Hello, everyone and welcome to the Rev Up. This week's column comes to you from the gargantuan infield of the Talladega Super Speedway.
It's pretty crazy how quickly life moves past us. It seems like the only instances when things drag are in moments of anticipation. The semi-stagnant winter months of training and preparation for the Supercross series probably seem like they last forever for the riders. As we sit here with 40 laps remaining in the series, I can promise you that there will be more than a couple riders on the starting line this Saturday night saying, "Wow, where did the season go?"
Except for James and Chad.
Those two have been tooth and nail for 15 rounds and arrive in Salt Lake City separated by 3 points. Yes, Chad balked last weekend, but hey, nobody makes it all the way through a supercross season squeaky clean. It was the first time he missed the podium since...um, hell I don't know. A long time. If there was something wrong with Chad, nobody knows about it. I think the pressure of holding the lead should be considered. That said, the pressure is off now. It's simple: he has to beat #7 two more times. We'll get to that in a bit.
We're sitting here poised for yet another awesome Saturday-night supercross, and a very big weekend of racing across the board. Two supercross championships hang in the balance, which adds more spice to a season that has been hotter than Georgia asphalt. She hasn't stopped bringing the heat yet, and these last two rounds shave the potential to boil and blister. Only two races to go, baby! It's title time. The boys will light the fires Saturday night in Utah with feet tapping on the pegs and goosebumps making their arms and shoulders twitch. Being drunk on adrenaline is the best way to live.
Everyone's ready, so let's crack that throttle a couple times and get it Revved Up for Salt Lake City.
Ryan Dungey has been working toward a championship for a while now. He's been salty and smooth the whole way through and he can breathe a little easier with that sexy nine-point lead. He's earned it, and all he has to do is put in 15 laps the way he has all season. On the other hand, there are some hurdles.
Ryan Morais and Jake Weimer have been at the front each time out and I don't see that changing this weekend. Behind them, Canard is riding like "Trey 2008" again, and the Troy Lee boys came back from the break looking tough. Other guys like Kyle Cunningham and Ryan Sipes have agendas of their own and will be riding with nothing to lose.
It isn't over here.
A lot of folks predicted Ryan Villopoto would win one of these when the series began. After the first six races, that prediction didn't look very solid. Who knew he would come out last weekend and win? That was big. And wins tend to be habit-forming. Confidence is spooky in the world of racing.
Think about this scenario:
Mike Alessi pulls the holeshot with RV Park in tow, while Reed and Stewart gate around 10th. Now, that would be cool. Actually, I think "likely" is the better word.
A couple of other scenarios could see Josh Grant get up front again. It's been a while since he got a start and he has the juice to run if he does. Tedesco has been riding stronger, and Kevin Windham can bust out anytime. Throw in Andrew Short and last week's podium finisher, Davi Millsaps, and the possibilities begin to stack up.
As for Reed and Stewart? They don't like each other, the 800-pound championship gorilla is breathing down their neck, and the gloves are off. They're doing whatever it takes. Man I hope they do! Good luck to them.
Like I said at the top, life moves fast. I thought about that on my ride to Alabama. Both of my brothers and I threw a leg over our Harleys and cruised down to Talladega last night. If you follow the Rev you'll remember two weeks ago I was in Missouri, then last weekend I was in Seattle. Now it's 'dega time. Time...man, she moves fast.
Time has run out for the Supercross series. It's come down to the last 40 laps and they'll go flying past before you can blink your eyes. So, don't blink. Keep those lookers open with a 1000-yard-stare and get into it this weekend. Get behind Carmichael racing in Kansas Saturday afternoon. Get behind those boys going for the supercross-title belts. I'm asking for a little help aimed our direction, too. Talladega is as gnarly as it gets.