Dylan Ferrandis still leads 450 Motocross Power Rankings after Southwick, Justin Cooper tops 250s

Power Rankings Southwick
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When Dylan Ferrandis earned his first 450 win in the opening round at Fox Raceway it was a little surprising, but with a worst overall finish of second in five rounds, he easily retains the top spot in the Motocross Power Rankings after the Southwick Nationals. Meanwhile, we have a new leader in 250s with Justin Cooper narrowly edging Jett Lawrence.

In Moto 1 last week, it appeared Ferrandis solved his issues leaving the gate. He grabbed the hole shot and easily rode away from the field. His second moto was much more adventurous as he had to ride from outside the top five to finish third with a smoking bike. He still secured the overall win.

Ken Roczen holds onto second position in the Power Rankings this week with his second-place finish in the overall. He struggled in Moto 1 with a fourth and outpaced Ferrandis by one position in Moto 2 to score a 4-2.

With his third consecutive Moto 2 win, Eli Tomac moves two positions up the board. Tomac displaced Aaron Plessinger, who finished third in Moto 1 and had a mechanical DNF in Moto 2, as well as Chase Sexton, who finished last week seventh overall with a 7-8.

The Motocross Power Rankings looks back 45 days to reward recent momentum. This week the season opener at Fox Raceway falls out of the formula.

There is a new rider among the top 10 this week. With consistent finishes of 11-10 in the two Southwick motos Musquin moves up one position at the expense of Joey Savatgy.

450 Power Rankings (Last Week)

    1. Dylan Ferrandis [4 overall, 3 moto wins] (1)
    2. Ken Roczen [1 overall, 3 moto wins] (2)
    3. Eli Tomac [3 moto win] (5)
    4. Aaron Plessinger (3)
    5. Chase Sexton (4)
    6. Justin Barcia (6)
    7. Adam Cianciarulo [1 moto win] (7)
    8. Cooper Webb (9)
    9. Christian Craig (8)
    10. Joey Savatgy (11)
    11. Marvin Musquin (10)
    12. Justin Bogle (12)
    13. Brandon Hartranft (17)
    14. Max Anstie (13)
    15. Fredrik Noren (15)
    16. Coty Schock (14)
    17. Chris Canning (18)
    18. Cade Clason (22)
    19. Ryan Surratt (20)
    20. Justin Rodbell (25)

Justin Cooper and Jett Lawrence have been riding one another hard during the past month and a half. Part of the reason for Jett’s top position in the Power Rankings was how much stronger he was in the season opener at Fox Raceway with his overall win and a 2-1 in the motos. With that race aging out of the formula, Cooper ekes out a narrow advantage over Jett.

Jett maintains his second position in the Power Rankings after scoring a 9-3 at Southwick to give him the seventh position overall.

The two leaders have been the class of the 250 field and had a large enough lead over Hunter Lawrence to strand that rider in third even after his perfect sweep of the top spot in both motos and overall last week.

Colt Nichols jumped up two positions this week with consistent finishes at Southwick. His fifth-place overall came with a 4-5 in the two motos.

Likewise, Jalek Swoll was able to advance two positions. In part, the reason was a solid top-10 finish at Southwick, but equally important is the fact that his 11th-place overall finish at Fox has aged out.

250 Power Rankings (Last Week)

  1. Justin Cooper [1 overall, 2 moto win] (2)
  2. Jett Lawrence [1 overall, 3 moto wins] (1)
  3. Hunter Lawrence [1 overall, 2 moto wins] (3)
  4. Colt Nichols (6)
  5. Jalek Swoll [1 overall, 1 moto win] (7)
  6. Jo Shimoda (9)
  7. Garrett Marchbanks (5)
  8. RJ Hampshire [1 overall] (8)
  9. Jeremy Martin [2 moto wins] (4)
  10. Austin Forkner (10)
  11. Pierce Brown (13)
  12. Max Vohland (15)
  13. Dilan Schwartz (12)
  14. Carson Mumford (14)
  15. Ty Masterpool (18)
  16. Michael Mosiman (11)
  17. Nate Thrasher (17)
  18. Jarrett Frye (16)
  19. Stilez Robertson (20)
  20. Joshua Varize (19)

Jimmie Johnson won’t race full time in 2023; leaves open possibility of returning at Ganassi

Jimmie Johnson race 2023
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Though he remains uncertain of his plans for next year, Jimmie Johnson won’t race full time in 2023, scaling back his schedule after running a full 17-race NTT IndyCar Series season.

“This was a difficult choice for me, but in my heart, I know it’s the right one,” Johnson said in a statement Monday morning. “I’m not exactly sure what the next chapter holds, but if an opportunity comes along that makes sense, I will consider it. I still have a bucket list of racing events I would like to take part in. Competing at this level in IndyCar has been such a great experience.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to race for than Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing. Everyone worked extremely hard for the last two seasons, pushing to get the best performances out of me every single week. The support from my crew and teammates Dario (Franchitti), Scott (Dixon), Tony (Kanaan), Marcus (Ericsson) and Alex (Palou) went above and beyond anything I could have ever asked for.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR JIMMIE JOHNSON: An analysis of his racing options for the 2023 season

Driving the No. 48 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, Johnson ranked 21st in the 2022 points standings with a career-best fifth place July 24 at Iowa Speedway.

After running only road and street courses for Ganassi in 2021, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion added ovals this year. In his Indy 500 debut, he qualified 12th and finished 28th after a late crash.

“I do have a desire to go back (to IndyCar), it’s just at this point, I know what’s required to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson told AP. “I don’t have that passion that I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”

That leaves open the concept of Johnson returning part time with Ganassi, perhaps exclusively on ovals.

“We are fully supportive of Jimmie,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a statement. “He has been a valued member of our team and if we can find a way to continue working together, we would like to do so.”

During IndyCar’s season finale race weekend, Johnson told reporters Sept. 9 that he planned to explore his options with wife Chandra and daughters Evie and Lydia. Johnson told the Associated Press that his family is considering living abroad for a year or two, and he has toyed with the idea of running in the World Endurance Championship sports car series because of its international locales.

Johnson hasn’t ruled out IndyCar, IMSA sports cars or even a cameo in NASCAR next year. Since retiring from full-time NASCAR after the 2020 season, he has entered the endurance races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac (including Saturday’s Petit Le Mans season finale). Johnson also wants to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is a prime candidate for the Garage 56 entry (a joint project of NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports).

Johnson told the AP he is interested in becoming the latest driver to try “The Double” and run both the Coca-Cola 600 and Indy 500 on the same day (the most recent was Kurt Busch in 2014).

“You know me and endurance sports, and ‘The Double’ sounds awesome,” Johnson, a four-time Coke 600 winner, told AP. “I’ve always had this respect for the guys who have done ‘The Double.’ I would say it is more of a respect thing than a bucket-list item, and I’d love to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.”

It is less likely that he would return to IMSA’s endurance events because its top prototype series is being overhauled, limiting the amount of inventory available for the new LMDh cars in the rebranded GTP division.

Johnson has confirmed that he would retain primary sponsor Carvana, which has backed him in IndyCar the past two years. He revealed his decision Monday during the last episode of “Reinventing the Wheel,” Carvana Racing’s eight-part docuseries about his 2023 season.

“I’m thankful for the partnership with a company like Carvana for allowing me to take this journey in IndyCar, for seeing the value in our partnership and being open to future opportunities together,” Johnson said. “They have truly showed me that there are no finish lines in life. Along with Carvana, The American Legion, Ally, cbdMD and Frank August were there every step of the way, and I couldn’t have done it without all of them. Most importantly — and the true rockstars in all of this –my family, Chani, Evie and Lydia. They have always allowed me to chase my dreams, and we are all just really excited about what the future holds for all of us. I have enjoyed every minute of these last two years.”

Said Carvana co-founder Ryan Keeton: “During the past two years, Jimmie Johnson has been so amazing to collaborate with. Our team admires his passion, hard work and commitment to continuous improvement while also having fun, and we look forward to continuing to support him next year in this new chapter.”