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Dungey Secures Second SX Championship with Runner-Up Finish in Houston, Webb Clinches First Career Western Regional 250SX Title with a Win

| 12 April 2015 10:37 am

Monster Energy Supercross Series
Round 14: NRG Stadium

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Kardy Photos
HOUSTON, TX, APR. 11, 2015

Ryan Dungey celebrates his second 450SX-class championship.

Ryan Dungey celebrates his second 450SX-class championship.

Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, traveled to NRG Stadium on Saturday for the 14th stop of the 17-race season. On a night in which Team Honda HRC rookie Cole Seely earned the first win of his 450SX-class career, in front of 48,024 fans, it was Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey who stole the spotlight, following Seely across the line as runner-up to secure his second championship with three races remaining.

Yamalube/ Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb had a similar opportunity in the return of the Western Regional 250SX-class Championship, and the sophomore rider did so in style, winning his fifth main event in seven races to clinch the first title of his professional career with one race to go.

BTO Sports KTM’s Andrew Short’s prowess for stellar starts continued at this round, as he raced to the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award to start the 450SX main event, ahead of Discount Tire Racing/ TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed and Seely. The Honda rider wasted little time making his move and passed both Reed and Short on the inside through the first series of jumps to assume the lead and then sprint away. Dungey found himself mired deep in the top 10, alongside his main championship rival, GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac.

Seely took full advantage of a clear track to open up what quickly became an insurmountable lead, but the battles behind him lasted the entirety of the 20-lap race.

Reed took second from Short on lap three and was followed by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson, who took over third on lap six.

Both Dungey and Tomac made little progress throughout the first half of the race, but after contact between Reed and Anderson took both riders down while they were battling for second, Dungey and Tomac started to assert themselves.

Dungey battled his way into the top five and broke into podium position by passing Discount Tire Racing/ TwoTwo Motorsports’ Josh Grant on lap 11. Two laps later, he passed Short for second. Meanwhile, Tomac started to pressure Grant for fourth. Tomac’s march toward the front put him into a podium spot on lap 16 after passing Short, and he was able to keep Dungey within striking distance.

Seely was never pressured out front and led all 20 laps to become the 59th different winner in 450SX-class history. He also became the sixth different winner of the 2015 season, signifying the first time the championship has had that many riders stand atop the podium since the 1998 season.

“It’s unreal,” said Seely. “I just tried to charge as fast as I could through the first 20 laps and open as big a lead as I could. It was surreal, because I had such a big lead that I could cruise. I just did what I know how to do best and put down heaters [fast laps] when I needed to. Once I did, it was relatively easy from there.”

Cole Seely (14) was the second first-time winner of the season.

Cole Seely (14) was the second first-time winner of the season.

Dungey’s runner-up finish was his 13th consecutive podium result of the season and enough to clinch his first title since winning as a rookie during the 2010 season. The championship also signified the first for KTM in the 450SX class.

“To win in 2010 was awesome, but this time I felt we really earned it and deserved it,” explained Dungey. “It’s hard to know what to say – there’s just so much running through my mind right now. KTM brought me here four years ago to win a championship, and we finally accomplished it. I pictured tonight going a little differently in my mind, but we caught a few breaks and kept it on two wheels. We had to work for it tonight.”

Tomac completed the podium in third.

Dungey and Seely remain atop the 450SX-class championship standings, while Seely’s win moved him into third.

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The Western Regional 250SX main event began with GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia grabbing the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award, just ahead of Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Red Bull/ KTM’s Shane McElrath and Webb. McElrath was able to make a move on Bisceglia to take over the lead, while Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers passed Webb to assume third.

Bowers entered the night as Webb’s primary challenger in the championship, but he was only able to keep his rival at bay for a couple of laps before Webb took over third. Not long after, Bowers pulled off, recording a DNF.

Cooper Webb (17) captured his fifth win of the season.

Cooper Webb (17) captured his fifth win of the season.

Cooper Webb with his first Western Regional 250SX Championship.

Cooper Webb with his first Western Regional 250SX Championship.

On lap four, Webb’s pursuit of victory carried him past Bisceglia for second. As he tried to keep pace with Webb, Bisceglia crashed out of third, handing the spot to Yamalube/ Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger.

Out front, Webb slowly closed in on McElrath, and a battle for the point position ensued on lap nine, with Webb gaining the advantage and seizing control of the lead. Once he got into the top spot, Webb pulled away for the win to put an exclamation point on his championship-winning effort.

McElrath overcame a trip through the last-chance qualifier to earn his second straight runner-up finish, tying a career-best finish.

GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart also battled from a visit to the LCQ and an 11th-place start to round out the podium in third after passing Plessinger for that position on lap 11.

“This is unreal,” exclaimed Webb. “I dedicated my whole life for this moment right here, and it paid off. I was a 4-year-old chasing a dream, and it came true! I put my head down [after finishing seventh at the first race of the season] because I knew I wasn’t a seventh-place guy. I knew I belonged up here, so I never quit. I kept fighting, and here we are.”

Webb is now followed in the Western Regional 250SX-class championship standings by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne, who assumed the spot after a seventh-place finish, and McElrath, who moved into third.

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Monster Energy Supercross will continue next weekend with its 15th stop of the 17-race season and its inaugural visit to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Live broadcast coverage on Fox Sports 1 will begin at 7 p.m. PT/ 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 18.

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.

NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas
Results: April 11, 2015 (Round 14 of 17)

250SX: 1. Cooper Webb (Yam); 2. Shane McElrath (KTM); 3. Malcolm Stewart (Hon); 4. Aaron Plessinger (Yam); 5. Alex Martin (Yam); 6. Justin Hill (KTM); 7. Zach Osborne (Hsq); 8. Matt Bisceglia (Hon); 9. Chris Alldredge (Kaw); 10. Tommy Hahn (Hon).

450SX: 1. Cole Seely (Hon); 2. Ryan Dungey (KTM); 3. Eli Tomac (Hon); 4. Josh Grant (Kaw); 5. Chad Reed (Kaw); 6. Andrew Short (KTM); 7. Davi Millsaps (Kaw); 8. Broc Tickle (Suz); 9. Justin Barcia (Yam); 10. Justin Brayton (KTM).

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Season Standings (after 6 rounds): 1. Marvin Musquin (169); 2. Justin Bogle (149); 3. Jeremy Martin (125); 4. Joey Savatgy (113); 5. (TIE) R.J. Hampshire (84)/ Anthony Rodriguez (84)/ Jimmy Decotis (84); 8. Kyle Peters (76); 9. Martin Davalos (63); 10. Kyle Cunningham (60).

Western Regional 250SX Class Season Standings (after 6 rounds): 1. Cooper Webb (161); 2. Zach Osborne (116); 3. Shane McElrath (108); 4. Jessy Nelson (106); 5. Tyler Bowers (105); 6. Aaron Plessinger (99); 7. Justin Hill (94); 8. Alex Martin (91); 9. (TIE) Malcolm Stewart (89)/ Josh Hansen (89).

450SX Class Season Standings (after 14 rounds): 1. Ryan Dungey (318); 2. Eli Tomac (236); 3. Cole Seely (223); 4. Trey Canard (204); 5. Chad Reed (199); 6. Blake Baggett (175); 7. Jason Anderson (170); 8. Broc Tickle (159); 9. Ken Roczen (156); 10. Andrew Short (152).

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