Today’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge at Indianapolis: Start time, TV info, more

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It’s May, which means Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in the racing spotlight — even if it’s virtually in this case.

The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will hold its season finale today at the virtual Brickyard. The legendary 2.5-mile track will be the third oval race in the series. Simon Pagenaud won the previous two at Michigan International Speedway and Twin Ring Motegi.

The front row will feature two drivers who are inexperienced at Indy but accomplished at sim racing. Two-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will start on pole after a 228.241-mph lap Friday, and F1 McLaren’s Lando Norris will start second (228.201) after becoming eligible for the race with his win at Circuit of The Americas.

WATCH: First Responder 175, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN or via streaming

READY FOR THE REAL: Kanaan, Rossi anxious to get behind the wheel

NASCAR and rallycross veteran Scott Speed will start third. Graham Rahal was the highest qualifying full-time IndyCar driver in fourth.

McLaughlin and Norris are two of only three drivers in the field without any starts at IMS. Rookie Alex Palou, who qualified eighth, also has yet to race at real-world Indy.

Here is the information on today’s virtual race:

START: The command to start engines will be given by New York City first responders at 2:43 p.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 2:45 p.m.

TV: Coverage of the race will begin on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET and also via the NBCSN stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App. The IndyCar on NBC booth of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy will have the call of the race with reporter Marty Snider.

The race also can be viewed through drivers’ individual Twitch channels.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Performed by the Indianapolis Fire Department’s Voices of IFD at 2:39 p.m. ET.

TRACK: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a four-turn, 2.5-mile oval. Turn banking: 9 degrees, 12 minutes. Straightaway width: 50 feet. Turn width: 60 feet.

DISTANCE: The First Responder 175 is 70 laps/175 miles (281.6 km) (approximately 75 minutes).

SETUPS: Fixed; no changes allowed for drivers.

PIT STOPS: One or two. Fuel window will be approximately 30-35 laps.

FAST REPAIRS: One (drivers have been allowed two fast repairs, the equivalent of hitting a reset button, at the past three races on road courses; on ovals, drivers have been limited to one fast repair).

REAL WORLD AT INDY:  Of the 33 starters, 24 have made at least one Indianapolis 500 start. Five others have competed in the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race (Oliver Askew, RC Enerson, Dalton Kellett, Pato O’Ward and Rinus VeeKay). Scott Speed has started the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Cup Series race.

There are eight Indy 500 winners in the starting lineup: Helio Castroneves (Team Penske), Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport), Tony Kanaan (A.J. Foyt Enterprises), Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske), Will Power (Team Penske), Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) and Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing). The top qualifier for Saturday’s race among that group is Power, who will start seventh.

UNOFFICIAL POINTS STANDINGS: There is no championship at play, but if points were being kept, the Team Penske duo of Simon Pagenaud and Will Power would be tied for the lead. Click here for the points standings after the Circuit of The Americas race.

PAST FIVE ROUNDS: Click here for the full boxscore from Circuit of The Americas. Click here for the full boxscore from Twin Ring Motegi. Click here for the full boxscore from Michigan. Click here for the full boxscore from Barber. Click here for the full box score from Watkins Glen.

STARTING ORDER: Click here to see Friday’s qualifying results at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for today’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge finale.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to see the 33 drivers entered at Indy for the sixth and final round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge.

SPOTTER’S GUIDE: Click here to see the paint schemes being used in today’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Motocross season opener: Jett Lawrence rockets to the top

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As the SuperMotocross season heads outdoors, the NBC Power Rankings change significantly with results from the Motocross opener at Fox Raceway in Pala, California. The Power Rankings assign a numeric value to each individual moto (90 points maximum) as well as the overall standings (100 points) and averages that number over the past 45 days. Included in the Power Rankings are results from the final five Supercross rounds, which fit into that 45-day timeframe.

Dylan Ferrandis finished on the podium in his first race back after experience a concussion in Supercross Round 4 at Houston. – Align Media

It didn’t take long for Jett Lawrence to rocket to the top of the SuperMotocross rankings – only about 74 minutes in fact. Lawrence dominated his first moto and beat his teammate Chase Sexton, the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross champion, to the line by 10 seconds. He had to fight a little harder for the second moto win as Sexton stalked him throughout the race and ended up less than a second behind.

Beginning this week, we have added the SuperMotocross points’ ranking beside the rider’s name and in one fell swoop, Lawrence went from being unranked in the 450 class to 26th. To qualify for the inaugural SuperMotocross’ guaranteed 20 positions that automatically make the gate for the three-race championship series, Lawrence needs to be inside the top 20 in combined Supercross and Motocross points. The bubble is currently held by Justin Starling and Lawrence needs to make up 44 points to overtake him.

Sexton’s second-place finish in the overall standings at Fox Raceway marked his ninth consecutive top-five finish. After the race, Sexton compared the battle he had with Lawrence to the one he experienced with Eli Tomac in last year’s Pro Motocross championship. These two riders had a significant advantage over the field in Pala, but there is still a lot of racing to be completed.

MORE: Jett Lawrence wastes no time, wins first 450 race

After missing 13 rounds to a concussion, Dylan Ferrandis told NBC Sports that he was not going to do anything risky in the season opener at Fox Raceway. If he dialed back his effort at all, one would be hard-pressed to notice. He finished third in both motos and was third in the overall standings. Ferrandis began the weekend just outside the top 20 in combined SuperMotocross points and climbed to 19th. In the next few weeks, he will get a little more breathing room over the cutline and then challenge for wins.

Adam Cianciarulo’s three-race streak of top-five finishes ended with a sixth-place overall at Fox Raceway, but that was enough to advance him one position in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings and land him eighth in the combined points standings. His individual motos were moderate, but Cianciarulo is still battling the effects of injury and a nagging loss of strength in his wrist.

Aaron Plessinger returned from injury in the Supercross season finale to finish second at Salt Lake City. He added another top-five to his season total and now has six of those in the 13 rounds he’s made. With Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac not currently racing in Motocross, Plessinger has an opportunity to rise to the third seeding in short order.

450 Rankings

This
Week
Driver (SMX rank) Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1. Jett Lawrence (26) 93.33 NA
2. Chase Sexton (1) 92.36 1 -1
3. Dylan Ferrandis (19) 89.00 NA
4. Adam Cianciarulo (8) 82.89 5 1
5. Aaron Plessinger (5) 81.20 9 4
6. Justin Hill (9)
Not racing MX
79.75 8 2
7. Ken Roczen (4)
injured | Not racing MX
79.13 3 -4
8. Jose Butron (30) 75.67 NA
9. Lorenzo Locurcio (29) 75.00 NA
10. Eli Tomac (2)
injured
74.50 2 -8
11. Dean Wilson (10)
Not racing MX
72.88 7 -4
12. Cooper Webb (3) 71.17 6 -6
13. Jerry Robin (32) 70.33 NA
14. Justin Barcia (6)
injured
70.00 4 -10
15. Kyle Chisholm (15) 65.36 11 -4
16. Dante Oliveira (36) 65.00 NA
17. Shane McElrath (11)
Not racing MX
63.63 12 -5
18. Ryan Surratt (38) 63.33 NA
19. Josh Hill (13)
Not racing MX
62.38 13 -6
20. Justin Starling (20)
Not racing MX
62.13 19 -1

Motocross 450 Points


A bad start to Moto 1 at Fox Raceway was not enough to deter Hunter Lawrence. Neither was the fact that he was riding with sore ribs after experiencing a practice crash earlier in the week. He was a distant 10th to start the first race and for most of the 30 minutes, it seemed he would finish off the podium. Lawrence did not win the 250 East Supercross championship by giving in to hopelessness or pain, however.

Lawrence picked off one rider and then another until he found the battle for the top five in front of him at the halfway point. Once the field started to lap riders, Lawrence used the opportunity to continue forward through the grid. He passed third-place Jo Shimoda with two laps remaining and challenged Maximus Vohland for second on the final trip around Fox Raceway, but had to settle for the final spot on the podium. Lawrence dominated Moto 2 and claimed the overall victory in Pala.

Justin Cooper made his first start of the season at Fox Raceway and earned enough NBC Power Average points to climb to second. Partly this was due to consistently strong runs in both motos and a 5-4 that gave him the fifth position overall, but he is also not weighed down with moderate Supercross results. It will take a week or two to see where his strength lands him on the grid.

Motocross 250 Points

In only his third Pro Motocross National, Haiden Deegan scored a second-place finish in the overall standings. – Align Media

RJ Hampshire may feel he has something to prove after finishing second to Jett Lawrence in the 250 SX West division. He certainly rode like that was the case in Moto 1 and easily outpaced the field on his way to victory lane. In Moto 2, he crashed twice on Lap 1 and dropped back to 39th. It took half of the race to get inside the top 20 and salvage points. By the end of the race, he was 11th and while that was enough to get him on the overall podium, it cost him points in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

Haiden Deegan surprised the field in Houston in his 250 Supercross debut by finishing fifth. At the time, he said his strong result was because there were no expectations. He echoed that statement after the Motocross season opener. His second-place finish in the overall standings was enough to project him five positions up the SuperMotocross Rankings. In 11 rounds in the combined series, Deegan has earned seven top-fives and a worst finish of eighth.

Jo Shimoda did not make his first Supercross race of 2023 until late in the season. He finished fourth on the hybrid track of Atlanta, which had some similar elements to Fox Raceway. His fourth-place finish in Moto 1 of the Motocross opener made it seem likely he would score an overall podium, but a sixth in the second race cost him points in the NBC Power Rankings in a field that promises to be extremely tight.

250 Rankings

This
Week
Driver (SMX rank) Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1. Hunter Lawrence (1) 89.56 2 1
2. Justin Cooper (42) 84.67 NA
3. RJ Hampshire (3) 83.67 3 0
3. Haiden Deegan (4) 83.67 8 5
5. Jo Shimoda (16) 82.33 7 2
6. Guillem Farres (46) 79.33 NA
7. Levi Kitchen (6) 79.11 5 -2
8. Max Anstie (5) 77.83 12 4
9. Max Vohland (8) 77.50 14 5
10. Enzo Lopes (10) 76.00 11 1
11. Mitchell Oldenburg (13) 74.25 16 5
12. Carson Mumford (19) 71.22 17 5
13. Jordon Smith (7) 70.56 9 -4
14. Ryder DiFrancesco (48) 70.33 NA
15. Chris Blose (12) 67.00 13 -2
16. Chance Hymas (27) 66.00 19 3
17. Tom Vialle (9) 65.78 18 1
18. Jett Reynolds (55) 63.33 NA
19. Michael Mosiman (28) 62.33 20 1
20. Garrett Marchbanks (64) 59.00 NA

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner in Supercross and overall winner in Motocross. It awards 90 points for each Moto, Heat and Triple Crown win. 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 SX FINALE AT SALT LAKE CITY: Chase Sexton ends with win
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 15 AT NASHVILLE: Eli Tomac back on top
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 14 AT NEW JERSEY: The top 20 settle in
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 13 AT ATLANTA: Justin Barcia leapfrogs the Big 3
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 12 AT GLENDALE: Eli Tomac gains momentum
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 11 AT SEATTLE: Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 10 AT DETROIT: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Webb
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 8 AT DAYTONA: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Eli Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 5 AT TAMPA: Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb close in
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Eli Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Ken Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage