2022 Supercross Power Rankings after Round 8: Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac battle head-to-head

Supercross Round 15 Anderson
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

The cream continues to float at the top of the Monster Energy Supercross 450 Rankings after Round 8 with the top five in the rankings earning 13 of the available 15 top-fives in last week’s Triple Crown format at Arlington, Texas.

Eli Tomac scored his third overall win on consistency as he finished the night with a perfect record of podium finishes. Tomac had a bad start to the first race, but advanced to third as riders made mistakes during the evening.

But his last two races ended as the runner-up to Jason Anderson and losing those head-to-head matchups might be the precursor to a change in momentum as the series hits the halfway point.

The good news for Tomac fans is that Supercross heads to Daytona this week, where Tomac has been all but perfect in recent seasons. Last year, he tied Ricky Carmichael for the most Daytona wins at five.

MORE: Eli Tomac wins Texas Triple Crown

Malcolm Stewart continues to do everything except win an overall feature. Last week, in Race 1 of the Triple Crown, he challenged for the feature victory until an ill-timed pass by Anderson sent both riders to the ground. Stewart made his displeasure known throughout the evening, but managed to keep his overall top-five streak alive at seven races by finishing 5-6-3.

Chase Sexton’s Supercross Power Rankings after Round 8 is weighed down by two disappointing finishes in the past 45 days. He was 11th in Race 1 of the Glendale Triple Crown and 16th in the Main at Minneapolis. The remainder of his efforts in heats and features have been seventh or better in that span.

AT&T Stadium was extremely kind to Cooper Webb last year as he swept three separate nights of racing. It appeared he would regain his form this year with a win in Race 1, but he failed to podium in the next two features. Still, he swept the top five in Arlington with a pair of fourth-place finishes and a third overall.

450 Rankings

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

A wild night of racing at AT&T Stadium for the 250 East riders shook up their part of the combined Supercross Power Rankings after Round 8.

Christian Craig continues to hold the top spot overall as Jett Lawrence experienced some trouble in Arlington. Hunter Lawrence (third), Michael Mosiman (sixth), Jo Shimoda (seventh) and Vince Friese (eighth) remain in the top 10 as the 250 West series continues be on hiatus.

Cameron McAdoo moved up to second overall and is now the top rider in 250E after winning one of the three Triple Crown races and sweeping the podium. The ability to stay out of trouble was a key differentiator in Arlington.

Jett Lawrence had a bad start to his first race and ended the final feature dejectedly in 10th after making a minor mistake that ended in a major accident. In between, he won the second feature and was running third midway through Race 3.

The incident that demoted Lawrence to 10th in Race 3, likely ended the season for Austin Forkner. After making a thrilling pass on Forkner for third in the final bowl turn before the finish line, Lawrence clipped a Tuff Blox as he launched off the face of the jump, sending him to the right and across Forkner’s front wheel.

Forkner landed hard and broke his collarbone. He fell to 10th in the Power Rankings, (fifth among 250E riders), with a 19th-place finish in Race 3, but he was showing a lot of speed earlier in the night with a win in Race 1.

Third-ranked among the 250E riders, Jeremy Martin stands fifth in the combined standings after scoring two podium finishes in the Texas Triple Crown and finishing second overall.

Mitchell Oldenburg had a solid, consistent night in Arlington with finishes of 5-6-5 in the three feature races. Those results, and his fourth-place finish in the overall, rocketed him up the Supercross Power Rankings after Round 8 from 18th overall to ninth. He is the fourth-ranked rider in the 250E division.

250 Rankings

1. Christian Craig – W (1); [4 feature wins, 7 heat wins]
2. Cameron McAdoo – E (8); [1 feature win, 1 heat win]
3. Hunter Lawrence – W (5); [1 feature win, 2 heat wins]
4. Jett Lawrence – E (2); [1 feature win, 1 heat win]
5. Jeremy Martin – E (8)
6. Michael Mosiman – W (7); [1 feature win, 3 heat wins]
7. Jo Shimoda – W (10)
8. Vince Friese – W (12)
9. Mitchell Oldenburg – E (18)
10. Austin Forkner – E (3); [1 heat win]
11. Nate Thrasher – W (15)
12. Enzo Lopes – E (14)
12. Jordon Smith – E (16)
14. Stilez Robertson – E (10)
15. Garrett Marchbanks – W (20); [1 heat win]
16. Carson Brown – W (21)
17. Jalek Swoll – W (22)
18. Phil Nicoletti – E (18)
19. RJ Hampshire – E (3); [1 heat win]
20. Pierce Brown – E (6); [1 heat win]
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: Tomac remains on top as competition levels

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

POWER RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 6 AT ANAHEIM: Jason Anderson closes the gap

POWER RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 7 AT MINNEAPOLIS: Consistency once more give Tomac a Triple Crown win

Strong rebounds for Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi amid some disappointments in the Indy 500


INDIANAPOLIS – Alex Palou had not turned a wheel wrong the entire Month of May at the Indy 500 until Rinus VeeKay turned a wheel into the Chip Ganassi Racing pole-sitter leaving pit road on Lap 94.

“There is nothing I could have done there,” Palou told NBC Sports. “It’s OK, when it is my fault or the team’s fault because everybody makes mistakes. But when there is nothing, you could have done differently there, it feels bad and feels bad for the team.”

Marcus Ericsson was a master at utilizing the “Tail of the Dragon” move that breaks the draft of the car behind him in the closing laps to win last year’s Indianapolis 500. On Sunday, however, the last of three red flags in the final 16 laps of the race had the popular driver from Sweden breathing fire after Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden beat him at his own game on the final lap to win the Indianapolis 500.

Despite the two disappointments, team owner Chip Ganassi was seen on pit road fist-bumping a member on his four-car team in this year’s Indianapolis 500 after his drivers finished second, fourth, sixth and seventh in the tightly contested race.

Those are pretty good results, but at the Indianapolis 500, there is just one winner and 32 losers.

“There is only one winner, but it was a hell of a show,” three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Chip Ganassi Racing consultant Dario Franchitti told NBC Sports. “Alex was very fast, and he got absolutely caught out in somebody else’s wreck. There was nothing he could have done, but he and the 10 car, great recovery.

“Great recovery by all four cars because at half distance, we were not looking very good.”

After 92 laps, the first caution flew for Sting Ray Robb of Dale Coyne Racing hitting the Turn 1 wall.

During pit stops on Lap 94, Palou had left his stall when the second-place car driven by VeeKay ran into him, putting Palou’s Honda into the wall. The car sustained a damaged front wing, but the Chip Ganassi crew was able to get him back in the race on the lead lap but in 28th position.

Palou ultimately would fight his way to a fourth-place finish in a race the popular Spaniard could have won. His displeasure with VeeKay, whom he sarcastically called “a legend” on his team radio after the incident, was evident.

“The benefit of being on pole is you can drive straight and avoid crashes, and he was able to crash us on the side on pit lane, which is pretty tough to do, but he managed it,” Palou told NBC Sports. “Hopefully next year we are not beside him. Hopefully, next year we have a little better luck.”

Palou started on the pole and led 36 laps, just three fewer than race leader Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren Racing.

“We started really well, was managing the fuel as we wanted, our car was pretty good,” Palou said. “Our car wasn’t great, we dropped to P4 or P5, but we still had some good stuff.

“On the pit stop, the 21 (VeeKay) managed to clip us. Nothing we could have done there. It was not my team’s fault or my fault.

“We had to drop to the end. I’m happy we made it back to P4. We needed 50 more laps to make it happen, but it could have been a lot worse after that contact.

“I learned a lot, running up front at the beginning and in mid-pack and then the back. I learned a lot.

“It feels amazing when you win it and not so good when things go wrong. We were a bit lucky with so many restarts at the end to make it back to P4 so I’m happy with that.”

Palou said the front wing had to be changed and the toe-in was a bit off, but he still had a fast car.

In fact, his Honda was the best car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway all month. His pole-winning four lap average speed of 234.217 miles per hour around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a record for this fabled race.

Palou looked good throughout the race, before he had to scratch and claw and race his way back to the top-five after he restarted 28th.

In the Indianapolis 500, however, the best car doesn’t always win.

“It’s two years in a row that we were leading the race at the beginning and had to drop to last,” Palou said. “Maybe next year, we will start in the middle of the field and go on to win the race.

“I know he didn’t do it on purpose. It’s better to let that pass someday.”

Palou said the wild racing at the end was because the downforce package used in Sunday’s race means the drivers have to be aggressive. The front two cars can battle for the victory, but cars back in fourth or fifth place can’t help determine the outcome of the race.

That is when the “Tail of the Dragon” comes into the play.

Franchitti helped celebrate Ericsson’s win in 2022 with his “Tail of the Dragon” zigzag move – something he never had to do in any of his three Indianapolis 500 victories because they all finished under caution.

In 2023, however, IndyCar Race Control wants to make every attempt to finish the race under green, without going past the scheduled distance like NASCAR’s overtime rule.

Instead of extra laps, they stop the race with a red flag, to create a potential green-flag finish condition.

“You do what you have to do to win within the rules, and it’s within the rules, so you do it,” Franchitti said. “The race is 200 laps and there is a balance.

“Marcus did a great job on that restart and so did Josef. It was just the timing of who was where and that was it.

“If you knew it was going to go red, you would have hung back on the lap before.

“Brilliant job by the whole Ganassi organization because it wasn’t looking very good at half-distance.

“Full marks to Josef Newgarden and Team Penske.”

Franchitti is highly impressed by how well Ericsson works with CGR engineer Brad Goldberg and how close this combination came to winning the Indianapolis 500 two-years-in-a-row.

It would have been the first back-to-back Indy 500 winner since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002.

“Oh, he’s a badass,” Franchitti said Ericsson. “He proved it last year. He is so calm all day. What more do you need? As a driver, he’s fast and so calm.”

Ericsson is typically in good spirits and jovial.

He was stern and direct on pit road after the race.

“I did everything right, I did an awesome restart, caught Josef off-guard and pulled away,” Ericsson said on pit lane. “It’s hard to pull away a full lap and he got me back.

“I’m mostly disappointed with the way he ended. I don’t think it was fair and safe to do that restart straight out of the pits on cold tires for everyone.

“To me, it was not a good way to end that race.

“Congrats to Josef. He didn’t do anything wrong. He is a worthy champion, but it shouldn’t have ended like that.”

Palou also didn’t understand the last restart, which was a one-start showdown.

“I know that we want to finish under green,” Palou said. “Maybe the last restart I did, I didn’t understand. It didn’t benefit the CGR team.

“I’m not very supportive of the last one, but anyway.”

Dixon called the red flags “a bit sketchy.”

“The Red Flags have become a theme to the end of the race, but sometimes they can catch you out,” Dixon said. “I know Marcus is frustrated with it.

“All we ask for is consistency. I think they will do better next time.

“It’s a tough race. People will do anything they can to win it and with how these reds fall, you have to be in the right place at the right time. The problem is when they throw a Red or don’t throw a Red dictates how the race will end.

“It’s a bloody hard race to win. Congrats to Josef Newgarden and to Team Penske.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500