They say some venues simply have the ability to harness nostalgia. Lambeau Field, Wrigley Field, Daytona International Speedway... I tell you, I've seen some things go down inside Angel Stadium. I was there when Jeremy McGrath first wore his No Fear gear in 1999, which is also when Ricky Carmichael made his debut in said race. Three seasons later, Carmichael unleashed the whip heard around the world and tore the reigns away from Showtime for good. I stood in the rain and watched the Perfect Storm unleash its muddy fury in 2005. I claimed that one as the best ever until last Saturday night...
Let me break it down to you: Stewart shows up riding a YZ, wearing answer gear, and Reed shows up riding yellow, and Villopoto debuts. Stewart's debut on a new machine mirrored Carmichael's Honda debut in that they both took blows to the head and left with a DNF on the scoreboard. A Yamaha won on both occasions, though! It was DV12 in 2002, and then it was JGR (Josh Grant Rips) taking them down last weekend. How about them apples?
A little over a year and a half ago, I was walking with David Evans and coach Joe Gibbs through what would eventually manifest itself into the JGR MX race shop. The place didn't even have the ceiling placed in and there were no tools or machines. Just bare walls. Yet, last weekend, it was arms up on the top of the steps at the Grand Daddy of all supercross races. I guess it makes sense. Everything that family has touched has turned to gold. They have won three Super Bowls, NHRA drag races, The Daytona 500, two Cup titles, the 2008 Owner's Nationwide title, and now the Anaheim Supercross. Through all of those accolades, the Gibbs' first passion was motocross. That's a lot of heavy metal on one resume. Through all of it, I'd say that group is mighty proud of Josh Grant right now.
And then there was the drama and high adventure in the tiddler division. I have to throw a big shout out to One Industries for making their supercross debut with Jason Lawrence and Ryan Dungey. It's pretty cool to see how far One has come over the years. Graphics to helmets to gear has been a smooth and natural progression for the coolest company in San Diego. They’re the folks that bring you the Rev Up as well, so here's a chest thump to the "Army of One" crew. How about ole J-Law? Hey, Jackson, he wasn’t the fastest rider on the track, but he was up there! Would Weimer have had the juice to hold him off if it weren't for Lawrence's lap-one spill? What would Canard have had if he wouldn't have gone down? Brayton was bringing the rain until he went down, too. As we roll into Phoenix, look for a giant mushroom cloud to emerge when they drop the gate for these boys.
Phoenix. The smoke wagon is rolling now, boy and girls.
Round two of the big fight is upon us. Supercross is a lot like boxing, except our boys have to fight for 17 rounds instead of 15. It won't be the man that throws the most haymakers who wins the bout. It will be the warrior that keeps his legs under him the whole time and takes the least amount of abuse. But just like boxing, the winner will throw his share of punches and take his share of hits. Right now, Stewart is on the ropes, but as the heaviest hitter on the track, he can still put 'em in the hurt locker with a few consecutive haymakers.
It's going to be a lot different this weekend. It will be dry and slick instead of tacky. There is no way that Villopoto, Reed, and Stewart will all three crash again. It might be too early to see the first three-way dogfight between those cats; then again, all three are coming into this weekend with blood in their eyes. Can JGR back it up? Will the Red Riders pull a power play and shake the hornet's nest even more? With all of the pre season jitters and big feel of Anaheim I, Phoenix is more like the first real race of the year. She also has seen her helping of surprise winners. Remember Lusk's last supercross win in 2003 on a KX? The best thing about the new season is the unknown. I always love the unknown. Reaching for the random is the best way to live, and it's awesome to be alive and breathing as a supercross fan right now!
Let's ride the supercross spiral and see what Phoenix brings us!