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"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

jacksonville supercross 2009 April 7, 2009

Filed under: Photography,Travel — Lulu @ 3:54 pm

On Friday, Fanless and I jumped on I-95 and embarked on a northbound trip to Jacksonville, Florida, in order to attend the first ever Jacksonville Supercross!
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Amidst traffic and sporadic rain showers, we made it to Jacksonville in a little over 7 hours (including a late lunch stop at the Hooters across from the Daytona International Speedway).
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We checked into the Bates Motel Scottish Inns, our home for the weekend, at almost 8pm. Okay, it wasn’t THAT bad, but certainly no 5-star 4-star 3.25-star resort. At least we had a bed and a shower!  Unfortunately, our A/C wasn’t exactly cooperating. We decided to make the most of the evening and go see “Fast & Furious” at a nearby Regal, then changed rooms upon our return to the hotel. Fortunately, the new room had an A/C comparable to the Arctic tundra and, combined with the exhaustion from the long drive, we passed out like logs.

The following morning, we got ready and headed over the bridge to downtown Jacksonville, as the event was being held at the Alltel Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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When we got there, the riders were running their practice laps, to familiarize themselves with the track. During this time the seating was General Admission so you could pretty much sit anywhere you wanted to watch the practice. We went down to the lower level, where Fanless proceeded to take many, MANY pictures of the practice runs. (These are my pictures. They’re not as good.)
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Lites rider, Nico Izzi. He ended up getting injured (at 00:17) during the last lap of the Lites Main Event later that evening and was unable to finish the race.
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I sat with Fanless for a little while, but I could literally feel my translucent skin frying, so I decided to head up to the covered “Bud Zone” in between levels. I managed to get a few more shots using my super-duper-zoom.
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Current Supercross champion, Chad Reed.
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Can you spot Fanless? 
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Chad Reed again.
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James Stewart (#7) takes a short break during practice.
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James Stewart.
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After practices, you can catch some of the riders in the pit area just outside the stadium. This is where their trucks are, and you can get autographs and pictures and such. (James Stewart)
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You can also watch the mechanics work on the bikes, if you’re into that sort of thing.IMG_2144
And if you have a VIP friend – like Fanless’ BFF, Brandon – you also get to hang out in the sponsor areas and have free lunch and take goofy pictures. (Brandon used to work for ThorMX, one of the major manufacturers of race gear, and they hooked us up.)
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Brandon, Kim (his wife), Mia (my favorite little munchkin), Brittany (Kim’s BFF) and Justin (Brittany’s BF), at the stadium.

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The goofy sign Fanless made me make for the race (inside joke).
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When it was finally time for the race we headed to our majorly awesome, third row seats!!! And while it looked to my untrained eye as if there were a lot of fans there, statistically, the attendance (approx 31K+) for this event was abysmal. But it is only the first year for this location. Hopefully, they’ll be able to attract a larger crowd next year, if they do it again.

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There was a guest appearance from Ricky Carmichael, aka The GOAT (Greatest of All Time).IMG_2174

Finally, it was time for – as Mia would say – “SUUUU-per-CROOOOOSSSSS!”

Supercross consists of several races: 2 heats each for Lites and 450s; 1 LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier) for each, Lites and 450s; then finally, the Lites (250cc) Main Event and the Supercross (450cc) Main Event. I don’t remember what this picture is of, as they all start to look the same after a while.IMG_2193

This was the Supercross Main, where Chad Reed and James Stewart were battling it out for first place from beginning to end! These two have had a serious rivalry that dates back to their days as Lites riders. This was probably the best main event we’ve seen all season! Seriously, we were on our feet for all 20 laps of this event. IMG_2253

In the end, James passed Chad and managed to put a sizeable distance between them (James has been touted as the fastest motocross rider ever). He took the first place slot with only a few laps to go, which Chad was not happy about! My future husband, Kevin Windham, came in third, and I made sure to cheer for him. Very loudly. 😉

I also video’d (see what I did thar??) the first laps of both the Lites and Main races. They’re not super-great quality, but you get the idea.

Lites:

Main:

Oh shoot! I almost forgot! We also came out on TV!!! The race was broadcast on Speed the following day (Sunday) and we came out like 4 or 5 times. Here’s a still from Fanless (see us??):

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. Peace out, yo!

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