Some 42,000 spectators packed the southern California baseball stadium – and the event was aired, live, on SPEED as well - for action sports’ premier competition series. And many of those in attendance were cheering on Spy Optic’s race corps of Kevin Windham, Jason Lawrence, Nick Wey, Paul Carpenter and Bobby Kiniry. That said the boyz in the smokin’ cool Spy MX goggles didn’t disappoint as three of them locked down top ten spots in the SX and SX Lites main events.
Beginning with Lawrence, the SoCal transplant from New Jersey was on fire in his first race back since an AMA suspension last summer. Unfortunately for his competition, Lawrence put the down time to good use and entered the SX season as one of the favorites to repeat as WSX Lites champion. He backed that with an opening statement in his heat race where he topped the next closest competitor (Dan Reardon) by a couple seconds in taking the win.
In the main Lawrence tuned down the glairing baseball field lights and brought out the ripples below the shadows with his Spy MX Magneto goggles with clear anti-fog lenses, nearly pulled the holeshot and was blasting into 2nd place on turn two when he piled into fellow SX champ and former Spy Optic racer, Trey Canard.
“Canard, man, I saw him and there was nothing I could do – totally my fault,” said Lawrence. “Honestly he’s the last person on the track I wanted to do something to. So it’s unfortunate.”
Lawrence kept his Boost/ampm/Monster/Troy Racing YZ250F going and was able to mount an attack soon after the crash. He continued pick off racer after racer until he’d cleared the top five. Said Lawrence of his comeback effort: “The race where you get the holeshot and lead the whole thing is not how you win championships. You win championships right there (pointing to his 5th place finish).”
Windham raced like he should have been on the podium as well. Pulling a good start (5th after the first lap), K-Dub had his Geico Powersports/Honda CRF450R in prime position early in the race. Running 4th and closing fast on eventual race winner Josh Grant (who was in 3rd at the time), Windham collided with James Stewart, who was pushing his stalled bike off the track after an altercation with Chad Reed. The T-bone collision was intense and sent both Windham and Stewart to the ground. And while Windham was able to re-start his Honda, Stewart’s night was over.
“Just an unfortunate incident, though fortunate that neither of us were injured,” said Windham, who would come away with six points (15th place). “Felt great heading into the main, bike was running real well and thought I had a good shot at the podium. We’ll look to regroup and get back after it here this weekend in Phoenix.”
Making the top ten overall in the premier SX class was both Spy Optic’s Wey (Boost/ampm/Monster/Troy Racing) and Monster Energy/Cernic’s/Kawasaki’s Carpenter. Both racers were able to overcome poor starts and rally through the pack in order to make the top ten – Wey 9th and Carpenter 10th.
“My bike worked awesome,” said Carpenter. “I just couldn’t get my starts down all night, which is something I need to work on. I felt really good going into the main event and I know I should have finished better. There are a lot of races left, though, and I know we’ll be up there.”
Rounding out the Spy Optic scoring at the Anaheim 1 SX opener was Kiniry who finished 18th in the SX class main event.
Next up for the Spy Optic-backed supercross racers is round two of the 2009 Monster Energy Supercross Series at Phoenix’s Chase Field (Jan. 10).
Spy Optic designs, develops and markets premium products for the action sports and youth lifestyle markets. Spy’s principal products, sunglasses and goggles, target the action sports market, including surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, motocross, wakeboarding and skiing, and the youth lifestyle market within fashion, music, and entertainment. Spy’s innovative proprietary products utilize high-quality materials, handcrafted manufacturing processes and engineered optical lens technology to convey premium quality, contemporary style, and progressive design. Spy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Orange 21, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORNG). www.spyoptic.com
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