Last year, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki trio of Baggett, Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray swapped the red plate three times in the first three weeks of the season! Then Wilson held it most of the way via consistency, before turning on a late-season win streak to ice the title.
In 450s, Chad Reed won the 2009 Championship, but Ryan Villopoto and Mike Alessi also spent some time with the red plate before knee injuries ended it. In 2010, Dungey struggled big at the opener at Hangtown, so it took a few weeks of winning for him to run the red (Reed started the year strong on a Kawasaki and held the red plate until a DNF at High Point).
Last year, Dungey, Reed and Villopoto all held the red at varying points (Reed and Dungey both had it at Freestone after going 1-2 and 2-1 at Hangtown. Then Dungey ran out of gas and was never quite able to get it back). This season, James Stewart came out firing with early wins, but Dungey took the red plate in Colorado and never looked back.
Oddly, of all of these title runs, Baggett's 2012 250 conquest may have been the most closely contested—even though it's the only one to feature the same points leader for all 12 races!