AMA East Coast Supercross champion James Stewart Jr. and West Coast champion Ivan Tedesco will meet for the first time this season in the annual Dave Coombs Sr. 125 East/West Shootout on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The Shootout brings together the top riders from both the East and West coast championships to cap off the AMA Supercross season.
Stewart comes into this year's East/West Shootout looking to become only the second rider to twice win the prestigious event: 'Bubba' won the race in 2002, but was injured in a spectacular crash last year, which not only cost him the East/West Shootout, but also forced him to miss the first four rounds of the AMA 125 Motocross championship costing him a chance to defend his title.
The young Floridian represented the West the last time he won this event, but this year he'll be carrying the East banner after becoming that region's champion in March.
"I'm hoping to redeem myself in Las Vegas after what happened there last year," stated Stewart, who became the all-time most winning rider in AMA 125 Supercross history this season. "I'm ready for Ivan and the rest of the boys over in the West. It should be a great race and I'm looking forward to it."
Meanwhile, Tedesco claims he's as ready as he's ever going to be to race Stewart. The New Mexico native is at the top of his game, coming off his seventh victory in the 125 West Series last weekend in Salt Lake City. He won the race last Saturday with a runaway victory and moved into the top-10 on the all-time AMA 125 Supercross wins list.
"James is an awesome rider," Tedesco admitted. "There's no question that I'm going to have to run the race of my career to beat him, but I'm going to do the best I can. I think it's great that the top two guys coming into the Shootout are both on Kawasakis. There's really no pressure on me. I'm just going to go out there and race like I've been all year long."
This year will mark the eighth season of the East/West 125 Shootout. The East riders lead the series with four wins to date, against three for the West - but the West has a two-year winning streak.
But while Stewart and Tedesco are the overwhelming favorites to win the annual meeting, it's not always the East or West champion that comes away with the victory: Three times in the history of the race another rider has stolen the spotlight to take the win.