Scott Speed’s blog: Walking home a Red Bull GRC three-peat

Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool

Editor’s note: Providing a behind the scenes take during his 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) season, Scott Speed, driver of the No. 41 Oberto Circle K Beetle GRC for Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross (VARX), will contribute to, giving readers his view from behind the visor.

In his final installment this season, Speed reflects on the road to his third consecutive series championship (preseason, post-Memphis).

Winning again this year comes down to a ‘yes’ on consistency and improvement in reliability, no question. The car took the necessary contact with others well all year, although I obviously limited that more than most people. But, inherently, you’re still going to contact other cars, which we did and had no failures there. I had no engine failures, no anything.

The only race that we didn’t podium on was the one that we didn’t start in Canada, because we weren’t able to make the semi-final round. So, missing that caused us to not be allowed to start in the final, which cost us (about) 60 points. So realistically, when you look at the championship, no one was going to beat us this year, basically.

We did have to monitor the points a little more because of all the extra points added from the heats and semifinals. For us, it didn’t change much because we were already at the sharp end of the grid anyway. But for people who had poor qualifying or had some trouble, it kinda always kept them in the mix, points-wise. I definitely feel like it artificially brought the lower half of the field closer to the front from a points standpoint. But, for us, it didn’t really have an effect.

Winning at Indy was definitely great. There was a lot of friends and family there that weekend, so that certainly was a good one to win. I guess if you had to pick one, it’s always great when you do well in front of your home people, so there’s no question. And obviously the same with Atlantic City. It’s probably the closest race to Volkswagen HQ, lots of people were there, so it’s important.”

Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool

But, from a driver’s standpoint – from my standpoint – the job never changes. Whether there’s 50 people there or a million people there, it’s still the same job. And for me, I’m very singularly focused on the task at hand. The people who come to the races, and the hometown races, those are all great, but they’re not, let’s say, ‘in the focus.’

This year, I think it played out differently than the last two. I honestly thought that after Canada, there was no chance to come back from that many points (lost). We literally gave away over 60 points. And typically, you don’t get to recover from something like that. But, we started chipping away at that lead and then Tanner (Foust) sort of had his nuclear meltdown at Atlantic City and the next thing you know the roles were reversed and we were back with a very healthy points lead as we were going into Canada.

So, it was very different in the sense I really considered we weren’t going to have a shot at the championship given how many points we lost in Canada. And almost instantly, after Indy, we gained so many points back there and had so much momentum, it was like ‘Okay, we can really do this come back.’ And then one weekend later, it completely changed to ‘Okay, now this is basically our championship. We can walk this thing home.’

As an overall group with Volkswagen and Andretti Autosport, we’re all still gelling well. It’s all status quo, really, with Tanner and I. For the last two years, it’s been really similar. Obviously we have the same kind of working relationship, and all that is certainly a feather in our team’s cap. And I think the BFGoodrich Tires are so good that no one’s really had any problems with them at all. We certainly haven’t had any problems with them for the last two years, so I don’t think that changed at all for us personally, or really anybody else.

It was great doing more with Circle K and Oberto, as they have been an amazing partner this year. I think it was definitely a difference from last year, when there was a lot more change on the car throughout the year, and that’s sort of the stability we had and that relationship has grown strong throughout the year. Obviously winning them a championship is great, that’s the ideal situation. And that relationship, and that partnership in general, is just very healthy and natural.

Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool

It’s something where, similar to Rockstar, it fits into my lifestyle very well, so it’s very easy for me to represent a company like Oberto, for example, that is very healthy in nature, very active demographic of guys, and a product I naturally use in my day-to-day, which makes it a ton easier to talk about and support, because I know the product and like the product.”

We have a really fantastic fit of partners right now. And that’s easier on me, because like I said, I can just be myself and everything comes out naturally, and I feel like I represent those products well because of that.

There’s no question it’s nice to feel comfortable where you are. And to have Volkwagen, Rockstar, Oberto, Circle K, Andretti…have all these partners in the mix that all feel very comfortable and natural –  it’s definitely a positive that as a family we enjoy. And we thrive.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Detroit


The focus of the Detroit Monster Energy Supercross round was on the mid-pack battle while Aaron Plessinger pulled away from the field, but when he crashed after hooking his foot in the dirt, the results once more looked like we’ve come to expect, with Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac sharing the podium for the fifth time in 10 rounds.

Supercross Results Detroit
Justin Barcia was part of an exciting, four-rider battle in the middle of Detroit’s A-Main. – Feld Motor Sports

For Sexton, Plessinger’s late-race crash was a vindication of sorts. Several times already this season, Sexton has crashed while battling for the lead and the points that has cost him keeps him sporting the red plate. He lost points in Detroit for a different reason, however.

Sexton was allowed to keep the win, but was penalized seven points for jumping in a red cross section of the course. As a result, he dropped four points to Webb and two to Tomac. Sexton is now 17 points behind Webb in the championship hunt.

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

One week after snatching the red plate from Tomac for the first time in 2023, Webb stretched his advantage by two. With his second-place finish, Webb holds a three-point lead over Tomac, which essentially means both riders control their fate in the coming weeks. Webb continues to have a sweep of the top five this season with his sixth consecutive podium.

Coming off his worst finish of the season, Tomac rebounded to finish third. His eighth-place result last week was partially attributed to a stiff neck that hindered him in traffic and he still suffered some of those same effects in Detroit. Before Plessinger’s crash, he was destined to be the only rider in the three-man title scrum to finish off the podium in Detroit.

It is surprising what one position can do for one’s confidence.

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

Justin Barcia scored his fourth top-five of the season. He was part of the exciting four-man battle that dominated the middle stages of the race before Sexton and Webb gained a little separation. Finishing less than three seconds behind Tomac, he kept that rider honest for the entire race.

Coming off his first win of the season, Ken Roczen finished fifth. It was his seventh top-five of the season and it elevated him to fifth in the standings.

Plessinger’s fall took the wind from his sails. He attempted to right his bike after a hard crash, but as it smoked and pinged, he dropped to 13th in the final rundown.

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

Hunter Lawrence tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 wins each after another dominating ride in the Detroit Supercross race and the results in the points continue to widen. With his fifth win in six rounds and a worst finish of third, Lawrence now has a 35-point advantage over Nate Thrasher with four rounds remaining. Finishes of 14th or better in the final four mains will give him his first 250 championship.

Supercross Results Detroit
Strong starts have been one of the keys to Hunter Lawrence’s success in 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

Jett will have an opportunity to retake his wins’ lead as Supercross heads west for the next two rounds in Seattle and Glendale, Arizona.

Nate Thrasher earned his third second-place finish of the season with a gap of 7.6 seconds to Lawrence. He won the overall in Arlington earlier this season, but a 15th-place finish in the opening round in Houston and 10th in Daytona hurts his championship chances.

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

Haiden Deegan scored his second podium and fourth top-five in six rounds of his young career. On his way to that finish, he rode aggressively against his teammate Jordon Smith in the heat race. Fans are getting a glimpse of what his on-track personality might be.

Jeremy Martin continues to be the model of consistency. He has not finished worse than sixth or better than fourth in six rounds now and that has allowed him to close to within two points of third in the 250 East championship standings.

Rounding out the top five is Chris Blose, who was pressed into service at the start of the season because of a rash of injuries at Pro Circuit Kawasaki. This is Blose’s first top-five of the season, although he’s steadily improved over the past five rounds.

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

Max Anstie entered the race weekend second in the points, but a hard crash in heavy traffic early in the main forced him to retire after two laps. Earning only one point for the round, he plummeted to fifth in the standings.

The news was worse for Smith, who was dropped out of the top nine in his heat after the altercation with Deegan and failed to advance through the LCQ. In the last chance race, he stalled his engine and had to mount a determined charge. He got only as high as seventh in that race after crashing while attempting to make a pass on fourth-place Jack Chambers.

2023 Results

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 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