Carmichael, Reed and Stewart Head Up Inaugural Ford Field Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series Race AURORA, Ill. (March 21, 2006) -- With the imminent closing of the nation's longest-running stadium supercross...
Carmichael, Reed and Stewart Head Up Inaugural Ford Field Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series Race
AURORA, Ill. (March 21, 2006) -- With the imminent closing of the nation's longest-running stadium supercross venue -- the Pontiac Silverdome -- Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp'd AMA Supercross Series action is moving to downtown Detroit to the brand new Ford Field -- host of this past February's Super Bowl XL and the new home to supercross in Michigan. The storied Silverdome has hosted 46 races over 29 years.
Leading the charge into Ford Field will be series points leader Ricky Carmichael (Suzuki). The fast Floridian increased his points lead over second place Chad Reed (Yamaha) this past weekend with a second place finish to Reed's fifth overall.
Winning this past weekend's supercross round in Orlando was James "Bubba" Stewart (Kawasaki). Considered by many to be the heir apparent to Carmichael and Reed's AMA Supercross class championships (Carmichael's the defending champion, Reed won in '04), Stewart, who won his sixth race of the season last week, is sure to be one of the fan-favorites in Detroit.
"I was going for it the whole time. James just whipped my butt and that's the bottom line," said Carmichael on the Orlando race with Stewart. "It's hard to sit here and talk about it when I know I did all that I could do."
Stewart's blazing fast speed has put him ahead of the pack when he gets a clean start but crashes at St. Louis and Daytona have put a damper on his run for the championship.
"I walk off the track every week either with a win or loss, knowing that I put everything in it," said Stewart. "I know I busted my butt during the week and I do the same on the weekends, so I can walk off with my head held high. Anything can happen. All I can do is win races. I don't wish any bad luck on Ricky. I'm still in it for the world rounds, I think I'm only six (points) back. So, I'm just going to try and do my best."
Another racer to keep an eye on will be the No. 27 bike of Nick Wey (DeWitt, Mich.). Wey has been a front runner as of late, finishing on the podium this past weekend in Orlando and moving to within several points of Ivan Tedesco (Suzuki) in fourth place overall. And Wey's excited about returning home to race supercross in Michigan.
"Ford Field is going to be an excellent building for supercross," said Wey. "The place could fit inside the Silverdome, so the fans will be right on top of the action -- not a bad seat in the house."
Michigan will be well-represented in addition to Wey. Top AMA Supercross Lites class prospect Kelly Smith (Ludington) and Flint's Josh Woods both finished in the top ten overall this past Saturday in Orlando. Add to that Josh Lichtle (Rochester Hills), Nick Adams (Hastings), James Scott Powers (Manchester), Justin Johns (Traverse City), Jacob Marsack (Allenton), Jeff Curry (Saginaw) and Jason Vienot (Riley) and Michigan supercross fans will have a slew of homeboys to cheer for.
The most competitive season in years, the AMA Supercross points lead has changed four times and Carmichael now sits in the number 1 position over Yamaha's Chad Reed (237-229). But Stewart is approaching rapidly. With the win at Orlando -- which snapped Carmichael's three-race win streak -- the Haines City, Fla., native cut into both Carmichael and Reed's points leads.
"It has been a good day, all day," said Stewart. "I felt very comfortable on the track today and wanted to win for Polk County where I live. I am the local boy at Orlando so I wanted to win for the fans. I had a scary crash last week in Daytona but put it back together for this week. I am going to keep my head down and see what happens the rest of the season."
Reed was in charge of the points lead prior to the Daytona round (March 10th) by one point (191-190) over Carmichael. The day before Daytona Reed sustained a separated right shoulder during a routine practice session but managed to finish in second place.
Factory Connection/Honda's Josh Grant (Riverside, Calif.) won his second race of the season this past weekend at Orlando. In doing so Grant tied fellow Californian Chris Gosselaar (Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) for second in the overall AMA Supercross Lites points chase (94-94). Davi Millsaps, of Cairo, Ga., leads the Lites class by 25 points.
Last year Reed, of Dade City, Fla., won the final race at the Pontiac Silverdome, Carmichael and Kevin Windham (Honda) rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively. In the Lites class, Josh Hansen (KTM) taking the win with Millsaps and Joaquim Rodrigues (Factory Connection/Honda) in second and third, respectively.
This weekend's race will air on SPEED on Sunday, March 26, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. EST. A tape-delayed, one-hour television broadcast of the AMA Supercross Lites racing will air on SPEED on Saturday, March 28, at 1 p.m. EST.