Blame it on the Rain: "If you aren't used to riding in the mud, you're in trouble," said Rich Winkler, owner of Dirt Durx, the official track builders of EA SPORTS Supercross, when asked about this weekend's potential mud race. The unappreciable...
Blame it on the Rain: "If you aren't used to riding in the mud, you're in trouble," said Rich Winkler, owner of Dirt Durx, the official track builders of EA SPORTS Supercross, when asked about this weekend's potential mud race. The unappreciable weather conditions in the Dallas area have everyone from promoters to mechanics up in arms.
Forced to prepare for the adverse conditions since Tuesday when tornados ripped through the area, Winkler and crew mixed 25 tons of 'quick' lime into the more than 500 truckloads of dirt that has been hauled into Texas Stadium. "We mixed the lime with the dirt before we even started building the track, because the lime will soak up the rain," said Winkler. "When the moisture mixes with the lime a chemical reaction occurs that will soak up the rain."
Good for now. As of Friday morning, the weather has been holding up, in turn giving the soil an 'almost dry' consistency. "If nothing changes, we will have overcompensated to protect the dirt from the rain," said Winkler before his Friday Chores.
Protecting the Turf: Underneath the dirt and plywood lies the buried turf that Super Bowl ring bearer Emitt Smith and the Dallas Cowboys uses to conduct business during the football season. "We have a multi-million dollar surface to protect under the plywood," said Todd Jendro, director of supercross, Clear Channel Entertainment - motor sports. "If it rains, the dirt will seep through the plywood and make the move-out process a nightmare." Though there may be many headaches involved, Jendro promises that 'the show will go on.'
Wide World of Supercross: EA SPORTS Supercross' Round 14 from Texas Stadium will air on ABC's Wide World of Sports Sunday April 21 at 3:00 p.m. EST/2:00 CST/Noon PST, marking the fourth race on the network in 2002. Both the 125cc and 250cc main events will be covered, with additional features built within the program.
Level Playing Field: With the possibility of rain, the privateers actually have a better chance to win. "Privateers can win," said Joe Safreed, Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports. The last time God's ceiling leaked, Texas Stadium turned into a quagmire of mud, motors and mush. "We actually had to level the whoop section to ensure optimum safety for the riders, so the race turned into a mission of survival and removed the usual technical nature of supercross. The riders from the East Coast have an advantage in the whoops."
First Timer: Nathan Ramsey, who won last weekend in Pontiac, became the first rider since Ricky Carmichael in 2000 at Daytona to win their first 250cc main event. Last weekend not only marked Ramsey's first 250cc main event win, it was Honda's first win on a four-stroke motorcycle.
125cc Western Regional Champs: Only six times has the winner of the 125cc Western Regional Supercross championship gone on to win a 250cc main event. Ramsey now joins Jeff Matasevich, Jeremy McGrath, Damon Huffman, Kevin Windham, and John Dowd.
Dallas First Timers: Three riders won their first 250cc supercross main event at Dallas: Doug Henry ('95); Jean Michael-Bayle ('90); Jimmy Ellis ('75).
Tough Repeat: A win this weekend for Ricky Carmichael will make only the fifth rider in history to win the Dallas round back to back. The only riders to do so are: Jimmy Ellis ('75-'76); Ricky Johnson ('87-'88); Damon Bradshaw ('91-'92); Kevin Windham ('99-'00).
Tracking Jeremy: Podium finishes: 2; top five Finishes: six; top 10 finishes: 12. Winless throughout the first 13 rounds, he has won at least one 250cc main event for the past nine years.
Dramatic Turnaround: Ricky Carmichael, who did not finish (DNF), at the opening round in Anaheim, Calif., has gone from last place to first place, a record in 250cc supercross history.
Record at Stake: In the '95 and '96 seasons, Jeremy McGrath won a total of 24 250cc main events, a record that is in jeopardy. Carmichael currently has 22 wins with three races to go.
Reed Rides 250s: Two weeks after winning the 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross championship, Boost Mobile Yamaha's Chad Reed is reported to be riding in the coveted 250cc class.
Double Winners: Jeremy McGrath, Doug Henry, Kevin Windham, and Mike LaRocco are the only riders to win in Dallas on a 125cc and 250cc.