Things seemed to be going Ricky Carmichael's way before the racing even began Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
Kevin Windham, his closest pursuer in the THQ AMA Supercross Series points standings, was reeling so from a series of previous crashes that he took the last several days off "to let the cobwebs clear out."
Chad Reed, coming into the main event in third place behind Windham, strained his neck while landing awkwardly in warmups Thursday and tweaked it again in Saturday's morning practice session, causing him to miss the afternoon session.
But then things have been going Carmichael's way pretty much all season long. In Saturday's main event, Carmichael quickly overtook Michael Byrne and finished well ahead of second-place finisher Reed to claim his fourth consecutive race, in front of a sellout crowd of 45,050.
"It was just a pretty steady main event for me after Chad got held up in the first turn, and I was able to get away," Carmichael said. "But hey that's racing and that's the way it goes sometimes."
For Carmichael, 25, the four victories come after a third-place finish after a fall on a muddy Anaheim track to start the season. With the triumph on the 20-lap Anaheim track, the Suzuki rider from Havana, Fla, widened a comfortable series lead.
Reed, 22, who had been in third place behind Windham, moved into second but still trails Carmichael by a substantial margin, 120 points to 91. Windham crashed early and finished 20th in a 20-rider field.
Byrne finished third. Jeremy McGrath, 33, on a limited comeback and coming off a fifth-place finish two weeks ago, crashed early in the race and was unable to finish.
Ivan Tedesco of Murrieta won in the 125cc division.