From Feld Motorsports
This Saturday night MetLife Stadium hosts its first-ever Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race, where three-time defending champion Ryan Villopoto will race for his fourth consecutive title in the 450SX Class. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos brings an eight-point lead in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship as he closes in on his first-ever title.
Some key insights into this weekend’s race are:
• First Monster Energy Supercross race in the New York metropolitan area in 22 years
• Villopoto is racing for his fourth consecutive championship and 40th race win
• Honda has never lost a 450SX Class in East Rutherford
• Davalos is racing for his first-ever championship and third race win
• Villopoto and Stewart are separated by one point in the Toyota Triple Challenge and Stewart leads Dungey in the race for second place in the 450SX Class season standings by three points
Villopoto, a native of the Seattle area, expects to close out another championship-winning year by winning his fourth title at the same venue that the Seattle Seahawks did earlier this year with a Super Bowl victory. The winner of five races this season, Villopoto has established a 48-point lead in the points race and has been the most consistent rider with an average finish of 2.6.
The hotly contested battle for second place in the championship pits two former champions in Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. Stewart, a two-time champion to Dungey’s one, has a three-point advantage.
Team Honda/Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia will serve as the race’s hometown hero as a native of nearby Patterson, N.J. Currently fifth in the season standings, Barcia, a two-time career race winner, looks to score the first win of his 2014 season to narrow the 35-point gap that Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen for fourth place and extend Honda’s undefeated streak in East Rutherford to 5-0.
Villopoto put an exclamation point on his rise to the top at the championship’s last race at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field before 53,927 fans, winning his fifth race of the season. Stewart hoped to spoil Villopoto’s run for the win in the early stages of the race but settled for second overall. Dungey rounded out the field in third.
“I don’t think I’ve ever raced in front of a crowd cheering me on this loud. It’s tough to race at home and in the past, I haven’t been that stellar here, so to have a race like that is awesome,” said Villopoto, who’s first career 450SX Class win came in Seattle during his 2009 rookie season. “With [James Stewart] and [Ryan Dungey] standing up here next to me, getting a win is huge. I’m not thinking about the championship right now, but it does feel good to have an opportunity to wrap up the title in New York in a couple weeks.”
Through the first five races of the Eastern Regional Championship, Davalos battled with teammates Adam Cianciarulo, who at one point had the points lead but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury and Blake Baggett.
MetLife Stadium will serve as the final stop of the Toyota Triple Challenge that posted $250,000 and a 2014 Toyota Tundra for the winner of the third stop in Anaheim, Arlington, Texas and East Rutherford, N.J. Stewart has a one-point lead over Stewart in this mini-series.
• The host venue of the Super Bowl has also played host to Monster Energy Supercross in the same season 15 times
• An NFC team has won the game 10 times and with the Seahawks win this year at MetLife, the AFC has won six times
• Villopoto can become the first rider to win a Monster Energy Supercross title in the same year that his hometown NFL achieved the same accomplishment
The state-of-the-art MetLife Stadium, in the greater New York Metropolitan area, is not only one of the newest venues in the country, but it sits on one of the most iconic pieces of land in the history of major sports competition. For more than 30 years, The Meadowlands, which was torn down a few years ago and replaced with the beautiful MetLife Stadium, has been the site of some of the biggest events in sports and entertainment, including a five-year period with Monster Energy Supercross in the late 80s and early 90s.