Bathurst 1000 and SCCA Runoffs this week make for a busy weekend


The biggest race of the season for two major organizations occur this week.

The Australian V8 Supercars head to Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 1000, while the SCCA National Championship Runoffs head west for the first time in decades, to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey.

Both race weeks are already underway with practice and qualifying commencing.

We’ll start Down Under at Bathurst, for the officially named Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards claimed a popular first Bathurst win a year ago for Ford, which ended a four-year run of wins for Holden.

“Frosty” was second in the third and final practice session Thursday, behind session leaders David Reynolds and Dean Canto (2:06.3714), with the fastest lap of the day. Greg Murphy (practice two) and Chaz Mostert (practice one).

Here’s a list of the driver pairings for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, which is awarded to the V8 Supercar driver and co-driver combination that accumulates the most Championship points over three of Australia’s iconic events.

For the second consecutive year, the Wilson Security Sandown 500 in September, and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 in October offer four chances for each pairing to earn points, and edge closer to the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

The race occurs October 12 in Australia, which translates to Saturday for North American viewers. Ways to follow the race are linked here, via the V8SC website.

Heading back across the Atlantic, we arrive at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where the SCCA Runoffs take place in Monterey, Calif. It marks the first West Coast Runoffs since 1968, at Riverside International Raceway.

There are 523 entries for the race, a majority of them West Coast entries, split among 27 classes. Here’s the full entry list link.

Spec Miata leads the way with 46 entries, followed closely by Spec Racer Ford with 45. Several classes (Formula Enterprises, Formula 500, B-Spec and STU) have only 11, one over the 10 minimum required for a National Championship race to be held.

A live multimedia experience will take place with video, live timing and more, via More information is linked here.

Live broadcast will be done through SpeedCastTV, with veteran motorsports broadcasters Rick Benjamin and Greg Creamer joined by SCCA Champion Randy Pobst and Pirelli World Challenge broadcaster Jeff Lepper for the on-air call. Heyward Wagner will man pit lane throughout the weekend. Information can be found at

Two days of qualifying are complete with the third today, before races occur Friday through Sunday.

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.