James Stewart wins Monster Energy Cup
James Stewart collected $100,000 and the 2013 Monster Energy Cup on Saturday after winning two of the three main event races in Las Vegas.
"Vegas, baby. I could turn that $100,000 into about $7 million if I want to," Stewart said. "I've got to thank my team ... everybody out there who's been sticking with me. It feels so good."
Stewart fell short of claiming the $1 million prize for winning all three main events after 2011 champion Ryan Villopoto won Main Event No. 1.
Villopoto got the hole shot in Main Event No. 1 and held on for the win, fending off a last-lap challenge from Ryan Dungey, who forgot to take the mandatory joker lap during the 10-lap race and incurred a five-position penalty.
"I just was racing, you know going for the win," Dungey said later. "We were playing cat and mouse and it skipped my mind ... I kind of threw it away, but you know, this is a good race to get ready for 2014."
Stewart finished Main Event No. 1 in eighth place, after two gate malfunctions forced restarts, but he got his hole shot in Main Event No. 2 before trading the lead back and forth with Villopoto several times in precisely the kind of head-to-head racing Ricky Carmichael was aiming for when he designed the course. But Villopoto made a joker lap error of his own, missing the entrance for the detour on his final lap, then promptly crashing out. He walked away from the crash but missed the third main event to undergo medical evaluation.
Main Event No. 3 hole shot honors went to Ken Roczen, who got out in front of Dungey and Stewart, but Stewart promptly passed Dungey in the first of 10 laps and chased down Roczen in Lap 5, then managed to hold the lead across the finish line.
Some of the world's best freestyle motocross riders also battled it out at the Monster Energy Cup for a judged Biggest Whip competition. The win went to Tom Parsons, who beat out Edgar Torrenteras and Jarryd McNeil for the top spot ahead of Josh Hansen, Billy Laninovich, Todd Potter and Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg.
"There were big whips all day," Parsons said. "I mean, everybody was amazing. The guys earlier, we had to qualify to get into this, and I've never seen so many good whippers in my life. It was a struggle, but I came here to do well and I threw as big as I could. I guess it worked out."
The Biggest Whip event was judged using the same ISX Instant Scoring Experience system used to judge Street League Skateboarding.
Monster Energy Cup Final Standings
Dirt Shark Biggest Whip