It’s hard to believe it was thirty-eight years ago that American Supercross was born (I say American because there were stadium motocross races held in Europe as far back as the 50s).
It was July 8, 1972 and the Los Angeles Coliseum-through a somewhat hair brain idea at the time-was magically transformed into a track with truckloads of dirt. The race catapulted the format (and one Marty Tripes) into the motocross mainstream.
Within a few years the one-off event blossomed into what would eventually become AMA Supercross, a world championship series that has reshaped the racing and spectator experience.
Angel Stadium didn’t find a place on the Supercross series’ calendar until 1976. On a cold December night Marty Smith, riding a factory Honda, won the first ever motocross race held inside the traditional stick and Baseball Park.
The venue has been a mainstay ever since. Anaheim has risen to significance in the Supercross series as the annual start-point of the world championship. It also holds the honor and distinction of being a multi-date event each season.
In 1999, when promoters announced they would run two events, on different weekends, many thought the move wasn’t too bright, fearing there wouldn’t be enough spectator turn-out to support it. The fans showed up in record numbers, enough so that in 2001 a third Anaheim race was put on the schedule.
In fact, the Anaheim "threefers" have run every year since 2001, with 2011 marking the first time in eleven years that it returns to the two-time format (with Dodger Stadium set to take over one of the dates and host its first ever event on the calendar).
Angel Stadium has seen some incredible racing over the years. A lot of legends have scored wins here. In 1986, one of the most epic battles ever seen in Supercross took place here between David Bailey and Ricky Johnson.
The Honda duo battled bar to bar the entire main event, trading positions several times each lap, with Bailey emerging as the race winner. If ever the stage was set for an equivalent battle, it’s this weekend.
Below is a re-cap of the Anaheim winners since that first December night in 1976.
Anaheim Supercross Class Winners
- February 13, 2010: Ryan Villopoto
- January 23, 2010: Ryan Dungey
- January 9, 2010: James Stewart
- February 7, 2009: James Stewart
- January 17, 2009: James Stewart
- January 3, 2009: Josh Grant
- January 5, 2008: Chad Reed
- January 19, 2008: Chad Reed
- February 2, 2008: Chad Reed
- January 6, 2007: James Stewart
- January 20, 2007: James Stewart
- February 3, 2007: James Stewart
- January 07, 2006: James Stewart
- January 21, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
- February 04, 2006: Ricky Carmichael
- January 8, 2005 Kevin Windham
- January 22, 2005 Ricky Carmichael
- February 5, 2005 Ricky Carmichael
- January 3, 2004 Chad Reed
- January 17, 2004 Chad Reed
- January 31, 2004 Kevin Windham
- January 04, 2003: Chad Reed
- January 18, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
- February 01, 2003: Ricky Carmichael
- January 05, 2002: David Vuillemin
- January 19, 2002: Mike LaRocco
- February 02, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
- January 06, 2001: Jeremy McGrath
- January 20, 2001: Jeremy McGrath
- February 03, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
- January 8, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
- January 15, 2000: Jeremy McGrath
- January 09, 1999: Ezra Lusk
- February 06, 1999: Ezra Lusk
- January 27, 1996: Jeremy McGrath
- January 28, 1995: Jeremy McGrath
- January 29, 1994: Jeremy McGrath
- January 23, 1993: Jeremy McGrath
- January 25, 1992: Damon Bradshaw
- January 26, 1991: Jeff Stanton
- January 27, 1990: Damon Bradshaw
- January 28, 1989: Rick Johnson
- January 31, 1987: Jeff Ward
- January 18, 1986: David Bailey
- February 02, 1985: Broc Glover
- January 28, 1984: Johnny OMara
- January 29, 1983: David Bailey
- January 30, 1982: Donnie Hansen
- January 31, 1981: Kent Howerton
- November 17, 1979: Kent Howerton
- November 11, 1978: Gaylon Mosier
- November 12, 1977: Bob Hannah
- December 04, 1976: Marty Smith