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Washougal: Event preview

Carmichael brings record-setting season to Washougal. PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- Ricky Carmichael is in the midst of having arguably the greatest summer in the 30-year history of AMA Motocross. The 22-year-old Honda factory rider from Havana, Fla., is...

Carmichael brings record-setting season to Washougal.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio-- Ricky Carmichael is in the midst of having arguably the greatest summer in the 30-year history of AMA Motocross. The 22-year-old Honda factory rider from Havana, Fla., is on a tear, having won all eight rounds of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship so far this season and single-handedly rewriting the AMA record books in the process. This Sunday, July 29, Carmichael and the rest of the AMA Motocross regulars head to the Pacific Northwest and Washougal, Wash., for round nine of the 12-race national circuit. The setting, Washougal Motocross Park, located across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore., is considered the most picturesque on the tour and is a favorite track by many riders.

Carmichael's 2002 campaign has been one for the ages. The six-time AMA National Champion and 2001 AMA Pro Racing Athlete of the Year is simply in another league at this point. Not only has Carmichael won every moto this season, he's done so by some of the largest margins of victory the sport has ever seen. His march through the record books as been equally as amazing. Just since May, Carmichael has set a new AMA record for the most consecutive moto wins in the 250 class. He later set the outright AMA record for the most consecutive moto wins in any class. Just last week in New York, Carmichael tied the longest winning streak in AMA 250 Motocross history set by Bob Hannah. This weekend at Washougal he has the chance to have the longest 250 National winning streak all to himself. With four rounds remaining Carmichael as already built an almost insurmountable 93-point lead over fellow Floridian Tim Ferry.

"A few years ago when Jeremy McGrath set all the AMA Supercross records we thought a rider like that would only come along once a generation," said Davey Coombs, Racer X Illustrated founder and motocross play-by-play announcer for ESPN. "Now Carmichael comes along and breaks records in motocross that few thought would ever be touched. If you're a fan of the history and tradition of motocross then right now is literally history in the making."

Motorcycle Hall of Famer and ESPN expert analyst David Bailey also commented on this history-making season. "If you go to one of the races this year it would be a good idea to save your ticket stub. Someday you'll be able to open the scrapbook and say you were there when Carmichael came to town and set all the records."

While much of the attention is on Carmichael's unbeaten season, almost equally exciting is the emergence of James Stewart in the 125 class. The 16-year-old rookie comes to Washougal having won six of the eight rounds leading up to Sunday's 125 event. Many believe that in a few years Stewart has the potential of becoming the next McGrath or Carmichael. Right now the Kawasaki ace is focusing on winning his first AMA national title as a pro.

Stewart is beginning to clearly pull away from early-season rival Chad Reed-- the former world championship motocross rider from Australia-- who is ranked second in the 125 standings. In fact, last weekend at Unadilla Stewart made the bold move of slowing down after building a big lead simply so he could race for a lap of two with Reed. It was a somewhat controversial move, but one that will add to the lore of AMA Motocross racing.

Carmichael and Mike LaRocco, of the Factory Connection Honda team, are former Washougal winners in the 250 class. Larry Ward will be the only former 125 winner of Washougal to start in the 125 class Sunday. For additional information Washougal Motocross Park at (541) 673-1671 or visit www.washougalmx.com.

<pre> Schedule of Events Washougal MX Park Washougal, WA Schedule of Events

DIRECTIONS TO TRACK I-205 North from Portland, OR Hwy 14 E to Washougal, left on 15th Street/Washougal River Rd east for 6 ½ miles, left on Hughes Rd, ¾ mile to Borin Rd, right on Borin Rd.

SATURDAY JULY 27, 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, JULY 28, 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 5:30 PM Victory Circle

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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Jeremy McGrath , James Stewart , Mike LaRocco