Team Solitaire and Heartbeat Hot Sauce race Oakland with a NASCAR connection

Team Solitaire

The Monster Energy Supercross and the Xfinity Series share something in common this weekend as Heartbeat Hot Sauce graces the liveries of Team Solitaire racers Dominque Thury and Cole Thompson in the motorcycle series and Ryan Ellis as makes his 100th combined start in NASCAR’s top three series on Saturday. Ellis currently has 67 Xfinity starts, 26 in the Truck Series, and six in Cup.

For both teams and the owner of Heartbeat Hot Sauce, it is a way of expanding a community of athletes in the greatest need of support.

Heartbeat Motorsports and Team Solitaire were looking for a special way to connect the two series to do something special in 2023, but it appeared the stars would not align until persistent rain forced Supercross to reschedule their Round 2 in Oakland. Originally scheduled for January 14th, that race was postponed until February 18 to coincide with the Xfinity season opener.

“When I first saw the 2023 schedules, I was a little disappointed that none of our dates lined up with anything else the Heartbeat had going on because they are involved in some many unique things whether it’s racing or even the UFC,” said Chris Elliot, Principal of Team Solitaire. “But with the Oakland round date change, the opportunity to collaborate with their NASCAR effort was an option.

“It’s been a stressful month, putting together all the limited-edition gear, helmets, bikes, and marketing efforts in less than 30 days was not easy, but our partners at Leatt, Throttle Syndicate, and Shades of Gray stepped up big because they knew how much it meant to us to do this. … The days of showing up to ride into the top 10 and then pack up your boring old bikes and gear to go home are over and if you aren’t lining yourself up with brands that want you to get creative and aren’t afraid to put in the work with you, you are going to get left behind.”

MORE: Next Level Racing guides racers up life’s ladder

The synergy between the two sponsorships goes deeper. Ellis’ father originally conceived of a path that would include motorcycle racing instead of stock cars.

“I’ve always been a fan of supercross,” Ellis said in a press release. “My dad raced bikes a lot of his life and transitioned to cars after some big injuries. I was actually put on a bike before a race car because my dad wanted me to go that route, but literally drove head-first into a fire hydrant within the first few seconds of my first ride (lol this is seriously true). After that short ending to my motocross career, we got a go-kart and the rest is history.”

A large part Ellis’ attraction for Heartbeat Motorsports is their commitment to help athletes grow. That is also reflected in their sponsorship of Team Solitaire, one of the Supercross privateer teams that does not receive the same degree of support as full factory teams.

Team Solitaire has had a strong start to their season. Thompson made all three of the 250 West main events with a best finish of 10th at Snapdragon Park in San Diego. Both riders qualified for the San Diego main as Thury advanced directly into the San Diego main after finishing eighth in his heat.

“When we decided to form Heartbeat Motorsports, the idea was to create an umbrella that all our sponsored athletes could come together under and feel part of a larger project. Something beyond just their own discipline of racing,” said Al Bourbouhakis, Owner of Heartbeat Hotsauce. “A team feeling is what we hoped for. This weekend we’re going to see two of the highest levels of professional motorsports competing in their respective events but simultaneously bearing our brands name and a common livery, it’s hard to articulate the feeling that gives me.

Eli Tomac wins Seattle Supercross, ties Cooper Webb in championship points


In the past two weeks, Eli Tomac lost his momentum and with it the Monster Energy Supercross red plate to Cooper Webb, but a gutsy performance in Seattle gave him a sixth win of the season as he and the series heads into an off week tied. Tomac is currently tied in the points with Webb.

With this win, Tomac also ties James Stewart for second on the all-time wins list at 50 with six rounds remaining in 2023.

“I needed that bounce back,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “It was almost like I was in a little bit of a slump in the past couple of weeks; just a little bit off. I’m feeling much better now. That track raced really cool. There were a lot of different lines out there.

“It was obviously very dicey early on. I got passed and then had to make those passes back.”

Tomac suffered with a stiff neck in Indianapolis two weeks ago when he lost the red plate to Webb for the first time in 2023. In that race, he scored his worst finish of the season in eighth. He lost more points in Detroit after finishing a distant third behind Chase Sexton and Webb. This is the fifth time this season that Tomac and Webb finished 1-2 in a race. Tomac has won them all, but Webb has been more consistent.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Seattle

Webb was disappointed to lose the ground to Tomac, but he will enter the Glendale, Arizona race with a red plate and a share of the points’ lead.

“It was overall a great night to get up front and get a second was great,” Webb said after the race. “Those few spots where I would get close to Eli and then make a mistake.

“The track was gnarly. It was no joke. It was cat and mouse as to who could ride the cleanest race and pick the line. I got off to a decent start, but Chase and Eli were ahead of me and I had some catchup to play and got into a good position.”

Early in the race, Sexton was indeed ahead of Webb and the remainder of the field. Another costly mistake sent Sexton to the ground. He battled back to finish fifth but is now 22 points out of the lead and in jeopardy of dropping out of championship contention unless Tomac and Webb have problems.

Rounding out the podium was Justin Barcia, who scored the third-place finish on his birthday

“Awesome ride,” Barcia said. “It was a lot of fun. I’m sure we kept the fans on their feet tonight. The track was gnarly. […] We’re searching; we’re so close to having that speed. We want it so badly. We’ll keep pushing hard and going for that win.”

Sexton’s mistake kept the three top points’ earners of 2023 from sharing the podium for the sixth time in 11 rounds, but the trio finished 1-2-3 in Heat 2 with Webb first, Sexton second and Tomac third.

The 250 West contenders were back in action after giving the last four rounds over to the East riders and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left off in Oakland: In Victory Lane. Lawrence scored his fourth win in five 250 West rounds. Last week his brother Hunter Lawrence tied Jett with 10 wins, but everyone knew it would not take long for Jett to regain the advantage.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but one race each in their respective divisions.

Lawrence rode a patient race in the Main. He settled in behind Stylez Robertson and concentrated on navigating the ruts mistake-free. He could not afford to be patient any longer when Cameron McAdoo caught up to the leaders. Lawrence found a second gear and gapped the battle for second.

An incident in their main made the battle between Lawrence and McAdoo more dramatic. While racing for second, the pair of riders ran out of room in the rhythm section. Both crashed but had a large enough lead over fourth to maintain their positions.

“It was a very eventful day,” Lawrence told NBC Sports’s Daniel Blair, answering a question about the earlier contact. “[…] It’s good to be back racing. It’s been a while. I feel like I’ve had another offseason. Glad to get out in one piece tonight.”

Lawrence now has a 23-point advantage over the field with four rounds remaining.

Click here for full 250 Main Results

RJ Hampshire finished second in his race and is second in the points after a seesaw affair that produced the final pass for position just before the white flag was displayed.

“I felt like I had a pretty good pace going for a little bit,” Hampshire said. “I closed the gap and then had a couple of big mistakes that almost put me on my head. I backed it off a little bit.

“Cam actually gapped me a little more than I would have wanted. I knew I could get a push there at the end. I thought that was the last lap, which is why my pass was a little more aggressive than it should have been, but I’m stoked to be able to close the gap a little bit.”

McAdoo took the final spot on the podium. This is the fourth time in 2023 these three riders have shared the box and if not for a sixth-place finish in Anaheim 2, he would be mounting a much more formidable challenge for the points’ lead.

“The track was really demanding tonight,” McAdoo said. “It did change a lot and the key thing was to get off the rhythms every time. We were swapping back and forth.”

Enzo Lopes in fourth and Max Vohland rounded out the top five.

Robertson had the early lead but when he lost the top spot to Jett he cross rutted on the next lap, crashed hard and failed to finish.

2023 Race Recaps

Detroit: Chase Sexton inherits win after Aaron Plessinger falls
Indianapolis: Ken Roczen gets first win in more than a year
Daytona: Eli Tomac extends Daytona record with seventh win
Arlington: Cooper Webb wins for second time, closes to two of Tomac
Oakland: Tomac ties Ricky Carmichael with 48 wins
Tampa: Webb gets first 2023 win
Houston: Tomac bounces back from A2 crash to win third race of 2023
Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

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