MRTI: Drivers visit SPCA ahead of Mazda Raceway races

Photo: Tony DiZinno

MONTEREY, Calif. – The old saying that a dog is a man’s (or woman’s) best friend was on display Thursday at the SPCA of Monterey County, as several drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires paid a visit to the facility ahead of this weekend’s Soul Red Finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Considering the pressure some, if not all, drivers in the three series competing here this weekend are under with Mazda advancement scholarships on the line, it was nice to see those present embracing their soft sides as they got to meet a number of dogs and cats – or in two random cases, a rat and a horse.

Those drivers present included:

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires

  • Kyle Kaiser, No. 18 Juncos Racing
  • Neil Alberico, No. 22 Carlin
  • Dean Stoneman, No. 27 Andretti Autosport
  • Dalton Kellett, No. 28 Andretti Autosport
  • Shelby Blackstock, No. 51 Andretti Autosport

Of note, Zach Veach, Andre Negrao and Santiago Urrutia were all at Sonoma testing IndyCars for the first time, and therefore unable to attend.

Stoneman and his family have embraced and worked with dogs and cats back home in England, and seeing him with a mini chihuahua presented a softer side of the 26-year-old Englishman that hasn’t really been witnessed too much during his first full-time season in America. It was quite nice to see.

Teammate Kellett, who was confirmed for another season in Indy Lights earlier this year, appeared to get congratulations from all parties.

Alberico played up a joke with fellow American Aaron Telitz, with the two Rising Star Racing-supported drivers eyeing each other as a rat named for Aaron was in-between, unbeknownst to the debauchery.

Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires

  • Bobby Eberle, No. 13 JDC Motorsports
  • Aaron Telitz, No. 82 Team Pelfrey

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda

  • Parker Thompson, No. 2 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
  • Dakota Dickerson, No. 18 Afterburner Autosport
  • Garth Rickards, No. 22 Pabst Racing
  • Ayla Agren, No. 33 John Cummiskey Racing (not racing this weekend)
  • Robert Megennis, No. 80 Team Pelfrey

Four of these five had a fun time with dogs – Rickards in particular – while Thompson had a different animal of note he spent time with. He got paired with a horse named Parker.

Meanwhile, here’s Agren and Rickards with dogs.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s