As the ink is still drying on the AMA record book from the 30th running of the High Point National, we really aren’t surprised of the outcome of the 450 class. Ricky Carmichael going 1-1 at High Point is like Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France: it’s just expected (although James Stewart had him rattled in the first moto).
As for the 250F class, for the second year in a row, the High Point huge crowd witnessed another first-time winner in Toyota AMA National Motocross as Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto went 2-1 for the overall, etching his name in the books among several other High Point first-time winners. With that in mind, let’s look back on some of the other riders who took their first national victory here in Mt. Morris, PA.
Ricky Johnson has a lot of 250cc motocross victories
– 22 – but the first of his career came in 1982 here at High Point
on a Yamaha. He seemed to be on the way to the title, only to have his wheel
collapse at the last race in Colorado, helping Donnie Hansen to the title.
RJ took his first 250cc MX win here in '82 photo: Dick Miller Archives
Coming back to High Point each year is bittersweet for Honda team manager Erik Kehoe because although he sustained a career-ending injury here in 1994 while riding for Honda of Troy, he also took the first of his seven career MX victories here in 1985 while riding for Team Suzuki.
Michigan’s Brian Swink may have 12 125cc supercross victories and two 125cc Eastern Regional championships to his name, but the Swinkster only has one outdoor national victory. It came here in Mt. Morris in 1991, when he wore #42 on a super-fast Peak/Pro Circuit Honda.
Florida’s Tim Ferry has one 250cc and one 125cc national victory on his resume. His only 250cc national win came at Glen Helen in 2001; his lone 125cc national victory came at High Point in 1995 while riding for Suzuki.
In 1996, New Yorker Scott Sheak put in an amazing ride at High Point as a Suzuki privateer and went 1-7 for second overall. He redeemed himself the following year and went 1-1 for the first and only major victory of his career.
Yet another Michigander making history at High Point was Kelly Smith, who got his and KTM’s first victory in America on the muddy Mt. Morris course in 2000, going 1-4 to earn the 125 National overall here.