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San Diego’s Supercross history stretches back to 1980 when 40,000 watched Yamaha’s Mike “Too Tall” Bell beat Donnie Hansen and local hero Marty Tripes. A top 10 marketplace for most races held, San Diego has been an early season stop since 1985.
San Diego’s Venues
- The first race in San Diego was held at football venue, San Diego Stadium, which became Jack Murphy in 1981 and then Qualcomm in 1997.
- In 2014, the race moved to Petco Park (Padres baseball) from 2014-2022.
- In 2023, the raced moved to the newly opened SnapDragon Stadium, which was built on the old Jack Murphy grounds.
- Snapdragon Stadium is a 35,000 capacity football venue, home of the San Diego State University Aztecs.
While Ricky Carmichael’s first SX win came at the 2000 Daytona Supercross, the ’01 running of San Diego holds a special place in his career, too. It was his first win in a stadium and he did straight up against Jeremy McGrath. Jan. 13, 2001 is the night the world realized Carmichael was for real.
It was also the first ever San Diego win for Kawasaki.
Mike Bell bookended the 1980 season with wins at the opening round in Seattle and the closing round in San Diego. In a scheduling oddity, the San Diego race (round 17) happened 10 weeks after round 16 in Philadelphia. Fortunately for Bell, he wrapped up the title in Philly.
Reed led only half of one lap at the 2005 San Diego Supercross, but it was the only one that counted. Carmichael led the first 19 laps but the pace of both RC and Reed was so much faster than the other 18 riders that they lapped their first competitor on lap four. Their average lap time was over two seconds a lap faster than third place finisher Mike LaRocco. On the 20th lap, with fourth and third place in front of them, Reed choked off Carmichael’s line and killed his momentum. In a last gasp effort, Carmichael crashed in the whoops. Reed lapped up to 3rd place.
Jeremy McGrath pulled the holeshot in his final Supercross race on a two stroke. Steve Bruhn captured this shot of MC and Ricky Carmichael looking over each on the first lap of the 450SX main event.
Jeremy McGrath does a nac nac during a 450SX heat race. McGrath won five consecutive San Diego Supercross main events between 1993-1998. He is the last Californian to win in San Diego.
- Kawasaki didn’t win in San Diego until 2001 when Ricky Carmichael gave Team Green a victory, which was his second Supercross win, first in a stadium (Daytona, 2000 was his first).
- California riders won 12 of the first 15 races held in San Diego but have not won in San Diego since 1998.
- Jeremy McGrath won five in a row in San Diego (1993-1998) but Chad Reed is the San Diego leader with six wins between 2003-2011.