Snohomish’s Abrigo arrives home on a roll

  • By Mike Allende / Herald Writer
  • Friday, April 28, 2006 9:00pm
  • Sports

Conditions are in line this weekend for Ryan Abrigo to possibly have the best race of his career.

The professional Supercross rider from Snohomish enters today’s Amp’d Mobile World Supercross event at Qwest Field coming off of the best finish of his career, finishing in eighth last weekend in Dallas. Abrigo, a 21-year-old Woodinville High graduate, will be one of the top local attractions for the event, and should be racing under dry, fast track conditions unlike last year, when it rained leading up to the event.

“I’m just hoping I can keep things rolling,” Abrigo said. “My confidence was up in Dallas and I was riding really well. I think a top-five would be really, really good for me (in Seattle). I think I can pull it off.”

The doors open at 12:30 p.m. with qualifying, and the main events begin at 7 p.m.

A year ago, 49,532 fans came to the first Supercross event in Seattle in five years, and they watched Abrigo ride to a ninth-place finish, including fourth in his heat.

“It was really awesome,” said Abrigo, now in his third year as a professional. “Everyone was excited to see me get a top 10. I’ve been taking steps that get me closer to winning. I’m not quite ready to win yet, but maybe next year things will come together.”

Abrigo races in the 125cc class, a step below the better-known 250cc class that includes stars Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart and Travis Pestrana (that class is the featured event today). He’s still a few years away from that level, but he’s making steps to get there. A year ago, Abrigo had a national number of 86 sort of a ranking system for riders and this year he’s up to 74.

“It shows that I’m getting better,” Abrigo said. “You always want to get a better number every year. Next year hopefully I can get into the 60s or maybe the 50s.”

Abrigo’s year got off to a slow start but he’s starting to heat up. He finished 14th in San Francisco and 16th in San Diego, which included a career-best third in his heat in front of nearly 60,000 fans. Then came his ride last week in Dallas in front of 45,000 fans.

Abrigo is racing for a new team this season – MB1 Suspension/Fox/Tokyo Mods Engines, and is sponsored locally by Kirkland’s Heavy Equipment Parts. The support is allowing Abrigo to concentrate full time on his racing and he’s moved part-time to Corona, Calif., in an effort to further his career. But he says he’ll always consider the Northwest to be his home, and said racing in his hometown brings with it a little more pressure.

“There’s always a little more pressure,” Abrigo said. “I’ll have a lot of friends and family and I’ve done more media stuff this week than normal. And of course you always want to do your best when you’ve got so many people who support you watching. That’s going to drive me even harder this weekend.”

Scary weekend at Evergreen: Evergreen Speedway will play host to the 13th-annual 60-Minutes of FEAR tonight. One of the most popular figure eight events in the West features 20 cars on the track at once for an hour. If one of the top 20 qualifiers has to leave the track, the next-fastest qualifier joins in, and so on. If one of the original 20 can return, they get priority.

Sedro-Woolley’s Greg Scott will return to defend his title. Last year, Scott won the weekly Super Figure Eight race the week before the FEAR race. Last week, Scott again won the weekly race, and could be in position for an impressive repeat. But he’ll have to do it against past FEAR champions Steve Peters of Monroe (2002), Maple Valley’s Brian Gunderson (1995) and Ken Shukar of Everett (1999).

The Super Stocks, Northwest Legends and Hornets will also race today. Lake Stevens’ Rob Touchette won the season’s first Super Stocks race last week and will automatically start from the back this week.

Racing starts at 7 p.m.

Crowded at Skagit: Skagit Speedway set a track record with 128 cars entered for last week’s opening weekend. Chad Hillier won the 410 class, Brock Lemley won the 360s, Colton Heath won his first main in the Sportsman Sprints and Luther Wilson and Clayton Delano each won Hornet mains.

All four classes will race again today, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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