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Las Vegas: Series East/West Lites Shootout Preview

2009 Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Supercross Lites Shootout Shows Promise to be Best in History Regional Champions and Long List of Capable Winners Converge in Las Vegas AURORA, Ill. (May 1, 2009) -- For one time in 2009, the vast number of AMA...

2009 Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Supercross Lites Shootout Shows Promise to be Best in History
Regional Champions and Long List of Capable Winners Converge in Las Vegas

AURORA, Ill. (May 1, 2009) -- For one time in 2009, the vast number of AMA Supercross Lites competitors across the country will have their chance in the spotlight as Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, concludes this weekend at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

Led by Eastern Regional Champion, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel and newly-crowned Western Regional Champion Ryan Dungey, of Rockstar/Makita Suzuki, the world's top AMA Supercross Lites competitors will converge for the first and only time in Monster Energy® AMA Supercross with the 13th annual Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Supercross Lites Shootout Presented by Toyota.

After eight races apiece on both the East and West coast rounds of the 17-race Monster Energy® AMA Supercross season, the two regional divisions will come together for a one-off showcase. No points involved, just bragging rights, prize money, and a Toyota Tundra truck awaiting the winner of Saturday night's race.

For the past two seasons, Dungey has staked his claim as the best AMA Supercross Lites rider in the world. He is one of just two riders to ever win multiple Shootout trophies, and this year, he is looking to make history as the only three-time winner since the inception of the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout. Add his first career professional championship to what is quickly becoming an impressive racing resume and Dungey will have the advantage of momentum going into Sam Boyd Stadium.

Dungey's primary suitor of the Shootout crown is Pourcel. A five-time winner this season, he has shown the patience, speed, and mental toughness it takes to succeed in supercross and will undoubtedly be a threat once the gates drop on the 15-lap main event. Additionally, fellow 2009 race winners Jake Weimer, Austin Stroupe, and Blake Wharton will make sure their presence is felt while perennial front-runners Ryan Morais, Justin Brayton, Ryan Sipes, and Will Hahn head a large group of hungry riders looking for their first victory.

"We're excited to once again be a part of the shootout and sponsor such an exciting event," said Paul Czaplicki, engagement marketing manager for Toyota. "To raise the stakes for these talented riders we will be presenting the winner with a new Toyota Tundra and we're looking forward to getting one of these talented riders behind the wheel of one of our new trucks."

All in all, there are potentially over 10 riders with a strong chance at stealing the checkered flag on Saturday night, depending on how the cards play out.

"The Shootout always seems to offer a lot of surprises," said Davey Coombs, son of Dave Coombs Sr. and editor-in chief of Racer X Illustrated. "Every year the field is completely stacked but it always ends up with a surprise at the end. Last year, Ryan Dungey catching and passing Ryan Villopoto is a perfect example of that. When my dad and Bill West came up with the 125 class, I think that was their hope, to have a deep, talented field of riders. I think that it's come to fruition and the shootout is always a showcase of that."

Last season, 2006 and 2007 AMA Supercross Lites Western Regional Champion Ryan Villopoto was eager to leave his legacy on the class with a win. After coming up short in his bid for a third title to Trey Canard, the Kawasaki rider came into Las Vegas on an AMA Supercross Lites bike for the final time in his career. Villopoto garnered a signature strong start and quickly gapped the field and appeared to be on his way to the Shootout victory. However, Dungey had other plans. The upset winner in 2007 and reigning Rookie of the Year slowly ate away at Villopoto's lead on a slick, dry, but very quick Sam Boyd Stadium layout. On the final lap, the Suzuki rider made his move to take his second straight Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Supercross Lites Shootout win and second Toyota Tundra.

"To be able to win the East/West shootout is pretty cool," explained Dungey. "First, you get bragging rights as the top Lites rider for both East and West and it's always nice to be the best guy out of both coasts. Winning it the first time was kind of amazing. Doing it again last year meant more being able to chase down Ryan (Villopoto). And on top of it all, you get a truck and that just puts the icing on the cake. It's really just a great feeling."

The action for this year's Monster Energy® AMA Supercross finale kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.

-credit: ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Justin Brayton , Jake Weimer , Christophe Pourcel , Ryan Dungey , Ryan Villopoto , Trey Canard