2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after New Jersey: The top 20 settle in for final charge


Nearly every top-20 driver in the 450 class held their position in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings this week following the muddy Round 14 in New Jersey as the Monster Energy Supercross season heads into their final three races. The 45-day look back period for this formula saw Daytona fall out of consideration to be replaced with the New Jersey round and most of the top competitors had almost identical results in those events.

Even in the muddy conditions, Eli Tomac’s red plate was evident in NJ. – Feld Motor Sports

Notably, it was the Daytona round that started Barcia’s current streak of seven consecutive top-five finishes. From Daytona through Atlanta, Barcia scored two second-place finishes, a pair of thirds and two fourths. The only thing missing was a win and Mother Nature offered an assist in the form of rain and a heavy track in New Jersey. Barcia took advantage and easily rode away from the field, but felt he could have won on a dry track as well. Considering how many top-fives he brought with him into the race, it’s hard to argue.

Chase Sexton was one of just four riders to finish on the lead lap last week in New Jersey. His bid for back-to-back wins ended early in the sloppy conditions when he was dropped in the mud by a slight miscalculation on a block pass from Barcia. The eventual winner clipped his front tire and threw him off his rhythm. While Barcia tracked down Ken Roczen to make the pass for the lead, Sexton fell behind both of his primary rivals for the Supercross champion. He got back around Cooper Webb in New Jersey and maintained his second position on the SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

MORE: Justin Barcia scores first 2023 win on a muddy track

Webb remains the only rider in the field with a perfect record of top-fives this season and with a fifth in New Jersey, he easily belongs in the top three in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings despite failing to complete the distance in the mud. He’s run well, but without a win since Arlington or a podium in his last three rounds, Webb is slowing losing ground in the points’ standings to Eli Tomac. In the past four rounds, Webb has finished behind Tomac in three races for a total of seven positions while beating him by a single spot in one event.

New Jersey had the capacity to cause Tomac a lot of trouble. He crashed in qualification and finished fourth in his heat, which contributed to a bad gate pick for the main. The rain might well have aided his results, or perhaps more accurately it didn’t hurt him as much as Sexton or Webb, both of whom failed to podium. At the end of the season, this might be the race looked back on as the final nail in Sexton’s coffin and it pushed Webb back enough in the points that he no longer completely controls his own fate. For Tomac, it allowed him to tie Sexton for the most podium finish this season at 10.

In the past 45 days, Ken Roczen has found the setup on his new Suzuki. His victory in Indianapolis set him on a near-perfect run of top-five finishes with a worst result of sixth in Seattle. One has the sense that Roczen is not yet done and in the final three rounds, he should score another podium or two. At the beginning of the season Roczen said he urgently needed a change and he got what he needed.

450 Rankings

Driver Power
1. Justin Barcia 87.07 1 0
2. Chase Sexton 86.36 2 0
3. Cooper Webb 85.14 3 0
4. Eli Tomac 85.00 4 0
5. Ken Roczen 83.79 5 0
6. Christian Craig
74.50 6 0
7. Adam Cianciarulo 73.17 7 0
8. Aaron Plessinger 70.42 8 0
9. Jason Anderson 65.79 9 0
10. Colt Nichols 61.50 10 0
11. Justin Hill 61.07 11 0
12. Dean Wilson 57.14 12 0
13. Shane McElrath 48.79 14 1
14. Josh Hill 47.93 13 -1
15. Benny Bloss 47.46 15 0
16. Kyle Chisholm 45.36 16 0
17. Grant Harlan 41.86 17 0
18. Fredrik Noren 41.29 18 0
19. Kevin Moranz 40.21 19 0
20. Chase Marquier 35.43 21 1

Supercross 450 Points

The first East/West Showdown was supposed to provide a look at how the Lawrence brothers would perform head-to-head. Mother Nature had other plans and kept them separated for most of the New Jersey round, but their final results were remarkably close and that kept them in their relative positions in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings after New Jersey.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Jersey
Hunter and Jett Lawrence both stood on the podium in the first East/West Showdown. – Feld Motor Sports

Both Hunter and Jett were beaten in their heats by riders with a reason to feel they wanted a share of the limelight.

Both Lawrence brothers also shared the same agenda in the heats. They needed to keep from making a mistake that would have cost them a good gate selection and had points’ leads to protect in their respective divisions.

Hunter lost his heat to Jo Shimoda, who joined the series only two races ago in Atlanta. Jett lost his preliminary to RJ Hampshire, who still had a shot at catching him in the points’ standings if the final rounds went horribly awry for the presumptive favorite. A sequence of events in the main event allowed the two brothers to finish nose-to-tail with Jett finishing second and Hunter third, but that was the first time they saw each other during the race.

Levi Kitchen moved up a position over the injured 250 East rider Nate Thrasher despite finishing outside the top 10 in the main. Against his West rivals, he finished sixth in his heat and that is precisely how he performed in the main with five divisional rivals ahead of him as well as six riders from the East.

Supercross 250 Points

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Jersey
Jo Shimoda debuted on the NBC Power Rankings in sixth overall. – Feld Motor Sports

For only the third time this season, Haiden Deegan finished outside the top five in a main event. His sixth-place finish, coupled with a win by Max Anstie in New Jersey, hurt him in the points standings, but it did not move the needle in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings. Regardless of how he finishes the season, Deegan is one of the most pleasant surprises in 250 competition and with the Lawrence brother moving up to the 450 class next year, he’s going to get his share of wins.

Jo Shimoda returned from injury with a fourth-place finish and with two races in the books there are now enough stats to classify him. Shimoda debuts at sixth overall In the SuperMotocross Power Rankings in no small part because of his heat win last week in New Jersey. That was the first of his career in Supercross competition, but his fans remember how strong he was in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross outdoor division last year. Shimoda will almost certainly be moving further up the chart.

With his first Supercross win, Anstie was the biggest mover in the top 10. He improved two positions overall to land eighth on the chart, but it bears noting that two of the riders ahead of him are currently on the bench with injuries. If not for a single poor performance in Detroit when he crashed, Anstie would easily be counted among the top five. Every other result in a main has been fifth or better.

250 Rankings

Driver Power
1. Hunter Lawrence – E 90.72 1 0
2. Jett Lawrence – W 89.64 2 0
3. Levi Kitchen – W 81.57 4 1
4. Nate Thrasher – E
80.25 3 -1
5. Haiden Deegan – E 78.94 5 0
6. Jo Shimoda – E 78.00 NA
7. Cameron McAdoo – W
77.75 7 0
8. Max Anstie – E 75.78 10 2
9. Jordon Smith – E 75.24 6 -3
10. RJ Hampshire – W 74.14 8 -2
11. Jeremy Martin – E 73.88 11 0
12. Pierce Brown – W 73.29 9 -3
13. Max Vohland – W 70.57 17 4
14. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 68.33 12 -2
15. Chris Blose – E 67.78 14 -1
16. Tom Vialle – E 67.17 13 -3
17. Chance Hymas – E 67.10 16 -1
18. Enzo Lopes – W 66.29 15 -3
19. Michael Mosiman – E 65.80 18 -1
20. Carson Mumford – W 61.38 20 0

* 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 for the 450 class and last 90 days for 250s (because of the split nature of their season).

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 13 AT ATLANTA: Justin Barcia leapfrogs the Big 3
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 11 AT SEATTLE: Cooper Webb, Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 10 AT DETROIT: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Cooper Webb
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage

‘It’s gnarly, bro’: IndyCar drivers face new challenge on streets of downtown Detroit

IndyCar Detroit downtown
James Black/Penske Entertainment

DETROIT – It was the 1968 motion picture, “Winning” when actress Joanne Woodward asked Paul Newman if he were going to Milwaukee in the days after he won the Indianapolis 500 as driver Frank Capua.

“Everybody goes to Milwaukee after Indianapolis,” Newman responded near the end of the film.

Milwaukee was a mainstay as the race on the weekend after the Indianapolis 500 for decades, but since 2012, the first race after the Indy 500 has been Detroit at Belle Isle Park.

This year, there is a twist.

Instead of IndyCar racing at the Belle Isle State Park, it’s the streets of downtown Detroit on a race course that is quite reminiscent of the old Formula One and CART race course that was used from 1982 to 1991.

Formula One competed in the United States Grand Prix from 1982 to 1988. Beginning in 1989, CART took over the famed street race through 1991. In 1992, the race was moved to Belle Isle, where it was held through last year (with a 2009-2011 hiatus after the Great Recession).

The Penske Corp. is the promoter of this race, and they did a lot of good at Belle Isle, including saving the Scott Fountain, modernizing the Belle Isle Casino, and basically cleaning up the park for Detroit citizens to enjoy.

The race, however, had outgrown the venue. Roger Penske had big ideas to create an even bigger event and moving it back to downtown Detroit benefitted race sponsor Chevrolet. The footprint of the race course goes around General Motors world headquarters in the GM Renaissance Center – the centerpiece building of Detroit’s modernized skyline.

INDYCAR IN DETROITEntry list, schedule, TV info for this weekend

JOSEF’S FAMILY TIESNewgarden wins Indy 500 with wisdom of father, wife

Motor City is about to roar with the sound of Chevrolet and Honda engines this weekend as the NTT IndyCar Series is the featured race on the nine-turn, 1.7-mile temporary street course.

It’s perhaps the most unique street course on the IndyCar schedule because of the bumps on the streets and the only split pit lane in the series.

The pit lanes has stalls on opposing sides and four lanes across an unusual rectangular pit area (but still only one entry and exit).

Combine that, with the bumps and the NTT IndyCar Series drivers look forward to a wild ride in Motor City.

“It’s gnarly, bro,” Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward said before posting the fastest time in Friday’s first practice. “It will be very interesting because the closest thing that I can see it being like is Toronto-like surfaces with more of a Long Beach-esque layout.

“There’s less room for error than Long Beach. There’s no curbs. You’ve got walls. I think very unique to this place.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Speeds from the first session

“Then it’s a bit of Nashville built into it. The braking zones look really very bumpy. Certain pavements don’t look bumpy but with how the asphalt and concrete is laid out, there’s undulation with it. So, you can imagine the cars are going to be smashing on every single undulation because we’re going to go through those sections fairly fast, and obviously the cars are pretty low. I don’t know.

“It looks fun, man. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. It’s going to be learning through every single session, not just for drivers and teams but for race control. For everyone.

“Everybody has to go into it knowing not every call is going to be smooth. It’s a tall task to ask from such a demanding racetrack. I think it’ll ask a lot from the race cars as well.”

The track is bumpy, but O’Ward indicated he would be surprised if it is bumper than Nashville. By comparison to Toronto, driving at slow speed is quite smooth, but fast speed is very bumpy.

“This is a mix of Nashville high-speed characteristics and Toronto slow speed in significant areas,” O’Ward said. “I think it’ll be a mix of a lot of street courses we go to, and the layout looks like more space than Nashville, which is really tight from Turn 4 to 8. It looks to be a bit more spacious as a whole track, but it’ll get tight in multiple areas.”

The concept of having four-wide pit stops is something that excites the 24-year-old driver from Monterey, Mexico.

“I think it’s innovation, bro,” O’Ward said. “If it works out, we’ll look like heroes.

“If it doesn’t, we tried.”

Because of the four lanes on pit road, there is a blend line the drivers will have to adhere to. Otherwise, it would be chaos leaving the pits compared to a normal two-lane pit road.

“If it wasn’t there, there’d be guys fighting for real estate where there’s one car that fits, and there’d be cars crashing in pit lane,” O’Ward said. “I get why they did that. It’s the same for everybody. I don’t think there’s a lot of room to play with. That’s the problem.

“But it looks freaking gnarly for sure. Oh my God, that’s going to be crazy.”

Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing believes the best passing areas will be on the long straights because of the bumps in the turns. That is where much of the action will be in terms of gaining or losing a position in the race.

“It will also be really easy to defend in my opinion,” Palou said. “Being a 180-degree corner, you just have to go on the inside and that’s it. There’s going to be passes for sure but its’ going to be risky.

“Turn 1, if someone dives in, you end up in the wall. They’re not going to be able to pass you on the exit, so maybe with the straight being so long you can actually pass before you end up on the braking zone.”

Palou’s teammate, Marcus Ericsson, was at the Honda simulator in Brownsburg, Indiana, before coming to Detroit and said he was shocked by the amount of bumps on the simulator.

Race promoter Bud Denker, the President of Penske Corporation, and Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix President Michael Montri, sent the track crews onto the streets with grinders to smooth out the bumps on the race course several weeks ago.

“They’ve done a decent amount of work, and even doing the track walk, it looked a lot better than what we expected,” Ericsson said. “I don’t think it’ll be too bad. I hope not. That’ll be something to take into account.

“I think the track layout doesn’t look like the most fun. Maybe not the most challenging. But I love these types of tracks with rules everywhere. It’s a big challenge, and you have to build up to it. That’s the types of tracks that I love to drive. It’s a very much Marcus Ericsson type of track. I like it.”

Scott Dixon, who was second fastest in the opening session, has competed on many new street circuits throughout his legendary racing career. The six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion for Chip Ganassi Racing likes the track layout, even with the unusual pit lane.

I don’t think that’s going to be something that catches on where every track becomes a double barrel,” Dixon said. “It’s new and interesting.

“As far as pit exit, I think Toronto exit is worse with how the wall sticks out. I think in both lanes, you’ve got enough lead time to make it and most guys will make a good decision.”

It wasn’t until shortly after 3 p.m. ET on Friday that the IndyCar drivers began the extended 90-minute practice session to try out the race course for the first time in real life.

As expected, there were several sketchy moments, but no major crashes during the first session despite 19 local yellow flags for incidents and two red flags.

Rookie Agustin Canapino had to cut his practice short after some damage to his No. 78 Dallara-Chevrolet, but he was among many who emerged mostly unscathed from scrapes with the wall.

“It was honestly less carnage than I expected,” said Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood, who was third fastest in the practice after coming off his first career IndyCar victory in the most recent street race at Long Beach in April. “I think a lot of people went off in the runoffs, but no one actually hit the wall (too hard), which actually surprised me. Hats off to them for keeping it clean, including myself.

“It was quite a bit less grip than I think everyone expected. Maybe a little bit more bumpy down into Turn 3 than everyone expected. But overall they did a good job between the two manufacturers. I’m sure everyone had pretty much the same we were able to base everything off of. We felt pretty close to maximum right away.”

Most of the preparation for this event was done either on the General Motors Simulator in Huntersville, North Carolina, or the Honda Performance Development simulator in Brownsburg, Indiana.

“Now, we have simulators that can scan the track, so we have done plenty of laps already,” Power told NBC Sports. “They have ground and resurfaced a lot of the track, so it should be smoother.

“But nothing beats real-world experience. It’s going to be a learning experience in the first session.”

As a Team Penske driver, Power and his teammates were consulted about the progress and layout of the Detroit street course. They were shown what was possible with the streets that were available.

“We gave some input back after we were on the similar what might be ground and things like that,” Power said.

Racing on the streets of Belle Isle was a fairly pleasant experience for the fans and corporate sponsor that compete in the race.

But the vibe at the new location gives this a “big event” feel.

“The atmosphere is a lot better,” Power said. “The location, the accessibility for the fans, the crowd that will be here, it’s much easier. I think it will be a much better event.

“It feels like a Long Beach, only in a much bigger city. That is what street course racing is all about.”

Because the track promoter is also the team owner, Power and teammates Scott McLaughlin and Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden will have a very busy weekend on the track, and with sponsor and personal appearances.

“That’s what pays the bills and allows us to do this,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500