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Kawasaki/Racer X Race Report

Night two of the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open featured the battle everyone wanted to see, another James Stewart and Ricky Carmichael showdown, this one for big bucks in the MGM Grand. It all came to a head with about three laps to go, with Stewart leading and Carmichael right behind. Then Stewart stalled in the back section of the track, and when Carmichael went to go around him, he hit a Tuff Block and went down. And that was that—Stewart had $100,000 for winning the race with 1-1 finishes.

But Stewart did not have a chance for the full $250,000 bonus in the Toyota Trifecta, because Kevin Windham put it to everyone in the Super Poll qualifying lap. K-Dub then had $10,000 for setting the fast lap, and it meant Stewart’s play at nailing the Super Poll fast lap, the Progressive Direct holeshot and the main event—the three elements to the Toyota Trifecta—was over.

But Stewart still wanted to win the main, as did Carmichael. Carmichael’s Makita Suzuki teammate Ivan Tedesco grabbed the holeshot though and then battled Stewart for a few corners. As they battled, David Vuillemin slipped through on his new MDK Honda to take the lead. Then Tedesco lost the front end in a corner and fell, and Stewart got held up, allowing Carmichael to get around him.

Josh Grant

Then Carmichael went after Vuillemin, who was riding awesome. It took RC a few laps actually to reel him in, but then Vuillemin was ready to fight for him for the lead. They bumped and banged a bit, and then Stewart slipped by both of them in the same corner! Then Carmichael went after him, and the race was on.

For a few laps, Stewart had the momentum and pulled away slightly. But then Carmichael started putting it together and closing back in. The gap stood at just a few bike lengths when Stewart came through the back section of the track and stalled his bike. Carmichael fell trying to go around, and that was it.

“I wish someone could just tell me what I did wrong,” said Carmichael. “There was nothing I could do except try to go around him. Now I know what it’s like in car racing when someone just smashes you into the wall and takes you out.”

Carmichael was eluding to the fact that he had no choice in the matter and Stewart’s stall basically put him in a no-win situation.

Stewart did win, and he was pumped with the $100,000 on top of the $50,000 he made last night. His mechanic J-Bone got a new Toyota truck, and then Red Bull stopped by and passed him the keys to a new Bentley. “I’m gonna’ throw the $100,000 into the Bentley and roll through the I-15 in California,” said Stewart, who was in an awesome mood after the race. “I’m rich!” he said in his best Dave Chappelle.

In Lites racing, Josh Grant won again to sweep both nights. Jake Weimer finished second and new factory Honda gun Tommy “Factory Hon” Hahn finished third.
 

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