AMA

Phoenix: Round two preview

Monster Energy® Supercross Storms into Chase Field Saturday After The Most Dramatic Opening-Season Race Ever AURORA, Ill. (January 6, 2009) -- In front of 42,309 fans Saturday night at Anaheim's Angel Stadium, JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha rookie ...

Monster Energy® Supercross Storms into Chase Field Saturday After The Most Dramatic Opening-Season Race Ever

AURORA, Ill. (January 6, 2009) -- In front of 42,309 fans Saturday night at Anaheim's Angel Stadium, JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha rookie Josh Grant, of Riverside, Calif., won the first AMA Supercross class race of his career as the 2009 Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season begun in the most dramatic fashion ever. This Saturday night, Monster Energy® Supercross returns to Phoenix's Chase Field with an epic storyline headlined by Chad Reed, James Stewart and Josh Grant. Monster Energy® Supercross fans can be a part of the action by purchasing lower level gold circle seats in the KUPD sections for just $9.80 through ticketmaster or Chase Field Box Office.

While Grant, who was an unexpected winner, rode to victory, the championship's two perennial powerhouses, Stewart and Reed tangled with one another on lap six. As the two struggled to rebound from the crash, Stewart was hit by GEICO Powersports Honda's Kevin Windham upon his attempted reentrance to the race. Stewart was forced to sit out the remainder of the race as Reed reentered and finished third. Prior to Stewart and Reed crashing, the two had all 42,309 fans on their feet as they traded positions for the lead several times, proving that this rivalry will live up to its hype.

"I don't know what to say right now," said Grant. "To get my first win out of the way is huge, and I am so pumped. I saw those guys (Stewart and Reed) on the ground and just raced hard to the win."

Media day will take place Thursday, January 8 from Noon-2:00 p.m. at Chase Field, featuring the Red Bull Honda Racing team, featuring last weekend's second place finisher Andrew Short, and former AMA Supercross Lites class champions Ivan Tedesco and Davi Millsaps. The riders will be available for interviews/photo opportunities and will ride the track for the media.

GEICO Powersports Honda's Dan Reardon, of Menifee, Calif., opened the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class main event with the holeshot, leading Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Jake Weimer and KTM's Justin Brayton, of Murrieta, Calif., through turn one.

Defending class champion Jason Lawrence was involved in a massive pile-up that collected several riders, including defending Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class champion Trey Canard, of Shawnee, Okla.

Weimer moved around Reardon on lap two and began to extend his lead. While riding in second and third place, respectively, Reardon and Brayton crashed into one another, losing several valuable positions. This allowed Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Ryan Morais, of Murrieta, Calif., to move into second.

Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., started the race in 10th place and finished third. Morais finished second and Weimer scored the second AMA Supercross Lites class win of his career and leads the points race.

"This was a great start to the season," said Weimer. "It couldn't be any better than tonight. I look forward to a great season."

Native Australian Reed is still in search of his first career victory at Chase Field while Grant will gun for two in a row. Like his Rockstar/Makita Suzuki teammate, Dungey is also winless in Phoenix, coming up just one spot short last year at Chase Field.

Last year, Stewart, then riding for Monster Energy Kawasaki, earned his first and only victory of the season at Chase Field, overcoming a quick Mike Alessi and an early pass by Reed in his final appearance of 2008 after injury forced him to sit out the remainder of the schedule.

"I knew all along that I felt good, and I was able to ride a decent race," said Stewart. "If you have to get ready, you aren't ready."

Stewart is looking for his third consecutive win in Phoenix.

Weimer, then riding for Honda, took his first career win in the AMA Supercross Lites class at Chase Field. In one of the most epic battles of the season, he held off the charges of both Dungey and Broc Hepler in a race that featured seven lead changes over the 15-lap main.

"I got the holeshot for the first time in my life, so that made it easy to stay up front," said Weimer. "I just stayed smart out there, and I was able to take advantage when I needed to."

The first AMA Supercross race was held at this venue on January 23, 1999, with Jeremy McGrath winning on a Yamaha. Nathan Ramsey won the first AMA Supercross Lites race in Phoenix while riding for Kawasaki.

Tickets are available through www.SupercrossOnline.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 480-784-4444, participating Yamaha dealers and at Chase Field's box office. Club Level seats are $50; Gold Level Seats are $40; Mid-Level Seats are $30 for adults and $10 for kids; Xtreme seats are $20 for adults and $10 for kids; Treadhead Seats are $10. Chase Field offers family section tickets on the lower level for $40. The pit pass outlet will be announced shortly. Gates open at 12:30 for practice and qualifying and racing begins at 7:00 p.m. All tickets are subject to convenience and handling fees. Fan four packs are available while supplies last and are valid on extreme seats only.

This weekend's AMA Supercross class race will air on Sunday, January 11 at 5:00 p.m. EST on SPEED. The AMA Supercross Lites class race will air on SPEED Sunday, January 11 at 6:00 p.m. EST.

-credit: SupercrossOnline.com

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Series AMA
Drivers Kevin Windham , Jeremy McGrath , Chad Reed , Josh Grant , Justin Brayton , Mike Alessi , James Stewart , Jake Weimer , Ryan Dungey , Trey Canard , Davi Millsaps , Andrew Short