Steel City: Event preview

Carmichael could pull off greatest feat in AMA Motocross history at Steel City, Stewart can break 125 single-season win mark. PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The 2002 season has been building in anticipation of this Sunday's, Sept. 1, AMA Chevy Trucks U.S.

Carmichael could pull off greatest feat in AMA Motocross history at Steel City, Stewart can break 125 single-season win mark.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The 2002 season has been building in anticipation of this Sunday's, Sept. 1, AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship finale at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. -- not just for Ricky Carmichael, but also for the entire motocross community. Carmichael has the opportunity at Steel City to complete the perfect season -- to go undefeated through a full summer on the grueling U.S. Motocross circuit. Since Carmichael started his unprecedented winning streak in San Bernardino, Calif., back in early May, the anticipation has been building with each victory. If Carmichael wins both 250 motos and finishes off the 2002 series with a perfect 24 moto and 12 overall wins, it will go down as the greatest accomplishment in the 30-year history of AMA Motocross. And the icing on the cake for RC is that he could also break the legendary Bob Hannah's record for all-time AMA 250 Motocross wins (27) with an overall victory on Sunday.

While the focus will be on Carmichael at Steel City, newly crowned 125 champ James Stewart also has an opportunity to set a record of his own. If the rookie sensation takes home a win at Delmont, it will be his 10th of the year, which would be an AMA Motocross record for the most AMA 125 Motocross wins in a season. A weekend packed with a unique convergence of monumental possibilities awaits the fans that come to watch the Labor Day Weekend Classic.

Years from now racing historians will likely look back at the 2002 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross season as the one in which Carmichael laid claim to the title of America's greatest motocross racer of all-time. It is not only that the 22-year-old factory Honda from Havana, Fla., has won all of the races this year, it's the way in which he's won them. His performances have been the most dominant in the history of the series. Carmichael has led 323 laps this season -- his nearest competitor, Tim Ferry, has led five. He's winning the races often by 20-30-second margins of victory.

The sheer idea of an undefeated season in motocross was considered ridiculous until about halfway through this season. Even then Carmichael wasn't convinced. He was quoted as saying that an undefeated motocross season was next to impossible and would probably never happen. Even through the later rounds of the series he tried to downplay the possibility of an unblemished season, instead focusing first on winning his third-straight U.S. 250 Motocross title. But after clinching the championship on Aug. 18 in Millville, Minn., it was obvious that Carmichael was then thinking about and shooting for the unbeaten season.

Perhaps the only rider capable of challenging Carmichael's dominance is James Stewart. The 16-year-old rookie is slated to stay in the 125 class next year, so fans will probably have to wait for 2004 before the two Floridian champions meet on the track. For now, Stewart is already starting to etch his name in the AMA record books. Last week in Binghamton, he became the youngest national champion ever in AMA Motocross and this weekend at Steel City will be shooting for the record for the most 125 wins in a season.

This will mark the 14th year that Steel City Raceway has hosted AMA Motocross. The circuit, located just east of Pittsburgh, features supercross-like jumps mixed with high speed sweeping turns, uphill fliers, tabletops and tough rhythm sections. It's a demanding track that puts as high a price on a rider's jumping skills as it does on his speed skills. Steel City is built into a natural bowl and fans can see almost the entire track from their grandstand seats. For additional information on this weekend's event call 304-284-0084 or visit <pre>

Schedule of Events Steel City Raceway, Delmont, Pennsylvania September 1, 2002

DIRECTIONS TO TRACK  12 miles East of Pennsylvania turnpike on Route 22 near Delmont.  Route 66 N three miles, right on Slickville Rd ½ mile to track

SATURDAY AUGUST 31, 2002 2:30 PM                                125 Non-Seeded riders practice 2:50 PM                                250 Non-Seeded riders practice 3:10 PM                                125/250 Seeded riders practice 3:30 PM                                125 Non-Seeded riders practice 3:50 PM                                250 Non-Seeded riders practice 4:10 PM                                125/250 Seeded riders practice 4:45 PM                                Pre-Qualifiers

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2002 9:00 AM - 9:20 AM                      125 National riders practice 9:20 AM - 9:40 AM                      250 National riders practice 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM                     125 National riders practice 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM                    250 National riders practice 10:30 AM to completion                 Qualifiers 1:00 PM                                Moto 1- 125 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps 2:00 PM                                Moto 1- 250 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps 3:30 PM                                Moto 2- 125 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps 4:20 PM                                Moto 2- 250 National- 30 mins, plus 2 laps


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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , James Stewart