Freestone County Raceway is set to host its very first AMA Toyota Motocross Championship event this weekend, marking the series' return to Texas at the newly-built national motocross circuit in Wortham.

The Lone Star State last hosted an AMA national in 1988 in San Antonio, but Freestone County Raceway's all-new, purpose-built motocross facility - built on the grounds of a cattle ranch and an 1800s era homestead - has already gained a thumbs up from local riders, who say that it will be an exciting venue for both racers and fans. Track owner Tony Miller reports the track is 1.3-miles long and the surface is a sandy loam with moderate elevation changes.

"We're very excited to be hosting our first national," said Miller, "We want to give fans a great experience and everything we've done leading up to the race was done with that in mind."

"Fans and TV will have great site lines at Freestone," AMA director of supercross and motocross Steve Whitelock confirmed, "The track runs up into the trees and they will have a large vendors area and ample parking areas for fans and the team rigs."

The championship scenarios in both the AMA Motocross and Motocross Lites class couldn't be more intense as the championship comes to Freestone.

Yamaha's Grant Langston is coming off one of the best race weekends of his career last week in Delmont, having won his first national in the premier class and, as a result, took over the series points lead. However, Langston, a former world champion from South Africa, leads Honda's Andrew Short by just two points, with Monster Energy Kawasaki's Tim Ferry only four points out of the lead. Just ten points separate the top four riders, with Red Bull KTM's Mike Alessi a close fourth, so the championship picture could look very different after Freestone.

"Every year, I give it all I've got," said Langston, who won the AMA Motocross Lites Championship in 2003, "For some reason, I always find myself in these crazy 'down to the wire' championship battles, but I think that's fun and that's what we strive for as racers. At the beginning of the year, I didn't think I'd be in this position but, once I smelled blood, I thought 'man, I've got to go for it'.

"The new 2008 Yamaha has really helped me get confidence in my riding. Everything has been coming together at the right time. It's going to come down to the end, but I don't buckle under pressure. Getting my first win in the 450 class has given me a big boost of confidence going into the last two races."

Alessi has joined Langston in a late-season surge and foresees a tremendous championship race in the final rounds.

"I think there will be three, if not four, riders going for the championship in the final moto of the season," he predicted, "It's going to be great for the fans, but the pressure is definitely on us in the final two rounds. I've been in this position before with the pressure and I've matured a lot over the years."

An overall victory in the Motocross Lites class at Steel City last week has given defending champ Ryan Villopoto the lead once again. The series has been a season-long duel between Villopoto and Monster Energy Kawasaki team-mate Ben Townley and, last weekend, Monster Energy Kawasaki riders swept the top four positions, with Brett Metcalfe and rookie Austin Stroupe finishing third and fourth respectively.

Villopoto comes to Freestone with a six-point lead over Townley, after both riders had to overcome adversity last week in Pennsylvania, having been caught up in a massive first-turn pile-up in the first moto.

"We both had to come back from last and we made a great charge through the field," said Villopoto, who earned his fourth overall victory of the season, "I was able to recover and salvage some valuable points. Every point counts coming down to the end of the season."

Texas fans will have local heroes to root for this Sunday as both Short and Ivan Tedesco have adopted Texas as their home. Lites class contender Tommy Hahn lives in Texas, as does fellow Lites competitor Kyle Cunningham.