Hammaker on his first career 250SX victory: It is truly unbelievable
Round 10 of Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, made its way to the Lone Star State where Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Seth Hammaker captured his first career 250SX win in only his third professional race with teammate and current 250SX Western Region championship points leader Cameron McAdoo joining him on the podium in third. In the 450SX class, Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac fought through the pack after a rough start, earning eighth place.
The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki trio of Hammaker, McAdoo, and Smith picked up where they left off in Daytona near the top of the timesheets as they qualified second, third, and fourth respectively heading into the night show.
As the gate dropped on 250SX Heat 1, it was the rookie, Hammaker who grabbed the holeshot with teammate Smith hot on his heels in second place. The duo battled the entire race and it came down to the very last corner as the 20-year old from Pennsylvania went on to capture his first career 250SX heat race win with Smith right behind in second. The current points leader aboard his KX™250 lined up for Heat 2 where he had his work cut out for him after an eighth-place start. With his championship rivals ahead of him, McAdoo dug deep and raced his way up to second place before the checkered flag waved.
The 22-rider field lined up for the 250SX Main Event all vying for the victory, but as the gate dropped, the Kawasaki teammates of Hammaker and Smith once again put themselves at the front of the pack with McAdoo in eighth at the conclusion of Lap 1. Hammaker and Smith jockeyed for the lead before a few costly mistakes sent Smith backwards leading to a 22nd place finish. Riding more like a veteran than a rookie, Hammaker went on to lead all 21 laps on his way to capturing his first career 250SX Main Event win. Meanwhile, McAdoo was able to move himself into third, where he ultimately finished holding off a strong challenge from his nearest rival in the championship hunt and extended his championship lead.
In the 250SX class, Kawasaki has more wins in the Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex area than any other manufacturer and with Hammaker’s win on Saturday, it further extended that lead to 14 total wins for Team Green. Furthermore, Hammaker joins an elite group of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders with his first career win as Ryan Villopoto (Texas Stadium), Blake Baggett (AT&T Stadium), and Adam Cianciarulo (AT&T Stadium) all captured their first career supercross victories in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area.
Seth Hammaker: Where do I even begin? To be standing up here on the top step of the podium is truly a dream come true. If people only knew what the past two years of my life looked like to get to this point, it is truly unbelievable. My teammates didn’t make it easy on me tonight and really made me earn that heat race and main event win. It truly felt like the longest race of my life. I have so many people in my corner that I want to thank, most importantly my family for being there for me on the good days and the bad days. I want to thank everyone at Kawasaki for always believing in me, Mitch Payton, my mechanic Jacob (Martin), the entire staff at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, my trainer Ivan (Tedesco), my friends back home watching and just everyone for always believing in me. This is just the beginning and I can’t wait to lineup on Tuesday!
Cameron McAdoo: Man, today was a dog fight. We had our work cut out for ourselves and I didn’t make my life very easy in the main with that mid-pack start. But I am pumped to be back up on the podium again tonight for the third week in a row. I feel really good about where we are at and we just need to be smart and consistent each race in order to keep building on this six-point championship lead. I also want to say congrats to my teammate, Seth, he rode great all day and I am just so pumped for him. I know the feelings and emotions he’s going through as I just experienced them myself last weekend. It was a good night for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki race team with this double podium.
Jordon Smith: Tonight was definitely another rough one. Coming into this race, I did not get a lot of seat time during the week due to my crash in Daytona. However, I felt solid all day today and I think my riding showed that in qualifying and the heat race. I had a great battle with Seth in the heat race all the way to the finish. In the main event, it was like déjà vu with both of us out front again battling. I knew Seth was fast and that I needed to make a clean pass, but after making a few mistakes, I let Hunter (Lawrence) get by me and then I saw Cameron trying to get by. I was trying to protect the inside line but the track was slippery tonight and I just lost the front end out from underneath me and then the way the bike flipped up it hit me in the chest and it took me a minute to regroup. I am bummed to say the least, but there is no quit in me, so we will rest and be ready to go again on Tuesday.
Words and pic: Kawasaki