Buddy Kofoid wins inaugural High Limit Sprint Car race as series co-founder Kyle Larson finishes 10th

Kofoid inaugural High Limit
High Limit Racing - Facebook
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Pocketing a check for more than $23,500, Michael “Buddy” Kofoid became the first winner of the new High Limit Sprint Car Series, which hosted their inaugural race Tuesday night at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind.

Created by Kyle Larson and Brad Sweet as a way to encourage midweek racing, the series will have their first full season in 2023.

The amount of the purse for the Kyle Larson High Limit Open is important as this series was conceived as a way to infuse capital into a sport that often runs on tight budgets. When announcing the series last month, Larson and the three-time, defending World of Outlaws champ Sweet’s biggest talking point was of their intention to bring high-dollar racing to the midweek schedule. The first full season will occur in 2023 with most events paying at least $23,000 to win plus a couple of $50,000-to-win shows.

Tuesday night at Lincoln Park, the winner’s purse started at $22,022, but that number quickly swelled. A bounty of $10,000 was announced for the drivers who could beat Larson, shared among those who finished in front of him, provided that he finish at least 10th. Prior to the race, a local sponsor ponied up an additional $500 per starter, so there was plenty of interest in the outcome of this inaugural race.

Midget standout Brady Bacon started on the pole and took the early lead. A rash of cautions at the midway point rearranged the field and set up a dash to the checkers in the 35-lap race.

Kofoid ran seventh at the halfway point, but with the money on the line, he found his way to the front with six laps remaining.

Kofoid bounced and bicycled his way around the high side, using much the same strategy as he employed a week and half ago to score the Driven2SaveLives BC 39.

“I’d get to Cory [Eliason] and mess up and fall back, get to Cory and mess up and fall back and I was thinking, I have to stop messing up,” Kofoid said on FloRacing.com. “And I finally got around Cory and I think Justin [Sanders] got tight on the curb and went to bottom in [Turns] 3 and 4 – and I ran [Turns] 3 and 4 better than I had all day. I got to his bumper and slid him into [Turn] 1 and was able to get to the cushion before he was able to get back around me.”

Sanders finished second with Kofoid’s teammate Eliason in third.

Larson had an eventful night, moving up as high as second on Lap 15 as the field navigated heavy traffic. On a mid-race restart, Larson cut a right rear tire and fell to the back. With 16 laps remaining, he worked his way to 10th, which fittingly triggered the $10,000 bounty that was shared among nine drivers finishing ahead of him.

Had he settled for 11th, Larson would have been $10k richer and the money would not have been in play. But the goal of the series is to give back to his racing roots.

Another reason for the series to race midweek is to attract drivers from NASCAR. Four Cup racers were in the field for Tuesday’s race with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. finishing the best among them in fourth. Alex Bowman finished sixth with Larson 10th. Chase Briscoe failed to advance from the B Main.

During the Dash draw for starting position, Bowman quipped that Larson promised each of them a heat win if they would get on the plane and come race. Stenhouse, Bowman and Larson each won their heat races.

“I believe everything Kyle and Brad have preached about why they started the series,” Kofoid said at FloRacing.com about the inaugural High Limit race. “There are a lot of big money races, but having mid-week races gives all of us drivers who race for a living more chances to contend, to get better and to make more money and put on better shows for the fans.”

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston: Eli Tomac retakes 450 lead, Hunter Lawrence tops 250s

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After his Anaheim 2 crash, Eli Tomac was surprised he was not injured, but despite getting knocked down momentarily, he picked himself up, rode to last week’s win and reascended to the top of the SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston. This is the third time in three weeks Tomac has topped the rankings.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Houston
Jason Anderson has back-to-back podiums to his credit and sits second in the Power Rankings. – Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Last week, Tomac finished second in his heat before winning the Main – and that translated to near-perfect points in the Power Rankings, which award 100 for a win in the feature and 90 for a heat victory. Tomac’s average was marred by the Houston accident when he finished 13th in that heat before settling just outside the top five in overall standings. Racing is about bouncing back and last year’s Supercross and Motocross champion Tomac did just that as he chases a third consecutive title.

Jason Anderson earned his second consecutive podium finish with a third at Houston. He momentarily rolled past Aaron Plessinger into second during a restart following an accident involving Dylan Ferrandis and held that position for four trips around the track until he was tracked down by Chase Sexton. Afterward Anderson faded and finished 12 seconds off the pace, but along with a heat win, he easily leapfrogged Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb, who struggled in the fourth race of the season.

MORE: Eli Tomac rebounds from Anaheim 2 crash with Houston win

Webb held his position by passing Roczen in NBC’s SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Houston. Webb has been solid in 2023 with a worst moto result of seventh in the first Triple Crown race at Anaheim 2, but in order to be considered a solid challenger to Tomac he needs to win either a heat or main this week in Tampa.

Roczen was involved in the incident that sidelined Ferrandis in Houston. Racing for eighth at the time, his bike may have sustained some damage when Ferrandis landed on his back tire, but he was not overly impressive in his heat either with a fifth-place finish. That was enough to drop him three positions in the standings, but he still has Tomac in sight.

After his disappointing heat in San Diego when he crashed and sustained enough damage to place him last, Sexton has roared back. He won the overall in Anaheim 2’s Triple Crown format and narrowed the points’ gap slightly on Tomac. Last week he yarded the field in his heat race and won by a wide margin. A modest start in the Main kept him from getting to Tomac’s back wheel early in the Houston round, and he lost a little ground in the championship.

450 Rankings

This
Week
Rider Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1 Eli Tomac
[3 Main; 3 Heats Wins]
85.20 2 1
2 Jason Anderson
[2 Heat Wins]
82.60 4 2
3 Cooper Webb 82.10 3 0
4 Ken Roczen 81.70 1 -3
5 Chase Sexton
[1 Main; 3 Heat Wins]
80.70 6 1
6 Dylan Ferrandis 71.60 5 -1
7 Aaron Plessinger 71.30 8 1
8 Justin Barcia 70.10 7 -1
9 Justin Cooper 68.00 NA
10 Adam Cianciarulo 67.40 9 -1
11 Joey Savatgy 61.20 10 -1
12 Marvin Musquin 61.00 10 -2
13 Malcolm Stewart
[1 Heat Win]
58.75 11 -2
14 Christian Craig 57.20 13 -1
15 Colt Nichols 56.50 14 -1
16 Dean Wilson 49.30 15 -1
17 Justin Hill 39.67 18 1
18 Shane McElrath 36.33 22 4
19 Brandon Scharer 34.00 21 2
20 Logan Karnow 33.33 19 -1

Supercross 450 Points


The 250 East division debuted in Houston and with only one race – and therefore no chance yet to stumble – three of their riders jumped to the top of the chart.

Hunter Lawrence had a perfect week with wins in both his main and heat. It wasn’t without drama, however, as he was forced to jump wide early in the feature to avoid contact with Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut. Without a former 250 champion in the field, it is guaranteed someone new will grace the top of the box at Salt Lake City after the season-ender and it looks like it’s going to be Lawrence’s to lose.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Houston
Jordon Smith’s last podium before Houston came four years ago in Detroit. – Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

It was more than four years ago that Jordon Smith scored his last Supercross podium in Detroit. Despite finishing second that afternoon, he was battling a wrist injury that eventually sidelined him. More injuries have followed, but Smith was a favorite to win the title in 2019 and he’s shown how well he can ride when he’s healthy.

Debuting third in the Houston SuperMotocross Power Rankings, Max Anstie moved from the 450 class last year to 250s in 2023 and the change has gone better than he anticipated. Finishing second in both his heat and main, Anstie was edged by Smith because he finished second behind that rider in their heat. That is Anstie’s first top-10 since finishing sixth at Southwick, Massachusetts last year on his 450. In that race, he scored fifth-place results in both motos.

Supercross 250 Points

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his graduation into the 250 class was well deserved and he landed fourth in his division and fifth overall in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings. In his first professional Supercross race, he finished fourth in his heat. In a field with twice the talent, he finished fourth again in the main. At Houston, he balanced aggression with patience. Now that he has a taste of that success, everyone will be watching him closely at Tampa to see if he can continue tiptoeing on the line.

Michael Mosiman, Jeremy Martin, and Vialle are tied for fifth in the 250 East division and seventh overall.

Vialle is the most notable of these three because he challenged for a podium position during the Main before making a mistake and falling in a turn. Significantly, this was not only his 250 debut, but his first time in Supercross. As with Deegan, he has generated a lot of attention for the coming weeks.

250 Rankings

This
Week
Rider Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1 Hunter Lawrence – E
[1 Main; 1 Heat Win]
95.00 NA
2 Jordon Smith – E
[1 Heat Win]
90.50 NA
2 Max Anstie – E 90.50 NA
4 Jett Lawrence – W
[2 Main; 2 Heat Wins]
89.13 1 -3
5 Haiden Deegan – E 81.50 NA
6 Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat Win]
77.63 2 -4
7 Mitchell Oldenburg – W 77.00 3 -4
7 Michael Mosiman – E 77.00 NA
7 Jeremy Martin – E 77.00 NA
7 Tom Vialle – E 77.00 NA
11 Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat Win]
76.75 4 -7
12 Chance Hymas – E 74.50 -12
13 Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main Win]
73.75 5 -8
14 RJ Hampshire – W
[3 Heat Wins]
70.00 6 -8
15 Max Vohland – W 69.29 7 -8
16 Cullin Park – E 66.00 NA
17 Chris Blose – E 65.50 NA
18 Derek Kelley – W 63.75 8 -10
19 Enzo Lopes – W 63.25 9 -10
20 Pierce Brown – W 61.29 10 -10

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage