Supercross 2023: Results and points after season finale in Salt Lake City


The Monster Energy Supercross series wrapped up the 2023 season at Salt Lake City with a mixed bag of results altered by heavy attrition and injuries.

Chase Sexton sported gear that paid tribute to another famous 23, Michael Jordan – Feld Motor Sports

The two races leading up to the season finale were more dramatic than Supercross wanted with season-ending injuries to Cooper Webb in Nashville and Eli Tomac in Denver, but one thing was constant: Chase Sexton stood on the top of the podium both times. Ever since getting docked seven points at Detroit for jumping in a red cross flag zone, he was determined to eradicate mistakes from his Supercross results and Salt Lake City was the fourth time in the last five rounds that he won after riding a perfect race.

Sexton’s victory put an exclamation point on a championship that was actually determined last week when Tomac announced he would not be able to mount up for the finale because of a ruptured Achilles tendon.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Results; Click here for 250 Results

Aaron Plessinger returned to Supercross action in Salt Lake City after missing three rounds to injuries sustained in New Jersey prelims, but one would not know there had been any hiatus based on his results. Plessinger was well on his way to a convincing win in his heat when he braked too late entering a bowl turn and soared off course, taking down a robotic camera in the process. He redeemed himself in the main event by earning his second podium of the season. Plessinger’s first top-three finish came in Week 4 in Tampa.

Justin Hill has been consistently progressing up the chart during the past three weeks. He finished fifth at Nashville, fourth at Denver and earned the first 450 podium of his career at Salt Lake City. Hill was three seconds behind Plessinger at the end of the race and three seconds ahead of the fourth-place finisher Adam Cianciarulo.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Cianciarulo almost backed up his first season podium from Denver with another at Salt Lake City. After a great start, he ran second for the first nine circuits of the 20-lap race. Back-to-back top-five finishes will give Cianciarulo some confidence entering the outdoor season, which begins in two weeks on Memorial Day weekend in Pala, California.

Dean Wilson rounded out the top five with a fifth in Salt Lake City, which was his best Supercross result of the season. He’s been close in recent weeks and entered the final round with a five-race streak of top-10s and like Hill, he’s steadily improved over the past four weeks with each result better than the previous.

Justin’s brother Josh Hill also scored a season-high result of sixth in the Salt Lake City Supercross race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Both 250 East/West Showdowns were plagued by wet tracks, although Salt Lake City held up much better than New Jersey. The precipitation was not as heavy this week, but it still created slick conditions that varied from lap to lap.

Jett Lawrence capped off his 250 career with a win at Salt Lake City. – Feld Motor Sports

Jett Lawrence didn’t seem to mind and in his final race on a 250cc bike, he scored his 13th career win in this class and became the winningest Honda rider on a small bike. Lawrence’s 13 victory ties him for third with Jeremy McGrath on that chart. Notably, 12 of McGrath’s wins came on a Honda and one came with Yamaha, which opened the door for Lawrence to make even a little more history.

Lawrence had the opportunity to run the red plate for one weekend before moving to the 450 class. Since his 2022 250 championship came in the East division and he competed in the West this year, he ran his familiar 18 all season.

Click here for 250 West Heat | East Heat | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Last week in Denver RJ Hampshire scored his first win of the season and that taste of victory was sweet because he finally beat Lawrence during a season when the 2023 champion was almost unbeatable. Hampshire desperately wanted to repeat and stake his claim as the heir apparent now that Lawrence is moving up a class. Midway through the race, Lawrence caught Hampshire and pushed him wide to make the pass, but Hampshire held on for second.

Levi Kitchen rounded out the podium and made this race a perfect sweep for the 250 West riders. This was the fourth podium of 2023 for Kitchen and with three of those coming in the last four rounds, he ended with a lot of momentum.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

Jo Shimoda was the top finisher in the 250 East class with his fourth-place finish. He missed most of the beginning of the season with an injury, but one must wonder what the year would have been like otherwise because in the four rounds he made, Shimoda scored three top-fives and swept the top 10.

In fifth, Jordon Smith rounded out the top five. This was his seventh top-five and sixth podium finish in the nine rounds he made. He failed to make the main event in Detroit.

The much anticipated battle between Jett and Hunter Lawrence failed to materialize when Hunter was involved in a Lap 1 crash. He rallied to finish a distant sixth.

2023 Results

Round 16, Chase Sexton, RJ Hampshire win
Round 15, Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 14: Justin Barcia, Max Anstie win
Round 13: Sexton, H Lawrence win
Round 12: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 11: Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, H Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 15: Eli Tomac is back on top
Week 14: Justin Barcia, most of top 20, hold steady
Week 13: Barcia leapfrogs the Big Three
Week 12: Eli Tomac gains momentum
Week 11: Cooper Webb, Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
Week 10: Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Sexton unseats Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s

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

IndyCar Detroit downtown
James Black/Penske Entertainment
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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 six 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