Editor's note: This article initially ran on March 2, 2021, but we pulled it back to the top to bring back this cool piece for some off-week reading.
Jeremy McGrath is the King of Supercross, we all know this, right? Although he last raced a SX some 15 years ago, his records and wins live on. Maybe forever because it seems very hard to see someone, anyone, breaking 72 450SX wins. This might be our sports Cal Ripken consecutive games record.
A lot of riders raced Jeremy during his reign in SX and I’m sure a lot of them have memories of racing against him and seeing him win against them. But what does Jeremy himself remember about his SX records and races?
Well, it turns out, quite a bit. With the help of Clinton Fowler, we pulled the stats from Jeremy’s career. They’re astounding, we know this. We called MC the other day to ask him about his career indoors to see what he remembered about.
Racer X: Okay, MC, everybody knows you got 72 wins in supercross, but how many wins did you get in the small bike class?
Jeremy McGrath: I think I remember. I think I have 13.
Yup, you do. Good start! Do you know where you rank all-time for 125 supercross wins?
No. I don't know. I’d say probably second or third or something.
Oh, okay. Who’s first? Ricky [Carmichael], or James [Stewart]?
Yeah, James. Who is ranked second to you in total supercross wins?
I think second is James.
Yes. Very good.
He has 50, I believe, and then Ricky has 49 or something.
Yup. Good one. How many total supercross races did you do in your career? Do you know that number?
No, I don’t. I’ll tell you this. Me messing around in those later years, just because I loved it and had fun and all that, really dinged my percentage. So as much fun as that was, it really jacked me on the stats. I would still do it again. I loved racing in those later years because it was really not about winning. It was about just enjoying the fans, enjoying the sport and all that. But at the same time, I soon realized that me not winning really jacked up my stats.
You did 204 total supercross races in both classes.
Oh, wow. That’s pretty cool.
Do you know your win percentage?
Obviously, I would count my win percentage on the thought of retiring at the end of 2002, but do we know how many races I did after that, in ’05 and ’06? It was probably at least ten more races. Four or five each year maybe for two years.
You did 12 races after that.
Okay. So, if you’re not counting those 12, then I would say my win percentage was probably in the high 40s maybe, or mid-40s, 45, 46.
I’ll have to do the math on it minus those 12 but this is for your total career.
If you count the 12, then it probably took it down to 39 or something.
Forty-two percent win total. You won 42 percent of your 250 classes and 42 percent of your 125. So, it’s actually 42 percent in both classes.
Wow. That’s pretty crazy. In 125, I missed some races because I had a broken leg for one of the years. That’s not bad. That’s pretty good, actually.
You raced 101 450SX’s that you did not win. Who had the most wins in those 101 against you?
I would say Ricky.
Yeah, 34 of those 101, he won.
But before Ricky, in my era in the ‘90s, I would say the guy that won the most besides me must have been [Ezra] Lusk, I would say.
You’re right. He won 11.
That’s crazy. He won 11 races and I won 72 races.
Yeah, you were pretty good.
I was pretty far ahead of him. That’s pretty good.
Riders to Win Races Against Jeremy McGrath in SX
Note: These are not the total amount of riders who have taken one of those 101 other wins, but these are the riders with at least five or more wins.
|Rider Name||WINS||2ND PLACE||PODIUMS||AVG FINISH||MAINS|
So, in your 173 races in the 250 class, who raced against you the most, do you think?
I came in in ’93. I think [Mike] LaRocco and [Mike] Kiedrowski… I would say LaRocco, maybe.
Jeremy McGrath's SX Race Wins and Podiums Per Year
|Year||RANK||WINS||WIN %||PODIUMS||PODIUM %||MAINS|
|Year||RANK||WINS||WIN %||PODIUMS||PODIUM %||MAINS|
Yeah. LaRocco was in 152 races against you.
He had already been in the big class I think two seasons before I got there, but he raced until even after I raced. So, I would say it had to be him.
Think about Mike LaRocco. One hundred and fifty-two of your 173 races, and you beat him in probably 145 of those races.
No way. Wow. He was probably tired of hearing my name.
Do you know who was second in amount of races against you after LaRocco?
Second, I would say maybe [Jeff] Emig?
No, Larry Ward.
Oh, Larry Ward. Again, Larry Ward was in there the year before me, or two, and then raced all the way until just about I did, also. Larry Ward was always one of my favorites. I like that guy. He was fun.
You raced RC 72 times against him. What’s your record against him?
The way I see it, he came in in ’99. So, my record against him has got to be… I maybe won 20 of those and he probably won 50.
He won 34. You won 18. So not far off. You only missed it by two.
Oh, that’s not too bad. It seemed a lot worse when I was racing him! [Laughs]
What venue did you have the most wins at?
I think Anaheim I won a lot. That was eight times, right?
Even the stats on that are a little skewed because when I was done racing, they started having two Anaheims and then three Anaheims. These guys rack up Anaheims. Chad [Reed] and Ricky I think are the same as me, maybe. We all have eight at Anaheim, I guess.
Which building did you have the second most wins? It’s a three-way tie.
I’d say Minneapolis.
That’s one of them.
Yup, that’s two.
Maybe Houston or something.
Well again, we had double headers there, so I got the chance to race more there.
I always say I’ve never heard a building louder than you at the Metrodome. I stand by that. I’ve never heard a building louder. Absolutely insane.
That was incredible. Even to be able to win there on the Suzuki that year, that was so cool.
Okay, the best win percentage you have at a venue, one of them you won two out of only three. You have 67 percent-win percentage at two different venues. So, what are the two venues that you won 67 percent of the time at?
Minneapolis has got to be one of them.
It is. Six of nine races there.
Six of nine? That’s pretty awesome. I won eight times in Anaheim, but I don't think it was Anaheim. Maybe San Diego.
Think California, but not San Diego and not Anaheim. A low number.
And it was California? Where else did we race? L.A. Colosseum?
San Jose. Two of three at San Jose.
Oh, wow. Okay. Two of those were 125’s.
Yeah. I think so.
One of those was in ’92, the race where I started last. It was probably one of my favorite ones to watch. I came all the way from last and I think I ended up passing Buddy Antunez, who was on my team at that time. Then finally maybe Damon Huffman, or somebody like that. It was one of those fun ones, a memorable one from the career.
Jeremy McGrath's SX Results by Venue
|Venue||Venue City & State||WINS||WIN %||PODIUMS||PODIUM %||MAINS|
|Angel Stadium||Anaheim, CA||2||50%||2||50%||4|
|SDCCU Stadium||San Diego, CA||2||50%||3||75%||4|
|SAM BOYD STADIUM||Las Vegas, NV||3||100%||3||100%||3|
|Texas Stadium||Irving, TX||2||67%||3||100%||3|
|Spartan Stadium||San Jose, CA||1||33%||1||33%||3|
|Rose Bowl||Pasadena, CA||-||0%||1||100%||1|
|Sun Devil Stadium||Tempe, AZ||-||0%||1||100%||1|
|Los Angeles Coliseum||Los Angeles, CA||1||33%||22||67%||3|
|State Fair Speedway||Oklahoma City, OK||-||0%||1||100%||1|
|Venue||Venue City & State||WINS||WIN %||PODIUMS||PODIUM %||MAINS|
|Angel Stadium||Anaheim, CA||8||40%||10||50%||20|
|RCA Dome||Indianapolis, IN||6||55%||7||64%||11|
|SDCCU Stadium||San Diego, CA||5||45%||7||64%||11|
|Georgia Dome||Atlanta, GA||5||45%||8||73%||11|
|SAM BOYD STADIUM||Las Vegas, NV||4||50%||5||63%||8|
|Edward Jones / Trans World Dome||St. Louis, MO||3||38%||4||50%||8|
|Daytona International Speedway||Daytona Beach, FL||3||27%||6||55%||11|
|Citrus Bowl||Orlando, FL||3||60%||4||80%||5|
|Texas Stadium||Irving, TX||2||20%||7||70%||10|
|Spartan Stadium||San Jose, CA||2||67%||3||100%||3|
|Raymond James / Tampa Stadium||Tampa, FL||2||33%||3||50%||6|
|Memorial Stadium||Charlotte, NC||2||50%||2||50%||4|
|Route 66 Raceway||Joliet, IL||1||100%||1||100%||1|
|Rose Bowl||Pasadena, CA||1||100%||1||100%||1|
|Mile High Stadium||Denver, CO||1||100%||1||100%||1|
|Cleveland Stadium||Cleveland, OH||1||100%||1||100%||1|
|Charlotte Motor Speedway||Concord, NC||1||33%||1||33%||3|
|Bank One / Chase Field||Phoenix, AZ||1||17%||3||50%||6|
|Superdome||New Orleans, LA||-||0%||3||60%||5|
|Sun Devil Stadium||Tempe, AZ||-||0%||2||100%||2|
|Rice-eccles Stadium||Salt Lake City, UT||-||0%||-||0%||2|
|Los Angeles Coliseum||Los Angeles, CA||-||0%||2||67%||3|
Okay, on to the 72 450SX wins. How many different guys got second to you?
I would say it has to be eight guys.
Oh, wow. Ryan Hughes got second to me once or twice. Jimmy [Button] did.
Who got second to you the most in those 72 wins? And how many do you think? There’s a tie. Two guys got second to you the most in your 72 wins.
I don't know. I think it has to be Mike LaRocco, one of them.
Then the second one, the other guy might be… Was it [Kevin] Windham or Lusk?
Nope. Think Yamaha and Kawasaki.
I don't know. No idea.
Fro [Jeff Emig].
It was Emig.
LaRocco and Emig tied. They both finished second to you the most. How many times, would you gather?
I’d say maybe 15 times each.
Ten. How many different riders finished on the podium with you in the 72 wins? How many guys do you think finished on the podium in your 72 wins total?
It would probably have to be… So that would be guys getting second or third?
Yeah, second or third.
These are different guys instead of same guys all the time.
It’s got to be the same, like 22, 25?
It’s 23. We established who got second to you. How many times did LaRocco get on the podium total with you? He got 10 seconds. How many times do you think he was on third place?
If he got 10 seconds, he probably got 20 thirds, I would say.
So that’s 23 plus 10, that’s 33 podiums right there with seconds and thirds.
He’s just looking up at you, pissed, 23 times.
I’m going to remember that scowl on his face until I die, because I remember it.
This is similar, but who was in the mains the most in your 72 wins? Never mind the podium. Just who was in those mains, for 72 wins?
It had to be Larry Ward then.
Yeah. Good job. Good pull on that. How many do you think he was in of 72?
I think he was probably in all 72.
Sixty-eight. I don't know where he missed four races but somewhere, he did.
He must have hurt himself or something. Larry was always in the races.
Second place was LaRocco, who was in 65 of your 72 wins.
That’s crazy. I’m wondering in all my races, how many races did I miss? I don't think I missed any. I started every main event. I crashed and broke my wrist at Pontiac that year when I rode Yamahas. But every other race, I raced. I never really missed any races. It’s pretty crazy.
Even when you broke your wrist you kept riding. You crashed out, but you made the next round.
Yeah. Luckily, we had a break, and I didn’t really know it was broken but I didn’t really have a choice. There was five races left. Then that same year in ’98, I won Hangtown, my last national win that I ever had. I won it with a broken wrist, which is nuts. That track’s choppy.
You might get this stuff. How many wins on a Honda?
I feel like I have 48.
Then on a Yamaha I have… I won two main events on a Suzuki. That makes 45. So then 55, 65, so I must have 27 on a Yamaha?
Jeremy McGrath's SX Wins by Brand
Yup. How many times was RC on the podium with you, second or third?
He won all the races most of the times that I was in. The 20 or whatever that we talked about earlier that I beat him in… Remember when he hurt himself on his Kawi that year, he took a foot peg in the leg. It has to be maybe 15.
Only five. If you look at the ’02 season when he was winning, you weren’t on the podium much.
Exactly. Once he started winning, it didn’t take long.
How many different guys do you think you beat in your 72 wins? Totally random guess, but you figure 20 guys in a main event, and you beat multiple times, but how many of those 72 wins?
That are different guys? I bet it’s probably not a lot. Maybe 45?
Oh, wow. If you take my whole career, there’s really an overlap of two different generations pretty much.
Riders Who Jeremy McGrath Has Beaten in His SX Career
Note: These are not the total amount of riders McGrath has beaten, but these are the riders who have earned a podium on a night where McGrath won.
|WINS||2ND PLACE||PODIUMS||AVG FINISH||MAINS|
This is also taking in your 250 mains in ’92 also. You did three, I think, two or three.
Yeah, on a Peak Pro Circuit bike.
So, your 101 non-wins. This is a question close to my heart. How many times did Tim Ferry make the podium in your 101?
I think that year we rode on Yamaha together he was pretty good. I think he probably made a couple. Let’s call it seven.
Four. I like how you overestimated him, though.
Yeah. I go for the over, not the under. We did have a good time. Great teammate.
I’m going to throw some random stuff at you. Did Mike Craig end up on the podium with you?
I know for sure he did in ’92. He won a race. He won Tampa in ’92 when he rode a Yamaha, and I was maybe second or third or something. I can’t remember what I got. Maybe even fourth. I don't know. If you’re talking about with me winning, did he ever end up on the podium?
Yeah, that’s what I meant. In your 72 wins, did Mike Craig ever end up on the podium?
I’m going to say no.
Yeah, he got second to you in Minneapolis 1994.
He did? On a Yamaha or on a Kawi?
Yamaha. Did Factory Phil [Lawrence] ever end up on the podium with you?
Yup, he did.
You got that one. Orlando.
Yup. Then Ryan Hughes did once or twice also.
Absolutely. How many wins did you ever get in the Astrodome?
I used to love that place. Remember how big the track was?
Huge. They had the big tabletop.
It was awesome. I’m going to say I won there three times.
I used to love that place. That was one of my favorites. Out of all the stadiums—and I’m going to say it’s Dallas, because I think for some strange reason or another, I loved Dallas and had a bunch of friends there and we always used to have fun there. Practiced hard there. Had a lot of fun. But my win percentage was low. I know for sure I won there once. I’m not sure I won there even twice.
Good job! You won there twice, but your win percentage is only 20 percent.
I remember one year was that gnarly mud race. Doug Henry won. I got second. Which was so fun. It was slippery. It was different than any other mud race I had ever raced. Do you remember that one 250 race where me and Kiedrowski came together almost into the mechanics area? We totally ate shit. I think it must have been ’96, maybe. No, not ’96. It was ’94 or ’95. ’95 was the mud race, so it was ’94.
Henry was ’95.
So, it was the ’94 main event.
You have a stadium on here that you raced in six times and only won once. So, you have a worse win percentage at another stadium besides Dallas.
Yeah, which I’m actually surprised at when I saw this.
Let me see. What stadium?
If you think about it, it’s a really nice stadium, too. It’s really nice. It always had a good track.
Must have been St. Louis?
No. Bank One Ballpark, Chase Field.
Six mains, one win only.
Six mains and one win. Wow.
And you were two wins out of ten races in Dallas.
Wow. That’s crazy. Two out of ten in Dallas?
Yeah. Two out of ten in Dallas. Maybe it was the hard pack? I don't know.
Yeah, but you would think I’d kill on hard pack. That’s how I grew up. I killed it at Gainesville. I killed it at all hard pack tracks most of the time. But I always struggled there, for some reason.
In your 72 wins, your average finish was, well, one. There was a guy that had the next-best average finish against you. He only raced 13 times against you, but he had the next-best average finish. Do you have any idea? A guy who didn’t race that much but was pretty good.
Maybe I didn’t race him much because he retired.
No, he was starting out.
Oh, wow. Windham?
No. [David] Vuillemin.
Oh, I forgot about Vuillemin. He was pretty strong there in 2002 and 2001. Two thousand one mostly, I would say.
More random questions. Did Guy Cooper ever end up on the podium with you in one of your 72 wins?
No, he did not. Good one. No Guy Cooper.
I would have remembered because I’m a big fan.
Coop would have been awesome.
I would have loved to have celebrated with him on the podium. What’s the total of different guys? You said it was a high number of 45 on the podium I think, but what’s the total number of different guys throughout that whole time that were in a main event?
We did that one. It was 122. That was in your wins. In your career, I don't know. One hundred twenty two guys that you beat in 72 wins.
That’s crazy. You know, it’s funny because the more I watch supercross and how I’m still such a fan to watch it and how hard it is, to think that I did that is way over my head. This is absolutely crazy that that even happened. The longer I watch supercross, the more I go, “Holy crap. I can’t even believe that I did that.”
It’s always been my thing publicly on my shows where I’m like, look, you can’t call Carmichael the GOAT. If he was close to Jeremy, you could call him the GOAT. If he was a few behind Jeremy, you could call him the GOAT. But you can’t. Jeremy almost doubles him. You can’t. That’s my whole thing.
Look, I don’t dispute him being the GOAT at all. If you take it, there’s no doubt. I can’t even hold a candle to Ricky when it comes to amount of wins and championships in both classes and 125. He overshadows me massively. But we all know exactly why he called himself the GOAT, is because he needed a nickname, and he didn’t have one. That’s how you make money. You market yourself and you have to have a name and you have to do all these things. That’s kind of where they came up with that, at least in the beginning. It holds true, definitely. But I crack up every time I hear them. Everyone jumped on board on that one.
Yeah, it was a clever nickname and all that…
I think that the supercross announcers should not be able to say. Supercross. Outdoor, they should be able to say whatever they want. But them on TV making everyone think that he’s the greatest of all time in supercross when supercross is playing, that gets under my skin a little bit. And I love Ricky. It doesn’t sound right. I’m sure Ricky even cringes when they say that. I have a lot more than he does. It would be like me claiming that I’m the GOAT when I have 18 national wins and he has 118, or something. People would look at me cross-eyed like I was an idiot.
I think it’s hilarious. You watch these races and you’re like, [Eli] Tomac and [Chad] Reed… Then you’re like, wait a minute. I have so many wins.
I watch those guys and I’m like… You watch Tomac when he wins or [Ken] Roczen and you’re like, these guys are badasses. They’re so fast. They have like five wins. It’s like, they’re never catching me ever.
I don't think anybody is. Who knows? I guess you can never say never.
Never say never.