For the first SX race at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ 3 local pros qualified into the 450 Class night show with 2 of them making the main event.
Ronnie Stewart, from Easton, PA, and Tony Archer from Waldorf, MD have different racing schedules and different riding styles but however they prepared for this historic supercross it was enough to put them both on the main event gate with the best in the world.
Steve Roman had the speed and style to make it but he wasn't looking as comfortable as Archer and Stewart. The uncertainty in his riding on a full blown supercross had caused him to make a few small mistakes that keep him from the main event. Some of those mistake even caused him to have a few small crashes but overall his times were fast enough to make the night program and that is something Roman and his team should be very proud of. After all he was part of a show that 62,000 plus fans came to see.
Ronnie Stewart has been racing the entire supercross series this year just as he had done last season but it wasn't until Indianapolis 2014 when he made the main event that brought him into the spot light. Since then he has made every 450 main event with the MetLife SX making it 8 in a row. This is a huge accomplishment for anyone racing as a true privateer.
You can tell there has been a boost of confidence Ronnie inherited after making all those mains. Every time he was on the track in the MetLife Stadium he rode with more aggression and intensity yet he still was able to keep that same smooth fluid style that keeps him on 2 wheels and racing every weekend. There is definitely a visual improvement that has come along with his faster lap times.
You could also notice the confidence Ronnie had in his semi qualifier when Weston Peick block passed him hard right before the checkers which almost cost him a qualifying position. Fortunately Stewart recovered quickly and still took the last qualifying spot. He then accelerated up to Weston after the finish to make sure Peick knew he wasn't happy with his pass. They were both in qualifying position and there was no need to slam passed and risk taking both riders out. Ronnie went on to finish 14th in the main and Weston Peick finished 10th.
Tony Archer has been racing local arenacrosses and practicing locally to prepare for this historic race only 7 miles from New York City. However he did race the Atlanta SX in February on a 250 which is the same bike he raced in a few of the arenacross races this winter. He did not make the night program in Atlanta but he was faster than 28 others who tried to qualify there. He was 49th out of 78 entries. Nothing to be ashamed of by any means.
At the MetLife Stadium SX Tony Archer enters the 450 Class instead of the 250 he's been riding. It proved to be a good decision as he qualified for the night program 35th and later that evening qualified for the 450 main event by finishing 3rd in the last chance qualifier. What a difference a few months and a bigger bike can make.
There were plenty of Tony Archer and Steve Roman fans at the MetLife Center but no one had a bigger fan base at MetLife Stadium than Ronnie Stewart. There were kids and adults alike sporting the yellow 606 candy man t-shirts to show there support for their local hero. As a matter of fact everyone on the flag crew were Ronnie Stewart fans. Stewart showed his appreciation for them also when he took a group photo and spent some time with them before practice. Ronnie Stewart is proving on and off the track that he is the real deal.