RHR “talking ourselves” into being happy with sixth, top Honda

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Sometimes you have to accept and enjoy small victories, and for Ryan Hunter-Reay and the No. 28 DHL Honda team from Andretti Autosport, sixth and the top Honda in qualifying was one of them.

Hunter-Reay made the most out of his car, with the Honda aero kit and engine perhaps down just slightly to the Chevrolets, and was the lone Honda representative in Firestone Fast Six qualifying.

As last year, only one Honda advanced into the Fast Six. Hunter-Reay supplanted Takuma Sato of A.J. Foyt Enterprises as the only Honda this year.

“It was a bit of a struggle. It was a thrash,” Hunter-Reay said during the post-qualifying press conference.

He also praised Team Penske’s efforts, as the team completed its second straight top four qualifying sweep at St. Petersburg.

“They’ve been class of the field. It has been very tough for us to tell you the truth,” he said.

“It’s tough to be happy with sixth but we’re talking ourselves into it.

“The (Firestone) Reds were ‘a life vest in the middle of the ocean’ for us. We’ve been struggling for overall grip.”

Hunter-Reay said his goals for Sunday are bigger than being just top Honda.

“I don’t want to just be the top Honda. I want to be the top finisher,” said Hunter-Reay, who made his North American open-wheel debut in 2003 with American Spirit Team Johansson.

His best finish at the track is second with Vision Racing in 2009, in a last-minute deal with that team.

Andretti’s remaining three drivers – Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi – will roll off 13th, 15th and 19th for Sunday’s race.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.