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Thursday Rev-Up: Dallas

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Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up. Times like these remind me of one of my favorite movies, Young Guns. The scene I’m thinking of is when the boys get caught in a wild dust-up and Kiefer Sutherland’s character gets shot. As his boys help get him to his feet, he screams, with blood running from his mouth, “Billy, let's finish the game!” Well, perhaps it isn’t that dramatic, but in light of this season of inexplicable madness and action, I think the anticipation of these last three races rivals or betters that moment in cinema history.

James Stewart
And how fitting that the beginning of this final stretch in the 2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series gets kick-started in Dallas. If the extremely unpredictable weather wasn’t enough, this series has enough drama following it to make J.R. Ewing envious. Shoot, folks, a rainstorm could bust this thing wide open. I have always regarded Texans as being a few tacos short of a fiesta, for the most part. (And building a facility the size and magnitude of Texas Stadium and leaving a hole in the roof just big enough to keep the fans dry but soak the participants only supports my theory.) If it weren’t for its hordes of beautiful women, and the fact that it plays home to two rounds of my beloved supercross series, I’d more than likely steer (no pun intended) clear.

So here we are. The boys have had the opportunity to live like the rest of us for the past three weeks. Although it will be quickly apparent as to who has been living the most like the rest of us. You know, like, if one of the guys has been parked in front of the tube with a beverage in one hand and a piece of cold pizza in the other, while relying on his daily walk to the mailbox as his primary exercise – wait a tick, that’s my program! I am sure you all run a tighter ship than I do, but I digress. What I am saying is that the first five laps of practice are going to tell the tale of how a rider used his down time. All the same, I’ll bet James Stewart comes out and is still a second and half faster than the rest. As fast as he was going before the break, he could have spent the past three weeks eating the Chinese buffet and completing a Friends marathon during daytime hours and still have the field covered. Or will he? It’s all finally come back to us. And I don’t know about you, but I'm ready! The best of the West is back. The power struggle for the heavyweight championship of the world comes down to these last three races. Let’s break it all down and get Revved Up for Dallas!

250F Class

Ricky Carmichael
This class has been the most action-packed of 2006. Of course, the RC-vs.-CR-vs.-JBS rivalry has the most star power, but based on pure parity, the 250F West bunch has been where the heat is.


I’ve said it before: Grant Langston or Andrew Short pretty much has to win this series in order to call it a success. And sure enough, the two wily veterans have put themselves in that situation. Grant has shown the fastest speed but still has that dark cloud of crazy misfortune chasing him―the same cloud that rained on him at the 2001 Steel City National. Be that as it may, it’s hard to say Grant won’t close out this year’s SX season as strongly as he began it. In fact, that whole team is firing on all eight cylinders and is just flat out tough to beat in tiddler-class competition across the board. I wonder how Mitch would do with a 450-team … hmmmm?

A tasty thought indeed, but now for the matters at hand: Ryan Villopoto and Mike Alessi will rekindle their storied rivalry this Saturday night. And in case you have been hiding under a rock, you know Alessi has been riding, and riding hard. Beating Ryan Hughes in a WORCS event takes major stones. But will his efforts build on his mediocre supercross showings? We shall see.

Kevin Windham
photo: Matt Ware
Another morsel for us to chew on is the last-ditch efforts Ryan Mills and J-Law will bring to Texas. If those two cats have any aspirations of parking under a tent for SX next year, they'd better ante up during these last three rounds. But I’ll tell you what: I am just really looking forward to seeing the Flying Freckle back on the track. That kid can ride him some supercross.

450F Class

What to do with this bunch? So much is riding on these last three races of the 2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series. So much, in fact, that the sentence you just read could be worded much differently, depending on how these races play out. I can promise you, the wording will not be altered much if Ricky, Chad, and James go 1-2-3 through Dallas, Seattle, and Vegas. Sadly, I fear that the remaining races will mimic the snoozer we saw in Houston.

Ryan Villopoto
Something needs to happen. We need a worst-to-first performance, or a battle royale that produces 12 passes for the lead during the 20-lap main event. Or how about an emergence of Kevin Windham? Yeah, that’s a little more like it. You know, RC has been a thorn in his side for his – well, pretty much his entire life. Kevin now has the chance to be the biggest spoiler in the history of American supercross! If he can join Reed and Stewart on the podium, he can give us what we all want. How freaking cool would a toe-to-toe, winner-take-all, best-of-the-best affair in Las Vegas be? I want it. We need it. And it is an event horizon that is not too far out of reach.

Another ember in the fire is the World Supercross crown, which has made leaps and bounds toward being a prestigious championship. It wasn’t too many years ago that “Mad” Mike Jones was the World Supercross Champion! Granted, Mike was a good rider and all, but having a name like Reed or Carmichael stenciled on a trophy gives it just a tad more distinction, you know? Anyway, the world title is all tied up as we speed toward Saturday night. Winning that title might not quite compare to the one given out to the AMA series, but you can bet your ass RC and James both want to win it.

Well, they’re back, ladies and gentlemen. The people in our sport tend to have very, very short memories and attention spans. Heck, all of the talk on the message boards has already moved toward the outdoor nationals. Hey, we aren’t there yet, guys! We still have to put the clear coat on this beautiful animal we have enjoyed since January. The end is near. I hope you feel me when I say, “It’s time to finish the game.”

Thanks for reading; see you next week!

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