Kyle Larson remains mostly unbeatable in dirt racing this season.
Larson scored his fourth World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car victory in the past two months, beating 10-time series champion Donny Schatz on a restart with three laps remaining Tuesday night to win at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park.
He earned $10,000 for capturing the 40-lap main event in the Brad Doty Classic, which is named after the Sprint Car Hall of Famer.
Since finishing 10th in the World of Outlaws’ return May 8 at Knoxville Raceway from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Larson has nearly 20 victories and an Indiana Midget Week Championship. He had a streak of 10 consecutive Midget victories in the United States that included his breakthrough in the 2020 Chili Bowl.
Larson essentially had a perfect Tuesday night in the premier national sprint car series. He won his heat race, started on pole after winning the dash by more than 4 seconds and led all 40 laps in the main event. He has won his past three Outlaws starts after sweeping at Knoxville Raceway in June (the fourth and fifth victories in his eight-race streak).
“It’s one that I think everyone looks forward to running,” Larson said in a release about the Brad Doty Classic. “Brad is such a nice guy and has done so much for this sport, long before I was born. It’s cool to get the opportunity to run this race. I got beat by Donny the last time we ran here, so it was good to edge him there.”
Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field
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.