E3 Motorcycle Spark Plugs fans love an upset win especially when the winner is one of the legends of the sport. Red Bull Honda rider Kevin Windham had the 450cc MX field covered at the Steel City Raceway for Round 11 of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro MX National Championship. The veteran motocross racer, who had not won an AMA outdoor national since 2007, has always been a fan favorite. After having retired from outdoor competition, Windham got “the call” from the factory Honda team to replace injured Red Bull rider Davi Milsaps. Some thought Red Bull’s move was just an easy way to add a popular rider under the tent to sign autographs for loyal motocross fans. Undoubtedly, Windham had different aspirations.
The biggest news came earlier in the week when Rockstar Makita Suzuki team manager Roger DeCoster announced that he would be leaving after 15 years at the helm of the factory’s MX racing program. The shocking press release appeared just days after Ryan Dungey became the first rookie motocross racer in history to capture the AMA Supercross and Motocross national championships in an inaugural season. DeCoster hasn’t confirmed his plans for the 2011 AMA Lucas Oil season but rumors have it that the former multi-time World Motocross Champion may be headed to KTM. In keeping with “Silly Season” news, it was also rumored that Dungey may want out of his 2011 contract with Suzuki to take a long-term deal with another team.
To nobody’s surprise, Honda/Red Bull rider Andrew Short pulled the holeshot in Moto One with Geico Powersports’s Brett Metcalfe close behind. However, the other Red Bull rider, Kevin Windham, was already working his way to the front. Windham left no doubt in the fans’ mind as to why he was Honda’s first choice as the replacement for the factory ride. After Dungey crashed on the opening lap, Windham would pass Short and Metcalfe on his way to one of the most popular wins of his stellar career. Metcalfe would hold on for second place and his hard-charging teammate and fellow Aussie, Ben Townley, would finish in third place ahead of Short. Yamaha’s Justin Brayton continued to show improvement finishing fifth in the opening moto at Steel City Raceway.
In Moto Two, all eyes would be on the newly-crowned national champion Dungey (who had finished 40th in Moto One after breaking a brake rotor and retiring early). Andrew Short would again put his Red Bull factory Honda out front at the start. However, this day belonged to Windham who passed his teammate Short to take the lead in Moto Two. Around mid-race, Dungey would pass Windham for the moto win. But, Windham’s second place was good enough to claim the overall win ahead of Metcalfe, Brayton and Short. Eighteen-year old Nick Paluzzi, was given an opportunity to race the last two AMA outdoor nationals with the Muscle Milk/Toyota Team (after Josh Grant elected to have season-ending shoulder surgery) and finished a respectable seventh overall in his debut aboard the Joe Gibbs Racing Yamaha.
The 450cc MX teams travel to the west coast for next weekend’s final round of the 2010 outdoor season at Pala Raceway. Located just east of San Deigo, CA, the Pala motocross facility features one of the first tracks in the nation that was built to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards. As E3 Spark Plugs Racing fans know, the EPA lists E3 car spark plugs as an eco-friendly option. If you are looking for a greener alternative for your car, truck or motorcycle engine, insist upon E3 replacement spark plugs for your favorite ride. Our patented DiamondFire Technology will deliver the Energy, Efficiency and Ecology that you need.