Friday, May 30

The man, the myth, the media

GNCC this weekend in Kentucky, AMA/Toyota Motocross this weekend at Hangtown. I'm in Vegas for a layover so you can guess which one I was assigned to.

The second round of a series can work two ways. You either have a wild first round which essentially proves nothing--i.e supercross this year, when Stewart crashed in the first turn and Reedy won, hence not proving who the faster man was. Or you could have the Glen Helen scenario, where Stewart checks out from everyone. At that point, all the questions are answered. Do you honestly expect #800 to find 30 seconds of speed by the end of the moto? Or anyone else to find 45?

Time to enjoy this James Stewart ride, just like he seems to be enjoying it. I can tell you he's loving life right now. Back in 2003 and 2004, I covered the 125 class at the Nationals for Cycle News. James was unbeatable back in those days, and he had so much fun with it that he'd often make up stories just to give us cool stuff to write about. At one race he ran into another rider on accident, and when he was asked about it at the post-race press conference, he blamed his bike:
"That's my bike, it's like that car in the movie Christina. It just goes where it wants and hunts people down."

James ran the Christina theme for the rest of the press conference. The next week, he was on to something new. But he never failed to hand over a money quote and make the crowd laugh.

Last weekend at the press conference, I asked him if he felt 100 percent. He just stared back, as if to say "wasn't that obvious?" Everyone laughed. When he's on, he does it all, and I think we might get all of it this year.

Thursday, May 29

Sound Off

In order for me to put up a post without doing much work, I now present this link to a story about building a new motocross track in Washington State. It's not easy to do nowadays.

Tuesday, May 27

Glen Helen

This guy looks happy to be here.
Apologies for not posting here over the weekend, but I sold out on the blog to work with the Racer X Motocross Show and the Racer X Webcast for the first time this year. So instead of in-depth analysis, you got my super-outdated post from Friday about rain and MotoBowl. Worse yet, one of the members of my bowling team actually read that post, and took offense to what I wrote. I was supposed to be making fun of myself and my very light level of stardom, but once again I’ve made someone mad.

So let’s keep that theme going with my rundown on Glen Helen. Maybe I will offend again. And thanks for Carl Stone for the photos.

Working with David Bailey was incredible. I’ve said it before, but the 1994 Nationals on ESPN featured Dave Despain and Bailey in the booth, and that was the best moto broadcast team ever. Alas, that summer was the only time they ever worked together. A good 14 years later I got my shot to be Despain, which is kind of like Suzuki telling Mike Alessi “This is Carmichael’s bike so go out and beat Stewart now, okay?” Anyway, I tried and DB was awesome as always. Motocross presents a lot of intangibles. You can break down football with X’s and O’s, but motocross requires an explanation of invisible elements like what’s going on inside a rider’s head during a moto. Bailey usually nails it, and he did again this time.

James Stewart looked better than I’ve ever seen him look outdoors. Without Carmichael there it’s hard to judge if he really is better than last year, but it sure looked that way. Plus, James now knows he can win races and fans over like he did before tangling with the GOAT. For years people have been hoping to see the old 125 class James come back. That James loved the spotlight and seemed to have fun every second of the day. But when you’re used to nothing but positives in your life, like winning every race and getting every cheer, getting beat by RC and booed by fans takes a toll. Those days are over, and I hope James gets his love of the game back, because the whole sport needs it.

Poor Mike Alessi tried hard to stop him. I wouldn’t have expected Mike to have gapped Ferry and the Honda boys by 20 seconds or so, but the boy has been putting in the work. Is he even close to Stewart? Nope, but he presents a difficult combo to beat in case Stewart does have trouble again. You know that Mike will get the holeshot and be consistent all year—which means he will gather a lot of points. The rest of the factory guys had mixed days. Davi Millsaps showed some heart riding through a few problems to a 3-3. I know Ferry was bummed with his 4-4. Townley actually rode better than I thought he would. He looked really deliberate in practice on Saturday and Sunday, and I thought maybe he was still struggling to mentally overcome his recent injuries. But when the races started, he rode well enough to have gotten on the podium if not for some bad luck. Michael Byrne was better than I thought he would be after coming back from such major knee surgery (his injury was even worse than Stewart’s).

Behind the factory guys comes the “hoping to be this year’s Gavin Gracyk” pack. One of them was Sean Hamblin, who was actually “this year’s Gavin Gracyk” before Gavin Gracyk. Hamblin rode brilliantly to 7th overall. And Sean was just as strong late in the moto as he was in the beginning. He’s working hard and with a few more rides like this, he may actually have some confidence. He hasn’t had that for a long time. When he gets it you’ll know, because then he’ll actually get some starts. Sean is one of those guys who doesn’t get starts when he doesn’t expect to do well. Kind of like David Vuillemin completely losing his starting ability at about the same time he lost some speed. And the exact opposite of Alessi, who would rather get the start and get run over in the whoops than start 10th and finish 10th.

Check out all of the sponsor logos on Hamblin's jersey.

Steve Boniface and Juss Laansoo are both only set to ride the first few rounds of the season, and then the travel budget will wear out and their season will end. The hope is to perform well enough at Glen Helen and Hangtown to get a ride from a team after that. Boniface rode well with an 11-12, but the Juss wasn’t as fortunate with a 17-29. Juss should be better at Hangtown, but I don’t know if he’ll be better enough.

Jeff Alessi was solid, too. That kid crashes hard so darned often, I’m amazed that he always gets back out there. Then again, I don’t think the Alessi clan knows any other way but to race. Jeff would probably keep racing even if, as they said in Rocky IV, “His body says stop but his spirit cries never.” Although the spirit crying never could be his dad or his brother. Love or hate the Alessis, but never doubt their desire (and I’m still convinced Mike will be a fan favorite by the end of the year).

Anyway, Jeff was fifth for a long time in moto two until he finally wore down. He told me he didn’t get winded, but his lats (side muscles under your shoulders) always get tired at Glen Helen. Those aching lats cost him a few positions late in the moto.

Another dark horse? California’s Jared Browne, who would have gone something like 16-13 if his bike hadn’t quit on the last lap of he first moto. Instead he went 26-13.

And the dark horse who wasn’t a dark horse was Kiwi Cody Cooper, who everyone seemed to know would be fast. Cooper apparently has been going faster than Townley and Ivan Tedesco while training back in Florida. Brake troubles cost him in moto one, but he came back for sixth in moto two. That’s bad news for the rest of the guys hoping to become “This Year’s Gavin Gracyk,” because if Coops keeps it up, Roger D and the Suzuki guys will start hooking him up.

Cody "Air Time Super Sky Trooper" Cooper

Chad Reed showed up just to watch the races. Chad held court a bit on Sunday afternoon, and he told me (and the rest of the pack of onlookers who hung on his every word) that last summer he was looking to party and have fun (sorry, Jeff Ward) but this year he’s kind of done with that, and now he’s bored already. So he jumped on a plane at 6 a.m. on Sunday just to watch. Why not just race? He probably would have if the whole L&M racing troubles didn’t take place. Anway, Chad is in awesome form right now and he’s not afraid to talk trash. Again, if done right, he could be a legend, but I don’t think people will take his comments well so I’m not repeating anything.

Austin Austin Austin! Be it the bike or the rider, for some reason Austin Stroupe seemed like a he would get his first outdoor win before Trey Canard. Stroupe delivered. Canard was good, too, but just a shade off even in the second moto when he had a better start. But the ceiling is high on both of these kids. Give either an extra shot of confidence and they may really start putting it together. I still think RV is the man in this class, but it will be a dangerous game for him until he goes on a win streak and breaks the spirit of everyone else. Right now he just doesn't have the invincibility cloak. I think everyone in the industry owes Brett Mettcalfe an apology. Was anyone talking about this guy before the nationals began? Well, he’s right where he honestly should be, which is at the front of the pack. If Brett can just avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time, like unfortunately usually happens to him, he will have a great season and could get a win.

Lemoine led a strong charge for the newly named Division 7/Star Racing team

Team Division 7/Star Racing Yamaha needs some props after snagging four top-ten moto scores from Matt Lemoine, Broc Tickle and Jake Moss. Wil Hahn looked good, too, and the bikes looked fast. Team Owner Bobby Reagan liked my jokes at the supercross banquet, as well, so I would have given the team credit even if they sucked.

Everyone wants to talk horsepower in the Lites class, although David Bailey wisely pointed out that getting in and out of the corner before Mount St. Helen is just as critical as actually having a fast bike. Still, when you see Jason Lawrence get a holeshot and win a moto while the next best on his team is Tyler Bowers with an 18-18, you have to wonder if Jason is overachieving.

J-Law wearing a damn chest protector?! Is he really taking this seriously?

As far as those supercross banquet jokes go, I didn’t even write about it here on the blog because I left that show too confused to really interpret anything. All I know is that people weren’t laughing. Now that I’ve seen everyone again, I have gotten a rash of, “Man, I thought it was hilarious but everyone around me wasn’t laughing for some reason.” So really, I still don’t know what to think.

Friday, May 23


Beautiful weather out here in SoCal. It's 57 degrees outside according to the super-accurate thermometer in the Steve Cox house. We're done working do now we're headed to the track, anyway. It's too nice to miss. It should be a little better tomorrow and Sunday but not much, but I hope it is, because with those hills, it would be really ugly in the mud. Probably about as bad as my bowling last night. Seriously I was amped up to "give something back" to some fans who would never forget the day they met the world famous internet announcer. I knew they would go home and tell all of their friends "he's such a cool guy and he's awesome at bowling."

Instead, I had two people on the team who own an insurance company, and they're trying to break into the sport. They hope to sell some big policies to some riders. They didn't even know the name of the track where we're holding the race at on Sunday (Glen Helen) and they weren't even planning on going to the race. They've never heard of Racer X and they have definitely never heard of me. I mean, can you believe someone has never heard of me? No wonder they're not into the sport.

Thursday, May 22


Welcome to sunny California. It's 68 degrees and raining here at Anaheim. DC and I are ready to hit MotoBowl to get our swerve on. Check out for info, should be really fun and if you're anywhere near Anaheim tonight, come on down and I'll teach you a thing or two.

Wednesday, May 21

More Than a Mouthfull

So when Ryan Villopoto was coming through the ranks a few years ago we were all dissapointed because he wouldn't talk any trash. People wanted him to play the hero to the Alessis, but he never really went off on them. The old Millsaps/Alessi wars were a pretty big deal, but Team Villo played it closer to the vest. There was one break in the action at Budd's Creek in 2006, when Ryan took Alessi out in the second moto and then said "After all he and his dad put us through..." It was good. But basically, if you wanted a good quote, RV was the last guy you went looking for. Trust me, I went through enough press conferences with this kid.

Of course, you do have to remember that he is a kid. No sport thrusts 17-year-olds to the microphone like this one, and I knew that somewhere inside Ryan wasn't as nice, humble, shy and quiet as he seemed. You would see it when he was having casual conversation or hanging in the pits. He had a lot more personality than he let on...just like Ricky Carmichael at the same age.

Yeah, there was a time when RC was one of the worst interviews in the sport, too, and it had a bad impact on his rep with the fans. Eventually he figured it out (lots of practice) and became God-like in the eyes of the fans.

Well, Villopoto is starting to come out of his shell. Check out his interview with Ping here. Wasn't Carmichael known for being pretty cocky, too?

Tuesday, May 20

The Next Generation of Goon Riding

Times have changed. Goon riding in the 1990s consisted of one-handers and cross-ups and revving the your engine to the moon. Today we received some top-secret footage from Simon Cudby that takes it to the next level. In the footage, Sean Hamblin is seen goon riding at Grant Langston's house. His Gooning consists of over-done scrubs over each jump. The Bubba Scrub, which first came to international prominence at Budds Creek in 2003, has now become fodder for Goons. You'll see the footage once Wes Williams posts AMA Motocross Class preview on the Racer X Motocross Show on

That's how I plug stuff.

Monday, May 19

The Point

I have to give credit to my boss today. The AMA/Toyota Motocross Championship kicks off this weekend, which means we're ramping up the Racer X Motocross Show on again. The band is back together, and we plan on running bigger hair, destroying more hotel rooms, shutting down more bars and pulling in more ladies than ever! That's the rockstar life!

So ace video mastermind Wes Williams made the trip up to Morgantown from his Atlanta home base. Wes is the reason the Motocross Show looks so good. He's the same kid who puts together MX SportsCenter every year on and he's an amazing talent. Anyway, he's here so we can shoot pre-season preview shows which you will see this week. DC told us to meet him at High Point this morning at 9 a.m. to shoot the stuff.

We got there at 8:45 and lo and behold DC and Tim Cotter were already out there, working through the infield and spreading hay to get some grass to grow in a new spot. By the amount of hay on the ground, I could tell they had been at it for a while. A few minutes after we arrived, a bunch of track workers came down the hill and DC gave them marching orders, deciding who would cut grass, who would pound stakes, who would paint, who would run the weed wacker. Then DC shot the show with us for a bit and went right back down to the infield to continue his work. I also noticed Cotter himself out there running the mower (which he attached to one of our Can-Am quads from the GNCCs) covering a whole field himself.

Timmy Coombs is down at the moment and we have an ATV National this weekend at High Point on the old Memorial Weekend date. It says a lot that DC and Cotter themselves not only are taking the mantle and making sure this race goes smoothly, but that they're also out there at the track doing it.

In fact, DC was at the track all weekend putting in the work, except he did take a break to come by my house last night. We held a big graduation party for Alisa (grad school done) and it was an awesome time, the office gang and the WVU Art Department meshed and merged with unpredictable results. Then DC showed up toting Shannon and the kids. I know he's the busiest man on earth at the moment, so I give him a lot of credit for taking time out for us.

As I've said before, it's good to work on the winning team.

Friday, May 16

Why why why

Okay, we can all bench race and theorize, and usually we can come up with a logical reason for anything that happens in this sport. You may not even agree with the reason someone gives, but at least they give you something. Why did Chad Reed win this year's Monster Energy Supercross Title? Maybe he's talented. Or tough. Or works hard. Or he's lucky. Whatever. At least there are reasons.

But of all the mind-blowing stumpers out there, can anyone match the never-ending tale of Broc Hepler getting hurt? Why why why does this keep happening? Just last week everyone seemed pumped on the Hep getting a chance to rebuild his career with a bump to the 450 class. Now he's right back where he started.

If you're counting at home, Hepler blew his 2005 supercross season out when he broke his arm two weeks after winning his first race, his 2006 supercross and motocross season out when he broke his foot testing, blew his 2007 season with a major concussion suffered when testing, and blew his 2008 supercross season with a broken thumb. Now he has a broken arm. The last dude I remember getting hurt like this was Branden Jesseman back in his prime, but even Brando has some strange illnesses mixed in there. Broc is all crash-induced, but when you watch him ride he just doesn't look like a guy who is on the verge of crashing. I just don't get it, and I'm bummed for the guy. He works hard as has the tools. He should have guaranteed success just from that alone. Instead, he keeps getting hurt for some unknown reason.

Help Joe Bonello

Joe Bonello is one of the typical motocross photographers. And that means he is anything but typical. The guy is hilarious and unique and loves the sport as much as he loves wearing shorts (and the guy always, always wears shorts).

Anyway, Joe has some recent neck surgery go bad on him, and now he's in need of help. Click over to my buddy Stefan LeGrande's blog so you can read more on Joe, and click on the PayPal link LeBig has created to help the guy out. The donations are working, so join in and help a good guy out!

- weege

Wednesday, May 14

SoCal Testing is a Waste of Time

A friend of mine, who used to be a factory mechanic, who is from Canada, keeps telling me to write a blog about what a waste of time it is for teams to test in Southern California when exactly 1/12th of the nationals actually take place out there. This, of course, is obvious to him since he was a factory parts changer and actually knew what parts would get changed once the team hit a race back east.

I, however, am a journalist, and we know in this sport that such a title doesn't mean much. I have no clue what the teams test and improve on, and no one will ever tell me for fear it will get printed and let their competition get an advantage. Yeah, because Cliff White over at Honda is reading Blogandt for the latest set ups.

The last time I remember reading a real story with actual bike setup info was back in 1999, when Cycle News had some story on John Dowd's YZ250. They pointed out two huge Jeremy McGrath set-up secrets.

A) McGrath was a fanatic about his clutch, and once Dowd started using McGrath's clutch prep secrets, he started getting better starts.

B) McGrath liked his bike jetted rich, so he could hammer the throttle between jumps and out of corners, and the bike would have a small bit of hesitation and then clean out instead of launching him off of the track or lighting up the rear tire.

After that, the trail went cold. Surely whoever authorized that test in Cycle News ended up testing speaker wires with his tongue in the back of Yamaha's audio department. And wouldn't you know it that just two years later, Ricky Carmichael beat McGrath for the SX title, probably with a quick-adjust clutch perch and fat jetting!

It's been nine years since I've heard any other info, but surely teams are out at Glen Helen right now trying all kinds of "stuff" and "things" all of which, according to my ex-mechanic friend, won't even work once the series leaves California (after two races).

In that case, it will make it hard for a rider to perform poorly at Glen Helen next weekend and say "well, it's just the first race and this is a long series." After all, that's the only track where his bike will actually work well!

This is all according to my ex mechanic friend. Now, I'm going to ask him to comment to this post with some actual examples of actual parts actually working in SoCal and not working at the rest of the tracks.

Go ahead, Mr. Vegas.

Monday, May 12

Mudder's Day

I haven't gone to a GNCC in two months. I used to fly to them the morning after supercross races, but now I'm 30 and you know, I need more sleep. Maybe I've gone all big time and sold out, or maybe I'm smart enough to know showing up for a few hours on Sunday afternoon isn't really helping anyone.

But I was back at it this weekend in Ohio, and after great weather on Saturday for the ATV race, it rained and rained and rained on Sunday. It was really bad. It wasn't quite the worst I've ever seen, but it was close, and the whole day was almost comical. I've never seen the riders laughing so much before a race. The GNCCers are all well-versed in the "you have to pretend you enjoy it to do well" mantra, and they were all flexing their acting skills. It kind of reminded me of why these races are still cool, because everyone was so relaxed. The GNCC guys don't live in the vacuum like the motocross guys do, so they don't have to worry about every word getting disected and destroyed by fans on the internet and at the events.

Anyway, two controversies hit the pits, and both seemed to confuse everyone a little more, because they're not used to this stuff. First, David Knight writes a column in Cycle News, and in his latest one, he said he was tired of everyone telling him how fast Charlie Mullins is going to be this year, and how Charlie is going to be his main challenger. Knight said he thinks Mullins is actually slower this year, and he thinks the other Suzuki riders will actually be just as good as Mullins in technical races (by the way, in the mudder on Sunday, Mullins smoked a clutch and failed to finish, while the rest of the Suzuki boys went 1-2-3). The last GNCC Racer to host a column in a major U.S. pub was Shane Watts back in his Racer X days, and Watts was pretty good at tearing the guys up. But that was a long time ago, now, so Knight's comments swept through the pits pretty hard.

Second, the race in the mud came down to a controversial finish. Suzuki's Josh Strang led a lot of the race and had a big lead on the last lap. The Australian is only 20-years-old, and he's really figuring this game out after finishing second at the last two races. Now he was a headed for a win, until all of a sudden his teammate Paul Whibley came through the finish ahead of him! Strang wasn't sure where Whibs passed him, and Whibs wasn't sure where he passed Strang. Strang was pissed, but he couldn't really say anything or do anything about it, since Whibley is his teammate.

So both stories will go quietly into history. Knight will write another column, and Strang and Whibley will race another race. And that's all that will happen, because luckily these boys still get to have fun with the races. If something like this happened in Supercross, we'd still be talking about it next year.

Thursday, May 8

The One Moto

I don't even know where it came from, because it's been a long time since I've heard it discussed in our office, but last night on DMXS rumors surfaced again of a one-moto format for the Nationals in 2009. Currently, as far as I know, this isn't a deal that's going to happen. But hey, it seems to come up every few years so I will weigh in.

One 30 minute moto would suck. I think anyone and everyone in the sport will agree with that. It's not just a weaker test of the best, but it's a whole lot less of a show for the fans. Nationals are cool because they take all day, just like the other big Sunday sports. We need more racing than that. You can't compare it to Supercross, because a night thing is supposed to take less time than a day thing. The nationals are all about hanging out all weekend, relaxing with your buddies, bench racing, camping, road tripping and living it. Supercross is get in, get pumped, get out. You know the difference. You spend Saturday night as a quick one-night stand. You spend the weekend with your girlfriend. It's obvious which one is supposed to last longer.

So if 30 minutes sucks, how long do you make the moto? I say we have to find the breaking point between sheer fitness and the point where strategy comes into play. A super-trained super-fast rider might be able to do 45 minutes all out, or he might build up such a big lead that no one could catch him even if he backed it down a little at the end. But what about an hour? Would that be long enough to where riders would have to pace themselves? Once you get to that point, I think the racing gets better.

The model I follow comes from the GNCCs. Scratch what's happening there right now, because Juha Salminen and David Knight are Ricky Carmichael-like riders, and they would win no matter how long or short the race is. Take them out of the equation. For everyone else, the three-hour format leads to great racing. You simply can't charge for three hours, and before those Euro guys came along, riders used to purposely hang back early and choose not to lead. Can you imagine that happening at a motocross race anymore? In GNCC, the last lap was the most important. In motocross, it's the first lap. Which style do you think is more exciting to watch?

So if you could ramp the moto up to the point where the riders have to use strategy, have to maybe let someone go and then charge later, you would have a bigger mix up of race strategy than "the fast guy keeps pulling away all day long."

Then you can throw in pit stops. I hate to say it, almost never does pit strategy effect/affect the results of the GNCCs. But there's always the chance, at least, that it will. And that chance leads a little extra to guess about during a boring moto.

And as a final advantage, those big team haulers would actually be seen on TV as part of the race, which means more chances to get sponsor logos across.

Would a rider have to cruise early, work methodically from fifth, use pit strategy and then pour it on in the last five minutes to win? If so, I'm all for it.

Wednesday, May 7

Believe the Hep

This just in: Broc Hepler is going to a 450 for the summer. I think it's a brilliant move since Yamaha's two big 450 hitters, Reed and Langston, aren't going to be representing for a championship this year. (Reed as we know is SX only "not that there's anything wrong with that," and Langston wadded himself yet again last week at Glen Helen and should be out for a month or two).

Yamaha had a interesting stat going their way: With Langston's 07 MX crown on a YZ450F, and Reed's '08 SX crown on a YZ450F, the bike won back-to-back titles with two different riders. The last time a big bike won with two different riders would have been Jeff Stanton's 1992 250 MX crown followed by Jeremy McGrath's 1993 250SX title, both on CR250s. So Yamaha has a good thing going, but now with only Josh Hill left to represent, they may not continue the streak. With Hep on board, at least they have doubled their chances.

Honestly, I wouldn't pick Hepler or Hill for the title, but I do think they'll both be up front and could get a win before it's all over. I think Hepler will be a MUCH better 450 rider than 250F guy, just like Hill. Hepler is a finesse guy, he doesn't squirt it and work it and whip it around radio control car style like Ryan Villopoto does. Plus, he's strong, and way back in his amateur days he always looked better on his RM250 than his RM125. In addition, his bad starts won't be such a liability in a class that usually only packs 10-12 factory riders. In the Lites class, you've got 30 riders with good support, which means a bad start results in a 20th place on lap one, instead of a 10th on a 450.

This could be the move that revives Hepler's can't miss status. When he crashed away the '05 Lites MX title that should have been his, and then missed the first half of '06 with an injury, he surrendered next big thing status to Villopoto. Now he has a chance to find his old level again. One thing is for sure. Hepler will not be intimidated by anyone on the starting line. Heck, his problem is usually having too much confidence, instead of the opposite.

Of course, all of this conjecture pivots on "If James Stewart comes back healthy." That's the asterisk next to everyone this summer. In fact, I say we coin this phrase IJSCBH. It's the measuring stick for everyone this year.

Get Well Soon

Just some words of support for my friend Timmy Coombs, who is one of the wildest and funniest people I have ever met. Timmy, the 1988 Blackwater 100 Champion, crashed at Steel City on Sunday and ended up getting jacked up pretty bad. From what I heard, he jumped into some breaking bumps and ended up going down. He broke his neck, but luckily he still has all feeling. Today the word came down that he has an exploded vertebra, so that will require some fusion surgery. Should be tough, but Timmy's one of the toughest dudes on earth. I'm sure he will find some way to make us laugh about this once he is out of the hospital.

Unfortunately this probably puts an end to Timmy's riding days. This year he and his wife Jessica were planning on racing Loretta's together, and they both made it through their area qualifiers so far.

So get well soon Mr. Bar to Bar!

Tuesday, May 6

Where Assignments Go to Die 2

First, the racing in Vegas:
Chad Reed did it the right way, winning the race to make sure this season goes down on record as his season. Had he simply finished fourth or so, fans could forever think back to a few positions Windham could have gained throughout the year. And fans would have, because everyone wanted to see K-Dub actually pull it off.

But let's be honest. How many times did Windham actually beat Reed straight up this year? And how unlucky was Reedy anyway? Just look at Daytona and it's pretty clear that Reed left as many extra points out there as Windham did. He really was the man and really deserved the crown, and after winning the race in Vegas, no one will argue that.

Of course James Stewart didn't race this year, but that's another story for another day....

As for the Lites, well, this was Ryan Villopoto's last SX race in the Lites class and he got beat straight up. That just isn't supposed to happen. And I know, James Stewart almost got beat in the shootout in '04 by Roncada, but at least back then we could blame his KX125 versus Ron-Ron's 250F.

Lapped riders eventually jacked Villopoto enough for Dungey to pass him, but before that, Dungey had chopped off a lot of RV's lead all by himself. It was impressive, and now you have to pencil Dungey in as a real contender for the National MX title (two weeks ago, it seemed more realistic for RV to just hammer everyone to get revenge for supercross). But be careful in predicting things based on Vegas. It's always a strange race and sometimes it just breeds one-off performances. Still though, I was shocked to see this happen. It's been a long time since Villo simply couldn't go fast enough to win.

Now watch him go kill everyone at Glen Helen.

Saturday, May 3

Where Assignments Go to Die

Once again Vegas=no work getting done. I hope you've enjoyed these frequent blog posts. I'm already tired and worn out just halfway through this weekend, and we haven't even started our show yet. I yearn for a Monster, or, some of the oxygen they pump into the casinos.

As for the racing, I think Chad Reed wants to win this one going away, as in, win the race to win the title. I also think Ryan Villopoto is all pissed off and wants to dominate the Lites race. Normally the PC guys aren't even focused on this race, as they've already moved on to the Nationals. This time, it's serious business for Mr. Villopoto.

It's not so serious for anyone else. This is Las Vegas and it just doesn't really allow you to do much in the way of work. But I'm gonna try, we're going on the air in a few minutes.

Oh, and the rumor that James Stewart has signed with L&M Racing has taken about as much attention as the actual supercross race itself. Stewart to Yamaha? Then Reed to...where? Is he gonna' Brad Lackey out and win a title and still not have the ride he wants?

Finally, even though everyone seems to think and know that Chad Reed will obviously win this title, I would just like to imagine for one second how crazy everyone would go if Kevin Windham were to somehow pull this off. Obviously, his long career of bridesmade finishes have made him everyone's sympathetic hero. It would be a big deal, and we can even run that "anything can happen in Vegas" thing to make it sound a little more real.

But come on let's get serious.