Ricky Carmichael could add yet another honour to his seemingly endless string of records when he takes to the sandy hills of Southwick and the historic Motocross 338 circuit on Sunday.
If RC wins in round three of the 12-round AMA Motocross Championship, he would become the first rider in history to win five straight at Southwick - and having grown up racing on the sand tracks of his home Florida, Carmichael says Southwick is one of his favorite stops in the series.
"That track really shows who's been putting in their training," said Ricky of the energy-sapping Motocross 338 circuit. "It's famous for always being rough and rutted track and I've been fortunate to have a good string of wins there."
Carmichael will be riding a four-stroke Honda at Southwick. In prior seasons the seven-time AMA Motocross champ has ridden two-stroke machines, but has made the transition to the new bike flawlessly, winning the two rounds leading up to Southwick and opening a 16-point lead over Factory Connection Honda's Kevin Windham.
Windham appears to be Carmichael's primary challenger again this year, but has not fared so well at Southwick over the years, although he managed to finish third in last year's race. Windham will be looking to turn his luck around on the track and get back into the win column this year.
Newly crowned AMA Supercross champ Chad Reed is third-ranked in the 250 class. Like Windham, Reed has not had much luck at Southwick. The Aussie could be tough this year though since he moved to Florida and now trains on more sandy circuits like Southwick.
One rider to watch for in the 250 class at Southwick is another Australian Michael Byrne. 'Burner' finished second in the 125 class last year and he is hungry to turn in a good result for the Kawasaki factory squad.
The 125 national at Southwick has produced surprising results in the last few years. Yet another Aussie, Craig Anderson, took his first, and to date only, AMA national win last year. Anderson has moved up to the 250 class and could be a factor on his Moto Sport Outlet/White Brothers Honda.
Danny Smith took an emotional win at the Southwick 125 National in 2002. Smith's only national win just days after his brother died in a construction accident. The Boost Mobile Yamaha of Troy rider is hoping to move up the ranks from his current 14th-place in the standings with a strong result this Sunday.