James Stewart: 2007 AMA SX ChampionMonday, April 30, 2007 | 12:25 PM
Stewart, a 21-year-old from Haines City, Fla., becomes the first African-American to win the AMA’s prestigious Supercross title.
“It’s been a long season and to be able to accomplish this is a dream of a lifetime,” said an emotional Stewart on the Seattle Supercross podium. “I tried to stay calm today, but I kept thinking about all the things that could go wrong. I want to thank my whole team and my mom and dad for giving all the support this year. This is a dream come true.”
Stewart is the heir apparent for the title of top rider in American motocross and supercross racing following in the footsteps of fellow Floridian Ricky Carmichael, who retired from Supercross racing after racing part-time this season.
Stewart acknowledged the responsibility now on his shoulders as the sport’s number one rider. He also is keeping an eye over his shoulder knowing that young up-and-coming riders will be trying to meet the standard that Stewart’s established.
“I am definitely happy to be in the position I am in and I hope that I can continue to help the sport grow from here,” said Stewart. “I also hope that I can continue to kick it up that extra notch to give the fans the show they came to see. I will still be working hard as ever because there will always be another fast guy coming up to challenge for the win.”
With a round remaining this year Stewart has gone from 14th to sixth on the all-time wins list. Stewart now has 23-career AMA Supercross victories and will be shooting for his 24th win in Las Vegas on May 5.
Stewart’s win marked the sixth AMA Supercross Series title for Kawasaki. It last won the championship in 2001 with Ricky Carmichael.
For Stewart this year’s AMA Supercross title is his third AMA national championship. He previously won the AMA Motocross Lites Championship (then known as AMA 125 Motocross) in his rookie season of 2002 and again in 2004. In addition Stewart earned two AMA Supercross Lites regional titles. He’ll now turn his attention to closing out the Supercross season in Las Vegas before beginning his quest to win his first AMA Motocross Championship. That championship kicks off on May 20 at the Hangtown Motocross Classic near Sacramento, Calif.