The race will receive special same day national television coverage on SPEED.
Carmichael took his 99th AMA Motocross win last weekend in Southwick, Mass., setting up the possibility of career win number 100 at Budds Creek. Coming into Sunday’s event Carmichael has 73 AMA Motocross and 26 AMA Motocross Lites wins for the combined total of 99. If the Makita Suzuki rider scores win number 100 this weekend it would set one of the most remarkable records in all of AMA racing history. To put that number of motocross national wins in perspective, his nearest rival among active riders is James Stewart, who has tallied 31 combined Motocross national wins.
“It would be sweet to get 100 wins there,” said Carmichael, who coincidently scored his 100th combined AMA Motocross/Supercross victory at Budds Creek in 2004. “I know that it is going to be hard work. James rides well there. I am going to have to ride really focused and be picture perfect. I will have to rely on speed. We both want to win every time we get out there.”
Carmichael is undefeated in the premier AMA Motocross class at Budds Creek. He’s won there for the last seven years running. Carmichael is halfway through his final AMA Motocross season. He is transitioning to a career in NASCAR racing.
“I’m almost to the end of the road. I’m sure they’ll be happy to see me out of here,” Carmichael smiled talking about his fellow competitors. “I’m ready to go to. A lot of preparations go into these races and they’re still hard for me.”
James Stewart, the heir apparent to take control of AMA Motocross once Carmichael exits, would dearly love to beat his rival before Carmichael retires. His chances are running short and many consider Budds Creek one of his best opportunities. Stewart is very fast on his Monster Energy Kawasaki at the Maryland circuit having earned three national wins at the track in the Lites class.
“Everything was going great at Southwick,” Stewart said after leading most of the first moto this past Sunday. “I had great lines through the turns and all of a sudden I switched them up. I don’t know why. Then Ricky came by me and I had three really bad laps and he was able to gap me. I then stayed even with him until the end when we had a little problem with our clutch and I stalled it.”
Yamaha’s Grant Langston emerged as a possible championship contender with a strong race at Southwick. He passed Stewart in moto two and held second until near the end when Stewart got back by. He earned his first podium finish of the year and moved to third in the series standings.
"I needed this for sure, for myself, for the team, and for everyone,” said Langston, the 2003 AMA Motocross Lites Champion. “I think that we put a lot of effort in. Obviously we hit a big speed bump earlier in the season. I gave it my all today and got a little tired near the end; but now I know what I need to work on.”
Langston is coming off a shoulder injury he suffered practicing in January. He went on to say he feels like he’s finally reached the top of the hill in his climb back to racing condition.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto has yet to win an AMA Motocross Lites overall this year, yet he still leads the class by virtue of three consecutive runner-up finishes coming into Budds Creek. Villopoto, the defending series and Budds Creek Lites winner, is involved in a great battle with teammate Ben Townley for the support class title. Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey and Sobe/No Fear Honda’s Josh Grant are not far behind in a hotly contested championship.
“I haven’t won an overall yet and it’s kind of disappointing to me,” Villopoto said. “I’ve been up front a couple motos and either had a fall or made some mistakes. I’m going to go to Michigan and ride some different tracks.”
While Villopoto might be getting a little anxious to win his first race this season, Townley is equally eager to catch his teammate in the standings. He joked that he might have taken a little different action last weekend in Southwick had Villopoto not been on the same squad.
“When he fell down in front of me I could have run over him,” Townley quipped. “But he’s my teammate and I didn’t want to do that. Obviously racing against Ryan he’s going to be up there every race fighting for the lead. I’ve got to be there as well. I want to be there winning races. I might not be as fast as those guys right in the beginning. That’s something that I need to work on.”
The Budds Creek event will air on SPEED. The Motocross class can be seen same day delayed, on Sunday, June 17 at 6:00 pm Eastern. The Lites class will air on Tuesday, June 26 at 3:00 pm Eastern.
For ticket information visit the website www.buddscreek.com.
WHAT: Budds Creek Pro Motocross National, round four of the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF.
WHERE: Budds Creek is located approximately 1½ hours from Baltimore, 1 hour from downtown Washington, D.C., and approximately 1½ hours from Richmond, Va., directly off Maryland Highway 234 in scenic Southern Maryland.
WHEN: June 16-17, 2007.
COURSE: 1.4 miles (approx), hard pack and sandy loam.
2006 WINNERS: AMA Motocross: Ricky Carmichael (Suzuki). AMA Motocross Lites: Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki).
SCHEDULE: Saturday — Pro timed qualifying, 1:00-4:35 pm., Lites Consolation Race 4:45 pm; Sunday — Pro Motocross Consolation Race 9:15 am. Qualifying 10:00 am. Opening Ceremonies begin at 12:30 pm with final events beginning at 1 pm.