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Dungey Leads Monster Energy SX into Houston Looking for Second 450SX Title

| 8 April 2015 12:11 pm

Monster Energy Supercross Series
Round 13: NRG Stadium

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Kardy Photos and Hoppenworld
HOUSTON, TX, APR. 7, 2015

Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, observed its lone break of the 2015 season last weekend. After 13 consecutive Saturdays of grueling competition, the world’s best riders took advantage of the opportunity to rest. They are now refreshed and ready to close out the season with its stretch run to Las Vegas. The final four races of the season will kick off this Saturday, April 11, inside Houston’s NRG Stadium.

The holder of the red plate, Ryan Dungey, in St. Louis. Photo by Kardy Photos

The holder of the red plate, Ryan Dungey, in St. Louis. Photo by Kardy Photos

As a result of his dominant consistency and nine-race reign as the holder of the red plate signifying that he is the points leader, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey enters this weekend with the opportunity to clinch the second 450SX-class championship of his career.

Saturday night’s race will air live on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. CDT/ 5 p.m. PDT. Live coverage from Houston will also be available on the authenticated Fox Sports Go app. On Saturday, April 11, fans can log on to www.SupercrossLive.com to watch “Supercross Race Day Live,” presented by AMSOIL, with Jim Holley and Andy Bowyer, from 1:50 p.m. EDT/ 12:50 p.m. CDT/ 9:50 p.m. PDT to 5:50 p.m. EDT/ 4:50 p.m. CDT/ 2:50 p.m. PDT.

Here are some key insights to watch for heading into this Saturday night’s race…

Can Ryan Dungey clinch his second career championship? He needs to take the checkered flag 75 points or more ahead of Eli Tomac, who currently sits 80 points out of the lead.

Who will seize control in the battle for third between Cole Seely and Chad Reed in the 450SX-class standings?

Will one of the 450SX-class rookies – Seely, Jason Anderson or Blake Baggett – break through with the first victory of his career?

How will the hopeful returns of Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia impact Houston and the rest of the 2015 season?

Despite not having raced for two months, can Cooper Webb maintain his lead in the Western Regional 250SX-class Championship and clinch the first title of his Pro career? Webb currently holds a 30-point lead over Jessy Nelson and needs to take the checkered flag with a lead of at least 25 or more points.

Can title contenders Nelson, Tyler Bowers or Zach Osborne force the championship to be decided at the final race next weekend?

At the most recent stop of the Monster Energy Supercross season in St. Louis, Missouri, Dungey set a personal record for wins in a season, claiming his sixth of his 2015 campaign. Since earning his first win of the season at the third race in Anaheim, which was the fifth stop on the schedule, Dungey has gone on to win five of the following eight races, finishing on the podium in all eight of those races to extend his podium streak to an incredible 12 races. With just one finish outside the top three all season, in fourth, Dungey has amassed what is arguably the most statistically dominant season since Monster Energy Supercross expanded to 17 races during the 2008 season.

As a result of his historic consistency, Dungey has built a healthy 80-point lead over GEICO Honda’s Tomac, who has done well to match his rival’s pace the past two races with a win and a runner-up effort. Unfortunately for Tomac, it might be a case of too little, too late, even if he is able to earn his third victory of the season. Considering the clinching scenarios, Dungey would need to finish at third or better if Tomac were to take the win. Considering the string of results he’s amassed this season, that is as close to a certainty as someone like Dungey could have.

Sitting in second place in the 450SX points standings is Eli Tomac. Photo by Kardy Photos

Sitting in second place in the 450SX points standings is Eli Tomac. Photo by Kardy Photos

While a title may be on Dungey’s mind coming into Houston, the rest of the 450SX field will be looking for opportunity. While Dungey, Tomac, Discount Tire Racing/ TwoTwo Motorsports’ Reed, Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard and RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy John’s Factory Suzuki Racing’s Roczen have all been victorious this season, many other elite contenders are still hoping for their breakthrough wins.

Leading this group is the rookie trio of Team Honda HRC’s Seely, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Anderson, and Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Baggett. All three riders have finished on the podium this season and each believes he has the speed to win before the season comes to an end.

Another rider with aspirations of winning is Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Davi Millsaps, who has battled through illness to start hitting his groove as the season winds down.

Check out these 450SX-class video highlights from the St. Louis round…

While the battle for victory – and potentially the title – will no doubt garner the most attention, many will be watching to see if both Roczen and Autotrader.com/ Toyota/ Yamaha’s Barcia will be able to return to action following injuries. Both riders are considered two of the best in the world, and their presence in the field only adds to the intrigue surrounding the race.

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The annual visit to Houston also signifies the highly anticipated return of the Western Regional 250SX-class Championship, which has not raced since the sixth race of the season back in February, in San Diego, California. The nearly two-month break in competition provides the opportunity for virtually the entire field to get back to full strength and close out the season on a high note.

Current Western Regional 250SX points leader Cooper Webb. Photo by Hoppenworld

Current Western Regional 250SX points leader Cooper Webb. Photo by Hoppenworld

Prior to the break, Yamalube/ Star Racing Yamaha’s Webb had been on a tear, capturing four wins in five races. Thanks to his dominant stretch, Webb opened up his points lead to 30 over Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ KTM’s Nelson. Like Dungey, Webb has the opportunity to clinch the title in Houston, which would signify the first of his professional career. He needs to maintain a 25-point lead over the field when the checkered flag falls, giving him at least a five-point margin to work with. Should Nelson win, Webb needs to finish third or better to wrap up the title one race prior to the Western Regional finale.

Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Bowers and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Osborne are also within mathematical contention, sitting in third (-32) and fourth (-34), respectively.

Check out these 250SX-class video highlights from the St. Louis round…

During last year’s event in Houston, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto dominated the 450SX main event to secure his fourth win of the season and extend his points lead on a path to becoming a four-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion.

In the return of the Western Regional 250SX-class Championship, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Anderson captured his fourth win of the season to extend his points lead en route to earning his first career professional title.

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Tickets are available at the NRG Stadium box office and at all Ticketmaster outlets, or you can charge by phone at 800/745-3000 or online at www.supercrosslive.com or Ticketmaster.com.

Practice and qualifying will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the main event will start at 6:30 p.m. Club Level seats are $50 per adult or child; Field Level Sidelines seating is $30 per adult or child; Endzone seats (100 & 300 Level) are $30 per adult or $15 per child; and Treadhead seats are $15 per adult or child. Fans can also get into the pits for free from noon to 6 p.m. on race day when they recycle a Monster Energy can at the stadium’s pit entrance. (This offer valid only with event ticket.) Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. Subject to availability.

For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to www.SupercrossLive.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross.

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