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Bench Racing Ammo: What If

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Take RC out and Tim Ferry would've won the 2003 Millville National
photo: Steve Bruhn
First 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
RC 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.

2003
Millville: Tim Ferry (YAM)
Broome-Tioga: Kevin Windham (HON)
Steel City: Kevin Windham (HON)

2004
Hangtown: David Vuillemin (YAM)
High Point: Kevin Windham (HON)
Southwick: Chad Reed (YAM)
Budds Creek: Chad Reed (YAM)
Red Bud: Kevin Windham (HON)
Unadilla: Chad Reed (YAM)
Troy: Chad Reed (YAM)
Washougal: Chad Reed (YAM)
Millville: Kevin Windham (HON)
Broome-Tioga: Chad Reed (YAM)
Steel City: Kevin Windham (HON)
Glen Helen: Chad Reed (YAM)

2005
Even after this hard get-off in practice, Kelly Smith managed to finish on the podium at Unadilla in 2004 (sequence continued below)
photo: Simon Cudby
Hangtown: Chad Reed (YAM)
High Point: James Stewart (KAW)
Southwick: Chad Reed (YAM)
Budds Creek: Chad Reed (YAM)
Red Bud: Kevin Windham (HON)
Unadilla: Kevin Windham (HON)
Thunder Valley: Kevin Windham (HON)
Washougal: Kevin Windham (HON)
Millville: Kevin Windham (HON)
Broome-Tioga: Kevin Windham (HON)
Steel City: Kevin Windham (HON)
Glen Helen: Kevin Windham (HON)

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. (EST)

On 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.

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