You can watch it all unfold live starting at 1:00 p.m. PT and local time, 4:00 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. The one-hour pre-race show comes before the race itself, when the green flag is scheduled for 2:07 p.m. PT.
Leigh Diffey will be alongside Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy in the booth, with Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller in pit lane.
This has been a tough week for the IndyCar community with the loss of Justin Wilson, who died Monday at age 37 from a severe head injury sustained last Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
The community has rallied though, with plenty of beautiful tributes penned, stickers and T-Shirts created to raise funds for the Wilson family. There is undoubtedly more to come as the racing world pays tribute to the gentle giant.
But today, the focus shifts back where Wilson would likely want it to shift: the race track, and the championship battle.
After leading the points all season, Juan Pablo Montoya enters today with a 34-point lead over Graham Rahal. If he finishes first or second, or third provided Rahal doesn’t score maximum points, he’ll win his second IndyCar championship – his first since doing so as a rookie in CART in 1999.
It’s Rahal who’s the underdog and looks to pull the upset for both he and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team what’s been an incredible season.
Third-placed Scott Dixon also has a semi-decent shot, while longshots Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden all have mathematical but highly unrealistic chances.
Power has the pole, while the remainder of the six-pack of championship contenders roll off second (Newgarden), fifth (Montoya) sixth (Rahal), ninth (Dixon) and 15th (Castroneves). Here are points scenarios.
There have been four different champions in the last four years – Power, Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti.
Past Sonoma race winners in recent years include Dixon, Power and Ryan Briscoe.
Immediately the race concludes, the championship presentation will follow, as IndyCar looks for joy and comfort to conclude its season.
Again, you can see all of the championship finale from starting at 1:00 p.m. PT and local time, 4:00 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
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.