MOTOCROSS : Rookie McGrath Wins the Title in 250cc Class


Jeremy McGrath, needing only to finish ahead of Mike Kiedrowski to clinch the Camel Supercross Series championship--worth $100,000--started Saturday night’s race like a man with something to prove.

The 21-year-old from Murietta, a rookie in the 250cc class, shot from the starting line, slowing only to maneuver his Honda over the bumps, and soaring over the jumps laid out over the Rose Bowl course.

A crowd of 30,143 watched and cheered as McGrath outclassed a field of 20 racers, many of them longtime veterans, leading by 17 seconds by lap 5 and finishing the 20-lap race by about the same margin.


“It took a good start to pull away like that,” McGrath said. “I wasn’t about to look back. If you look back, you start going backward.”

If McGrath had looked back he wouldn’t have been able to find Kiedrowski--and Kiedrowski finished second .

“I did the best I could and ran a good race,” Kiedrowski said. “Jeremy just out-raced me.”

Not that this is anything new. The victory is McGrath’s ninth, tying him with Damon Bradshaw for the record for most victories in a season--and there are two races left in the series. McGrath’s victory total is a rookie record.

So impressive was McGrath this season that for Kiedrowski to win the championship he needed to win the three remaining races--Saturday’s included--and have McGrath average 14th-place finishes.

Still, McGrath acknowledged being nervous before the start of Saturday’s race, with the pressure building as he tried to win a championship in his first season.

But he said he didn’t give it another thought after the green flag signaled the start of the race.

“I was pretty nervous at the beginning,” he said. “But once I got that big lead, things went pretty smooth.”


In the 125cc class, 17-year-old Damon Huffman passed series leader Jimmy Gaddis on lap 5 and was never threatened as he won his second supercross of the season.

Huffman, of Canyon Country, remains in third place in the standings behind Suzuki teammate Phil Lawrence, who finished second, and Kawasaki’s Gaddis, who finished third.