We’re only days away from the start of the 10th Annual Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open of Supercross, so we decided to bother Live Nation’s Director of Supercross, Dave Prater, for an update. For more information on the event, visit www.ussx.com.
Racer X: Dave, your 2008 season starts this weekend, doesn’t it?
Dave Prater: Yes, the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open has become the unofficial start of the Supercross season. It is a great place for riders to evaluate where they are physically and mentally in preparation for the upcoming supercross season.
Things are going well. This event is always a challenge operationally. We start our move-in at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. The amount of trussing that we use here is twice what we use at a supercross. All of the trussing, lighting, and lasers go up on Sunday. Dirt began moving in on Monday at 2 p.m. As Dirt Wurx gets started building the track, we turn our attention to the north concourse and the VIP party.
Let’s move on to the big change this year, which deals with the format. What influenced the format change and do you think it’ll be a success?
Yes, this year we are running the 450s and the 250s together in one "Open Class." We felt that the 250f could compete with the 450f on a tighter U.S. Open track. The event has always been called the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open, so why not make it a true "Open"? It is going to be fun to see how it turns out.
Did you get any rider input before the change?
We met with all of the teams and most of the top riders before making the decision. They all seemed to agree with the change and thought it would add even more excitement to the event.
Is there anything special planned to coincide with the 10th anniversary of this race?
One of the most exciting elements of this year's event is the "Alpinestars Championship Re-Match Race." We are bringing back Mike LaRocco, Jeff Emig and Damon Huffman for an exhibition race. All three Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open champions have retired from professional competition, but are coming back this weekend one last time for the fans. Five laps on both Friday and Saturday night that you do not want to miss. (To catch a preview of ’99 U.S. Open winner Jeff Emig’s prep, check out Simon Cudby’s film on www.racerxfilms.com)
Are tickets still available, Dave?
Yes, tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, or at the MGM Box Office 702-474-2000.