The List: Oldest SX Title Winners

The List Oldest SX Title Winners

November 30, 2016 10:30am

During the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season, Chad Reed, who will turn 35 in March, could surpass Mike LaRocco as the oldest race winner in the history of Monster Energy Supercross. LaRocco, the current team manager at GEICO Honda, was 33 years, 1 month, and 8 days old when he won the Indianapolis Supercross on March 20, 2004—the last win of his professional career.

Only four riders in the history of the sport—Reed, LaRocco, John Dowd, and Kevin Windham—have won a premier class main event after the age of 30. Further, no rider has ever won a 250/450 supercross title after the age of 30. Which bring us to the point of this article. In a few days (December 4), three-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey will turn 27. Not exactly old. Until you look at the record books.

Since the sport of supercross held its first season in 1974, only two riders have won a championship past the age of 27—Jeremy McGrath and Pierre Karsmakers. Worth noting, Karsmakers won his championship during an inaugural season (1974) in which just three rounds were held. It was just a totally different era. And McGrath, well, you know plenty about his records. They’re ridiculous.

McGrath won his seventh championship at 28 years, 5 months, and 17 days old.
McGrath won his seventh championship at 28 years, 5 months, and 17 days old. Cycle News

When Dungey won his second-straight 450SX title in 2016, it actually moved him past Reed as the fifth oldest rider to win the title in that premier class. It seems strange just typing that. Does anyone really look at Dungey and think he’s old?

If Reed, who recently stated he’d like to race a few more years, pulls off the improbable and wins a third championship at the age of 35, he’d break McGrath’s record by seven years. But if Dungey repeats, he’ll end up the third-oldest SX Champion ever.

For the List this week, we decided to look back at the oldest title winners in AMA Supercross history.

Oldest Riders in the History to win a 250/450SX Championship

Rider Age Year
Jeremy McGrath 28 years, 5 months, 17 days 2000
Pierre Karsmakers 27 years, 10 months, 11 days​ 1974
Jeff Emig 26 years, 5 months, 16 days 1997
Ricky Carmichael 26 years, 5 months, 9 days 2006
Ryan Dungey 26 years, 5 months, 3 days 2016
Chad Reed 26 years, 1 month, 18 days 2008
Jeff Ward 25 years, 11 months, 26 days 1987
Ryan Villopoto​ 25 years, 8 months, 20 days​ 2014​
Ryan Dungey 25 years, 4 months, 28 days​ 2015
McGrath, Carmichael, LaRocco, Reed, Windham, Dungey … they’re featured not only in this article, but also in our 2017 Racer X calendar. Subscribe now and get one for free!
McGrath, Carmichael, LaRocco, Reed, Windham, Dungey … they’re featured not only in this article, but also in our 2017 Racer X calendar. Subscribe now and get one for free!