250 Words: Glen Helen Lites

May 27, 2008 7:43am
With unmistakable red gloves guiding his blue Yamaha of Troy 250F, Jason Lawrence started the first of the 24 motos that will make up the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Lites Championship right where he wanted to be: out in front and leading the way over MDK/KTM's Ryan Sipes, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Brett Metcalfe, Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Ryan Dungey and yet another Pro Circuit rider, Austin Stroupe. 15 minutes into the fray, Sipes was out of the mix and Metcalfe, Dungey and Stroupe closed in on one another and, in a sort of draft, went hunting for Lawrence. At the 27-minute mark, Lawrence came up just 10 seconds short of meeting the two-minute board, thus he was forced to beat back his fast closing adversaries for three laps. By this time, Stroupe had found is way into second and was the fastest rider on the track. However, Lawrence held on to win, with Stroupe and Metcalfe close behind. Dungey was fourth, and Ryan Villopoto — who had started twelfth and struggled to find a way through the pack in the early laps — was a frustrated fifth.

  • Austin Stroupe got his first AMA National win
“I was a little winded at the end, said Lawrence from the podium, “but I held on.”

The frighteningly competitive Lites classification proved to be just that in moto two. Ryan Dungey aced the holeshot and took off with the lime green Monster Kawasaki 250Fs of Stroupe, Villopoto and Metcalfe giving rabid chase. Just behind them were Lawrence and Honda teammates Jake Weimer and Trey Canard. Stroupe and Villopoto soon whizzed by Dungey, Stroupe leading, only to fall and drop back to fourth.

Lap after lap, Stroupe, desperate for the overall, looked for a way around Metcalfe, finally zapping him in the swingarm deep sand right past the checkered flag on the spectacular Jody Weisel-designed Glen Helen racetrack.

At the checkered flag, it was Villopoto winning the moto over Dungey by six seconds. Stroupe was third, Metcalfe fourth, Lawrence fifth and the Hondas of Canard and Weimer sixth and seventh. That’s when the mathematicians were called in to try and calculate just who had won the overall. It was soon declared that Stroupe (2-3) won his first AMA National, while Villopoto (5-1) and Lawrence (1-5) — tied on points — finished out the podium in second and third, respectively. Dungey (4-2) had to settle for a hard-earned fourth while Metcalfe got the short end of the deal as his fine motos (3-4) were only good for fifth overall in this hyper-competitive class.

(Want to see it on your computer screen? Check out the free Racer X Motocross Show on Motocross.com, where you will find the pre- and post-race shows, featuring Jason Weigandt and co-host David Bailey.)