Joe Gibbs sold James Stewart on joining his JGRMX team last October by showing a personal interest, convincing him the technology from his Sprint Cup operation could be used to build a better motorcycle than the competition and offering a five-year contract with the opportunity to move into a NASCAR program in the future.
The motorsport community was in mourning on Monday as competitors from across various racing disciplines paid tribute to Marco Simoncelli, the Italian MotoGP rider who lost his life after a crash in Malaysia on Sunday.
James "Bubba" Stewart isn't the first athlete to make more in endorsements than he does in winnings. But few have taken it to this extreme: At 25, Stewart is the titan of motocross, where championship races bring purses of $12,000 or less -- and yet he takes in $10 million a year in endorsements.
In 1972, rock concert promoter Mike Goodwin tried something that had never been done by bringing motocross -- a European form of motorcycle racing that was just starting to gain a foothold in the U.S. -- into a stadium. He called it the Super Bowl of Motocross, an appropriate title considering it was run in the Los Angeles Coliseum, the site of the first Super Bowl.
American racing produced few surprises in 2010. Jimmie Johnson won the Sprint Cup for the fifth consecutive year, Dario Franchitti took his second straight Izod IndyCar title, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas drove Chip Ganassi Racing's Daytona Prototype to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car crown, Gary Brabham and Simon Pagenaud won LMP in ALMS, John Force had his 15th championship in NHRA Funny Car and Larry Dixon his third in Top Fuel.
James Stewart begins pursuit of his third Monster Supercross championship Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Like Tiger Woods and Serena Williams, Stewart didn't set out to break down barriers by becoming the best black athlete in a particular sport. He was pursuing his dream and made it to the top, becoming arguably the most successful of his race in American motor racing history.
Ben Spies entered Sunday's final two races in the World Superbike Championship trailing Japanese rider Noriyuki Haga by 10 points. Starting from pole, Spies, a Longview, Texas native, won the first race to take a 15-point lead over Haga, who crashed, and rode strategically in the second to finish fifth and became World Champion by six points, 462-456, at the Algarve Circuit in Portugal. He's the first American to win the title since fellow Texan Colin Edwards in 2002.
Ben Spies never thought about becoming an international motorcycle road racing star growing up in the east Texas town of Longview, but he's become exactly that in his first season in the Superbike World Championship.
Shares of online media firms Google and Yahoo! have taken a hit this year. But traditional media outlets that are just starting to dip their ink-stained toes in cyberspace are benefiting from the latest round of Internet hype.