2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after San Diego: Roczen moves up, Sexton falls


Winning his Heat and the Main, Eli Tomac had another perfect week in San Diego to stay atop the 2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after San Diego while three of the top five 450 riders swapped positions.

Tomac won his heat convincingly with a two and a half second lead over second-place Jason Anderson. But while the final results show Tomac with a 1.1 second gap ahead of Cooper Webb in the Main, the reality is that Webb was much closer in the closing laps as he worked traffic just a little better. Hidden in the good news of his sweep of the first two weekends is that Tomac has not gotten off to a particularly strong start in the past couple of seasons. He was sixth in A1 in 2022 and fourth the next week in Oakland. In 2021, he was 13th in the first round in Houston and fifth in Round 3 there.

With Webb finishing second in both rounds of the Supercross season, Tomac has managed to create only a six-point differential between himself and the field, so he cannot afford to let up anytime soon.

MORE: Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence go two-for-two

Webb moves up a position this week partly because of problems affecting Chase Sexton. Points are not paid until the checkers wave over the Main, so Webb’s consecutive second-place finishes is the number that matters most, but he has not been quite as strong in his heats as Tomac with a third- and fifth-place finish. Considering how badly he struggled with the new KTM bike design in 2022, you are not hearing any complaints from the rider, however.

Ken Roczen is also figuring out a new bike with his switch from Honda to Suzuki in 2023. Unlike Webb, his Heats have been stronger than the Mains with runner-up finishes in the prelims at Anaheim and San Diego. Meanwhile, his Mains have been impressive enough with a pair of top-five finishes. If he continues to improve his feature results, he will quickly be talked about as one of the riders chasing the SuperMotocross championship.

With a sixth-place finish in last week’s Main event, Dylan Ferrandis lost ground to the top three riders, but he remains fourth in the SuperMotocross rankings after San Diego because of Sexton’s failure to finish his heat. Sixth is Ferrandis’ low water mark, however, as he swept the top five in both heats and finished fourth in A1.

Jason Anderson improved one position from sixth to fifth in the Power Rankings largely on the strength of last week’s second-place finish in his heat. It didn’t come without controversy, however, and he knocked Justin Barcia to the ground while completing the pass. After that race, he waited for Barcia in the tunnel and lashed his competitor with some choice words not often found in dictionaries.

As for Sexton, troubles in his Heat relegated him to last place in that race and forced him into Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). He finished respectably in the Main with a fifth, but the damage was already done in the Power Rankings. He fell from second in the rankings to ninth, but fans can expect him to climb next week with solid results in both Anaheim 2 races.

450 Rankings

This Week Driver
[Season wins]
Power Avg. Last Week Diff.
1. Eli Tomac
[2 Main wins; 2 Heat wins]
95.00 1 0
2. Cooper Webb 85.75 3 1
3. Ken Roczen 85.00 5 2
4. Dylan Ferrandis 81.50 4 0
5. Jason Anderson 76.00 6 1
6. Justin Barcia 73.75 11 5
7. Adam Cianciarulo 73.50 6 -1
8. Aaron Plessinger 69.25 6 -2
9. Chase Sexton
[1 Heat win]
67.00 2 -7
10. Colt Nichols 66.75 9 -1
11. Joey Savatgy 63.50 10 -1
12. Marvin Musquin 61.00 12 0
13. Malcolm Stewart
[1 Heat win]
58.75 13 0
14. Christian Craig 57.75 14 0
15. Dean Wilson 51.00 14 -1
16. Justin Hill 46.67 17 1
17. Shane McElrath 42.33 16 -1
18. Tristan Lane 41.00 24 6
19. Grant Harlan 40.67 21 2
20. Logan Karnow 36.50 19 -1

Supercross Points

There was no change at the top of the SuperMotocross 250 Power Rankings after San Diego as three riders replicated their podium results in back-to-back weeks.

Jett Lawrence swept the first two weeks of the Supercross season with a worst finish of second in his two heats. Moreover, most of these races were won in dominant fashion as he increased the size of his lead on the field with almost every lap. Catching him will not be an easy task as Lawrence is determined to win a fourth consecutive 250 championship.

Still, RJ Hampshire has managed to keep both the SuperMotocross points and Power Average close with consecutive second-place finishes. He’s won his first two heats.

Cameron McAdoo struggled early in his heat last week in San Diego. He was involved in two incidents on Lap 1 of that race and fell back as far as 17th. He methodically worked his way through the field, however, and ended the preliminary race in fifth. The Main was much more to his liking with McAdoo riding in second for most of that race before getting passed by Hampshire with time off the clock and the checkers in sight.

Last week, Enzo Lopes was tied with Max Vohland for fourth in the Power Rankings. With another second-place finish in his heat and a fourth in the Main, he earned a few more points in San Diego than at Anaheim 1.

Meanwhile, Vohland never recovered from the incident in his heat, where he finished 13th. The LCQ was not any kinder. He fell again in that race and finished well out of the transfer positions in eighth.

Vohland’s difficulties helped Mitchell Oldenburg assume fifth in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings. He entered last week’s Main with a sweep of the top five in two heats and the Anaheim Main before finishing seventh in San Diego.

250 Rankings

This Week Driver
[Season wins]
Power Avg. Last Week Diff
1. Jett Lawrence – W
[2 Main wins; 1 Heat win]
94.00 1 0
2. RJ Hampshire – W
[2 Heat wins]
92.50 2 0
3. Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat win]
86.00 3 0
4. Enzo Lopes – W 83.75 4 0
5. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 77.00 6 1
6. Stilez Robertson – W 70.25 8 2
7. Phil Nicoletti – W 66.75 11 4
8. Max Vohland – W 66.33 4 -4
9. Dylan Walsh – W 62.50 8 -1
10. Derek Kelley – W 61.25 11 1
11. Cole Thompson – W 61.00 13 2
12. Levi Kitchen – W 60.00 7 -5
13. Pierce Brown – W 57.67 38 25
14. Anthony Rodriguez – W 53.00 16 2
15. Robbie Wageman – W 50.75 16 1
16. Ty Masterpool – W 47.50 14 -2
16. Kaeden Amerine – W 47.50 18 2
18. Dominique Thury – W 47.00 14 -4
19. Hunter Yoder – W 44.25 19 0
20. Austin Forkner – W 43.00 19 -1

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win. 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 1 AT ANAHEIM: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage

Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi bring their storied rivalry to a new level at Rolex 24

Ganassi Penske Rolex 24
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – To measure the impact of Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi squaring off for the first time in overall sports car wins (starting at the Rolex 24), look at the auto racing titans’ lineups.

There are 12 combined drivers across four entries representing Chip Ganassi Racing (competing as Cadillac Racing) and Team Penske (as Porsche Penske Motorsport) in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona.

And with the possible exception of six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, none of those behind the wheel is as famous and accomplished as the U.S. motorsports icons who will be sitting atop the pit stands at Daytona International Speedway.

In the NTT IndyCar Series, Penske and Ganassi are synonymous with success, having combined for 23 Indy 500 victories and 30 championships. They also competed in the NASCAR Cup Series for two decades with several signature wins for each.

DETAILS FOR THE 61ST ROLEX 24How to watch, entry lists, schedules for the IMSA season opener

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN GTPRolex 24 at Daytona kicks off new golden era for sports cars

Until now, the rivalry never extended to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where they competed in different classes from 2018-19 and have competed in the top category in differing times over the years.

But the 2023 season opener at Daytona will mark the beginning of a new era in which Ganassi and Penske will compete for sports car overall victories on two continents. A Ganassi Cadillac Racing V-LMDh and Porsche Penske Motorsports Penske 963 will run full time in both the premier prototype divisions of IMSA and the European-based World Endurance Championship – whose crown jewel is the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Having two of the world’s biggest sports car races welcome the Ganassi-Penske battle seems only fitting in a season in which IMSA’s new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class is expected to introduce a stiffer level of competition.

“We obviously like beating each other,” Ganassi told NBC Sports. “I think if you beat Penske, you know you’ve beaten someone. You’ve accomplished something great. It’s going to be the same as always. Just another platform at another track, but the rivalry will be just as heated I’m sure.

“On one hand, he’s always the first guy to call us out for a penalty or something. On the other hand, he’s also the first guy to congratulate me on a win, so I think it’s a healthy rivalry, but we certainly pound each other’s heads into the ground on race day. Monday through Friday it switches to more of a good relationship.”

After starting his career in sports cars, Penske also is looking forward to having a new arena to race Ganassi.

“There is a lot of anticipation and excitement about the Rolex 24 and the upcoming sports car season overall,” Penske said in a statement to NBC Sports statement. “With the new hybrid prototype formula ready to make its debut, and some great competition expected on the track between teams, drivers and manufacturers, there is a lot of momentum building right now. Porsche Penske Motorsport is excited to compete in both the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship, this season and I can’t wait to see the No. 6 and No. 7 Porsche 963s in action at Daytona this weekend. We also look forward to bringing some new rivalries and storylines to the sport.

Roger Penske confers with Chip Ganassi before the 2013 Honda Indy Toronto (Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports Images).

“In the new IMSA GTP class, there should be a good competitive balance between Porsche, Cadillac, Acura and BMW. We have seen how the rivalry between Team Penske and Ganassi Racing has developed in the NTT IndyCar Series in recent years, and that could certainly extend to sports cars as our teams and drivers continue to develop the new formula and push the production on track in both IMSA and WEC. We will see how the competition plays out, starting this weekend, as we always enjoy racing against Chip and his teams.”

Though there have been some fiery moments over the years (Dario Franchitti vs. Will Power, anyone?), Ganassi vs. Penske mostly has been a story of respect between two organizations whose main strengths are people.

“It’s just the depth of the organizations going up against each other,” Ganassi said. “It’s not just he and I. It’s at every level of the organization.

“We’re smaller. I’d like to think we’re a little more nimble. This is all I do is race cars. I don’t have 200 car dealerships or a truck rental company or a transportation company. I just have racing is all I have.”

Heading into Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, here are the thoughts of Ganassi and Penske drivers in the Rolex 24 at Daytona:

Earl Bamber, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “When I grew up as a kid, I remember watching Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske battle each other for many years, obviously following Scott Dixon and his career in IndyCar (Bamber is a New Zealand native like Dixon). And when the opportunity came up to come and race for Chip, it’s a no-brainer. It’s one of those teams you want to drive for in the world. It’s one of the biggest and most successful teams in the world. And then we’ve got Porsche, where I used to drive, with Penske. It’s going to be a phenomenal rivalry over the next couple of years and that rivalry continues between two absolute legends of our sport. Two people who have been the most successful. I hope we can get Cadillac and Chip their first Le Mans win. That’s obviously the ultimate goal for us and beat his old rival, Roger.

“Those two powerhouses of the sport, they definitely raise the bar. You’ve seen it in IndyCar for years and years. One finds something and the next pushes it forward and forward. You’ll see the same in sports car racing. We all saw what Chip Ganassi Racing did back in the day with the GT program. So no doubt we can do the same again. It’s the ultimate highest level of motorsport when it comes to sports car racing, and there’ll be no stone unturned to make sure that we’re winning these races. It will be a really great fight, great for the fans and great for the sport, because both of them love winning.”

Dane Cameron, No. 6 Porsche Penske: “I think anytime you have Chip and Roger come to town to start fighting for wins, it raises the profile of the whole thing. Hopefully it brings a few more eyes to everything. Certainly brings a lot of expectation with it as well, and I also think it reflects really strongly on the championship to show how competitive it is. They respect the championship and challenge, but when they come to town, they come to win for sure.”

Scott Dixon, No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac: “The battle between Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske is always a fierce one. I obviously know it well from the IndyCar side. But I think it’s a lot more than that. It’s impressive to see a lot of the manufacturers that have come in for this battle. I imagine if it’s not from the first race but during the season that Penske and Ganassi will fight it out pretty hard.

“I think the rivalry between Chip Ganassi racing and Penske has always been strong and in a good way. There’s been some battles and the 2010s for me and other drivers when it gets fierce. Some disagreements here and there. But it’s always been a great pure battle, which is what I think these championships are made of and what brings the fans to the track. So I’d sum it up as a very healthy rivalry.”

Alex Lynn, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “Even as a little boy (growing up in England), you knew exactly who Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi were. You knew what their teams represented. For me to represent Chip and his team is a huge honor. I’m extremely motivated to try to add to his legacy and be part of the fabric of this team. I think having the battle between Penske and Ganassi is iconic. Also Porsche and Cadillac as brands, respectively, just adds to the occasion. Makes me smile even thinking about it knowing what we get to represent when the flag drops.”

Felipe Nasr, No. 7 Porsche Penske: “I think it’s fantastic especially because we’re merging the IMSA and WEC Series and giving the opportunity for teams like Penske and Ganassi to fight for overall victories. You look at the history of those teams, they’ve been on top. We always hear it from the IndyCar guys or the NASCAR side, you’re talking two big names in motorsports. You expect nothing but them fighting for wins. For sure Ganassi has strengths, and we have strengths as well. I’m pretty glad I have the opportunity to be representing Team Penske and continue to write history with them and Porsche is a great opportunity.”

Richard Westbrook, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “The chance for the two most famous teams in America to go head to head in the Daytona 24 Hours and also the Le Mans 24 Hours. I expect that rivalry to keep going up more notches.”

Renger van der Zande, No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac: “Obviously, it’s such the big houses of racing in the U.S. Penske and Ganassi are taking it at each other. The rivalry is big. The best of the best. The most famous ones in the U.S.

“Ganassi is part of Cadillac. We’re the race team that runs the factory program for Cadillac. Penske is running it for Porsche, obviously a high brand as well. Those teams have their little rivalry, but they’re working for a bigger company, a bigger brand, which is Cadillac and Porsche. So those two premium brands taking on each other and then two of the best teams in America taking on each other. It’s very simple: Cadillac got the best team in the U.S. and Porsche got the best team in the U.S. So let’s see what happens. It’s going to be a cool fight.”