The legendary Steel City National is also the final round of the Monster Energy/Kawasaki Triple Crown of Motocross.
With seven-time AMA Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael now officially retired from AMA motocross racing and James Stewart suffering a knee injury last month at Washougal, Washington, and questionable for this race, the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship is completely up for grabs. Coming into Steel City both Ferry and Short find themselves in a position they’ve never been in and that’s leading the premier series this late in the season. Just three rounds are left and Ferry and Short are hoping to make a final surge to the championship crown starting this Sunday.
Ferry, the 1992 AMA Motocross Rookie of the Year, was until this year considered a racer past his prime, but he’s charged back for a second act that may just become the highlight of his career.
“I wasn’t quite expecting to be in the position I am at now, for sure,” Ferry said of his series lead. “In the first race [Hangtown] I got third behind Carmichael and Stewart and was happy about that. Since then, I’ve been getting a little better at each race even though the last race in Millville was a little tough.”
While Ferry has been fairly consistent all season, his rival Short knows that he’s going to have to get stronger in the second motos to have a chance to earn the title.
“I’m working on the mental aspect and just being stronger in the second moto,” Short said. “I’m in good shape, but I’m not applying myself better. That part kind of bugs me; I try so hard. I kind of get discouraged, so I need to work on that and just work on being consistent; because that’s where I’m getting beat right now.”
The wild card is Stewart. If he can return and race with his injured knee he could quickly move up from his current position of sixth in the standings.
One thing is for certain, the drama has not been this high in the premier class coming into Steel City since 1996 when Jeff Emig and Jeremy McGrath brought a season long championship battle to a dramatic conclusion.
As if the ever shifting Motocross title battle weren’t enough, Steel City fans will also get to witness the continuing saga of the Motocross Lites clash between Monster Energy Kawasaki teammates Ryan Villopoto and Ben Townley.
Townley, a former World Champion from New Zealand, has stepped up to challenge defending champ Villopoto. Townley leads by just two points coming into Steel City.
“It’s so close,” Townley says of the championship chase. “We started off at Hangtown, and then Ryan got a little bit of a gap. Then I had the problem at High Point (first turn crash), and he had his problem at Unadilla. We wake up each morning to win this championship - we both want it really bad!”
The action-packed race weekend will also feature the first-ever AMA Pro ATV Open Invitational and the sixth and final round of the Women’s Motocross Association (WMA).
A special VIP ticket is being offered at Steel City. Get front row seats for this year's 20th Annual Monster Energy/Kawasaki Pro National at Steel City Raceway with this Monster Energy V.I.P. Pass. The cost is $150 per person, and that includes Saturday/Sunday gate admission; full-access pit pass; Sunday exclusive trackside viewing area with live big screen timing and scoring; Sunday catered lunch and soft drinks; free event t-shirt and free event program! Call 304-284-0084 to reserve your Monster VIP tickets today. Any available tickets will be sold at the main gate. For more information, visit www.steelcitymx.com.
The AMA Motocross race from Steel City will broadcast nationally on SPEED starting at 10:00 pm, Sunday, Sept. 2. The Lites class will air on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 3:00 pm.
WHAT: Monster Energy/ Kawasaki Pro Motocross National at Steel City, round 10 of the 12-round AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF.
WHERE: Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa., State Rt. 22 east to State Rt. 66 north for 3 miles. Turn right onto Story Road. Follow signs .5 miles to the track.
WHEN: Aug. 25-26, 2007
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.