James Stewart dominated Saturday night’s Monster Energy Supercross race in front of 50,856 fans at Ford Field to earn his 48th career victory, tying him with Ricky Carmichael for second on the all-time wins list.
After suffering three straight finishes of seventh or worse – including an 18th-place result last weekend in Daytona – Stewart returned to the top step of the podium in Detroit, Mich., leading 19 laps en route to a win over Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey.
“The track was slippery tonight, so it was easy to put your bike on the ground,” said Stewart. “I pulled a nice gap in the middle of the race, but I let it go as time went on. It has been a while since I have raced here in Detroit, and it was an awesome night.”
Cole Seely, filling in for an injured Trey Canard, grabbed the holeshot and led early but proved to be no match for Stewart. The two-time series champion block-passed his way into the lead on Lap 2 and controlled the pace for the remainder of the race. Villopoto ran consistent laps on the slick track, but lost costly time while trying to get around Seely for second, thus eliminating any chances of battling with Stewart for the win.
Andrew Short finished just off the podium in fourth followed by Justin Barcia, Broc Tickle, Weston Peick, Josh Hill, Justin Brayton and Josh Grant.
Villopoto now holds a 30-point lead over Dungey with six races remaining in the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross season.
“I was able to get a good start tonight,” said Villopoto. “I made a mistake down the start straight but did regroup. It wasn’t enough, but I walked away with the points lead as we head into Toronto next weekend.”
Stewart’s third win of the season moves him into third in the season standings, 49 points behind Villopoto. Ken Roczen drops to fourth after finishing 20th in Detroit due to brake issues.