rolled into town and began preparing their race bikes for the weekend. The weather on Friday shaped up slightly, but it remained pretty chilly on the trip between the indoor pit area and the dome. By Saturday things continued to improve, with the sun shining all day and the temperature steadily rising. The improving weather brought out an excited Atlanta crowd to enjoy some of the most chaotic racing of the year. Here’s how the racing shook down in “Hotlanta.”

125cc Heat 1

Danny Smith grabbed the lead early on lap one and pulled out a quick gap between himself and second place. Broc Hepler moved into second on lap two and began closing the gap on Smith. On the final lap Hepler put himself within striking distance of Smith, but a bobble in the whoop section ended his hopes of a heat race win. Danny Smith is now undefeated in heat races this year, capturing his third straight. Behind Hepler in second was Motoworld Racing’s Steve Boniface.


125cc Heat 2

The start of heat two saw heavy favorite James Stewart go down just after the first turn. After picking his bike up in last place, Bubba mounted a hard charge to the delight of the Atlanta crowd that brought him all the way back to fourth place in just five-and-a-half laps. Paul Carpenter benefited from Bubba’s mistake and took the early lead aboard his factory Chevy Trucks Kawasaki KX250F, with Josh Hansen in second. Meanwhile, Pro Circuit’s Eric Sorby went down hard on lap one just before the finish line jump, and wasn’t able to finish the heat. Little Hany got by Carpenter midway through the race and took the win. Carpenter finished second with Michael Blose in third.

250cc Heat 1

Kevin Windham and Travis Preston drag raced their Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda CRF450s down the start straight in 250cc heat one, with K-Dub getting the upper hand thanks to a Preston bobble in the first corner. Vuillemin and Hamblin chased close behind K-Dub for a lap or two, but Kevin steadily pulled away and took the easy win. Erick Vallejo went down hard in the same rhythm section that claimed Sorby during his heat, and Star Racing/Bobby J’s Yamaha teammate Keith Johnson on Friday. DV12 pulled out a fairly comfortable gap between himself and Hamblin who eventually finished third. The real battle of the heat was between Nick Wey and Travis Preston for the fourth and final transfer spot. Presto got the upper hand, and sent Wey to the semi. Ooops! Never mind that... This just in. Vuillemin, Preston, and Byrne were assessed five-second penalties for jumping through the section while Vallejo was down. The revised finishing order went Windham, Hamblin, Wey, and Vuillemin, with Preston getting the boot to the semi.   

250cc Heat 2’s Andrew Short grabbed the holeshot and pulled an early lead ahead of Nathan Ramsey, Grant Langston, and Chad Reed. Like you’d expect, Reed was the man on the move and got by everybody half way through the heat. Ramsey got by Short for second, but Andrew held on for a very impressive third, while LaRocco and Langston duked it out for the transfer spot. The Rock laid down the final blow relegating Cool G to the semi.

125cc Main Event

The holeshot in the 125cc main went to none other than James “Bubba” Stewart. Josh Hansen got a good jump and found himself in hot pursuit of Bubba, but that lasted all of about one lap before James decided to wick it up a notch and leave Little Hany in the dust. Steve Boniface was riding solid in third early on, but losing ground to Hansen.

On lap number three Team Suzuki prodigy Broc Hepler moved into fourth and had his sights set on Boniface. Hepler’s teammate Davi Millsaps was working his way rough the pack after a poor start, but went down hard on lap four. A little shaken up, Millsaps remounted, but only to pull off the track, calling it quits for the night.

Meanwhile, Bubba continued pulling away like he was in a hurry to get back to Florida, and never looked back except to see how whipped he could get the rear end of his KX125. Hansen pulled out a comfortable lead over third place Boniface and looked to collect his second straight runner up finish, but disaster struck. Hany bobbled at the end of a tough rhythm section and hit the red Atlanta clay. Boniface inherited the second spot, with Hepler close behind in third.

On lap nine Hepler moved into second and went on to collect his second podium in three attempts. After picking himself up in fifth place, Hany continued looking strong and closed up the gap between himself and fourth place Michael Blose. Boniface fell off the pace allowing both Blose and Hansen to get by, and Hany pulled within striking distance of Blose with just two laps to go. Disaster struck yet again for Little Hany while trying to put an aggressive move on Blose for third, and he crashed again.

The race finished with Bubba 25 seconds ahead of Hepler, and Blose rode to his first podium ever in third. Bubba’s 14th 125cc Supercross victory pushes him past Jeremy McGrath, making him the winningest 125cc Supercross rider of all time.


125cc Main Event Results

  1. James Stewart
  2. Broc Hepler
  3. Michael Blose
  4. Steve Boniface
  5. Paul Carpenter
  6. Danny Smith
  7. Eric Sorby
  8. Jeff Gibson
  9. Steve Lamson
  10. Kevin Johnson
  11. Turbo Reif
  12. Daryl Hurley
  13. Ryan Clark
  14. Josh Hansen
  15. Tyson Hadsell
  16. Hans Neel
  17. Tiger Lacey
  18. James Povolny
  19. Daniel Blair
  20. Vincent Blair
  21. Davi Millsaps
  22. Brett Metcalfe

250cc Main Event

Damon Huffman captured the Butterfinger Holeshot Award while Chad Reed aggressively ripped his way through the first turn, almost pushing Windham completely off the track. Reed later said the move was just racing and had nothing to do with the fact that K-Dub was the sitting duck who got the short end of the stick.


Reed moved into second on lap two, followed by Michael Byrne, David Vuillemin, and Mike LaRocco. Windham sat back in seventh. Reed put the move on Huffman at the beginning of lap three, and by lap five was already opening up a sizable gap. Windham continued creeping his way up and found himself in third behind Vuillemin on lap seven.

On lap nine while holding on to a solid fourth, Huffman got his left ankle caught up in a rut, twisting it sideways and causing a painful sprain. Huff Daddy continued to cruise around the track for a few laps, but the intense pain forced him to the sidelines.

K-Dub caught up to Vuillemin, and on lap 11 threw down a pass that would stick, but it was too little too late as Reed held a ten second lead. LaRocco got by Villy for third on lap 15, and the fading Vuillemin was almost caught by Preston who put in another solid ride aboard his Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda CRF450, finishing fifth. Absent from this week’s main event was Red Bull KTM’s Grant Langston. Langston was involved in an altercation with Jimmy Wilson in his semi, and was disqualified for the night by the AMA. For more on that, be sure to read Monday Kickstart.

250cc Main Event Results

  1. Chad Reed
  2. Kevin Windham
  3. Mike LaRocco
  4. David Vuillemin
  5. Travis Preston
  6. Heath Voss
  7. Sean Hamblin
  8. Michael Byrne
  9. Tyler Evans
  10. Andrew Short
  11. Nick Wey
  12. Jason Thomas
  13. Isaiah Johnson
  14. Nathan Ramsey
  15. Ted Campbell
  16. Joseph Oehlhof
  17. David Pingree
  18. James Povolny
  19. Damon Huffman
  20. Ryan Clark

vid Pingree

  • James Povolny
  • Damon Huffman
  • Ryan Clark