All Stewart At Spring Creek Nationals

James Stewart earned his first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross victory Saturday in Millville, Minn. (Simon Cudby Photo)
James Stewart earned his first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross victory Saturday in Millville, Minn. (Simon Cudby Photo)

MILLVILLE, Minn. – The 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its lone visit to Minnesota on Saturday for the ninth round of the season from Millville’s Spring Creek MX Park.

With temperatures cooler than usual in the Midwest, the Red Bull Spring Creek National produced plenty of exciting race action for the 31st annual event.

After a five-year winning streak at Spring Creek, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey missed the center of the podium on Saturday. However, a Moto 2 win in the 450 Class gave Dungey’s hometown fans a reason to cheer for the Minnesota native. In the end, it was Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart who captured the overall win at the Red Bull Spring Creek National, his first of the 2013 season.

As the gate dropped for Moto 1 of the 450 Class, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia grabbed the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot down the championship’s longest start straight, where he battled with his teammate Trey Canard for the early lead. Red Bull KTM’s Dungey began the moto with the lead pack but a couple mistakes in the early moments caused the reigning champion to drop back as far as 11th place in the first moto.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart jumped in behind Canard and Barcia off the start, where he quickly took over the lead position from the Honda-backed duo. Barcia and Canard flip-flopped for second place, but Canard eventually made the pass on his teammate for second. Canard closed the gap on Stewart’s lead towards the end, but it wasn’t enough to keep the 2008 450 Class Champion from securing the Moto 1 win. Canard maintained the second-place position, while Barcia and Toyota/JGR/Yamaha’s Josh Grant finished third and fourth, respectively.

The real battle in Moto 2 came in the runner-up position between Canard and Stewart as the outcome would likely determine the 450 Class overall winner. After a back and forth battle to the end, Canard was able to best Stewart for second place in Moto 2. But Stewart’s 1-3 moto score was enough to top Canard’s 2-2 finishes en route to his first overall victory of the season.

“Things just came together today but it was probably the hardest two motos I’ve ridden since last year,” James Stewart said. “We’re just building for next year so any little bit helps. I want to finish this thing [season] and get a couple more wins to carry the momentum into next season.”

Dungey maintained the lead through the end of Moto 2, finishing 5-1 to salvage third place overall for the day.