Although all the championship plates have been handed out to their well deserving owners, there is still on plenty on the line in Vegas. The Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout pits the top 20 racers from each field of the Lites series to find out who is the best. Last year Pro Circuit’s Christophe Pourcel was the first Eastern division champ to win the shootout in since James Stewart’s win in 2007, and only the fifth to do so in 15 years. It’s obvious that Pourcel will be intent on the win, but his West Coast teammate Jake Weimer is also gunning for the bragging rights. Canadian Pro Circuit rider Dean Wilson wanted a win so bad in the East coast it almost brought him to tears to finish second, can he get the rookie win he want so bad this Saturday night in Vegas?
With so much talent crammed into the shootout, the racing is always unpredictable at best. This race gives a chance for redemption for the racers whose season didn’t go as well as they had hoped. Honda’s Trey Canard finished third this season in the West, while many expected him to make a run at the title after his successful stint filling in for Andrew Short. Dismal track conditions and some bad luck with his fellow GEICO racer, Blake Wharton, derailed his charge. Will Canard use this race to show he is the fastest indoor Lites rider? It’s probably his last chance.
This is the first opportunity for the West Coast fans to see the “Wild Child,” Justin Barcia in person. With two wins in the East Lites, the GEICO Powersports rider has the potential to take the win on the usually dry and dusty Las Vegas track. Other winners such as Broc Tickle, Josh Hansen and Blake Baggett will be gunning for another win before heading outdoors. TLD/Lucas Oil’s Wil Hahn has also been riding well the last couple races, and if he gets a start he will be tough to beat. Any way it goes, the East/West race is always exciting and is reason enough to attend Round 17.
K-Dub will be gunning for win number three in Vegas, looking to prove he can win when track conditions are good.
In the premier class there are still plenty of reasons to get excited even though Ryan Dungey locked up the 2010 Supercross Championship in Seattle. The number one reason is Kevin Windham. With two wins the last two races, K-Dub has some serious momentum rolling into the final race of the year. The veteran’s experience has shown though in the ruts, mud, rain and snow of Seattle and Salt Lake City, but none of that will be a factor in Vegas. Can Windham show everyone that he’s a winner when the track doesn’t resemble an EnduroCross course?
Kawasaki’s Chad Reed took last weekend off to spend time with his newborn son and wife after being awake for two days straight. The current outdoor champ will return to race the final round Saturday night. Now that his son is here TwoTwo should be more focused; however it remains to be seen if he will put the hammer down in V-Town or wait until the Hangtown opener to show everyone what he’s got.
Just as in past years, the start gate is outside of the stadium, shooting the riders into the stadium at high speeds over a small triple and then a ski-jump. The track exits the stadium around a high-speed flat track turn, and then re-enters at the entrance from the start. A high of 89 degrees is forecasted with 15-to-20 mile-per-hour winds, so expect the usually dusty and slick track conditions to come into play. Stay tuned for all the weekend’s racing action on MotoUSA!