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Stewart Chips Away at Reed’s Points Lead as Monster Energy Supercross Returns to Edward Jones Dome.
James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., put an end to Chad Reed’s two-race win streak at the Superdome in New Orleans last Saturday night and narrowed Reed’s AMA Supercross class point lead to eight as Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returns to St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome Saturday where a capacity crowd is expected.
Stewart, who rides for Team San Manuel Yamaha, notched his is eighth race of the 2009 Monster Energy® Supercross season. Earlier this year Stewart went on a seven-race tear in pursuit of erasing the 23-point championship deficit he started the season with. After tying the championship heading into the Atlanta, Stewart held the points lead for the first time when the tour made its inaugural stop at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
Before a record 61,000+ fans at Lucas Oil Stadium, Reed won the first AMA Supercross class race of the season and tied the points race heading into Daytona. It was a night to forget for Stewart as he crashed in a massive first-turn pile-up. While Reed rode to his second consecutive win, Stewart finished seventh and lost valuable points. Behind 11 points heading into New Orleans, Stewart answered back with a win and cut Reed’s points lead to eight and set the stage for this weekend’s race at the Edward Jones Dome.
Reed finished second for the eighth time this season, showing consistency in his 108th consecutive AMA Supercross class start. Yamaha’s Broc Hepler finished a career-best third place in New Orleans.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Stroupe, of Lincolnton, N.C., won his second Eastern Regional AMA Supercross class main event of the season and moved into second place in points standings. Stroupe’s teammate and current AMA Supercross Lites class points leader Christophe Pourcel finished fourth after a lackluster start.
Last year inside the Edward Jones Dome Honda’s Kevin Windham picked up his third main event win of the season and tightened the championship race in the AMA Supercross class between he and points leader Reed before a crowd of 48,698. Honda’s Trey Canard clinched his first-ever AMA Supercross Lites class championship with a win.
Windham, who entered last year’s race trailing Reed by 16 points, cut the deficit to 13 with two races remaining. Reed, who was riding with a cracked shoulder blade, turned in a valiant ride to earn second. Red Bull Honda’s Andrew Short, of Smithville, Texas, finished third.
"Tonight I just wanted to put myself into a good position," said Windham last year. "(Chad) put himself in a good position to not lose too many points tonight. It’s all about me now and I feel good about the ride I put in tonight. I’m giving it all I can and that alone feels good."
Added Reed last year, "(My shoulder’s) definitely a lot better than last weekend. I just couldn’t make it happen in the whoops. I didn’t want to lay (the bike) down so I rode for second tonight. I want this title and I’m not about to let it go. I feel like I’ve let these guys into this points battle all season long by making mistakes."
The first AMA Supercross race was held inside the Edward Jones Dome April 27, 1996, and Kawasaki’s Jeff Emig, a Missouri native, won the main event, snapping Jeremy McGrath’s 13-race win streak. In front of his hometown crowd Emig notched the first of 20 AMA Supercross class wins of his career. Reed has won in three of four starts in St. Louis, but Carmichael holds the all-time win record in the Gateway City with four. Windham, Carmichael, Reed and McGrath have all won in both classes at St. Louis.
This weekend’s AMA Supercross Lites class race will air on SPEED Sunday, March 22 at 5:00 p.m. EST and the AMA Supercross class race will also air on SPEED on Sunday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. EST.
AMA Supercross Class Results, New Orleans
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Suzuki
3. Broc Hepler, Kittanning, Pa., Yamaha
4. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
6. Mike Alessi, Apple Valley, Calif., Suzuki
7. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha
8. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
9. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
10. Matt Boni, Geneva, Fla., Honda
AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Suzuki, 246
2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 238
3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 179
4. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 165
5. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 152
6. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahasse, Fla., Honda, 148
7. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 146
8. Mike Alessi, Apple Valley, Calif., Suzuki, 146
9. Davi Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 139
10. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 102
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results, New Orleans
1. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Kawasaki
2. Brandon Jesseman, New Brighton, Pa., Kawasaki
3. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda
4. Christophe Pourcel, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki
5. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, KTM
6. Darryn Durham, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha
7. Daniel Blair, Modesto, Calif., Honda
8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha
9. Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., Suzuki
10. Steven Clarke, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki
Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
1. Christophe Pourcel, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki, 115
2. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Kawasaki, 84
3. Nico Izzi, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 82
4. Branden Jesseman, New Brighton, Pa., Kawasaki, 73
5. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, KTM, 68
6. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 66
7. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., KTM, 57
8. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Yamaha, 51
9. Steven Clarke, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki, 51
10. Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., Suzuki, 50
Past Winners in St. Louis AMA Supercross Class
April 19, 2008: Kevin Windham
March 3, 2007: Ricky Carmichael
February 18, 2006: Chad Reed
March 5, 2005: Ricky Carmichael
March 13, 2004: Chad Reed
March 22, 2003: Chad Reed
April 06, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
March 31, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
March 18, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
March 27, 1999: Jeremy McGrath
March 28, 1998: Kevin Windham
April 05, 1997: Jeremy McGrath
April 27, 1996: Jeff Emig
AMA Supercross Lites Class
April 19, 2008: Trey Canard
March 3, 2007: Ben Townley
February 18, 2006: David Millsaps
March 5, 2005: Grant Langston
March 13, 2004: James Stewart
March 22, 2003: Branden Jesseman
April 06, 2002: Chad Reed
March 31, 2001: Travis Pastrana
March 18, 2000: Travis Pastrana
March 27, 1999: Ernesto Fonseca
March 28, 1998: Ricky Carmichael
April 05, 1997: Stephane Roncada
Photo Credit: Simon Cudby