450 Words: Vegas

May 5, 2008 9:40pm

Chad Reed had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

When the checkered flag dropped for the AMA Supercross class on Saturday night inside Sam Boyd Stadium, it capped an astonishing season by Chad Reed. Seriously, when have you seen the eventual champion face such incredible adversity throughout one season? First off, he started in January at Anaheim 1 riding through the pain of a broken hand; overcame losing 11 points after his bike expired two turns from the checkered flag at Daytona, and then soldiered through the excruciating pain of a cracked scapula, scoring a very valuable nine points towards the title in Detroit.
Yet throughout all of those bumps in the road he still managed to lead 162 laps, win nine main events, move into third place on the all-time supercross winner’s list behind Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael, and win his second career AMA Supercross championship. And as Steve Cox mentioned earlier in our Alpinestars Monday Conversation, this title also marks the longest gap between two championships for one guy in the history of supercross—four years.  
Regardless of all those astounding statistics, there will still be the naysayers who will claim this championship will have an asterisk next to it since the pre-season favorite—Monster Energy Kawasaki’s James Stewart—pulled out of the series after only two races with a knee injury.
But I disagree. One major ingredient in the recipe of becoming a champion is staying healthy. Riders often say that races are won throughout the week; that’s when they put themselves at risk at the practice track, pounding out lap after lap in search of that extra tenth of a second. And although Reed did suffer some a couple injuries throughout the 17-round series, he gritted his teeth and did what he had to do to score points—13 more points than his nearest adversary when the fat lady sang Saturday night.
Looking back, just how important was that 12th place finish in Detroit for Reed? Well, he scored nine points for 12th; if he would’ve just took his provisional and finished 21st, he would’ve only scored one. So if things played out the same at St. Louis and Seattle, Reed would only have had a two-point lead going into the series finale, meaning a winner-take-all 20-lap throwdown for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship. 
What about everyone else? Congratulations to Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short who edged out his teammate Davi Millsaps for third overall. And it was a fine rookie performance by Yamaha’s Josh Hill in the premier division, as he finished fifth overall. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry finished sixth, followed by Nathan Ramsey, David Vuillemin, Nick Wey and the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Top Privateer, Paul Carpenter, of the Atomic Racing team.

1. Chad Reed (Yam)
2. Kevin Windham (Hon)
3. Andrew Short (Hon)
4. Josh Hill (Yam)
5. Davi Millsaps (Hon)
6. Nick Wey (KTM)
7. Josh Summey (Yam)
8. Travis Preston (Kaw)
9. Tim Ferry (Kaw)
10. David Vuillemin (Suz)
11. Heath Voss (Hon)
12. Paul Carpenter (Hon)
13. Jason Thomas (Hon)
14. Kelly Smith (Kaw)
15. Ryan Clark (Hon)
16. Kevin Johnson (Yam)
17. Tyler Bright (Hon)
18. Josh Hansen (Hon)
19. Robbie Reynard (Suz)
20. Eric Sorby (Hon)