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Pontiac: Round thirteen preview

Reed Looking To Defend Pontiac Supercross Win Stewart expected to return to race 125 East after sitting out Indy round PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 29, 2004) -- Yamaha's Chad Reed returns to the Pontiac Silverdome on Saturday, April 3, for round 13...

Reed Looking To Defend Pontiac Supercross Win
Stewart expected to return to race 125 East after sitting out Indy round

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 29, 2004) -- Yamaha's Chad Reed returns to the Pontiac Silverdome on Saturday, April 3, for round 13 of the 16-race AMA THQ Supercross Series as the defending winner and series points leader. The Aussie is hoping to get back to the win column after crashing in the last round at Indianapolis and losing to veteran Hoosier rider Mike LaRocco. Reed picked up his bike and was able to finish third at Indy losing only two points in his series lead over Kevin Windham.

Also on tap is the debut of James Stewart at the Silverdome. Stewart, who already clinched the AMA 125 East Supercross Series, is returning to competition after missing Indy due to a minor concussion suffered in a crash during practice. Reed has been the class of the field this year, winning eight of the 12 rounds so far. Perhaps one of his best rides of the year came two weeks ago in Indianapolis, where he didn't win. After getting caught up in a first-turn melee Reed found himself on the ground and dead last. Undeterred, Reed quickly remounted and made a spectacular charge through the field. He actually caught second place Windham on the final lap, but couldn't find a way around the veteran Factory Connection Honda rider. Instead of losing a ton of points due to the crash, Reed was able to minimize the damage and comes into Pontiac with a solid 30-point lead in the series.

"It was frustrating to know that winning was out of the picture on the first lap," Reed said after Indy. "It was a good feeling to charge back through the field. I'm doing what I need to do to win the championship."

Windham knows that he needs a little luck to catch Reed for the title, but he remained positive after his sixth-straight podium at Indy. "I've just got to keep chipping away and do the best I can," Windham said. "There are still four races to go and I plan on running hard all the way to the finish of the final race." Windham's best finish at Pontiac came in 1998 when he was runner-up to Ezra Lusk.

The big story two weeks ago was the victory by LaRocco. It marked the first time the South Bend, Indiana native won the race in front of his home state fans in Indianapolis. It was an emotional win for the 33-year-old veteran. The victory helped LaRocco put a little breathing distance between himself and David Vuillemin in the battle for third in the series. LaRocco hopes to put together his first back-to-back wins ever in his long career in AMA Supercross at Pontiac. Another rider to watch at Pontiac could be Honda's Nate Ramsey. Ramsey earned his first, and to date, only AMA Supercross victory in a surprise victory at Pontiac two years ago.

Pontiac fans will also get their first opportunity to watch Kawasaki's phenom James Stewart. Stewart returns to racing after falling off twice in practice at Indianapolis and suffering a concussion. The newly-crowned AMA 125 East Supercross champ is only the second rider in AMA Supercross history to win both East and West 125 Supercross titles. "I'm looking forward to getting back to racing at Pontiac," Stewart said. "I hated to sit out at Indy, but I wanted to take the doctor's advice. I'm sure I'll be ready to race and 100 percent at the Silverdome."

In Stewart's absence Yamaha of Troy's Josh Hansen broke through to win the Indy 125 East race, his first professional victory. Hansen is the son of 1982 U.S. Supercross and 250 National MX Champion Donnie Hansen.

Pontiac will be taped for next-day coverage on ESPN2 starting on Sunday, April 4, at 1 p.m. Eastern. For additional information on the Pontiac Supercross contact (630) 566-6100 or visit www.tickets.com.

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Series AMA
Drivers David Vuillemin , Kevin Windham , Ezra Lusk , Chad Reed , James Stewart