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Anaheim II: Round three report

LaRocco Wins First EA SPORTS Supercross Race in Seven Years Pingree Holds on for 125cc Western Regional Supercross Victory Anaheim, Calif. (January 19, 2002) - Kevin Windham didn't waste any time entering the first turn in the 250cc main event...

LaRocco Wins First EA SPORTS Supercross Race in Seven Years
Pingree Holds on for 125cc Western Regional Supercross Victory

Anaheim, Calif. (January 19, 2002) - Kevin Windham didn't waste any time entering the first turn in the 250cc main event of EA SPORTS Supercross Presented by Speed Stick, as he earned the $1,500 PowerAde Holeshot Award. Honda-backed Mike LaRocco came from behind to earn the 250cc victory. Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki's James Stewart did earn the $1,000 PowerAde Holeshot Award in the third round of the 125cc Western Regional Supercross championship, but slid his way to 22nd place moments later.

Following Stewart's crash, the door was left open for KTM rider David Pingree, who held onto the lead for less than a lap, followed by his teammate Billy Laninovich and Travis Preston. Throughout the early part of the race, several lead changes occurred; however, Pingree, who fell back as far as fourth place, regained the lead on lap eight over Casey Johnson. Meanwhile, Stewart was on a charge, making his way to fourth place with five laps to go.

Stewart, 16, moved past Casey Lytle and then shot past Ivan Tedesco to hold down second place. The charge would stop there as Pingree rode off to his first win of the season, the fourth of his career. Stewart was second and Tedesco was third.

"It feel great to be up here," said Pingree. "There were a lot of lead changes, but I held on in the end. He (Stewart) was riding awesome and catching up fast."

Much like the heat race earlier in the evening, Windham and Pastrana were 'bar-to-bar' in the 250cc main event. Windham held the lead for six laps until Pastrana cut inside of him before the finish-line jump. In the back of the pack Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael were doing their best to make up for poor starts. Season points leader David Vuillemin was fourth after nine laps.

On lap 12, Pastrana's bike hit neutral, sending him over the bars and allowing Vuillemin into the lead. Mike LaRocco took advantage of the mishap and set chase to Vuillemin. On lap 15, LaRocco moved past Vuillemin and held on to earn his first win in seven years, the eighth of his career. Vuillemin was second and Pastrana was third.

"It has been a while since I have been up here ... seven years is a long time to be away from the top," said LaRocco. "I was a little nervous on the last lap, but I held on for the win."

Round three's 250cc event will air on ESPN2 Saturday, January 26 at Noon (EST), and the 125cc class will air at 1:00 p.m. (EST)

-ama/cce-

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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , David Vuillemin , Kevin Windham , Jeremy McGrath , James Stewart , Mike LaRocco