Saturday night’s race was the “40th Anniversary Celebration Race” of Monster Energy Supercross. And what a night it was… Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed became the third different rider in as many races to win a Monster Energy AMA Supercross race this season inside Angel Stadium in front of 40,000 fans.
The Western Regional 250SX Class Championship continued to deliver talking points. Jason Anderson had snatched victory from under Cole Seely’s nose in the first two rounds but the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda pilot won his first Main Event of the season at Anaheim 2.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey set the pace early by winning the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award to start the 450SX Class Main Event. Team Mafia Moto Crew Kawasaki’s Nick Wey trailed Dungey through turn one in second place. On the opening lap, three-time defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto put his Monster Energy Kawasaki into third place while Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen pulled onto Villopoto’s back wheel in fourth. Roczen then passed Villopoto to take over third place.
While leading on Lap 6, Dungey crashed and dropped to fifth place, giving the lead to Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart. Villopoto bounced back to pass Roczen for the number-two position and set his sights on Stewart. On Lap 14, Villopoto attempted to pass Stewart and crashed, losing several positions.
The crash by Villopoto allowed Roczen to move into second place and Reed to third place. The next lap, Reed passed Roczen for second and two laps later, he passed Stewart for the lead and eventual win. Stewart finished second and Roczen finished third.
“I had 41 of these [wins] before tonight, and they came a hell of a lot easier than this one,” said Reed. “I am so proud and could not have done this without the hard work from my Discount Tire team. We all worked so hard in the off season, and it paid off in a big way tonight. I am so pumped.”
“The track was tight tonight,” said Stewart. “We had two veterans finish one and two tonight, so that was great. Overall, I am proud of my race tonight.”
This was Reed’s first win since January 21, 2012 in Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium and the 42nd of his career. It was also his first win in Anaheim since February 2, 2008 when he won all three races at the venue.
Roczen reclaimed the points lead with Villopoto trailing by a point. Reed moved into third place.
Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Cooper Webb jumped out to the early lead with the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award in the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event with Seely and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson following in second and third, respectively. Seely snuck around Webb shortly after turn one. On lap three, Wilson crashed and re-entered the race in 15th place. Wilson’s crash allowed Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson to move into third place.
Anderson passed Webb on lap eight to secure second place, 5.7 seconds behind Seely. Seely held on for the win, followed by Anderson and Webb. Tonight was the first career podium finish for Webb, who is a rookie this year.
“It was an awesome night for our team,” said Seely. “We have done so much testing before and during the season and spent countless hours at the track, so it is nice to have the hard work pay off. I had some breathing room on the last lap, which was nice. We are going to keep the momentum going headed into next week.”
The win was Seely’s fourth of his career and initially he trailed Anderson in the season standings by three points. But a rulebook infraction from Anderson gave Seely the championship point’s lead.
Monster Energy Supercross heads to Oakland’s O.co Coliseum next Saturday, January 25, for the fourth race of the 2014 season.