I had one of those rare weekends during which I was not able to see or hear any racing action whatsoever. I mean, sure, I was able to go online and read all of the stories and blather, but that meant I had to rely on word of mouth and the subjective reports of others, instead of just seeing/hearing it for myself.
So I'm well aware of the results of the Dallas Supercross race; what I'm not so clear on is how they came to unfold. See, just the week before, in Indianapolis, Stewart came from next-to-last to win going away, having no problems dispatching Chad Reed. Two weeks before that, in Daytona, James beat Chad by over 45 seconds, and that was AFTER Reed set fast time in practice.
But this weekend, the reports note that James BARELY won the race, with a margin of under a second, with Chad very nearly passing him in the last turn! Where did Reed find the speed to suddenly be able to challenge James? OR, what was wrong with Stew that he let Reed stay so close to him?
So I went to the experts...
Jason Weigandt at Racer X insists that it was Reed: "Give Reed credit, though. He was much better in Dallas than he was in Indy. After Stewart pulled him at lap ten, Reed started inching back to him on lap 16, and turned in his fastest lap of the night on lap 20."
Shan Moore at Cycle News said Reed was on it: "... the San Manuel Yamaha-mounted Reed was right on Stewart’s tail for the final 17 laps, all the while, looking very capable of taking Stewart at any time."
Brendan Lutes at TransWorld Motocross pretty much reported the same thing, but then threw in this interesting photo of James pointing a finger back at second place reed during the last lap. Hmmm...
On the other hand, Some Guy over at Motocross Action said it was business as usual: "James Stewart ran away with another one. Chad Reed... stayed close but was never a threat."
And then TFS, in his SX Weekend Report, simply headlined this photo with the words "Keeping it Interesting."
So... what to make of all that? Here's what I think happened: someone from Live Nation sat down with James before the race... maybe days before... and "suggested" to him that there's really no need for him to win each remaining race by 10, 20, 30 seconds or whatever. All that will accomplish is "people" will get turned off. Just go fast enough to win, but make it seem like there's hope for Chad to maybe catch up and put on a show. Because it's all about the fans, right?
Hey, it's just what I think.