St. Louis Kicks Off Second Half of SeasonTuesday, February 27, 2007 | 1:26 PM
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s James Stewart heads into round nine in St. Louis with a 17-point lead in the AMA Supercross points over L&M Yamaha’s Chad Reed. Stewart and Reed will continue their championship battle in St. Louis where anything can happen. Last year it was Stewart and Ricky Carmichael battling for the series lead, but both riders crashed and Reed emerged to take the victory and the series lead.
St. Louis fans will also have their last chance to watch five-time AMA Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael. Both Carmichael and Reed have the opportunity this weekend to become the first four-time St. Louis Supercross winner. Carmichael’s AMA Supercross career is winding down as he prepares to transition to a NASCAR career.
While Carmichael and Reed are proven winners in St. Louis, the favorite coming into the race has to be Stewart. The series leader has won six of the eight races this season. He’s looking for his first AMA Supercross victory in the Edward Jones Dome. He won the Supercross Lites event there in 2004, but the crash last year in the premier class is still on his mind.
“Going to St. Louis I can’t let what happened last year happen this year,” Stewart said after winning in Atlanta. “It’s a long season. If I can gain four more points in St. Louis [over Reed] my lead will be back to where it was before San Diego.”
Carmichael said he would love his final St. Louis race to be a victorious one. “I love racing in St. Louis,” said the Makita Suzuki ace. “The dirt there is awesome and I think now that I’ve got a race under my belt [after several weeks off] I’ll do a lot better.”
Reed is a defending and three-time St. Louis winner. Despite his crash in Atlanta last week, he feels close to being able to get back to winning on a consistent basis.
“I had a great start and everything felt great before the crash,” said the Australian veteran on his Atlanta race. “I’m happy I was able to recover to get on the podium. It’s disappointing to know you have what it takes to win and end up crashing, but it shows how hard I’m trying out there.”
While the AMA Supercross class is beginning its second half, the AMA Supercross Lites East Series is just getting underway. Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey took the opening round victory in his AMA Supercross debut.
“Getting this win tonight is definitely a big relief,” said Dungey after earning the victory in Atlanta. “I wanted to come out and get a good finish and be consistent. I feel like I accomplished those goals. This will definitely help my confidence going into St. Louis next week. I felt like I rode a solid race, though there are a few things we’ll work on this week and we’ll come back even stronger next week.”
Dungey credited Suzuki team boss Roger DeCoster for giving him the opportunity to race for the factory Suzuki squad and teammate Ricky Carmichael for helping so much in practice prior to the start of the season.
The Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series round from St. Louis will air on SPEED, Sunday, March 4, at 6:00 pm eastern.
Tickets for the St. Louis Supercross at the Edward Jones Dome are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, select participating Yamaha dealers or charge by phone at 314-241-1888 or at 618-222-2900. Doors open at 12:30 pm for the St. Louis Supercross Pit Party and for fans to watch practice and qualifying. A special Family Section is also available for non-alcoholic family fun. When ordering tickets through Ticketmaster, request Family Section for an alcohol-free family atmosphere.