AMA

St. Louis: Round 11 preview

Pastrana Brings Added Excitement To St. Louis Supercross; Suzuki star showing great speed in return to racing. PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 10, 2004) -- Travis Pastrana shocked the racing world when he unexpectedly turned up to race at the Daytona...

Pastrana Brings Added Excitement To St. Louis Supercross; Suzuki star showing great speed in return to racing.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 10, 2004) -- Travis Pastrana shocked the racing world when he unexpectedly turned up to race at the Daytona Supercross last week. Not only did he show up to race, he thrilled the huge Daytona crowd by earning a dramatic heat race victory over the series' second-ranked rider Kevin Windham. In the grueling Daytona main event Pastrana's time away from racing showed as he ran up front early but fell back to tenth place after tiring and suffering a couple of crashes. Still, many were very impressed with the likeable star's first Supercross back from an extended layoff. Daytona is considered to be the most important round in the championship and with its Gary Bailey-designed track there's little doubt that it's the toughest. This Saturday, March 13, Pastrana is set to race again in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, in round 11 of the 16-race THQ AMA Supercross Series.

Pastrana's return to AMA Supercross racing after more than a year's absence has generated a great deal of enthusiasm for the upcoming St. Louis race. The former X-Games and AMA Supercross and Motocross champ is making a comeback from a reoccurring knee injury. He's decided to make a limited comeback to racing, competing in only select events including this weekend's race in St. Louis.

"The initial plan was to race St. Louis, because it usually has 40- to 45-second lap times, which is one of the quicker courses and it also has really good soil for me," Pastrana said of selecting this Saturday's race as one of his comeback tracks.

Yamaha's Chad Reed extended his lead in the series with his seventh win of the year last week in Daytona. Reed became the first foreign rider in 30 years to win the prestigious Daytona Supercross and now he turns to St. Louis, the track where last year he launched his six-race winning streak and pushed the championship chase to the final event. This year Reed comes into St. Louis with a 29-point lead over Kevin Windham and is heavily favored to win his first AMA Supercross title.

Windham is the only other rider to win besides Reed this year. He's a former winner at St. Louis and knows he needs to start winning if he's to have any chance of catching Reed in the title chase. Windham's Factory Connection Honda teammate Mike LaRocco is celebrating his 200th AMA Supercross race and even at 33 he's considered one of the favorites at St. Louis. LaRocco is locked in a great battle for third in the championship with Yamaha's David Vuillemin.

James Stewart is over halfway home to a perfect season in the AMA 125 East Supercross Series. The 18-year-old Floridian will race at St. Louis for the first time and is looking to take his fifth straight win in the seven race East series. Stewart has been so dominant this year that should he win and Eric Sorby finishes fifth or worse in St. Louis, Stewart will clinch the championship. It would mark the earliest that any rider has clinched the title in 125 Supercross competition.

One of the big topics in the 125 class coming out of Daytona was the excellent second-place performance turned in by Suzuki's young ace Davi Millsaps. In only his third professional race Millsaps finished second. While its unlikely that anyone will run with Stewart in the 125 class this year Millsaps is making a strong case as a 125 rider to watch in the future.

The St. Louis will be taped by ESPN2 and will be shown on March 14th. Check your local listings for times.

For additional ticket information for the St. Louis Supercross contact (630) 566-6100 or visit www.tickets.com.

-ama-

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Series AMA
Drivers Travis Pastrana , Kevin Windham , Chad Reed , James Stewart , Ed Jones , Mike LaRocco , Davi Millsaps