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Crowd Gets Good Racing Show

January 13, 2002|Martin Henderson

SAN DIEGO — There were 68,145 crammed into Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday for the second round of the AMA/EA Sports Supercross Series, which caused a 30-minute delay to accommodate the crowd.

They jammed inside to see defending champion Ricky Carmichael race for the first time since suffering a mild concussion last week at Anaheim, to see seven-time champion Jeremy McGrath of nearby Encinitas try to win for the first time in nearly a year and to get their first look at 16-year-old James "Bubba" Stewart.

They got history with Stewart, and they got more of French rider David Vuillemin from Team Yamaha.

For the second time in the season's first two races, Vuillemin took the checkered flag, stretching his lead in the race and the series standings. Vuillemin, who resides in Corona, won four races in 2000 but was shut out last season as Carmichael won 14 and McGrath twice.

Carmichael, 22, of Havana, Fla., didn't disappoint early, winning his heat race easily, outdistancing Kevin Windham and McGrath, to transfer to the main event. He was racing with facial lacerations, an injured hand and a mild concussion. But Carmichael was no match for Vuillemin in the main event.

Carmichael followed second-place Pastrana and Team Honda teammate Mike LaRocco to the finish line.

McGrath finished 10th. Stewart, from Haines City, Fla., became the youngest rider to ever win a professional supercross event.

Stewart, riding for Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki, turned 16 on Dec. 21.

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