of all, hats off to Team Kawasaki’s James Stewart on riding a smart and
consistent race to take the first 450 overall win of his national
career at the 38th Hangtown Classic. In doing so, he put an end to the
remarkable 27-race outdoor winning streak of Makita Suzuki’s Ricky
Carmichael, which stretches all the way back to the summer of 2003. The
last AMA Motocross race Carmichael lost was at Washougal on July 23 of
that year. He was on a Honda—a two-stroke, even!—and he was outgunned
by Factory Connection’s Kevin Windham, who was on a CRF450R.
Stewart did get a little help from RC himself, who swapped out in the
first moto and could only work his way up to third place by moto’s end,
behind James and Chad Reed. But Stewart fell himself, so that’s a push.
Vuillemin would have been the winner of the 2004 opener at Hangtown had RC not been there
photo: Steve Bruhn
did redeem himself somewhat with the runaway win in the second moto,
but a 3-1 doesn’t beat a 1-2, and Stewart played it smart and cinched
the win—Kawasaki’s first 250/450F National win outdoors since RC
himself won Broome-Tioga on a KX250 back on August 26, 2001.
And that got us to thinking: Who would’ve won the overall in those past
27 races if Carmichael wasn’t there? And that brings us to the topic of
this week’s Motosport Outlet Bench Racing Ammo.
As it goes, take #4 out of the equation in those 27 races and we’d have
five different winners: Ferry, Vuillemin, Windham, Reed, and Stewart.
K-Dub would have the most wins with 14, followed by Chad Reed, who’d
have 10. James Stewart, David Vuillemin, and Tim Ferry would have 1
apiece. But now the slate has been wiped clean. Will Stewart start a
streak of his own? Tune in to Sunday’s Racer X Webcast of the
Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National, round one of the Monster
Triple Crown of Motocross. The free webcast starts on Sunday at 1 p.m.
another note, out of the six possible podium positions on Sunday, half
of them were occupied by Australian riders, all on Yamahas. Reed took
third overall in the 450 class on his factory Yamaha, and Yamaha of
Troy teammates Brett Metcalfe and Andrew McFarlane took second and
third, respectively, in the 250F class. As a matter of fact, the last
time a Yamaha rider finished on the 250F podium in an outdoor national
was on July 18, 2004 at Unadilla, when then-Yamaha of Troy-backed Kelly
Smith finished third overall with 6-5 moto scores.
And the last time an Australian finished on the podium in the 250F
class was on August 31, 2003 at Steel City, when Chad Reed’s cousin
Craig Anderson finished third overall with a 2-5 on his Yamaha of
Troy-backed YZ250F. Although it’s been a while, it’s nice to see the
color blue back on the podium.