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Budds Creek: Event preview

Reed and Stewart bring budding rivalry to Budds Creek AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross event. PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The Chad Reed and James Stewart rivalry began even before the two had ever met on the track. During this winter's AMA EA Sports ...

Reed and Stewart bring budding rivalry to Budds Creek AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross event.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The Chad Reed and James Stewart rivalry began even before the two had ever met on the track. During this winter's AMA EA Sports Supercross Series Reed was the king of the 125 East Region Series, while Stewart won most of the races in the West. One of the most highly-anticipated motorcycle races of the year so far was the Reed/Stewart showdown in the East/West Shootout at the Supercross season finale in Las Vegas early in May, where Stewart took a convincing win over Reed in their first meeting. While barely a month old, the rivalry developing between the two is one of the top stories in all of AMA U.S. Championship racing. This Sunday, June 16, Reed and Stewart move to the next battleground -- Budds Creek Motocross Park in Budds Creek, Md., for round five of the 12-race series. Reed brings a slim five-point lead over Stewart in both riders' first visit to the challenging Budds Creek circuit.

The contrasts between Reed and Stewart add even more depth to their match up. Reed is a 20-year-old Australian who is racing in America for the first time after finishing second in the FIM 250 World Motocross Championships last year. Stewart is a 16-year-old rookie sensation from Haines City, Fla., who was a record-setting amateur racer last season.

Reed is the first Australian to win an AMA Motocross National, Stewart the first African-American rider to do so; Reed is considered to be bold and cocksure, Stewart reserved and quietly confident; Reed rides a four-stroke Yamaha, Stewart a two-stroke Kawasaki. Among the things that the young riders have in common is that they are two of the most talented riders in motocross today and each has an intense desire to win.

"I'm hoping to get back into the series lead at Budds Creek," said Stewart, who lead the series earlier this season after winning the first two rounds. "It's pretty neat that a bunch of new riders are coming to the front in the 125 class. I can tell that the fans are maybe even a little more excited when we (the 125 riders) come onto the track. It's a close points chase and that's what racing's all about."

Reed and Stewart have hogged the spotlight in the 125 championship this year, but Danny Smith and Ernesto Fonseca have quietly worked their way into the championship picture with strong showings last week in Southwick, Mass. Smith, 22 of Middleton, Idaho, broke through to win his first AMA National, while Fonseca was runner-up despite crashing in the first moto at Southwick. Reed and Stewart both suffered off races last Sunday. Stewart's bike broke a motor in the first moto and a few laps later Reed crashed hard separating his shoulder. Stewart came back to win the second moto, while Reed bravely had his shoulder popped back into place and raced to third in moto two and as a result preserved his series lead.

While the 125 series is being hotly contested, the premier 250 class is starting to look more and more like a foregone conclusion that Honda's Ricky Carmichael will easily defend his title in the championship. At Southwick Carmichael became only the fourth rider in AMA Motocross history to open the 250 series with four wins. He also is the first 250 rider since Bob Hannah in 1979 to win the opening eight motos of the season. This weekend Carmichael could become the second rider in the series history to open up with five-straight wins. Hannah set the record of in the 250 class in 1978, winning the first eight rounds. RC is also gunning to be the first three-time 250 Motocross winner at Budds Creek. Yamaha's Tim Ferry and Sebastien Tortelli are locked in a good battle for second in the series. Floridian Ferry has a three-point advantage over Frenchman Tortelli.

Ezra Lusk of Team Kawasaki and Factory Connection Honda's Mike LaRocco will join Carmichael as former Budds Creek winners slated to race Sunday. Lusk, who won there in 1997 Budds Creek is one of the most unique and challenging tracks on the circuit. It features a confounding mixture of sandy and hard-packed soil, which tends to drive mechanics a little crazy as they try to figure out the best set-up for the race bikes.

For additional information contact call Budds Creek Motocross Park at (301) 994-9555 or visit their website at www.buddscreek.com.

For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information, regular columnists and much more, log onto USMotocross.com, the official website of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship.

DIRECTIONS TO TRACK 75 miles from Baltimore, State Route 301 South to Route 234 East, 7 miles to track

<pre> Budds Creek Motocross Park Budds Creek , MD Schedule of Events June 16, 2002 SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2002 2:30 PM 125 Non-Seeded riders practice 2:50 PM 250 Non-Seeded riders practice 3:10 PM 125/250 Seeded riders practice 3:30 PM 125 Non-Seeded riders practice 3:50 PM 250 Non-Seeded riders practice 4:10 PM 125/250 Seeded riders practice 4:45 PM Pre-Qualifiers

SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2002 8:45 AM Chapel Service 9:00 AM - 9:20 AM 125 National riders practice 9:20 AM - 9:40 AM 250 National riders practice 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM 125 National riders practice 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM 250 National riders practice 10:30 AM to completion Qualifiers 12:30 PM Opening Ceremonies 1:00 PM Moto 1- 125 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps 2:00 PM Moto 1- 250 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps 3:30 PM Moto 2- 125 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps 4:20 PM Moto 2- 250 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps 5:30 PM Victory Circle

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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Ezra Lusk , Ernesto Fonseca , Sebastien Tortelli , Chad Reed , James Stewart , Mike LaRocco