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Phoenix: Round four report

Carmichael Wins First EA SPORTS Supercross Race in 2002 Stewart Wins Second 125cc Main Event PHOENIX (January 26, 2002) - The highly anticipated Jeremy McGrath/Ricky Carmichael show lasted a few laps at Bank One Ballpark in the 250cc main event...

Carmichael Wins First EA SPORTS Supercross Race in 2002
Stewart Wins Second 125cc Main Event

PHOENIX (January 26, 2002) - The highly anticipated Jeremy McGrath/Ricky Carmichael show lasted a few laps at Bank One Ballpark in the 250cc main event of EA SPORTS Supercross, until Carmichael made a move that would give him his first win of the season. James Stewart, who had a qualifying time that was 13 seconds faster than the rest of the field, opened a five-second lead within three laps at Round 4 of the 125cc Western Regional Supercross championship, as he captured his second-career main event win and extending his season points lead to 25 pts.

Team Honda's Ernesto Fonseca boosted into turn one, earning the $1,500 PowerAde Holeshot Award, followed by McGrath, and David Vuillemin in the 250cc main event. Through the 'whoop' section, McGrath moved into the lead. Early on, he and Carmichael slightly diced with one another, before Carmichael, the reigning champion, would make the last pass McGrath, the winner of 72-career 250cc supercross wins.

Carmichael's ride tonight was reminiscent of his 2001 season, where he won 14 of 16 races. Travis Pastrana finished second and David Vuillemin was third.

"I got a good start, but McGrath got by me on the outside as well as a few other guys," said Carmichael. "Those guys were giving me heat early on. LaRocco is riding well this year, and he has really stepped up his game. Everyone is riding with a lot of confidence this year, and it took a while for me to rebound. I rode smart and didn't take any chances."

Yamaha-backed Casey Lytle earned the $1,000 PowerAde Holeshot Award and was immediately passed by Stewart, 16, of Haines City Fla., who went on to crush his competition. Following Stewart out of the gate were Honda's Travis Preston and Rodrig Thain. On lap eight, Stewart went down after the triple; yet, his cushioned lead held off Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Stewart went on to win, Preston was second and Thain third.

"I started making mistakes when I was out front, " said Stewart. "Once the race started out, I calmed down a bit and things worked out."

-ama/cce-

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Series AMA
Drivers David Vuillemin , Travis Pastrana , Jeremy McGrath , Ernesto Fonseca , James Stewart