MotoXXX’s Josh Summey is going to be racing on his weekend off. “I’m doing a little different-style race next weekend in South Carolina,” Summey said. “I’m going to do a GNCC. I kind of enjoy them. That’s pretty popular stuff around my house back in North Carolina, with the mountains and the woods and stuff. In ’03 or ’04, I actually did the whole series, so I’m pretty used to it. I’m looking forward to it.”Summey’s going to be on a Honda, but not the one he’s normally on—well, not exactly. “It’s a bike I bought at the first of last year with my Honda contingency money just to have something to play on back home so I didn’t have to thrash my practice bike,” he said. “It’s actually the CRF250X model, which has the electric start, the headlight and all that stuff. I think it should be good. I’m not sure if I’m going to kick it off the line or hit the button. It’s just stock. My team manager Allen shipped me an exhaust, so I’m going to put that on there, and probably some tires and some gas, and I’ll run it.”Summey’s MotoXXX teammate Juss Laansoo cased a triple so hard he broke his skidplate and hurt his wrist in Houston. He’s going to sit out until Hangtown.We caught up to Team Solitaire’s Ryan Clark to ask him about his recent charge toward the front of the pack.Dirt Rider: It looks like you’re getting faster lately. What changed?
Ryan Clark: “Steroids. I started taking steroids. I’m not at liberty to release what kind, but they’re the legal kind. The AMA-legal steroids that are endorsed by the AMA. I’m doing Steroids and I’m pumping a lot of iron, and I’ve been doing some bare-knuckle fighting on the side, which has helped my confidence. It’s a combination of all of those things and riding my motorcycle during the week has helped, too.”
DR: How does bare-knuckle fighting help?
RC: “Well, I pump up after a lap, but I’m so strong that it doesn’t matter. So, last week, I actually pumped up down the start straightaway because there was those four rollers, and I could barely hold on, but I duct-taped my hands to the handlebars, and off I went, so I held on and didn’t have to fight anybody—which was lucky for them—and I came back, got home, got back in my cycle, and here I am again this weekend.”DR: Are there any side-effects?
RC: “Yeah, well, I don’t know, my wife’s been telling me that I’m getting a little bit rash and kind of… Who do you write for again?”DR: Dirt Rider.
RC: “Dude, get the f$%# out of here! This interview’s over!”There was tons of stuff going on over in the Rockstar pits. Tyler Evans sat out Houston with a reported knee injury, and Houston marked Mike Brown’s last SX of ’06. “Yeah, it is,” Brown said of it being his last SX. “It’s been long. I know how these guys feel. It’s 16 races, and they’ve still got three races to go, but I’m excited to start the outdoors. Supercross isn’t my thing, but I’ve been having fun with it and not putting a lot of pressure on myself to go out and do the best. Before, I had to be up there, and now I just go out and have fun. Outdoors are my thing, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to spend a week at home riding the 250F and getting used to it, then I’m going to head out to California next weekend and stay for a week or so and start riding and testing out there.”Next year, Brownie thinks he’ll be on a 450 indoors. “For supercross next year, I’ll probably have to be on a 450,” he said. “I’ll just take more time to get used to it. It’s a good bike, for sure, I just need more time on the four-stroke to get used to it.”The Rockstar Energy trailer broke, and the team was pitted out of a U-Haul. “They were saying it wasn’t fixed right before and broke again,” Brown said. “It feels like I’m back in the box-van days again. Now we’re sponsored by ‘Gentle Ride Van’ or something. U-Haul. It doesn’t bother me. If it was an outdoor race, I wouldn’t be too happy, but I’m not here to win, just to have fun and put Rockstar out there.” If you remember, the Amsoil/Chaparral Honda team pitted out of a rented truck at Washougal in 2004 because of a broken trailer. The trailer the Rockstar team has now is the same one.Rockstar’s Sean Hamblin is going to be moving back up to the big-boy class for outdoors. “I’m on a 450 for outdoors,” Hamblin said. “We made a decision almost before the east coast even started—well, we didn’t make the decision, but I heard the rumor floating around from the team guys, and all of a sudden they’re like, ‘It’s up to you, whatever you want to ride.’ I was like, ‘Well, if it’s possible, I’d like to ride the 450 because it’s a good bike, and I feel I could do well on it.’ So that’s what we’re doing. I feel comfortable on them. I haven’t tested yet, but I get my first one on Monday or Tuesday, and then I’m going to be home for a few days, and for Easter I’m going to leave for about a week up to my fiance’s place to ride up in Canada.As soon as I get home, we’re going to put our heads down and get some work done. I don’t feel that my supercross season has gone as well as I would’ve liked it to with the injury that I had happen at Daytona. One, it took a while for it to heal, and two, mentally, it’s really played with me—especially these last two races or so. I don’t have any real fire to be out there, and to be honest, I’m a little scared to be on the line thinking about that happening again. It really freaked me out. There’s no other way to put it. It’s just a fact of life and something I had to go through, and something I have to get over. I think with outdoors and being on a good 450, we shouldn’t have a problem with being where I’m expected to be, and that’s inside the top-10 and inside the top-5 more often than the top-10. Hopefully all goes well.”Martin Davalos made quite a splash on the east coast, both by getting a podium early in the series, and by running near the front whenever he wasn’t crashing. The kid’s got potential. He’s 19, and by the way, his last name is pronounced “Dah-vuh-los.”Dirt Rider: Did you meet your expectations for your first SX season?
Martin Davalos: “You know, it’s been a crazy supercross season for me. You know, after my first podium, I wanted to do good so bad, and I was kind of going through a rough time. I crashed a lot, and I DNF’d some races, but I’m trying to get over that. I’m learning. That’s all I care about right now. I just want to finish this season safe with a lot of experience and thinking about next year.”DR: It seems like you’re plenty fast enough, though.
MD: “All I have to do is train. All of those people train so hard, and you’ve got to train hard so you can be at that level. It’s been very hard to get up there. Davi helped me a lot riding with him, and I just want to try to be consistent and be up there and see what happens. We’ll see next year. Next year, I should know what I have to do.”DR: So now you have to go outside and race, right?
MD: “I start this week coming up testing outdoors. I know it’s going to be tough. I’ve never been on a National track. Amateur stuff is way different. I know that. But I have to get used to it, just like I got used to supercross. I’ll do my best. I’ve just got to ride smart. 30 + 2, plus I know it’s going to be hot, so…”DR: Is Davi going to help you for the outdoors?
MD: “I used to just train with MTF guys as an amateur, but now I’ll be training with Davi, so it’s going to help. He’s a fast outdoor rider, too, and we’re going to be training hard for it.”Mitch Cooke from the Blackfoot Honda team went back home with a relatively minor health issue and is getting ready for the Canadian Nationals which start in about six weeks.Colin Edwards was spotted in the Yamaha pits. He’s a former amater MX phenom, you know…Many riders complained that the Houston track was too one-lined. Part of the reason for this was that there were two 180-degree corners on the whole track. The other 6 were 90-degree turns, which meant the thumpers would apex all of them and still make the jumps. This made passing difficult for sure. There was also only one main line through both whoop sections.Houston was all James Stewart, though, as he led every lap of the Supercross main. “I just feel good,” he said. “I’ve been getting good starts. That’s the only thing that’s been helping me. The starts weren’t that good tonight. In the heat race, it was kind of bad, and in the main I came out second or third, and I just got out there and ran a good pace. I just kept an eye on Ricky and just rode the rest.”Stewart kills it in the opening laps. “I definitely got good laps in the beginning. It’s not maximum, that’s why in the beginning I’m smoother,” James said. “I feel in control and everything. I’ve got some good lines that I look at on the parade lap, and even in practice and stuff, I get good lines, and there was just no need to push it any harder tonight. I got me a little gap where he really couldn’t see what lines I was taking, and with the lappers and the way the track changed, there was no reason to try and push it.”When Jason Weigandt asked if it was hard to hold on to these victories, Stewart responded: “If it was easy, you’d be out there winning races, too. It’s definitely hard. The track changes every lap, especially with the loose dirt and all, but you’ve just got to change it up with the lappers here and there. It’s hard. It’s definitely tough. But we’re getting the job done now.”The swapping of butt patches that Stewart and Carmichael did for April Fool’s Day had a funny story behind it. “April Fool’s! I just thought people would get a kick out of it,” Stewart said. “We talked about it during the week, and I thought it would be cool to switch it up. It was actually between Beeker and Scott Taylor’s idea, and we both went along with it. It was cool. I remember him [RC] coming down to the truck to make sure I was going to wear it before he showed up with all this stuff. (laughs) No, it was cool. I figured people would get a kick out of it.”Stewart isn’t stressed about his outdoor bike. “I’m happy with it,” James said. “We tested after Daytona, and I think we’re good. I think we’re just going to do some fine-tuning to make everything a little better, and I’m happy. I’m looking forward to the outdoor season. It should be good. I’ll just do a little testing and do a little relaxation and get ready for the next race.”Ricky Carmichael said that Stewart’s speed isn’t anything recent. “He’s ridden exceptionally well all year, not just these last three races,” Carmichael said. “I think he’s put it together in the last three races, for sure, so I’m just looking forward to trying to work on that and get a little better in the beginning there so that I can be there at the end. He put together some great laps in the beginning—he rode great the whole race, but he really shined there in the first 5 or 8 laps and I kept trying.
“I was pretty consistent all night. I was super-pumped on my starts. Byrner actually got me there in the main, but we’re working hard and have made some improvements on the engine, and we’re super-pumped about that, and now if we can just get it fine-tuned, I think we’ll be right where we need to be. I’m trying my hardest. I’d love to win straight-up. I don’t want no one to make a mistake or anything. It’s been fun for me. It’s really motivating. I’m looking forward to it. And I’m really happy with the progress we made with my starts.”Carmichael said he’s excited about the progress being made on his RM-Z450. “It’s great. There’s so many things you can do to it. It’s unlimited, so it’s nice,” RC said. “It’s just finding out what’s good for you, and what you feel comfortable on. We’re working hard, and as you guys have seen, my starts are way better, and this is where we need to be.”Carmichael feels as if he’s not leaving anything on the table early in the race. “I feel like I am [going all out],” RC said. “I work on it, but obviously it’s not good enough right now. It’s a little bit better than Orlando, if you will, and it was nice to be in second the whole time and be up there for the running a little bit there this weekend, so I’m super-pumped about that. I’ve just got to get a little bit better.”He doesn’t know exactly what to think about the short laptimes in Houston. “It definitely makes for a short main event,” Carmichael said. “There’s two sides. Obviously, we’d like to see it be longer. If it was longer, with the way it was tonight, people would be leaving the stadium, so there’s 18 million different ways to look at it, but I just think that with the four-strokes, we jump so much stuff. Out of the turn, we’re gone. I’d like to see them build a track that we had high laptimes on last year and go out and use the 450s and see what it’s like. I don’t think there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. I think we’re just stuck in the middle.”Chad Reed says he never felt really comfortable in Houston. “I just wasn’t feeling it tonight,” Reedy said. “I struggled a lot tonight with the dirt, and I took a bit of a digger in practice. It just was really tough for me to have a good pace, and those guys are just letting it hang out a little more and being more aggressive.”Reed said the biggest hit he took in his crash in practice was to his head. “I hit my head a little bit,” he said. “I was trying to save my shoulder and I knocked my head. But I tried a different front tire and it didn’t really work out. I just pushed it and crashed. It’s no big deal. I just kind of rung my bell a little bit, and I had to regroup. In the main, I knew I had to get up there in the beginning and go with them, but I couldn’t go with them this weekend.”With the shoulder injury, Reed can’t ride like he wants to. “I can’t be as aggressive as I want to be,” Reed said. “I feel that I have to kind of let it come to me. These guys are riding really fast, and in the whoops and on some of the jumps where the landings are real hard, I can’t be as aggressive as them. All I can do is try and come out a little stronger for Dallas.”Davi Millsaps secured his first professional championship in Houston, winning the race in the process. “The first race in Canada, I won it, but I felt like crap,” Davi said, puzzled. “I went out there and I got arm-pump on like the second lap, and I don’t know how I won it, but I did. The second race, I felt good and I didn’t win it. When I came into the season, I just wanted to be consistent. I wanted to win for sure, but as long as I was being consistent, I figured I could get the championship, and that’s what I did.”In 2004, this was my first race, which I missed, and now I won my first championship here, so I don’t know. In ’04, it was definitely a struggle. I weighed a buck 90 on a 125cc two-stroke, and I couldn’t even get over the triples in the first round. I was kind of slacking a little bit when I got on the track. It was like, ‘Man, what am I doing here?’ I just felt like crap. I didn’t feel like I belonged there.The next year, I got on the four-stroke, and I started practicing, and I was like, ‘I feel the same! This isn’t getting me anywhere. What am I doing wrong?’ I went and practiced at Carmichael’s, and that helped me a lot, and then I went back to my house, went to the first round, and I won it, and I was like, ‘Cool.’ This is my eighth victory, I think, so it’s definitely better.”
He says he has matured. “Two years ago, when you look back at ’04 and you look at now, I might be a clown sometimes, but I’ve definitely matured over the last couple years,” Davi said. “I definitely couldn’t handle it in ’04, and in ’05, it got a whole lot better, and this year I handled it great. I don’t know. Me and Grant were fighting for the battle, but I won the war.”He expected a battle with Josh Grant in the main event, but he only saw Grant briefly. “I saw him in front of me, and I don’t know, he hit Kiniry [actually, we think it was Kelly Smith, Kiniry's teammate] really, really hard, and I was kind of laughing because it was kind of funny,” Millsaps said. “I don’t know what he was thinking. He could’ve passed him in the whoops, and when they both went down, I was kind of relaxed and I looked back and saw Tommy, and I was like, ‘Dang it, dude, he’s going fast.’ Then he kept on me, and I was like, ‘Go away, dude! Get outta here!’ He didn’t really go away, so I had to ride the whole race consistent, and I want to congratulate him on his first podium.”He wasn’t aware that Grant was out of the race. Essentially, he had the championship right then on lap one. “I had no idea, I just saw him go down, and I figured he’d be coming up through the pack, and he wasn’t,” Millsaps said. “I guess he pulled off and whatnot, and gave Goose over here second overall. I wonder what he [Gosselaar] got paid for that one. I had no idea. I could barely see the pitboards. It was stupid this week. Carlos had to have a stick attached to the pitboard in the heat race so I could see it. He stuck it out way up in the air, but I guess they made him take it out. I’m not sure.”Millsaps might stay on the 450 he’ll race in Dallas and Seattle in Vegas, skipping the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout. “I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do,” Millsaps said. “I’d like to defend it, but I have a feeling that once I get on the 450, I won’t want to get off of it. I don’t know. It’s definitely going to be confusing. And he [Tommy Hahn] doesn’t want me to ride it [the 250F], but it’s all up to Honda and whatever we decide. I guess we’ll see. But I’d like to make some money there, too, so I’d like to step back down there and see if I can make some money. I only get paid for first and second, not first, second or third.”SoBe/Samsung Mobile Honda’s Tommy Hahn grabbed his first-ever podium in Houston, chasing Millsaps to the end. “I was trying my hardest for it [a win], and then I started making a lot of mistakes and getting out of control in some places, so I tamed it down a little bit,” he said.It’s taken Hahn a little while to get this top finish, but it’s not for lack of trying. “Well, last year I started out pretty good,” Hahn said. “At the mud race, I got fourth, and that wasn’t bad for my first supercross. I got three top-fives after that. Then, when we went into the break for the west coast, I broke my leg. I didn’t start riding until about two weeks before Hangtown and I wasn’t in shape, and it wasn’t good. Then this year, right after Glen Helen, I blew my knee out and was out until January 1st, and I didn’t start riding until then, so I just had once setback after another. I feel like I’ve gotten my old speed and then some back, and my fitness has always been good, so I’m confident. I’ve just been working on getting my speed back and confidence in myself, and it came through this weekend. Plus, I grew up riding around here and the dirt suits me really good.”Chris Gosselaar really wanted to get a win before the end of the series. “I’m pretty bummed out that I didn’t get a win, but it’s my fault,” he said. “I rode pretty tight tonight, so I’m happy to be second in the points, so if Davi wasn’t up here, I’d have won the title. It’s just the way it goes. I’d like to congratulate Davi on the title. He rode good and consistent this year, and he deserves it.”He had no idea what he was doing for the Nationals. “I’m just taking the week by week,” Gosselaar said. “I’m focused on supercross right now. We’re done with the east coast now, and we just have Vegas left, so I don’t know, I’m just going to focus on Vegas. I really want to do good there, and my goal is to be on the podium there, so maybe I’ll be able to get a ride next year.” Boarding the plane Sunday morning, we ran into Gosselaar, who reported he has worked out a deal with the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit team that will see him on the KX250Fs through the outdoor season.