Here’s a few stats of note and Verizon IndyCar Series points through two races:
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner Mike Conway is the only driver to have led laps in both races (1 at St. Petersburg, 3 at Long Beach). With 16 spots gained from start to finish, he was also the biggest mover on Sunday.
Already, 11 different drivers have made the Firestone Fast Six in two races. The only driver to make it twice is Ryan Hunter-Reay (qualified third at St. Petersburg, pole at Long Beach). The 11 that have made it are: Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Will Power, Tony Kanaan, Josef Newgarden and Jack Hawksworth.
Five drivers: Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti and Jack Hawksworth, have qualified in the top 10 in both races.
In two races, Juan Pablo Montoya, Charlie Kimball, Graham Rahal and Carlos Huertas have yet to crack the top 15 in qualifying.
Power and Pagenaud are the only two drivers with two top-five finishes in the first two races. Additionally, they’re the only two who have scored top-10s in both races.
Just one more point separates third (Simon Pagenaud, 60) from the tie for 18th (Marco Andretti and Carlos Huertas, 32) as does the gap from first to second. There’s a gap of 27 between first and second and a spread of 28 from third to 19th.
Poor Charlie Kimball has had mechanical issues in both races, and ranks last in the standings. He should improve going to Barber, where he has two past top-10 finishes in three starts.
1. Will Power, 93
2. Mike Conway, 66
3. Simon Pagenaud, 60
4. Helio Castroneves, 55
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 54
6. Scott Dixon, 51
7. Carlos Munoz, 48
8. Juan Pablo Montoya, 47
9. Mikhail Aleshin, 46
10. Sebastian Saavedra, 42
11. Tony Kanaan, 40
12. Justin Wilson, 38
13. Takuma Sato, 36
14. Josef Newgarden, 34
15. Ryan Briscoe, 33
16. Sebastien Bourdais, 33
17. Graham Rahal, 33
18. Marco Andretti, 32
19. Carlos Huertas, 32
20. Oriol Servia, 26
21. Jack Hawksworth, 24
22. James Hinchcliffe, 20
23. Charlie Kimball, 17
Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.
There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.
Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.
Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.
By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.
With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.
This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.
Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.
Two privateers have started the season on a high note.
Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.
The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.
Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.
In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.