Welcome to the morning report from Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, where the day program of the Monster Energy Cup is just about to get underway. There’s been a lot of hype leading up to this event, and so far it looks as though the MEC is going to deliver.
At first glance, the track resembles a supercross track, although there are several sections that are definitely motocross inspired. The section inside the stadium consists mainly of tall, perfectly carved berms, rhythm sections, and some big jumps right out of corners, while the outside section is more motocross inspired with some flat corners and rollers. The dirt is the typical, hard packed Vegas dirt, and with temperatures topping out in the low nineties today, expect an extremely hard track surface. The start is right inside the stadium (during the supercross season, the gate is outside the stadium), and the dirt is pretty rocky in the first part of Monster Alley. The track also loops up into the stands, and as a result, a massive section of seats is closed off. Eric Johnson said that the total number of seats closed is roughly 15,000, so props to Feld Motorsports for giving up a significant number of sellable seats in order to create an exciting obstacle for the fans.
A quick stroll through the pits revealed several teams with just a single bike in them. Rockstar Makita Suzuki (Brett Metcalfe), Muscle Milk Honda (Justin Brayton), and Butler Brothers (Jason Thomas), are all only bringing a single rider. It takes a lot of time, money and effort for teams to come to the races, and the fact that teams are showing up for just one rider is an indication that they are taking the MEC seriously. And speaking of single riders, Kyle Cunningham was the only Star Racing DNA Shred Stix rider I saw. He was pitted right next to the Valli Motosports truck, and there were plenty of Star Racing shirts hanging out inside the Valli pits. What could that mean?
During the riders track walk, while everyone was scoping out lines, I noticed Kevin Windham was standing on top of the huge freestyle landing, scanning the track. When I asked him what was up, he said he was looking for a good transfer option for the opening ceremonies. It’s going to be a wild show, folks. Make sure to keep it locked on www.racerxonline.com, and follow us on Twitter, @racerxonline, for updates on the action, all day long.