Ah, Houston. I remember the first time we drove down to watch the supercross inside the Houston Astrodome. I remember being astonished at how massive it was. When I rolled out for practice on amateur day I just stared up at the ceiling and was so nervous I could barely ride. I remember seeing Ricky Johnson ride for the first time that night. He was whipping it and shooting at the crowd in the air, "six-shooter" style.
The Astrodome is just one of the cool historical things about Houston. Besides, they don't even race there anymore. As the fourth largest city in America, it's also home of NASA's Johnson Space Center. That's where they land the shuttle when she comes burning back into the atmosphere under no power! I went on a fishing trip last week and our pilot was explaining that to me. They also haul the shuttle around the country on top of a modified Boeing 747. Gnarly, huh? And you WWII history buffs should know all about the USS Houston. Read Ship of Ghosts if you're looking for a good book.
Ok, enough with the non-moto. Let's get revved up for the dust up that's fix'n to happen in the Dirty South!
AMA Supercross Lites
Only eight points separate Christophe Pourcel and Austin Stroupe with two rounds to go. The usually infallible Pourcel has made a few mistakes, and Austin has done his best to capitalize. If Stroupe comes up a few points short he'll have Dallas on his mind. Take this series back a couple years and remember what happened with Trey Canard and Ryan Villopoto. This year's championship is shaping up for another epic fight to the end. They crown the champion at the last round, but I've noticed that a lot of time in our sport it is the penultimate main event that really sets up the champion. Stroupe's riding awesome, Barcia can win at any time, and Ryan Sipes is still searching for his first one. The tension is very, very high with this group and I can't wait for the gate to drop!
If the Lites title fight wasn't enough to get the crowd on the edge of their seats, the return of "The Thunder" should be. Chad Reed says he's coming back unless the stork decides to make a visit. Either way, good for him, but boy it sure would be cool to see him come back and throw down with RD5 and RV Park. The gap between Dungey and Villopoto is pretty big, but in reality it is a flat tire, a crash, or a simple mechanical failure away from being extinct. Nobody wants to see that, but that is what makes all forms of motor racing so special. It's nothing short of a damn miracle for athlete and machine to stay together. It makes accomplishments like Ricky Carmichael and NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson even more mind-blowing. Luck is an invisible but very powerful part of our sport.
Speaking of luck, another rider making his return is Andrew Short. Shorty has seen some hard luck in his career, and hopefully the sun shines on him when he comes back. Another odd thing about motocross racing is how time away has a positive effect sometimes. I know after I broke some of my bones and was off the bike, I would get back on and out of nowhere my corner speed was better. Remember when Stewart or Carmichael would come back? Andrew probably is not in twenty-lap shape yet, but he'll be in the mix.
Hell, all of'em will be in the mix! Windham's close to the hometown and Hill can still twist it. Look for Tommy Hahn to finally put together a race too. He's one of those guys that has serious speed, especially with a holeshot. So, let's get it up! The weekend is almost here and the Houston Supercross will be on fire!