There are racers who have made it to the top. They don’t just win the championship, but they dominate year after year. Then they retire. Others haven’t made it to the top. They are searching for that elusive title. Josh Grant is one such rider. Grant has been earning AMA points since 2004 when he turned Pro at Hangtown and wowed fans by pulling a holeshot in the first moto and leading for two laps. He went on to finish tenth overall in the final points standings. While some riders have had careers that spanned nearly 20 years, a la Kevin Windham, racing for over a decade is an ironman effort. Next year Josh Grant, who is currently sidelined with double ankle surgery, will line up for his 14th season of racing. Rumor has it he has already signed with Monster Energy Kawasaki.
James Stewart was the toast of the 125 class in 2004. The only time he didn’t win was the second moto at Red Bud, where several big crashes ended his bid for a perfect outdoor series. Mike Brown wound up winning the overall win with 2-1 moto scores. It was also at Red Bud where Josh Grant earned his first career podium.
Nathan Ramsey, riding a factory Honda CRF250, pulled the holeshot in the first moto. Before the lap was over Mike Brown took the lead, before succumbing to James Stewart a few laps later. Mike Brown put up a good fight, but soon he had to deal with Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ivan Tedesco. Meanwhile, Josh Grant had a fairly good start in seventh position and remained there for the majority of the race. He started falling behind a few places around the eighth lap, and finished eighth.
James Stewart had won the first moto by a whopping 25 seconds on his factory Kawasaki SR125, and was well on his way to continue the perfect season. Then the second moto came and Bubba couldn’t stay off the ground. Coming out of the gate, Stewart got mixed up with Ivan Tedesco and Daryl Hurley, resulting in a three-way crash. Stewart was quick to get back in the mix, but the bike started acting up. He would eventually pull off with a broken clutch. Josh Grant, on the other hand, was in a great spot. He started out front in the second moto and led the opening four laps. While he was able to get out front at Hangtown earlier this year, Grant made it stick for a little while longer at Red Bud. He was eventually overtaken by Mike Brown and Stephane Roncada. After a long battle with Roncada, Grant was able to get second place back. With 8-2 moto scores for third overall, Josh Grant stood on the podium as a Pro for the first time.
2004 RED BUD NATIONAL: STEWART’S COLLAPSE & GRANT’S TRIUMPH