Hinchcliffe, Indy Eleven and local media bike to Pacers game (VIDEO)


So on Tuesday night, James Hinchcliffe officially announced his deal with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. He expanded on his deal later in the evening.

What we haven’t shown you, up to this point, is the bicycle ride via Handlebar Indy from Flat 12 Bierworks (brewer of Hinchtown Hammer Down Golden Ale, Hinch’s beer of record) to Bankers’ Life Fieldhouse for the Indiana Pacers-Minnesota T-Wolves exhibition game.

Hinchcliffe and local media (yours truly included) raced on one bike against the Indy Eleven soccer team from the North American Soccer League (NASL).

It may be the offseason, but Hinchcliffe is still bloody competitive, and it showed with the respective team efforts to get from Point A to Point B, with a brief pit stop in-between.

Considering the majority of driver announcements are either reported in advance, or officially confirmed via a press release/teleconference, this was a fun variation on how things can go down when several groups come together to make for a fun offseason event. Kudos to all.

The beer, chips and guac were good, too.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.