Bench Racing Ammo:  Doing the Double

Bench Racing Ammo: Doing the Double

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When racers start winning early in their careers, it’s often interpreted as a sign of future greatness. With that in mind, we dove deep into the Racer X Vault and assembled a sampling of some of our sport’s biggest names who have won both supercross races and Nationals, and how many races it took them to notch their first ever win in each discipline. We were surprised at some of our findings, and if you take a close look at the list, we guarantee you will be too.

Keep in mind that before 1985, there was no 125 Class in supercross, so riders in the Ricky Johnson/Jeff Ward/David Bailey era and prior were chasing their first supercross win in the premier class. We’ve included the Dave Coombs East/West Shootout in our tally, as well as races in which 125/250F riders have temporarily jumped up into the premier class. If we missed anyone, be sure to let us know in the comments section at the bottom!

Rider Races until first SX win Races until first MX win Combined
James Stewart 2 1 3
Christophe Pourcel 2 2 4
Ricky Carmichael 3 2 5
Jimmy Ellis 1 5 6
Bob Hannah 4 2 6
Eli Tomac 6 1 7
Damon Bradshaw 2 5 7
Ben Townley 2 5 7
Marty Smith 6 1 7
Brian Swink 1 7 8
Chad Reed 5 3 8
Travis Pastrana 4 4 8
Austin Stroupe 6 3 9
David Vuillemin 7 2 9
Grant Langston 8 1 9
Jim Weinert 4 7 11
Ryan Villopoto 7 5 12
Dean Wilson 9 4 13
Blake Baggett 5 8 13
Marty Tripes 11 2 13
Justin Barcia 4 11 15
Mike Bell 10 5 15
Jean-Michel Bayle 14 1 15
Mike Kiedrowski 10 6 16
Ron Lechien 9 7 16
Mark Barnett 9 10 19
Kevin Windham 8 11 19
Broc Glover 9 11 20
Trey Canard 1 22 23
Ryan Dungey 1 22 23
Ken Roczen 10 13 23
Tony Distefano 3 27 30
Broc Hepler 9 21 30
Mickael Pichon 3 31 34
Ricky Johnson 26 9 35
Mike LaRocco 1 35 36
Marvin Musquin 19 17 36
Tallon Vohland 14 24 38
Donnie Hansen 25 13 38
Jeremy McGrath 10 28 38
David Bailey 17 25 42
Larry Ward 27 15 42
Stephane Roncada 8 35 43
Josh Grant 9 34 43
Jeff Emig 5 39 44
Johnny O’Mara 33 13 46
Kent Howerton 38 10 48
Jeff Stanton 26 26 52
Jake Weimer 15 37 52
John Dowd 39 13 52
Doug Henry 37 15 52
Ryan Hughes 21 31 52
Ezra Lusk 11 44 55
Tim Ferry 17 41 58
Chuck Sun 20 44 64
Rex Staten 26 39 65
Mike Brown 40 35 75
Jeff Ward 46 35 81
Ivan Tedesco 26 56 82
Jimmy Button 22 88 110

Obviously, it takes a special talent to win so quickly in the pro ranks. But there are other factors in the list above. First, several riders near the top of the list came over from Europe with professional experience on the Grand Prix circuit. Christophe Pourcel, Ben Townley and Grant Langston, for example, had already won world championships before they’d even tried an outdoor MX National here in the U.S., so they came in ready.

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James Stewart ranks #1 on the list.
Simon Cudby photo

Second, as we mentioned earlier, some riders dove right into the premier class of supercross to cut their teeth. That includes not only riders like Johnson, Ward and Bailey, who didn’t have a 125SX to compete in, but also Chad Reed, who raced a few West rounds in the 250 class before winning the very first 125 East race he ever entered. Finally, the relative professionalism of the amateur ranks has impacted the results, as fast learners like Eli Tomac, Trey Canard and Austin Stroupe jumped straight into top pro teams. Back in the day, even the fastest amateurs turned pro as privateers, and it often took years before they had the equipment and guidance needed to win races.

While doing our research for the list above, we uncovered some racers who have won in one category and not the other. It’s amazing how quickly some of these guys were able to score a SX win without winning a National, and vice versa.

Ernesto Fonseca 1
Never
Gary Jones Never
3
Mike Alessi Never
4
Larry Brooks 4
Never
Ty Davis 5
Never
Blake Wharton 5
Never
Davi Millsaps 8
Never
Tyla Rattray Never
12
Cole Seely 15
Never
David Pingree 18
Never
Josh Hansen 19
Never
Jason Lawrence 20
Never
Denny Stephenson 22
Never
Jason Anderson 24
Never
George Holland Never
25
Tyler Bowers 26
Never
Steve Lamson Never
27
Micky Dymond Never
29
Erik Kehoe Never
30
Wil Hahn 35
Never
Ramsey 38
Never
Steve Stackable Never
44

What other trends jump out at you while surveying the stats?

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