Carmichael poised to set new Southwick win record Floridian seeking his fifth-straight 250 victory on the sandy Massachusetts circuit PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 4, 2004) -- Ricky Carmichael could add yet another record to his seemingly endless ...
Carmichael poised to set new Southwick win record
Floridian seeking his fifth-straight 250 victory on the sandy Massachusetts circuit
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 4, 2004) -- Ricky Carmichael could add yet another record to his seemingly endless string of records when he comes to the sandy hills of Southwick, Mass., and the historic Motocross 338 circuit on Sunday, June 13. If Carmichael wins in round three of the 12-round AMA Chevrolet Motocross Championship, he would become the first rider in history to win five straight at Southwick.
Growing up racing on the sand tracks of his home Florida, Carmichael says Southwick is one of his favorite stops in the series. "That track really shows who's been putting in their training," said Carmichael of the energy-sapping Motocross 338 circuit. "It's famous for always being rough and rutted track and I've been fortunate to have a good string of wins there."
Carmichael will be riding a four-stroke Honda at Southwick. In prior seasons the seven-time AMA Motocross champ has ridden two-stroke machines. He's made the transition to the new bike flawlessly, winning the two rounds leading up to Southwick and opening a 16-point lead over Factory Connection Honda's Kevin Windham. Windham appears to be Carmichael's primary challenger again this year. The rider from Centreville, Miss., has not fared so well at Southwick over the years, although he managed to finish third in last year's race. Windham will be looking to turn his luck around on the track and get back into the win column this year.
Newly crowned AMA Supercross champ Chad Reed is third-ranked in the 250 class. Like Windham, Reed has not had much luck at Southwick. The Aussie could be tough this year though since he moved to Florida and now trains on more sandy circuits like Southwick.
One rider to watch for in the 250 class at Southwick is another Australian Michael Byrne. "Burner" finished second in the 125 class last year and he is hungry to turn in a good result for the Kawasaki factory squad.
The 125 national at Southwick has produced surprising results in the last few years. Yet another Aussie, Craig Anderson, took his first, and to date only, AMA national win last year. Anderson has moved up to the 250 class and could be a factor on his Moto Sport Outlet/White Brothers Honda.
Danny Smith took an emotional win at the Southwick 125 National in 2002. Smith's only national win just days after his brother died in a construction accident. The Boost Mobile Yamaha of Troy rider is hoping to move up the ranks from his current 14th-place in the standings with a strong result this Sunday.
James Stewart comes into this race as the 125 series leader. The young Floridian has yet to taste victory at Southwick. He missed last year's race due to injury and his bike broke in the first moto of the 2002 race. He came back to win the second moto that year to produce a sixth overall result. Stewart is confident he can win on Sunday.
"I look forward to Southwick," said Stewart, who rides for Team Kawasaki. "I feel I have some unfinished business there. I had a great opportunity to win there a few years ago, but we had some bad luck. I know there are some good sand riders out there so it should be a good one for the fans."
Motocross 338 is named after the American Legion Post where the track is located. This year there will be heavy hearts in the paddock. Bernie Yelin, one of the originators of Motocross 388, passed away this March. Yelin was a tireless promoter of motocross and his presence will be greatly missed.
Southwick will be televised by ESPN2 on Sunday, June 20. For ticket information call (413) 786-3221 or visit www.moto338.com.