At the beginning of this year's Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series most believed that the championship would be decided by the 'big three' of Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed and James Stewart - but could only dream that the title would come down to the season finale.
But it has done just that and this Saturday night Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas will play host to one of the most exciting final races in the 30-plus year history of AMA Supercross, the world's premier Supercross series.
Suzuki's reigning champion Carmichael and Yamaha's former champion Reed are tied at the top of the points going into the final race. Not since 1985 when Broc Glover and Jeff Ward came to the final round equal in points has the series been so close.
But if that isn't enough, the hottest rider in the series, Kawasaki's James Stewart, has worked his way back into the championship picture with four wins in the last five rounds to pull within just five points of the series leaders!
The season has been a rollercoaster ride for the big three. Carmichael, Reed and Stewart have all led the series at some point and each has suffered wild swings in the standings due to crashes and/or mechanical problems.
Carmichael built up a lead in the series midseason, but has gone winless in the last five rounds. A crash at Texas Stadium last month resulted in a sixth-place finish, allowing Reed and Stewart to close in on the defending champ. Carmichael said he is proud of his season no matter what happens in Las Vegas.
"Win or not in Las Vegas all of us should be proud of the season we've had," Carmichael said of himself and his two rivals. "I'm happy to be a part of one of, if not the best, championship battle in Supercross. All I can do is go out and do my best in Las Vegas. Lately my best hasn't been good enough, but I'm going to try to find a little extra next weekend in order to win this championship."
Reed's story this year has been one of perseverance. He separated his shoulder in March, but toughed it out and rode through the pain and now finds himself tied coming into the finale.
"I never gave up," said Reed, the 2004 AMA Supercross champion and defending Las Vegas winner. "I fought through injury and now I have a chance in Las Vegas. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be fun. We all know what we have to do and it's going to be live on TV. It doesn't get any better than that."