Andrew Short’s Windfall Sets the Stage as Monster Energy Supercross Heads to Salt Lake City
Davi Millsaps & Justin Brayton Points Race Continues This Saturday Night
Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship returns to Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium this Saturday night as JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps and Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Brayton showcase their hotly contested points in the Supercross Class.
Before 52,731 fans at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field last Saturday night, L&MC Racing Honda’s Andrew Short, of Smithville, Texas, reached a milestone in capturing the first Supercross Class win of his career. En route, Short, who led all 20 laps in the Main Event, held off the ultra-competitive field of Supercross Class racers, besting Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who crashed in the race’s early stages, and withdrew from the Main Event under his own will.
Once he secured the Nuclear CowboyzÂ® Holeshot Award, Short raced to the checkered flags.
“It doesn’t feel real,” exclaimed Short, who missed seven races earlier this season to injury. “My team has been through some challenges, but we stuck together. There are so many people who have helped me in 11 years of doing this. I’m getting old. I didn’t believe (I could win) too much until the end and I think that’s been one of my problems in the past. All I wanted to do was be out here and to win is unreal.”
Behind Short, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton, of Murrieta, Calif., and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, of Murrieta, Calif., made up the two and three spots, respectively. Out front, Short and Roczen jockeyed for positions but it was Short that showed his prowess and rode off to victory. However, the runner-up position for Roczen, an Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class rider, was the best Supercross Class finish of his career and his first Supercross Class race of the season. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, of Rupert, Idaho, rounded out the podium in third.
In the Western Regional Supercross Lites Class competition, Star/Valli Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes, of Ekron, Ky., grabbed his first win of the season.
As the gate dropped on the Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Main Event, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, of Menifee, Calif., edged out both Sipes and GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., to grab the Nuclear CowboyzÃ‚Â® Holeshot Award, only to have Sipes assert himself in the lead shortly thereafter.
As Sipes opened a margin over the field, Wilson and Tomac went head to head in a heated battle for the runner-up spot. The class’ two top contenders for the championship traded the position a few times, before coming together on Lap 8, causing Wilson to fall to the ground.
Tomac looked to close in on Sipes, but was ultimately caught by Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, of Murrieta, Calif., on the final lap. Sipes led all 15 laps of the main event, bouncing back from an injury he suffered earlier in the season.
“I worked really hard to come back here and didn’t think I’d be able to,” said Sipes, who has won just two points-paying races in his career. “I tried not to push. I tried to conserve and flow. I didn’t go fast, but I didn’t go slow either. The first five races (this season) were so tough. I felt good, but I was pushing too hard. It just feels so good to come back from (my) injury like this.”
Musquin held on for second, while Tomac finished third, taking over the points lead from Wilson, who recovered to finish seventh following his crash.
“I wasn’t happy with my heat race, but it was go time in the main event,” said Tomac, who holds a four-point lead in the championship standings. “Dean (Wilson) put some block passes on me and I said, ‘let’s play.’ I got into him there, but I guess that’s racing. I was rusty in practice but I gave it my all tonight. When we made contact, my clutch was bent, so I was riding in third gear. I’m looking forward to Salt Lake City because it’s like a home race for me.”
During the 2011 Monster Energy Supercross stop in Salt Lake City, Ryan Villopoto of Poulsbo, Wash., took home his sixth and final victory of the season. GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac left with his second Western Regional Supercross Lites Class victory of 2011.