Stewart Brings Momentum, Villopoto Leads Championship as Monster Energy Supercross Visits Arlington
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Premieres

Following an opening six races out west that produced four different winners, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, makes its way east for the first time in the 2014 season. After breaking through for his first win of the season last weekend, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart will highlight the 450SX Class storylines heading into Arlington, Texas, as Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto continues to lead in the way in the championship. AT&T Stadium will also serve as the site of the opening race in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship.

450SX San Diego Main Event Start - Photo Credit: Hoppenworld
450SX San Diego Main Event Start – Photo Credit: Hoppenworld

Last weekend at the sixth race of the 2014 season from San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium on Military Appreciation Night, Stewart and Villopoto set a torrid pace throughout the 450SX Class Main Event. Despite Villopoto’s best efforts, Stewart kept the defending champion at bay to claim his 46th-career victory and first in 15 races dating back to Atlanta last season.

“It is always special to win, but especially this season,” said Stewart. “Tonight was our military-themed race and everyone here was one big family. This was an amazing race and I look forward to heading to AT&T Stadium (in Arlington, Texas) next weekend.”

450SX Main Event Winner, James Stewart -  Photo Credit: Hoppenworld
450SX Main Event Winner, James Stewart – Photo Credit: Hoppenworld

After starting the season with a 17th-place effort due to a crash late in the Main Event of the first race, Stewart has been one of the most consistent riders in the championship. He’s captured three podiums in the last five races, tied for the most in the division, and is second only to Villopoto in average finish boasting a 3.2 versus Villopoto’s 2.4. He’s climbed to fourth in the point standings, 21 points behind Villopoto for the lead.

As for Villopoto, his unmatched consistency has helped him extend his lead in the championship to its largest margin of the season, currently sitting at nine points ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, who rounded out the podium in San Diego.

Tied in 450SX Class victories, Chad Reed - Photo Credit: Hoppenworld
Tied in 450SX Class victories, Chad Reed – Photo Credit: Hoppenworld

One rider’s who status is uncertain for the seventh stop on the schedule is Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed, who shares the 450SX Class lead in victories with Villopoto at two. On the final lap of the Main Event in San Diego, Reed’s front tire made contact with the rear tire of Roczen as the two battled for third. The contact sent Reed hard into the ground, resulting in a DNF and the attention of the Asterisk Medical Crew who helped Reed off the track. Reed provided an update on his condition late Sunday night via Twitter, suggesting he intends to at least attempt to race on Saturday night.

Reed reported via Twitter: “So not the news I wanted 3 broken bones 1) scapula 2) collarbone 3) T1 Explains the pain I guess. Sometimes things don’t make sense it’s that love hate relationship you have with racing but every Saturday night they drop the gate. In six days I plan to be there! Thanks for all the prayers hope to make y’all proud TwoTwo supporters.”

Reed’s uncertain future will have a major impact on the championship battle, whether he’s competes or not. He had been the hottest rider in the class in recent weeks and had the opportunity to go for his third win in four races in San Diego. After entering last weekend just two points behind Villopoto for the championship lead, Reed now sits third, 15 points out of the lead.

The intriguing complexity of the championship that continues to take shape with each passing week headline the talking points this week:

450SX Podium - Photo Credit: Hoppenworld
450SX Podium – Photo Credit: Hoppenworld

After a six-race run to start its season, the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship will take its annual midseason break before returning to action on April 5. In its absence, the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship moves into the spotlight and will kick off a seven-week stretch of competition.

With defending Eastern Regional Champion Wil Hahn now competing in the 450SX Class for GEICO Honda, the title is vacant and up for grabs with a talented field of young riders ready to fight for their first career title. Veteran riders like GEICO Honda’s Blake Wharton and Justin Bogle, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett and Martin Davalos, and SmarTop Racing MotoConcepts’ Kyle Cunningham are balanced by experienced young up-and-comers like Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, and GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia.

250SX Main Event Winner, Justin Hill - Photo Credit: Hoppenworld
250SX Main Event Winner, Justin Hill – Photo Credit: Hoppenworld

The Western Regional 250SX Class Championship ended its six-race run by welcoming its fourth different winner on Saturday as Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill won the first Main Event of his career in San Diego. Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson retook the points lead with a runner-up finish while Troy Lee Designs/MAVTV Honda’s Malcolm Stewart secured his second podium finish of the season. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely finished fourth and went from a tie for the points lead to a four-point deficit. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, who entered San Diego in search of a second straight win, crashed while leading and recorded a 20th-place finish to drop to 33 points out of the lead.

Last season in Arlington, Villopoto raced to his third victory of the season to continue his charge towards an eventual third consecutive 450SX Class title. In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class opener, Wilson dominated to secure the fifth win of his career.

The first race held in Dallas was February 28, 1975, when Jimmy Ellis won on Can-Am. Reed has the most wins of any rider, with four victories coming over the span of six seasons. Mike LaRocco, Jeremy McGrath, Doug Henry, Kevin Windham, James Stewart, and Ryan Villopoto have all won in Dallas in both the 450SX Class and 250SX Class. Since 2007, five different winners have claimed victory in the 450SX Class.

Previous race results: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, February 8, 2014

Western Regional 250SX Class Results: San Diego

1.     Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki

2.     Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM

3.     Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda

4.     Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda

5.     Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda

6.     Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda

7.     Michael Leib, Menifee, Calif., Honda

8.     Scott Champion, Orange, Calif., Yamaha

9.     Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda

10.  Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM

Western Regional 250SX Class Season Standings

1.     Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM, 131

2.     Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 127

3.     Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 107

4.     Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki, 98

5.     Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 92

6.     Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda, 89

7.     Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 76

8.     Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 71

9.     Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 69

10.  Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 63

450SX Class Results: San Diego

1.     James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki

2.     Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki

3.     Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM

4.     Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM

5.     Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki

6.     Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda

7.     Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda

8.     Brock Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki

9.     Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha

10.  Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM

450SX Class Season Standings

1.     Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 126

2.     Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 117

3.     Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 111

4.     James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 105

5.     Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 98

6.     Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 94

7.     Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 89

8.     Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 72

9.     Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki, 53

10.  Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 52

Past Winners in Arlington – 450SX Class

February 16, 2013                      Ryan Villopoto

February 18, 2012                      Ryan Villopoto

April 2, 2011                              Trey Canard

March 20, 2010                          Ryan Dungey

April 5, 2008                              Chad Reed

March 31, 2007                          James Stewart

March 22, 2006                          Chad Reed

April 2, 2005                              James Stewart

April 17, 2004                            Chad Reed

April 12, 2003                            Chad Reed

April 20, 2002                            Ricky Carmichael

April 21, 2001                            Ricky Carmichael

April 8, 2000                              Kevin Windham

February 27, 1999                      Kevin Windham

April 25, 1998                            Ezra Lusk

April 26, 1997                            Jeff Emig

March 23, 1996                          Jeremy McGrath

April 29, 1995                            Dough Henry

April 23, 1994                            Mike LaRocco

March 28, 1993                          Jeremy McGrath

May 30, 1992                            Damon Bradshaw

April 27, 1991                            Damon Bradshaw

April 7, 1990                              Jean-Michael Bayle

April 1, 1989                              Jeff Ward

April 16, 1988                            Rick Johnson

April 4, 1987                              Rick Johnson

April 26, 1986                            David Bailey

May 4, 1985                              Rick Johnson

April 14, 1984                            Johnny O’Mara

April 16, 1983                            Mike Bell

March 26, 1977                          Bob Hannah

March 19, 1976                          Jim Ellis

February 28, 1975                      Jim Ellis

March 1, 1975 (b)                      Steve Stackable

250SX Class Past Winners

February 16, 2013                      Dean Wilson

February 18, 2012                      Justin Barcia

April 2, 2011                              Dean Wilson

March 20, 2010                          Blake Baggett

April 5, 2008                              Ryan Villopoto

March 31, 2007                          Ben Townley

March 22, 2006                          Ryan Villopoto

April 2, 2005                              Grant Langston

April 17, 2004                            Ivan Tedesco

April 12, 2003                            James Stewart

April 20, 2002                            Travis Preston

April 21, 2001                            Grant Langston

April 8, 2000                              Greg Schnell

February 27, 1999                      Nathan Ramsey

April 25, 1998                            John Dowd

April 26, 1997                            Kevin Windham

March 23, 1996                          Mickael Pichon

April 29, 1995                            Damon Huffman

April 23, 1994                            Jimmy Button

March 28, 1993                          Doug Henry

May 30, 1992                            Jeremy McGrath

April 27, 1991                            Jeremy McGrath

April 7, 1990                              Denny Stephenson

April 1, 1989                              Mike LaRocco

April 16, 1988                            Ty Davis

April 4, 1987                              Kyle Lewis

April 26, 1986                            Keith Turpin

May 4, 1985                              Bobby Moore