450 Words: AtlantaTuesday, February 24, 2009 | 9:29 AM
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Chad Reed seems powerless to stop him right now. He can’t get the starts that he needs, and when he finally did at San Diego, Stewie gapped him quickly and took the win. The realization is setting in that you have to look behind James to find some good racing. Trust me, it’s there and it’s fierce.
Ryan Villopoto is the man trying to claim the third spot and he diced back and forth with Reed this weekend more than he ever has before. The youngster is cleverly avoiding any bold proclamations and saying all the right things about learning and just wanting to be on the box but you can be sure that he’s not a champion without that desire to be number one. He has three podiums this year.
Andrew Short is almost at that point where’s not quietly having a great season anymore because all of us are writing that he has been quiet. The friendly Texan is not going to let anyone push him around or intimidate him. Watch Shorty sometime, he’s got s a riding style that’s smooth and mistake free. He has two podiums on the year.
Josh Grant to me has been the surprise of the series. The youngster seems to be enjoying the solitude and green hills of North Carolina. The aggression, determination and consistency that Josh has shown us has to have the GEICO Honda guys wondering if he’s the same rider. Josh has become a real jewel, and it seems that despite the last two rough weekends, the JGR program is working quite well. He has two podiums this year.
Davi Millsaps and Kevin Windham have both had up and down seasons but they are two riders that are capable at any time of putting in a ride and grabbing a spot on the box. Davi seems to be coming around with some changes on his bike and K-Dub is K-Dub. You never know when he’ll strike, but I’m thinking Toronto. It takes throttle control and skill to navigate that rutty, nasty dirt and that’s where Kevin shines. They both have a podium this year.
I haven’t even mentioned Tedesco, Ferry, Hill, Byrne, Wey, Hepler or Mike Alessi yet. Once your mind is blown from watching The Seven, take a look back and you’re sure to find a hell of a race.