Jett Lawrence earns 2021 250 Motocross championship with dramatic Hangtown performance

Lawrence 250 Motocross championship
Honda Racing Corporation

Jett Lawrence entered the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 2021 season finale at Hangtown with a points’ lead equaling almost one full moto and ended the weekend with a sparse six-point advantage to claim the 250 championship and become the first Australian rider to perform the feat.

After winning the season opener at Fox Raceway in May, Lawrence soon lost the red plate to Justin Cooper and was forced to play catchup as he watched Cooper’s consistency allow that rider to pull ahead. When Cooper injured his thumb in an accident at Washougal, Lawrence chose the perfect time to kick his Honda into high gear.

Beginning with an overall win and 2-1 finishes in his Round 8 motos at Unadilla, Lawrence became the hottest rider in the series with a second overall at Budds Creek and perfect 1-1 performances in the next two rounds. He would need almost all of the 100 points earned with his third and fourth wins of the season.

Cooper struggled with grip strength because of his broken thumb, while Lawrence amassed a 23-point lead entering the finale.

Winning the title should have been easy – or at least not as difficult as it ultimately became. All Lawrence needed was stay out of trouble in Moto 1. Better still, if he could gain another two points on Cooper, the championship would be a foregone conclusion.

Lawrence hit a wet patch on Lap 1 of Moto 1 and suffered a minor accident. He remounted and started his march through the field only to crash a second time as he tried to avoid a fallen rider in his path.

Lawrence moved up to eighth at the end of the moto.

Then he looked over to see Cooper standing tall on the podium with the race win. If those finishing results were replicated in Moto 2, Cooper would be the champion.

“I was ‘sleeping’ on the first-moto start and then was rushing stuff, but I got a bit of a blessing to come up to eighth,” Lawrence said in a press release. “Going into the second one, the mental frame was just to go out there and do my job.”

Lawrence 250 Motocross championship
Jett Lawrence receives congratulations from older brother, Hunter Lawrence after wrapping up the 2021 250 Motocross championship. Hunter finished third in the standings. (Honda Racing Corporation)

Despite dominating for more than a month. Lawrence’s mettle would be tested all the way to the checkers of Moto 2.

He got a bad start again in Race 2, fell early, and dropped to 13th in the running order.

But Lawrence has been forced to overcome bad starts throughout the season and by the halfway point, he passed the fourth-place rider – a position offering more than enough points to take the title. Lawrence would pass one more rider and finish fifth overall with an 8-3.

“I got up from the crash as quick as I could and tried to put on a charge and not override the track, because it was pretty rough,” Lawrence said. “I kind of got a flow and just relaxed and made my way through up to third, which was a lot better than the first moto.”

It was his second-worst overall finish of the season.

“Oh my goodness, it’s a good day in the end,” Lawrence said. “I think that’s the worst I’ve ridden in a while, but I still got the title. It feels so great, as we’ve been working quite a while to get this. … It’s awesome and we’re going to enjoy it for a little while, but then it will be back to the drawing board for next season to hopefully back it up.”

Cooper held onto second in the championship, while Jett’s brother, Hunter Lawrence, finished third.

Lawrence’s 250 championship came one week after a 450 rookie secured the upper division title. With one round remaining, Dylan Ferrandis entered Hangtown with a lead greater than 50 points to make 2021 a season that was dominated by Young Guns. He capped off his season with 1-3 moto finishes for his sixth overall win of the year.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series

After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi