Four Former Winners Set to do Battle in Dallas SupercrossTuesday, April 18, 2006 | 11:48 AM
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PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 18, 2006) -- Round 14 of the 16-race Amp’d
Mobile AMA Supercross Series is coming to Texas Stadium, in the Dallas
suburb of Irving, on April 22. One could easily pick any of the past
winners of the race to win this Saturday and not make a bad choice.
James Stewart, Chad Reed, Ricky Carmichael and Kevin Windham are all
past victors of the Dallas Supercross and the four are expected to be
the leading contenders this year.
The series is coming off a two-week break and the riders should be rejuvenated and ready to get back to racing as the series winds down with the final three events.
Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael holds a 12-point lead over Yamaha’s Chad Reed coming into Texas Stadium. Kawasaki’s top rider James Stewart is still a close third, so the Dallas Supercross could have a major influence on how this year’s series turns out.
Carmichael seems to be in championship protection mode coming into the Dallas race. He built a solid lead in the series by mid-March and since then has settled for three straight runner-up finishes. Carmichael needs only to finish second in the final three rounds and he’ll have the 2006 title in the bag, regardless of what Stewart or Reed do in the remaining rounds.
Carmichael denies that he’s intentionally taking seconds as a path to the championship.
“The championship is by far the most important and I’m not going to jeopardize that, but I still want to win some races before it’s all said and done,” said Carmichael, who has six wins on the season and is the second leading all-time AMA Supercross race winner.
Reed has preserved his second-place standings in the series in spite of riding with an injured shoulder since the Daytona round. The grit showed by the Australian has paid off and kept him in the championship hunt with three races to go.
“I’m hoping the time off before Dallas gives my shoulder a chance to get better,” Reed said after the last round in Houston on April 1. “It was important for me to keep racing through the injury because you never know in racing when even just a single point can make a major difference.”
With Carmichael preserving his lead and Reed riding hurt, no one has been able to match the pace of Stewart in the last three rounds. The defending Dallas Supercross winner is running a three-race winning streak and tied Carmichael on the season with six AMA Supercross wins after taking victory in Houston. With the AMA title a long shot, Stewart looks to close out the season continuing on his current hot streak.
“I’m just focusing on one race at a time,” Stewart said. “If I can keep winning I’ll be happy. I haven’t given up on winning the AMA championship, but I can only take care of what’s under my control and if I keep winning then I’ll be satisfied with that.”
Honda’s Kevin Windham seems to get stronger each week after returning from pre-season injury last month. Windham is the fourth former Dallas Supercross winner and he would love to at least be able to have a victory to point to when the 2006 Supercross season is complete.
The AMA Supercross Lites West Series resumes in Dallas after a two-month break. Similar to the main Supercross class the Lites West division is essentially a three-rider race going into the last two rounds. Just two points separate Honda’s Andrew Short and Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Grant Langston coming into Dallas. Red Bull KTM’s Nate Ramsey is also very much in the championship picture. Langston and Ramsey may have a leg up on Short in Dallas since both are former winners of the race.
Tickets for the Dallas Supercross are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, all participating Yamaha Dealers, at the Texas Stadium Box Office, or charge by phone at 214-373-8000 or 972-647-5700. A special Family Section is also available for non-alcoholic family fun. When ordering tickets through Ticketmaster, request the Family Section for an alcohol-free atmosphere. Gates open at 12:30 and fans are invited to come early for the Pit Party where they have a chance to meet and get autographs from their favorite riders.
The Dallas round will receive next-day coverage on SPEED, on Sunday, April 23 at 6:00 pm EST.