Archive for January, 2010

Supercross: Dungey stuns, and runs with Stewart

Posted in Column, Supercross with tags , , , , , on January 9, 2010 by Martin Henderson

They were on the their feet for an underdog. They were witness to a stunning upset in the making. They cheered as the rookie, Ryan Dungey took the race to four-time champion James Stewart at the season-opening event of the 2009 Monster Energy Supercross Series.

Dungey took the lead in the first corner and held it.

This wasn’t Chad Reed holding off Stewart, who almost seemed to settle into second place. It was a rider making only his fifth career start in the class. Seven laps into the 20-lap race, Dungey led by seven-tenths of a second. The next lap, it was nine-tenths. The next lap, 1.5.

People don’t do that to Stewart. But Dungey roomed and trained with Stewart for awhile. After they split, Dungey started training with Ricky Carmichael, aka the Greatest Of All Time. And it seemed that Dungey had channeled Carmichael.

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Supercross: Stewart’s the leader, on and off track

Posted in Column, Supercross with tags , , , , on January 9, 2010 by Martin Henderson

He seems so much more mature now. He has always seemed relaxed, if not always comfortable, but that’s because he’s been doing this since he was a kid. Now there’s a confidence when he speaks, an understanding of his words, a destination when James Stewart talks.

Tiger Woods? “When you’re worth a billion dollars and you’re the face of a sport, the things you do, good or bad, are scrutinized,” says the 24-year-old from Haines City, Fla.

NASCAR? “I want to be on a good team, go out and try to do something besides, ‘Hey, I’m black and I’m in NASCAR.’ I want to try to go out and try to win.”

Championships? “You always want the best person to win. You want the guy or the team that won the most games to be the best and win. One thing, I won’t fall into a championship. I’ll earn my championship.”

He is one of the most exciting riders in Supercross/Motocross history. In all of sports, there may not be anything so thrilling as to watch Stewart crash on his bike while dashing for the first-corner lead, restart, then begin picking off an entire field of professional riders until he reaches first place. It happens. He is amazing and predictable because he will crash. It’s who he is.

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