The Lites class featured the last Lites West round before the season takes the next two months off, and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey needed the race to rebound from his previous two losses to championship rival Jake Weimer.
Dungey fought over the holeshot with Weimer’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Ryan Morais, and although the two tussled over the lead, Dungey secured the position after only a few laps. Morais settled into second, just in front of GEICO Powersports Honda’s Dan Reardon and Trey Canard, MCRMX’s Jeff Alessi, Weimer, Muscle Milk/MDK KTM’s Ryan Sipes, and the rest of the field.
Weimer went to work right away on Alessi, while Canard did likewise with Reardon, and on the third lap, Weimer got by Alessi, while Canard found a way by Reardon on lap four. Reardon went down on the fourth lap, handing the position to Weimer, and Weimer set out after Canard. On lap six, Weimer made a block pass stick on Canard on lap six. From there, the top five were set, with Dungey taking his third win over Morais, Weimer, Canard and Sipes.
With two rounds left to run, in about eight weeks, Weimer trails Dungey by two points.
Normally, it’s almost expected that Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Mike Alessi would get the holeshot to start any race he’s in, but lately he’s been bested by San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart. Stewart grabbed another holeshot inside Qualcomm Stadium, with Alessi second, his teammate Reed third, Yamaha’s Broc Hepler fourth, and Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short fifth.
Reed immediately shoved his way by Alessi for second and set out after the fleeing Stewart. Hepler followed Reed through for third. It wasn’t long before Short was pressuring Alessi for fourth, and after making the pass, went out after Hepler in third. On lap four, Short took the inside away from Hepler and the two collided, with Hepler going down. From there, the top five were set, with Stewart taking his sixth-straight win over Reed, Short, Villopoto and Davi Millsaps.
With 10 rounds still left to run, and with the series heading east to Atlanta, Reed and Stewart are tied on points.