Stewart Aiming For Milestone in Houston

February 9, 2007 11:41am

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (February 7, 2007) – The 2007 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series is shaping up to be a breakthrough campaign for Monster Energy Kawasaki’s James Stewart. Early this season Stewart is leapfrogging from one major accomplishment to the next in the series. Last week the top-ranked Stewart became the first rider in history to sweep the trio of Anaheim Supercross races. Fresh off of that achievement Stewart comes to this Saturday’s (Feb. 10) Houston Supercross in Reliant Stadium with the opportunity to move into the top-10 on the all-time AMA Supercross wins list.

Stewart’s victory last Saturday in Anaheim was the 15th in his career. If he earns the win this weekend Stewart will tie Hall of Famer Jean-Michel Bayle for 10th on the all-time AMA Supercross wins list. Stewart’s run to the record books is a major accomplishment considering this is only his third year in the series. It’s even more impressive when you factor in that Stewart missed most of his rookie year in the main AMA Supercross class due to injury.

Last week Stewart pulled off what even Supercross King Jeremy McGrath never was able to do and that’s win all three rounds at Angel Stadium.

“It feels good to be the first to win all three,” Stewart said in the Anaheim III post-race press conference. “Especially when you consider all the great riders who have ridden here. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for me.”

Stewart comes into Reliant Stadium with good memories of the Houston Supercross. He’s won the race the previous two seasons. Houston is a historic race, which dates back to the earliest days of AMA Supercross in 1974, when the race was first held in the Astrodome.

While Stewart is favored to become only the fourth rider in history to win the Houston Supercross three years in a row, he is facing increasing pressure from Chad Reed of L&M San Manuel Yamaha. Last week the leading duo had a great race for the lead in Anaheim. Reed, the 2004 AMA Supercross Champion from Australia, has made nearly a complete recovery from a pre-season testing crash that broke his shoulder. Reed has healed while riding and has kept himself in the championship hunt. He trails Stewart by 18-points coming into Houston. A race win is worth 25 points.

“I’ve worked hard to get back to the point where I can fight for wins,” said Reed, a two-time Houston Supercross winner. “My bike is coming around and is getting to the point where it’s fun to race. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Tim Ferry came through to earn a podium finish last weekend on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. Ferry said he is hoping to remain consistent and healthy for the rest of the season.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto continued his dominance of the AMA Supercross Lites West Series by winning his fourth in five starts last weekend. The youngster from Poulsbo, Wash., took the win in Anaheim despite suffering a bad cold. “I was feeling under the weather, but once the race started I didn’t feel the sickness at all,” Villopoto said.

Villopoto comes into Houston with a solid 31-point lead over Boost Mobile Yamaha’s Jason Lawrence with just three rounds remaining. Sobe/No Fear/Samsung Honda’s Jake Weimer is a distant third.

The Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series round from Houston will air on CBS, Sunday, Feb. 11, at noon eastern.

Tickets for the Houston Supercross at Reliant are TM Foley's, Fiesta and Wherehouse Music all Ticketmaster outlets, select participating Yamaha Dealers, or charge by phone at 713-629-3700. Doors open at 12:30 pm for fans to watch practice and qualifying. A special Family Section is also available for non-alcoholic family fun. When ordering tickets through Ticketmaster, request Family Section for an alcohol-free family atmosphere.