Jeremy McGrath Captures Record-Setting Seventh Supercross Title
14 May 2000Team Mazda Chaparral Yamaha's Jeremy McGrath Captures Record-Setting Seventh Supercross Title
- Supercross King Takes Checkered Flag in Las Vegas Finale Spoiling David Vuillemin's Shot at $500,000 - IRVINE, Calif., May 14 Few athletes can flat-out dominate their respective sports. In motocross, Jeremy McGrath is the man the opposition has been trying to unseat for much of the past decade. But they will have to wait yet another year as McGrath, or "Showtime" as he is known among his faithful followers, captured a record-setting seventh Supercross Championship in the sport's premier 250cc division. Riding for Team Mazda Chaparral Yamaha for the third consecutive year, McGrath wrapped up the championship in Joliet, Ill., in week 15 of the 16-event Supercross series. Entering the season finale in Las Vegas, McGrath played the role of spoiler as his victory ended David Vuillemin's (Team Factory Yamaha) shot at a $500,000 Triple Crown bonus. "My goal each week is to make sure Team Mazda Chaparral Yamaha is represented on the winner's stand," said McGrath. "This sponsorship underscores Mazda's belief in our team's ability to repeat as Supercross champions." Mazda and McGrath partnered with Team Chaparral Yamaha in 1998, with "Showtime" dominating the field from the beginning. During this past season, McGrath has added 10 more victories to make him the winningest rider in the history of Supercross. Including the 2000 season, McGrath has collected an unprecedented 70 first place finishes. Demonstrating its commitment to using McGrath and Team Mazda as a marketing vehicle, Mazda has integrated the youthful imagery and extreme nature of motocross in its marketing plans for the award-winning B-Series truck. Mazda got involved with motocross because the sport's demographics indicated a strong presence of 18 to 34 year old males, of whom over 70 percent already own a pickup truck. The association with Team Mazda Chaparral Yamaha and McGrath is a fundamental component of the marketing effort. McGrath has captured five of the last six Pace/AMA U.S. Supercross titles, placing second in the only year he did not win. In 1993, McGrath became the only rookie to win the Supercross championship. He also won the Western Region 125cc Supercross championship in 1991 and 1992. "The title sponsorship has allowed us to reach 220,000 AMA members across the country and millions more who attend the exciting Pace Supercross Series or watch it on TV," said Jack Stavana, Mazda's group manager, marketing plans. "The B-Series' ability to absorb the most rugged terrain and its power to literally go anywhere mirror that of motocross motorcycles such as the Yamaha YZ250 and professional riders like Jeremy. We feel the association has been a very positive one for Mazda. How can you not enjoy being with a champion?" Team Mazda and McGrath stood on the winner's platform at 10 of the 16 races in the 2000 season. Racing in front of crowds exceeding 50,000, with millions more watching on TV, Team Mazda and McGrath have become the most recognized tandem in the sport. McGrath is scheduled to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Friday, May 11, 2000, competing in a downsized version of a Supercross track in the NBC parking lot for the Tonight Show Cup. The 2000 Mazda B-Series was recently ranked as the top compact truck in initial quality, according to the highly respected J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. In returning to the top of the rankings, the B-Series bested the Chevrolet S-10, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier trucks, among others. Last month, Mazda announced that it will improve the 2001 B-Series truck line with the addition of a new 205-horsepower 4.0-liter SOHC V6 engine in the B4000 models, a more powerful 3.0-liter V6 in the B3000 models, and a new 134-horsepower 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine in the B2300 models. Mazda will also add a new Dual Sport trim level to the B-Series, which features body-colored bumpers and grille for a "custom truck" look. Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing and customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has over 750 dealerships nationwide.