MotorSportsTalk 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona Sunday blog

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12:20 p.m. ET – We’re set up for the final sprint.

In P, the showdown is between the No. 02 Ganassi Riley-Ford, and No. 10 Taylor and No. 5 Action Express Corvette DPs. Ganassi expects Scott Dixon to finish; Jordan Taylor is due to finish in the No. 10 and either Sebastien Bourdais or Joao Barbosa will finish the No. 5.

CORE leads PC with BMW (GTLM) and Riley Viper (GTD) the other class leaders.

Unfortunately for Sage Karam, one of the star drivers of the race, the No. 01 Ganassi car’s win chances have ended due to a reported slipping clutch.

“Right when I left the pits for my third stint of that outing, and right away I just knew,” Karam said. “At first I thought it was just wheelspin on cold tires, but then after that I thought no way this is cold tires anymore. I’ve actually done the same thing in my street car with my clutch, so I knew what it was. I was like, that’s got to be the clutch. So I radioed in and told the guys, and sure enough, that was it. We tried to do different maps to help it out, but ultimately, you couldn’t hang with anybody. We were just too slow, so we had to bring it in and diagnose it.”

10:00 a.m. ET – The Taylor No. 10 has taken the lead on a pit stop sequence, and Andy Lally has hit a possum.

You read that last bit correctly.

See Lally’s tweets below for something that could seemingly only happen to the luckless Magnus Racing.

9:00 a.m. ET – The drama has intensified as the sun has risen in Daytona.

First off the Action Express No. 5 is back on the lead lap and now into the lead after spending less time over the pits in the last couple hours.

Meanwhile in GTLM, the promising Daytona debut for the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR ended in the 18th hour with engine failure. Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Corvette had contact with a  PC car and then the No. 25 BMW had an off course excursion.

The GTD-contending No. 33 Viper has also had a garage trip and lost more than a dozen laps, to fall out of contention. The sister No. 93 in the hands of race debutante Cameron Lawrence now leads.

CORE’s No. 54 and Corvette’s No. 3 are the PC and GTLM leaders as the race nears the 19-hour mark.

The No. 64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, another GTD class contender, has had a major incident and is now out of the running as well.

6:15 a.m. ET – Good morning from Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, and no, I have not yet been to sleep… but not too much has happened in the overnight hours (perhaps mercifully) since filing the last update on Saturday.

Basically here’s how things are setting up. It’s a likely three and possible four-horse race in the overall and Prototype class honors between the pair of Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Fords and No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing. Defending champions Action Express Racing can reenter the fray if they get back on the lead lap, and the No. 5 Corvette DP has already got back two of the three laps it lost in the ninth hour for a connector issue.

In Prototype Challenge, right now, it’s CORE autosport’s to lose. Thus far the 2014 winners have driven a flawless race and nearly all their rivals have either had issues, been to the garage, or lacked the pace.

GT Le Mans could be any of Corvette, BMW or Porsche. The surprise here though is the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR entry being Porsche’s sole win contender after the factory pair took each other out overnight in an odd and strange accident. Ferrari and Aston Martin, too, have seen their three entries out of the race as well.

And the battle could intensify in GT Daytona, too, with both Vipers, both Scuderia Corsa Ferraris, the No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America and No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS all on the lead lap with six hours to go.

Stay tuned for more here.

SATURDAY RACE BLOG

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston: Eli Tomac retakes 450 lead, Hunter Lawrence tops 250s

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After his Anaheim 2 crash, Eli Tomac was surprised he was not injured, but despite getting knocked down momentarily, he picked himself up, rode to last week’s win and reascended to the top of the SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston. This is the third time in three weeks Tomac has topped the rankings.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Houston
Jason Anderson has back-to-back podiums to his credit and sits second in the Power Rankings. – Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Last week, Tomac finished second in his heat before winning the Main – and that translated to near-perfect points in the Power Rankings, which award 100 for a win in the feature and 90 for a heat victory. Tomac’s average was marred by the Houston accident when he finished 13th in that heat before settling just outside the top five in overall standings. Racing is about bouncing back and last year’s Supercross and Motocross champion Tomac did just that as he chases a third consecutive title.

Jason Anderson earned his second consecutive podium finish with a third at Houston. He momentarily rolled past Aaron Plessinger into second during a restart following an accident involving Dylan Ferrandis and held that position for four trips around the track until he was tracked down by Chase Sexton. Afterward Anderson faded and finished 12 seconds off the pace, but along with a heat win, he easily leapfrogged Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb, who struggled in the fourth race of the season.

MORE: Eli Tomac rebounds from Anaheim 2 crash with Houston win

Webb held his position by passing Roczen in NBC’s SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston. Webb has been solid in 2023 with a worst moto result of seventh in the first Triple Crown race at Anaheim 2, but in order to be considered a solid challenger to Tomac he needs to win either a heat or main this week in Tampa.

Roczen was involved in the incident that sidelined Ferrandis in Houston. Racing for eighth at the time, his bike may have sustained some damage when Ferrandis landed on his back tire, but he was not overly impressive in his heat either with a fifth-place finish. That was enough to drop him three positions in the standings, but he still has Tomac in sight.

After his disappointing heat in San Diego when he crashed and sustained enough damage to place him last, Sexton has roared back. He won the overall in Anaheim 2’s Triple Crown format and narrowed the points’ gap slightly on Tomac. Last week he yarded the field in his heat race and won by a wide margin. A modest start in the Main kept him from getting to Tomac’s back wheel early in the Houston round, and he lost a little ground in the championship.

450 Rankings

This
Week
Rider Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1 Eli Tomac
[3 Main; 3 Heats Wins]
85.20 2 1
2 Jason Anderson
[2 Heat Wins]
82.60 4 2
3 Cooper Webb 82.10 3 0
4 Ken Roczen 81.70 1 -3
5 Chase Sexton
[1 Main; 3 Heat Wins]
80.70 6 1
6 Dylan Ferrandis 71.60 5 -1
7 Aaron Plessinger 71.30 8 1
8 Justin Barcia 70.10 7 -1
9 Justin Cooper 68.00 NA
10 Adam Cianciarulo 67.40 9 -1
11 Joey Savatgy 61.20 10 -1
12 Marvin Musquin 61.00 10 -2
13 Malcolm Stewart
[1 Heat Win]
58.75 11 -2
14 Christian Craig 57.20 13 -1
15 Colt Nichols 56.50 14 -1
16 Dean Wilson 49.30 15 -1
17 Justin Hill 39.67 18 1
18 Shane McElrath 36.33 22 4
19 Brandon Scharer 34.00 21 2
20 Logan Karnow 33.33 19 -1

Supercross 450 Points


The 250 East division debuted in Houston and with only one race – and therefore no chance yet to stumble – three of their riders jumped to the top of the chart.

Hunter Lawrence had a perfect week with wins in both his main and heat. It wasn’t without drama, however, as he was forced to jump wide early in the feature to avoid contact with Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut. Without a former 250 champion in the field, it is guaranteed someone new will grace the top of the box at Salt Lake City after the season-ender and it looks like it’s going to be Lawrence’s to lose.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Houston
Jordon Smith’s last podium before Houston came four years ago in Detroit. – Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

It was more than four years ago that Jordon Smith scored his last Supercross podium in Detroit. Despite finishing second that afternoon, he was battling a wrist injury that eventually sidelined him. More injuries have followed, but Smith was a favorite to win the title in 2019 and he’s shown how well he can ride when he’s healthy.

Debuting third in the Houston SuperMotocross Power Rankings, Max Anstie moved from the 450 class last year to 250s in 2023 and the change has gone better than he anticipated. Finishing second in both his heat and main, Anstie was edged by Smith because he finished second behind that rider in their heat. That is Anstie’s first top-10 since finishing sixth at Southwick, Massachusetts last year on his 450. In that race, he scored fifth-place results in both motos.

Supercross 250 Points

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his graduation into the 250 class was well deserved and he landed fourth in his division and fifth overall in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings. In his first professional Supercross race, he finished fourth in his heat. In a field with twice the talent, he finished fourth again in the main. At Houston, he balanced aggression with patience. Now that he has a taste of that success, everyone will be watching him closely at Tampa to see if he can continue tiptoeing on the line.

Michael Mosiman, Jeremy Martin, and Vialle are tied for fifth in the 250 East division and seventh overall.

Vialle is the most notable of these three because he challenged for a podium position during the Main before making a mistake and falling in a turn. Significantly, this was not only his 250 debut, but his first time in Supercross. As with Deegan, he has generated a lot of attention for the coming weeks.

250 Rankings

This
Week
Rider Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1 Hunter Lawrence – E
[1 Main; 1 Heat Win]
95.00 NA
2 Jordon Smith – E
[1 Heat Win]
90.50 NA
2 Max Anstie – E 90.50 NA
4 Jett Lawrence – W
[2 Main; 2 Heat Wins]
89.13 1 -3
5 Haiden Deegan – E 81.50 NA
6 Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat Win]
77.63 2 -4
7 Mitchell Oldenburg – W 77.00 3 -4
7 Michael Mosiman – E 77.00 NA
7 Jeremy Martin – E 77.00 NA
7 Tom Vialle – E 77.00 NA
11 Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat Win]
76.75 4 -7
12 Chance Hymas – E 74.50 -12
13 Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main Win]
73.75 5 -8
14 RJ Hampshire – W
[3 Heat Wins]
70.00 6 -8
15 Max Vohland – W 69.29 7 -8
16 Cullin Park – E 66.00 NA
17 Chris Blose – E 65.50 NA
18 Derek Kelley – W 63.75 8 -10
19 Enzo Lopes – W 63.25 9 -10
20 Pierce Brown – W 61.29 10 -10

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage