With another steady podium result at this weekend's series finale, JCR Honda's Trevor Stewart completed a successful defense of his National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC). The CRF450RX rider proved last year that he had the outright speed, earning that crown with no fewer than four victories, whereas this year the 22-year-old from Upland, California, employed a more calculated approach to good effect, backing up a round-three win with six additional podium finishes in the eight-race series. He held a 15-point margin coming into this weekend's notoriously challenging event at Crazy Horse Campground, and following a less-than-stellar start, he made the necessary passes to advance to third place, then backed off to hold that position to the finish.
"They say when you win one championship, it's much harder to repeat it, and I definitely get that now," Stewart said. "West Coast off-road is getting a lot tougher, and there are more eyes on it. I knew I did it once, and everybody expects you to do it again. Having the red plate and having to perform is pretty challenging mentally, but I told myself, 'You're more than capable,' and I think repeating almost gave me more satisfaction than winning the first one. We had a big meeting at the beginning of the year, and we all had a plan to execute. After that, everybody did their part—my family, Johnny and his family. It paid off, and that's a really cool feeling."
Formerly known as AMA District 37 Big 6, the NGPC series showcases high-speed competition on closed-course off-road circuits around the Southwest. This was the series' first year as an official AMA National Championship, and JCR's success didn't end with Stewart, as his teammate Tarah Gieger clinched the Pro Women title early aboard a CRF250RX. Gieger was also a member of Team USA's winning Women Trophy effort at the International Six Days Enduro in Portugal last month. In addition, JCR Honda's Preston Campbell (Johnny's son and a development rider for Honda's R&D Department) rode a CRF250RX to the Pro 250 championship in the AMA District 37 Sprint Enduro series.
"I couldn't be happier with our team's efforts, and with securing even more championships for Honda and the CRF Performance line," said JCR team owner Johnny Campbell. "Thanks to American Honda and all our sponsors for their dedication to the team and off-road racing."
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