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Red Bud: 30th event anniversary preview

Red Bud celebrates 30th anniversary of hosting AMA Motocross Carmichael and Stewart bring perfect records to Southern Michigan track PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 29, 2004) -- Red Bud Track 'N Trail is one of the classic tracks on the AMA Pro...

Red Bud celebrates 30th anniversary of hosting AMA Motocross
Carmichael and Stewart bring perfect records to Southern Michigan track

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 29, 2004) -- Red Bud Track 'N Trail is one of the classic tracks on the AMA Pro Racing calendar. The Buchanan, Mich., circuit has hosted AMA Motocross Championship events in each of the last four decades, and when round five of the 12-event AMA Chevrolet Motocross Championship visits Red Bud on Sunday, July 4, it will mark the 30th anniversary of AMA Motocross being hosted by Red Bud.

Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart come into this year's event at Red Bud the overwhelming favorites in the 250 and 125 classes, respectively. Both Floridians are undefeated in the previous four races.

Over the years legends of motocross such as Kent Howerton, David Bailey, Rick Johnson, Bob Hannah, Jeff Ward, Jeremy McGrath and many others have hoisted the winner's trophy at Red Bud. Carmichael has the opportunity to do something no rider has ever accomplished in the 30-year history of Red Bud and that's to win the 250 class four times. The defending champ has won three-straight 250 events at Red Bud coming into this year's race.

Carmichael reached a major milestone at the last round in Budds Creek, Md., when he became the first rider in AMA racing history to win 100 combined events. Carmichael's victories have come in AMA 125 and 250 Motocross as well as AMA Supercross races. Now he'll look to put the record out of reach by continuing his winning streak this year.

"I'm looking forward to racing at Red Bud," Carmichael said. "It's during the Fourth of July holiday so there's always a special atmosphere up there for that. The track is always challenging and the fans there are really strong followers of motocross."

Suzuki's Sebastien Tortelli is expected to make his return to racing at Red Bud. Tortelli is the 2000 Red Bud winner and is expected to be among the frontrunners in his comeback. Kevin Windham is another former Red Bud 250 winner. Windham, the only rider to beat Carmichael last season, is looking to earn his first win of the 2004 motocross season.

Area racing fans are excited about the possibility of watching local hero Mike LaRocco make one of his few motocross appearances this year. LaRocco retired from full-time racing to concentrate his efforts towards the AMA Supercross Series during the winter months, but the South Bend, Ind. native is slated to race at Red Bud.

While Carmichael has the record for the most combined AMA Motocross and Supercross wins, James Stewart, who's only in his third season of pro racing, is charging up the list. Stewart just cracked the top 20 on the all-time combined wins list. The 18-year-old from Haines City, Fla., is chasing Carmichael's record of 26 AMA 125 Motocross wins. Coming into Red Bud, Stewart is tied with Steve Lamson for third on the 125 wins list with 21-career victories. The AMA 125 Motocross Championship has now gone a full year with no one other than Stewart having earned a victory.

Stewart, who rides for Team Kawasaki, is one of the few riders left in the series riding the traditional two-stroke racing machine. While motocross riders are embracing the new four-stroke technology, there is a major segment of fans that are cheering on Stewart for upholding the honor of the two-stroke design.

Michigan fans will be rooting for DeWitt's Nick Wey in the 250 class and Kelly Smith, of Ludington, in the 125 ranks. Wey is a factory Suzuki rider and is ranked ninth in the 250 standings coming into his home race. Smith has scored three top-10 finishes in the 125 series on his Boost Mobile Yamaha of Troy mount and is ranked seventh in that class.

For tickets and race information call Red Bud Competition Club at (269) 695-6405 or you can check out www.redbudmx.com. The race is scheduled to be televised on ESPN2 Saturday, July 10. Check your local listings for broadcast times.

-ama-

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Jeff Ward , Ricky Carmichael , Kevin Windham , Jeremy McGrath , Sebastien Tortelli , Kelly Smith , James Stewart , Mike LaRocco