The run of accolades continues for 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, as he and team owner Michael Andretti received their Baby Borg-Warner trophies at a ceremony at the Detroit Auto Show.
They’re two different, distinct ceremonies – each with a different cache – and were equally special to Hunter-Reay.
“They’re two completely separate events really,” Hunter-Reay told MotorSportsTalk in a phone interview. “Seeing my face on the Borg, for years I’ve gone to IMS museum, and seen the faces in awe. It was a pretty emotional moment.
“But now being able to bring home a piece of the 500 win for sure, two very distinctly separate moments. This one, I’m certainly enjoying.”
Added team owner Andretti, “It’s great. This one was really special in a lot of different ways, because one, Ryan has become so close to the family. Two, I was calling his race. Three, it was the first one for Andretti Autosport. To win it the way we did, those last six laps some of the most exciting laps ever run.”
This is Andretti’s third Baby Borg – but the previous two came under the Andretti Green Racing umbrella with Dan Wheldon (2005) and Dario Franchitti (2007). This marks the first since the Andretti Autosport name came into being.
“Both were special with Dan having had our first one, and Dario was a part of the team for a long time. Looking at it here, we both have them on the table, mine (trophy) is bigger than Ryan’s,” Andretti joked.
A size question – whether Hunter-Reay thought the trophy would be bigger or smaller than he anticipated – drew some laughs and a polite “It’s the perfect size, because I get to take it home.”
“I really appreciate Borg-Warner doing this,” Hunter-Reay said. “They’ve supported the sport for so long and led on the legacy. To have my face on the trophy, they give you the same face on the Baby Borg. It’s going front and center in my office at home.”
Photos from the event (Photos by LAT/Borg-Warner) are below.
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.