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Indianapolis: Round nine preview

Monster Energy® Supercross Makes its Debut at Lucas Oil Stadium Stewart Streak to Seven as he Takes Points Lead for First Time in 2009 AURORA, Ill. (February 23, 2009) -- After 17 years of racing at the RCA Dome, Monster Energy® AMA ...

Monster Energy® Supercross Makes its Debut at Lucas Oil Stadium
Stewart Streak to Seven as he Takes Points Lead for First Time in 2009

AURORA, Ill. (February 23, 2009) -- After 17 years of racing at the RCA Dome, Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship makes its debut at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday, February 28. Team San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., brings a seven-race win streak to the new world-class stadium in AMA Supercross class racing. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel, of Corona, Calif., carries the points lead in Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class racing with a two-race win streak.

A near capacity crowd at the Georgia Dome Saturday night saw Stewart lead wire to wire, dominating all 20 laps of the premier-class main and proving he's back with a vengeance after missing nearly the entire 2008 season because of a knee injury. The win Saturday night also snapped the overall points tie with rival Chad Reed, of the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team.

Stewart's win streak has erased the 23-point deficit he faced after the opening race of the year at Angel Stadium. Although Reed has finished second in each of Stewart's wins, he's still winless through the first eight races.

"The start was great," said Stewart. "The San Manuel Yamaha pulled another holeshot. It was a good race for me. The track was tough but we came out on top. I've always liked the 'ATL' and I'm glad we could do well here. I want to thank all the fans and all the motivation they give me. It feels good to have the points lead but there is a long way to go."

Reed managed to pass rookie Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., for second just past the halfway point.

"I just had to be patient," stated Reed. "Not much I could do though. I got by Ryan (Villopoto), made a mistake, and got by him again. It was a tough race. I just needed to keep pushing and as the laps went on wait for a mistake (from Ryan). I want to thank all the guys on Rockstar/Makita Suzuki. The bike was awesome tonight."

To open the AMA Supercross Lites main event Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Austin Stroupe, of Lincolnton, N.C., grabbed the holeshot. Behind Stroupe, Pourcel and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Nico Izzi, of Murrieta, Calif., followed in second and third. On lap nine, Pourcel assumed the lead after Stroupe stalled his bike and carried the lead to victory. Izzi and Muscle Milk/MDK/KTM's Martin Davalos, of Cairo, Ga., rounded out the podium. Stroupe fell to seventh.

"It was very fast in the beginning so I just rode my pace," explained Pourcel. "The track was difficult and a lot of riders were crashing so I just wanted to ride smart. I got my speed where I wanted it and Austin (Stroupe) stalled so I just built a big lead. Every week I'm thinking about the championship and two wins is a good way to start the season."

At the final Monster Energy Supercross race at the RCA Dome last year, Reed picked up the early holeshot and won the main event en route to the AMA Supercross class championship.. Josh Hill, of Yoncalla, Ore., finished second and Honda's Andrew Short finished third. The win for Reed marked his first at the RCA Dome in the premier AMA Supercross class.

"I struggled with the track in practice," said Reed after his first-ever win inside the RCA Dome last year. "In the main event, I was able to put it together. I wanted to win the holeshot and get this win here at the RCA Dome. I have never won here before tonight."

Honda's Trey Canard opened the AMA Supercross Lites class main event by winning the holeshot award last year. Arch rival Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., was close behind on the opening lap and challenged Canard for the lead. During his attempt to pass Canard, Villopoto cause the two riders to crash, giving the lead to Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Branden Jesseman.

On lap seven, Jesseman crashed and handed the lead back to Canard.

"I received a couple presents out there tonight with Jesseman crashing," said Canard. "I tried to ride hard and smart, but I am really excited about this win. These last two weeks have been amazing."

The first AMA Supercross race at the RCA Dome was March 21, 1992, where Honda's Jeff Stanton won the main event. Yamaha's Jimmy Button won the first AMA Supercross Lites main event the same evening. Seven-time supercross champion Jeremy McGrath holds the AMA Supercross all-time win record at the RCA Dome with six. Five-time AMA Supercross class champion Ricky Carmichael is the only rider to win the AMA Supercross and AMA Supercross Lites main events in Indianapolis. This weekend's race at Lucas Oil Stadium marks a new era of Monster Energy® Supercross racing in Indianapolis.

This weekend's AMA Supercross class race will air on SPEED Sunday, March 1 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class will air on SPEED at 6:00 p.m. EST.

Tickets are available at www.SupercrossOnline.com, the Lucas Oil Stadium box office, Ticketmaster, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, and participating Yamaha dealerships. Club Level seats are $45; Mid-level seats are $35; Level 3 tickets are $25; Treadhead seats are $10. All seats are $2 more on the day of the race.

-credit: ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Jeremy McGrath , Chad Reed , Josh Hill , James Stewart , Christophe Pourcel , Ryan Villopoto , Trey Canard , Andrew Short