Composure keeps Dylan Ferrandis atop Motocross Power Rankings after Budds Creek

Motocross Rankings Budds Creek / Align Media

The top of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Power Rankings remains unchanged after Budds Creek as the strongest riders continued to fare well in Round 9.

With six motos and three rounds remaining in 2021, the championship is taking shape, but some riders who lost momentum paid the price of lost points in the past 45 days despite earning recent strong runs.

A fifth-place finish in Moto 1 at Washougal and in Moto 2 at Spring Creek should have been the low point for Dylan Ferrandis. His demeanor at Unadilla was even worse, however, as he watched his principal rival in the points, Ken Roczen, dominate that race with maximum points. It momentarily looked as bad in Moto 1 at Budds Creek when Roczen jumped out to an early lead and Ferrandis was forced to ride forward from seventh.

When Ferrandis caught Roczen on the last lap of Moto 1, the power shifted even though he could not get around him. Ferrandis won Moto 2 by passing Roczen. The net loss of points was zero. That composure under pressure is one of the reasons Ferrandis is still atop the rankings.

Likewise the riders second and third in the Pro Motocross Power Ranking showed their poise at Budds Creek. Second-place Eli Tomac earned a 4-3. Third-ranked Chase Sexton had a 3-4 as the two riders keep one another in sight.

For both Tomac and Sexton, it was the fourth time in nine rounds they swept the top five in both motos.

Marvin Musquin climbed to fourth last week on the strength of a pair of top-five finishes in the overall results at Washougal and Unadilla. He did not lose ground with his seventh-place overall at Budds Creek.

For Roczen, who remains fifth in the Motocross Power Rankings after Budds Creek, his effort is still being held back with consecutive disappointments at Spring Creek and Washougal. His last two rounds have been nearly perfect, but it’s too soon to tell if he will keep his momentum for three more weeks.

450 Power Rankings (Last Week)

    1. Dylan Ferrandis [5 overall, 5 moto wins] (1)
    2. Eli Tomac [3 moto wins] (2)
    3. Chase Sexton [1 overall, 1 moto win] (3)
    4. Marvin Musquin (4)
    5. Ken Roczen [2 overall, 7 moto wins] (5)
    6. Cooper Webb (7)
    7. Joey Savatgy (8)
    8. Max Anstie (10)
    9. Christian Craig (6)
    10. Dean Wilson (9)
    11. Brandon Hartranft (11)
    12. Justin Bogle (12)
    13. Chris Canning (14)
    14. Coty Schock (22)
    15. Justin Rodbell (16)
    16. Jacob Runkles (18)
    17. Ryan Surratt (17)
    18. Ben Lamay (15)
    19. Aaron Plessinger (13)
    20. Jeremy Hand (19)

In 250s, the top three riders held position.

If not for missing a round to injury and scoring a 11-14 at the Wick while riding hurt, Jeremy Martin would be in the thick of the championship hunt. All he can do for the moment is stack trophies, which he did at Budds Creek with the overall victory and Moto 2 win. His worst performance in the last three rounds was a a trio of third-place finishes in Moto 1 of the last three races.

The 1-1 weekend sweep continues to elude Justin Cooper, who won Moto 1 in the last three rounds and then failed to podium in Moto 2 each time. The 25 points banked early in the round has been enough to help maintain the points lead, but he is becoming increasingly frustrated. He still has a perfect record of overall podiums to his credit, however.

Jett Lawrence has been less consistent overall during the season, but stronger in the last two rounds with worst of second in four motos. He has only one moto win in the last 45 days, and that has denied him the red plate.

There is a big gap between third-place Jett and his brother Hunter Lawrence now that Michael Mosiman has been eliminated from the ranking with injury.  The current fourth-place rider, Hunter, earned his position with consistency and five top-fives in the last four rounds.

RJ Hampshire rounds out the top five with three overall top-five finishes and a seventh in the past 45 days.

250 Power Rankings (Last Week)

  1. Jeremy Martin [3 overall, 6 moto wins] (1)
  2. Justin Cooper [1 overall, 5 moto wins] (2)
  3. Jett Lawrence [2 overall, 4 moto wins] (3)
  4. Hunter Lawrence [1 overall, 2 moto wins] (5)
  5. RJ Hampshire [1 overall] (6)
  6. Max Vohland (8)
  7. Austin Forkner (11)
  8. Dilan Schwartz (9)
  9. Carson Mumford (10)
  10. Jo Shimoda (7)
  11. Levi Kitchen (NA)
  12. Preston Kilroy (NA)
  13. Jarrett Frye (12)
  14. Ty Masterpool (16)
  15. Jalek Swoll [1 overall, 1 moto win] (13)
  16. Seth Hammaker (NA)
  17. Joshua Varize (19)
  18. Derek Kelley (20)
  19. Brandon Scharer (17)
  20. Ramyller Alves (21)

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night / DB3 Inc.

On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.

Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)