PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- After a mid-summer break, the 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championships get back underway at Spring Creek Motocross Park in Millville, Minn., this Sunday, Aug. 19 for the homestretch of the series. Ricky Carmichael...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- After a mid-summer break, the 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championships get back underway at Spring Creek Motocross Park in Millville, Minn., this Sunday, Aug. 19 for the homestretch of the series. Ricky Carmichael and Travis Pastrana are the defending champs in the 250 and 125 series at the Millville race. Both riders are also the defending series champions in the 250 and 125 class, respectively.
With just six motos remaining in both the 250 and 125 classes, the championships are coming into crunch time.
Six riders are still at least mathematically alive in the 250 championship, but defending champ Carmichael, riding for Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki, is in control with a 42-point lead over American Suzuki's Kevin Windham. Carmichael, 21, of Havana, Fla., has won five of the nine rounds heading into Millville, but it's Windham who is considered the hottest rider on the circuit right now after going 1-1 in the most recent race at Washougal, Wash., last month.
It would be hard however to go against Carmichael at Millville. Besides winning the 250 class last year, RC is a former two-time 125 winner at the circuit. Windham has never won at Millville and was eighth overall in last year's race.
KTM rider John Dowd joins Carmichael as the only other former 250 winner at Millville. Dowd won the race in 1994. Amsoil Honda rider Mike LaRocco might be a rider to watch at Millville. The 30-year-old, 14-year veteran, won the 125 class three years in a row in the early 1990s. LaRocco is eager to get a victory under his belt. He is the only rider among the top six in the 250 class without a win this year.
The 125 series is filled with drama coming into Millville. Travis Pastrana, who led the series for most of the season, has suffered several hard crashes in recent rounds and endured injuries including a concussion. He dropped from first to third in the series standings after crashing out of the second moto in Washougal, Wash. If healthy Pastrana is expected to race at Millville this weekend after competing in the Summer X Games in Philadelphia just two days before the Millville race. By far the hottest rider in the 125 class is Tennessee's Mike Brown. Brown has reeled off four-straight moto wins to come from third to first in the championship standings. Brown, who rides for Pro Circuit Kawasaki, finds himself atop the 125 standings by five points over former world champion Grant Langston. Pastrana is a close third just 11 points behind Langston. Brown is taking a one-race-at-a-time approach to the championship.
"All I can really think about is just going out there and keep doing what I've been doing," said Brown in a recent Racer X interview. "Stay focused. Get good starts. That's it really. I'm not really worried about winning the championship. I want to win it. And if I do I'll be really, really happy. But now I just have to focus on winning races. If I can do that, the championship will come."
If Pastrana gets healthy it sets up a dramatic three-rider battle for the title in the final three rounds. Millville should answer a lot of the questions in the 125 class.
SPRING CREEK MOTOCROSS PARK, MILLVILLE, MN SCHEDULE OF EVENT
DIRECTIONS TO TRACK Route 63 North from Rochester, MN. Nine miles East of Zumbro Falls of Hwy 60
RACE AND TICKET INFO 507-753-2448
SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2001 8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Will Call 8:30 a.m. Riders Meeting (Mandatory) 8:45 a.m. Chapel Service 9:00 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. Practice 125 Class 9:20 a.m. - 9:40 a.m. Practice 250 Class 9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Practice 125 Class 10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Practice 250 Class 10:30 a.m. to completion Qualifiers 12:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies 1:00 p.m. Moto 1 - 125 Class - 30 minutes, plus 2 laps 2:00 p.m. Moto 1 - 250 Class - 30 minutes, plus 2 laps 3:30 p.m. Moto 2 - 125 Class - 30 minutes, plus 2 laps 4:20 p.m. Moto 2 - 250 Class - 30 minites, plus 2 laps 5:30 p.m. Victory Circle