On Saturday night, Atlanta’s Georgia Dome played host to the largest crowd to ever watch a Monster Energy AMA Supercross race, an FIM World Championship event, as 68,987 supercross fans enjoyed a great night of 250cc and 450cc racing. While most Georgia fans would have preferred to see local racer Davi Millsaps win the 450SX class to extend his lead in the overall points championship that was not to be as James Stewart led wire to wire to win his first event of the year.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series came into Atlanta with some great expectations on Davi Millsaps who was raised in Cairo, Georgia. Millsaps has had a breakout year so far on his Rockstar Energy Racing winning two races and being on the podium in six of seven previous legs and the evening started well for him as he comfortably won his qualifying heat.
James Stewart, the Florida native, won his qualifier with Justin Barcia second and 2012 450SX class champion Ryan Villopoto in third.
In the final Stewart grabbed the holeshot and led wire to wire. Villopoto was chasing hard from second the entire race but couldn’t close Stewart down and eventually finished 1 1/2 seconds back. Millsaps got to the first turn in the middle of the pack and moved through into third by the second lap but was unable to catch Stewart or Villopoto and had to settle for third, his seventh podium finish.
“I mean, what can I say, we won tonight,” said Stewart. “It [means] a lot; this whole season has been going crazy and to get a victory and to get a start, it was almost a perfect day. I was fastest in practice, fastest in the Heat Race, I got the holeshot in the Main Event and led every lap. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous because I haven’t been out there in a while.”
Millsaps’ consistency, seven podiums in eight races with two wins, has him still leading the points championship by 22 points over Villopoto who actually has one more win on the season but has not been as consistent as Millsaps.
In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class, Will Hahn won the event to move into second on the season. Dean Wilson, who was second last night still retains his championship lead although only by two points. Hahn took the holeshot but Wilson was always close and the winning margin of 1.1 seconds was testimony to how hard Hahn was being pushed. Blake Wharton, Davi Millsaps teammate at Rockstar Energy Racing, finished in third place and is third overall.
Hahn opened the season with a third-place finish last weekend and with tonight’s win, he moved into second place overall. Wilson, who finished second tonight, still has the championship points lead. Wharton finished third and is third overall.
“I put in a lot of hard work, and it paid off here tonight,” said Hahn. “I stayed positive out there and rode a smart race. It’s an amazing feeling to get my first win here at the Georgia Dome in front of so many fans. This has been a long time coming.”
The AMA Supercross series moves from Atlanta to St. Louis next week but if you missed last night’s racing or want some more high flying motorcycle action check out the Nuclear Cowboyz show in Phillips Arena on March 2 and 3.