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Houston: Round seven preview

Lawrence Steals Lites Class Points Lead From Dungey and Stages Defense in Houston This Saturday Night $10 Treadhead® Seats Still Available for Monster Energy® Supercross Race at Reliant Stadium AURORA (February 12, 2008) -- In a ...

Lawrence Steals Lites Class Points Lead From Dungey and Stages Defense in Houston This Saturday Night

$10 Treadhead® Seats Still Available for Monster Energy® Supercross Race at Reliant Stadium

AURORA (February 12, 2008) -- In a startling turn of events, the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class' championship has changed hands and was taken over by Yamaha of Troy's Jason Lawrence, of Carlsbad, Calif., last Saturday night at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. Lawrence captured his third consecutive AMA Supercross Lites class win and removed Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., from the enviable number-one position. This Saturday night for as low as $10, fans can watch this epic duel go down at Houston's Reliant Stadium. The AMA Supercross class race will air on CBS Sports Sunday, February 17 at Noon, and the AMA Supercross Lites class race will air on SPEED Friday, February 22 at Noon.

As Dungey, who had a 22-point lead earlier this season, proved last weekend, the lead can change with one bad race. He left Anaheim 1 with a three-point lead over Jason Lawrence. He went into Anaheim 2 nine points ahead of Lawrence. Heading into San Francisco, he was 22 points ahead of Broc Hepler. He led Dan Reardon by 19 points heading into Anaheim 3, and at San Diego he left two points behind Lawrence.

"I was keeping tabs on where Ryan (Dungey) was during the main event," said Lawrence after last weekend's race. "He crashed for the third weekend in a row. He cracked under the pressure. We have two more races to go, and I am up by two points. I am trying to win this championship. I can have the target on my back for the rest of my life because I do ok under pressure."

Media day is Thursday from Noon-2:00 in the press box at Reliant Stadium. Current Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites points leader Jason Lawrence be on hand for interviews and photo opportunities. Joining Lawrence will be his teammate Zach Osborne and the Cernic's Kawasaki team, featuring Jeff Gibson.

Tickets are available at Reliant Stadium, all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 713-629-3700. Extreme and Club level tickets are available for $40 adults/kids (2-10 years old); Gold Circle tickets $25 adults/$10 kids; Treadhead Seats $10. Free pit passes are available at Texas Yamaha dealers.

In the AMA Supercross class, Team San Manuel's Chad Reed, of Tampa, Fla., brings a solid, yet vulnerable 35-point lead in the championship points race to Houston. Reed is a two-time AMA Supercross class winner at Houston.

Reed was challenged by Red Bull Honda's Davi Millsaps, of Cairo, Ga., last weekend in San Diego where the two traded positions throughout the AMA Supercross class main event.

"I was glad to get my first holeshot in the AMA Supercross class," said Millsaps. "Chad (Reed) and I were dicing back and forth in the main event, and it was good to ride his pace. He was going fast, and I have to give it up to him."

On lap 16, Reed secured the lead and rode to his fifth win of the season and his fifth win at Qualcomm Stadium.

"I am happy to get the win here tonight in San Diego," said Reed. "I won every race in California this year, and I have never done that before. Now that we are leaving the west coast, I get to go home to Florida and sleep in my own bed. I have to take each race one at a time."

Equally impressive was Monster Energy® Kawasaki's Tim Ferry, of Dade City, Fla., who staged a late-race comeback and passed Millsaps on lap 13. It was Ferry's first second-place finish of the season. Millsaps finished third.

"I felt good after the Anaheim 3 race, and the momentum carried over here to San Diego," said Ferry. "I hope it keeps going into Houston. I am adapting better each race, and I am closer than I have ever been to getting a win. I hope that day comes soon."

As the historic Monster Energy® Supercross returns to Reliant Stadium this weekend, it will mark the 42nd time the gate has dropped in Houston. During last year's AMA Supercross class main event, Ferry carried the lead through turn one before being passed by Honda's Kevin Windham. Kawasaki's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., worked his way through the pack after starting in sixth place. By the sixth lap, Stewart moved into the lead and rode to victory.

"I had a big crash earlier in practice and knew that this track could come back and bite me," said Stewart from the podium last year. "I have a points lead but can't afford to back down because things can get bad when you start to let up."

En route to winning his first-ever Western regional AMA Supercross Lites class title, Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., started the main event by winning the Holeshot Award narrowly edging out the Yamaha of Jason Lawrence, of Carlsbad, Calif. Villopoto held the lead for the opening five laps before a crash on lap six handed the lead to Lawrence.

Lawrence held down the top spot until being chased down by Villopoto, who regrouped and held on to take the win, his fifth of the season. Lawrence finished second while Honda's Josh Grant, of Riverside, Calif., was third.

"(A lapped rider) just jumped right off the table top, hit a tuff block and went down right in front of me," said Villopoto in reference to last year's crash on lap six. "I had nowhere to go and ran right into him. I got back up and chased (Lawrence) down for the win."

Since 1974 Houston has been on the AMA Supercross class schedule. From 1974-2002 the Houston Astrodome hosted the race, and in 2003, the race was moved to Reliant Stadium. The first AMA Supercross class race in Houston was on March 15, 1974 where Jim Pomeroy earned the inaugural race win. In AMA Supercross Lites competition, Eddie Warren won the first lites race held in Houston on April 20, 1985. Jeremy McGrath, the all-time winningest supercross rider, shares the all-time win record along with Mark Barnett with five.

-credit: ama

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About this article
Series AMA , FIM
Drivers Jeremy McGrath , Chad Reed , Jeff Gibson , Josh Grant , James Stewart , Ryan Dungey , Ryan Villopoto , Davi Millsaps