Travis Preston rides under the radar to win the AMA ES Sports 125 West Region Supercross Championship PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Travis Preston was not bothered that the spotlight was not on him, but on James Stewart for most of the season. Riding as...
Travis Preston rides under the radar to win the AMA ES Sports 125 West Region Supercross Championship
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Travis Preston was not bothered that the spotlight was not on him, but on James Stewart for most of the season. Riding as he called it, "under the radar", his stealth-like approach to the season paid off in his first AMA title-- the AMA 125 West Region Supercross Championship. Preston, the 24-year-old Factory Connection Honda rider from Hesperia, Calif., earned five podium finishes, including two victories, en route to winning the title in the eight-race series. "Everybody's been paying attention to Stewart and I sort of like that," said Preston, after winning in Dallas last week and taking the series lead. "I've been kind of doing my own thing and came out of nowhere and am really thrilled with the way things are going."
Preston was even more thrilled to win the 125 West Championship in Salt Lake City, something few pundits predicted would happen before the season began.
"My year was so unbelievable," Preston said after winning the championship by taking second in Salt Lake City Saturday night. "I had a lot of good people backing me, so it made me want to go out there and do the best I can. It hasn't really sunk in yet. I'm hope that winning this championship will be just the beginning. I'd like to be able to win a few more."
Preston won the championship in his seventh season as a pro. While he claims he rode under the radar to steal away the title, the fact is that Preston was a top contender the entire season, starting by winning the opening round of the series in Anaheim back in January. Preston lost the series lead to Stewart at round two and dropped to as low as fourth in the standings before coming back strong. He recorded his second win at Texas Stadium on April 20, where he took back the series lead from Stewart, who crashed out of the Texas race. Preston needed only to finish fifth or better to wrap up the title in Salt Lake City, but came home in second.
Preston's win marked the first AMA 125 Supercross title for Honda since 1993.
Preston, one of the tallest riders on the tour at 6' 3", is known for his quick wit that often comes through in his interviews. He was once asked what his ultimate goal in racing was and he quipped, "I'd just like to get to the point that people quit confusing me for Travis Pastrana." Preston will now turn his attention to this weekend's Dave Coombs Sr. 125 East/West Shootout in Las Vegas. Preston and fellow West Region riders like Stewart and Ivan Tedesco will go up against East Region counterparts such as 125 East champ Chad Reed, Mike Brown and Branden Jesseman.