The big news in qualifying at Phoenix is the DNQ status of both defending West Lites champ Jason Lawrence and last year's East Lites champ Trey Canard. Lawrence went down in the first turn of his Heat race and could only manage a 15th in the event, while Canard went down hard while battling near the front on the opening lap of his Heat and suffered a concussion. Canard did not start the LCQ, while Lawrence finished well outside qualifying position.
However, last year's Phoenix winner Jake Weimer won his Heat going away, while Ryan Dungey did likewise. With Lawrence and Canard both out, it looks like the championship is getting narrowed to possibly just those two already - although Ryan Morais, Justin Brayton and others probably have something to say about that.
In the 450cc class, Chad Reed came up and passed Ryan Villopoto for the lead to win the first Heat, while Villopoto finished second on the track. However, Villopoto ended up getting docked a position for jumping a triple with the red lights flashing while Tyler Bowers was down in between the jumps, handing second to Kevin Windham. Villopoto was third, with Andrew Short and Davi Millsaps following them home.
In the second Heat, Josh Grant grabbed the holeshot, followed closely by James Stewart, who passed him on the second lap and checked out. Josh Summey held off a freight train of riders for third.
The stage is now set for the main events, which will kick off in just a couple of minutes.