2022 Supercross Power Rankings after Round 6: Eli Tomac leads with Jason Anderson closing the gap

Supercross Rankings Round 6
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

The top of the 450 Supercross Power Rankings after Round 6 remained largely unchanged, but Jason Anderson’s win in the final race of the West Coast swing has provided momentum that could bear fruit in the next couple of weeks as the series heads to the middle part of the country.

Eli Tomac held onto the top spot both in terms of the points’ standings, by 12 over Anderson, and in the Power Rankings. He has not put a wheel wrong since finishing sixth in the first race at Anaheim in early January. Since then, he has finished fourth or better in all of his heats and feature races. He did not add to his victory total last week, but swept the podium and gave notice that he will not be passed easily.

Considering how last year was interrupted by an injury sustained in Houston at the start of the 450 SX season, it is understandable that Sexton has a few irregularities in his 2022 statistics. He has hit the ground on a few occasions and finished outside the top five in two of the five rounds contested so far. He finished 11th in one of the Triple Crown races in Glendale, Arizona, but the rest of his efforts have been solidly inside the top five.

MORE: Jason Anderson closes the gap on Eli Tomac with Anaheim 3 win

Malcolm Stewart has had a career season so far. He scored his best finish two weeks ago with a second in the overall ranking in Glendale’s Triple Crown format. In 14 combined features and heats, he has only been outside the top five once. If Tomac or Sexton bobble in Minneapolis, he is close enough to take the lead in the Supercross Power Rankings, but he’s going to need to win in order to get see the momentum shift in regard to his title hopes.

Anderson is also nipping at Tomac’s heels. Unless something catastrophic happens in the next two weeks, the best he can do is slowly chip away at Tomac’s advantage. Last week’s sweep of the heat and the feature was a step in the right direction and while he didn’t move in the Supercross Rankings after Round 6, he is in a great position. For the moment, a modest showing at Anaheim in the season opener, with Anderson finishing eighth in his heat and 10th in the feature, drags down his overall number, but this format looks back at the last 45 days and Anaheim 1 is about to age out of the formula.

Barcia owes his place in the top five of the Supercross Rankings after Round 6 to consistency. He’s been just outside the top five in most of his recent races, but he had only one result worse than seventh leading into last week. He finally got his program turned in the right direction in Anaheim 3 with his first heat win of the season and a third in the feature.

450 Rankings

1. Eli Tomac (last week: 1); [2 feature wins, 4 heat and wins]
2. Chase Sexton (2); [1 feature win, 4 heat wins]
3. Malcolm Stewart (3)
4. Jason Anderson (4); [2 feature wins; 2 heat wins]
5. Justin Barcia (5); [1 heat win]
6. Cooper Webb (7); [1 heat win]
7. Ken Roczen (6); [1 feature, 1 heat win]
8. Marvin Musquin (8)
9. Aaron Plessinger (10)
10. Dylan Ferrandis (9)
11. Shane McElrath (12)
12. Dean Wilson (11)
13. Justin Brayton (14)
14. Joey Savatgy (13)
15. Max Anstie (16)
16. Mitchell Oldenburg (15)
17. Brandon Hartranft (17)
18. Kyle Chisholm (18)
19. Justin Bogle (20)
20. Josh Hill (19)

As the 250 West series gears up for a five-week hiatus, Christian Craig remains the hottest rider. Craig’s seven heat wins and four features get added to a worst finish of fourth in one of the Triple Crown races to make him all but perfect. This week Supercross fans will watch with interest to see if any of the 250 East guys get off to an equally strong start.

Racing has a way of humbling riders quickly. Hunter Lawrence was a little dismissive of his Triple Crown win two weeks ago in Glendale because of the unique format of that race, but had he known what awaited in Anaheim 3, he probably would have relished it more. An accident early in the feature dropped him to 18th in the final shakedown, but that was only the second time this season he finished off the podium in either a heat or feature. The good news is that Lawrence has time to heal from his crash before the West riders mount up in Seattle this March.

An uncharacteristically poor showing in Arizona hurt Michael Mosiman’s title hopes. All he can do now is to stack strong finishes and put himself in a position to capitalize if anything happens to Craig. Mosiman’s third-place finishes in both his heat and feature last week have him hovering near the top with a third-place standing in the Power Rankings.

Vince Friese moved up one spot in the rankings a week after he incurred a warning for rough riding in Glendale. Friese’s second-place finish in the Anaheim 3 Main was his first podium of the season and one might be tempted to think this might dial back his aggression a smidge. Unfortunately, he has a long 250 West break to make him hungry again.

Jo Shimoda finished 13th in his heat last week after crashing hard at the end of the race. He failed to make the gate for the Last Chace Qualifier, but had an excellent excuse because he was at the hospital getting his ankle x-rayed. Like Lawrence, he has time to heal before he has to get on the bike again, but Shimoda’s status for Seattle is questionable.

250 Rankings

1. Christian Craig (1); [4 feature wins, 7 heat wins]
2. Hunter Lawrence (3); [1 feature win, 2 heat wins]
3. Michael Mosiman (2); [1 feature win, 3 heat wins]
4. Vince Friese (5)
5. Jo Shimoda (4)
6. Nate Thrasher (6)
7. Garrett Marchbanks (13); [1 heat win]
8. Carson Brown (11)
9. Jalek Swoll (8)
10. Robbie Wageman (12)
11. Chris Blose (9)
12. Carson Mumford (7)
13. Cole Thompson (9)
14. Ryan Surratt (14)
15. Dylan Walsh (17)
16. Derek Kelley (19)
17. Dominique Thury (15)
18. Logan Karnow (16)
19. Mitchell Harrison (21)
20. Dilan Schwartz (18)

Triple Crown wins included with Heat wins


POWER RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 1 AT ANAHEIM: Ken Roczen, Christian Craig have a perfect weekend

POWER RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 2 AT OAKLAND: Justin Barcia climbs to the top spot

POWER RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 3 AT SAN DIEGO: Consistency pays off for Eli Tomac

POWER RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 4 AT ANAHEIM: Eli Tomac remains on top as competition levels

POWER RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 5 AT GLENDALE: Malcolm Stewart move up as Eli Tomac stays No. 1

Ford unveils a new Mustang for 2024 Le Mans in motorsports ‘lifestyle brand’ retooling

Ford Mustang Le Mans
Ford Performance

LE MANS, France — Ford has planned a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its iconic Mustang muscle car next year under a massive rebranding of Ford Performance aimed at bringing the automotive manufacturer “into the racing business.”

The Friday unveil of the new Mustang Dark Horse-based race car follows Ford’s announcement in February (and a ballyhooed test at Sebring in March) that it will return to Formula One in 2026 in partnership with reigning world champion Red Bull.

The Mustang will enter the GT3 category next year with at least two cars in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, and is hopeful to earn an invitation to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The IMSA entries will be a factory Ford Performance program run by Multimatic, and a customer program in WEC with Proton Competition.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, also an amateur sports car racer, told The Associated Press the Mustang will be available to compete in various GT3 series across the globe to customer teams. But more important, Farley said, is the overall rebranding of Ford Performance – done by renowned motorsports designer Troy Lee – that is aimed at making Ford a lifestyle brand with a sporting mindset.

“It’s kind of like the company finding its own, and rediscovering its icons, and doubling down on them,” Farley told the AP. “And then this motorsports activity is getting serious about connecting enthusiast customers with those rediscovered icons. It’s a big switch for the company – this is really about building strong, iconic vehicles with enthusiasts at the center of our marketing.”

Ford last competed in sports car racing in 2019 as part of a three-year program with Chip Ganassi Racing. The team scored the class win at Le Mans in 2016 in a targeted performance aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford snapping Ferrari’s six-year winning streak.

Ford on Friday displayed a Mustang with a Lee-designed livery that showcased the cleaner, simplified look that will soon be featured on all its racing vehicles. The traditional blue oval with Ford Performance in white lettering underneath will now be branded simply FP.

The new mark will be used across car liveries, merchandise and apparel, display assets, parts and accessories and in advertising.

Farley cited Porsche as an automaker that has successfully figured out how to sell cars to consumers and race cars in various series around the world while creating a culture of brand enthusiasts. He believes Ford’s new direction will help the company sell street cars, race cars, boost interest in driving schools, and create a merchandise line that convinces consumers that a stalwart of American automakers is a hip, cool brand.

“We’re going to build a global motorsports business off road and on road,” Farley told the AP, adding that the design of the Mustang is “unapologetically American.”

He lauded the work of Lee, who is considered the top helmet designer among race car drivers.

“We’re in the first inning of a nine inning game, and going to Le Mans is really important,” Farley said. “But for customer cars, getting the graphics right, designing race cars that win at all different levels, and then designing a racing brand for Ford Performance that gets rebranded and elevated is super important.”

He said he’s kept a close eye on how Porsche and Aston Martin have built their motorsports businesses and said Ford will be better.

“We’re going in the exact same direction. We just want to be better than them, that’s all,” Farley said. “Second is the first loser.”

Farley, an avid amateur racer himself, did not travel to Le Mans for the announcement. The race that begins Saturday features an entry from NASCAR, and Ford is the reigning Cup Series champion with Joey Logano and Team Penske.

The NASCAR “Garage 56” entry is a collaboration between Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, and is being widely celebrated throughout the industry. Farley did feel left out of the party in France – a sentiment NASCAR tried to avoid by inviting many of its partners to attend the race so that it wouldn’t seem like a Chevrolet-only celebration.

“They’re going right and I’m going left – that NASCAR thing is a one-year deal, right? It’s Garage 56 and they can have their NASCAR party, but that’s a one-year party,” Farley said. “We won Le Mans outright four times, we won in the GT class, and we’re coming back with Mustang and it’s not a one-year deal.

“So they can get all excited about Garage 56. I almost see that as a marketing exercise for NASCAR, but for me, that’s a science project,” Farley continued. “I don’t live in a world of science projects. I live in the world of building a vital company that everyone is excited about. To do that, we’re not going to do a Garage 56 – I’ve got to beat Porsche and Aston Martin and Ferrari year after year after year.”

Ford’s announcement comes on the heels of General Motors changing its GT3 strategy next season and ending its factory Corvette program. GM, which unlike Ford competes in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype division (with its Cadillac brand), will shift fully to a customer model for Corvettes in 2024 (with some factory support in the IMSA GTD Pro category).