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2023 Monster Energy Supercross Recap - Nashville

A busy day at Nissan Stadium. While the Tennessee Titans were in the process of finishing up the NFL draft, fans packed in for Supercross in the Music City for the first time since 2019. A big day too, as they were going to see Hunter Lawrence clinch the 250 East Championship. His goal to do so was very simple, finish 20th or better. Now things are of course much tighter in the 450 class, but Eli Tomac stretched out his points lead over Cooper Webb again, up to 11 points after East Rutherford. The former two-time Champion needed to start to find the form he did back in 2020 at Salt Lake City to have a shot at three titles in five years. Chase Sexton is in just about the same boat as Webb, but he entered the weekend about a half dozen more points down. Getting close to midnight on this Championship and one of them needed to pick it up in a big way.

Remebering Wills Fedrick

Some unexpected sad news hit earlier this week. Wills Fedrick, the Paddock Manager for Supercross through Feld sadly passed away on Wednesday. Based on everything I have seen, he had a phenomenal attitude and was very well-liked by those in the industry. Fedrick also spent some time working with the Nitro Circus Live folks, and he seemed to make a great impression there as well. Saw some final goodbye comments to him from the likes of Jarryd McNeil, Twitch Stenberg, and Robbie Maddison. Condolences to all of his family and friends and may he rest in peace.

Daytime Program/Injury Notes:

- Rain was once again an expectation going into the day program (never came though).

- Right-Handed opening corner??? In THIS economy???

- 250 West Fastest Qualifier: No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (52.407) (Nearly a full second faster than second-fastest qualifier Jordan Smith).

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 23 Chase Sexton (52.580) (Three-tenths faster than second-fastest qualifier Adam Cianciarulo. Cooper Webb ended up 1.5 seconds slower than Eli Tomac on the speed charts).

Heat Racing Roundup

250 Class

The Star Yamaha duo of Jordan Smith and Haiden Deegan kicked things off out front with Zombie Blose in tow. On a side note, a right-handed start just feels so off in Supercross to the point where I love it. Farther on back, a couple of notable Pulp Fantasy picks in Marshall Weltin and Michael Hicks got caught up in a big tangle-up in the lead-up to the off-camber corner, along with TJ Albright. Took several minutes to get things cleared up there. Lap traffic became a factor far too early for my liking here as well, which allowed Deegan to close up on Smith late, but despite a last-ditch effort, the latter picked up the W.

Max Anstie picked up right where he left off last week, railing a couple of outside corners to take a multi-bike length lead over Hunter Lawrence, but the red plate holder got by to the lead by the time they came across the finish jump for the second time. Up in third here early was one Caden Braswell, who respectably was able to hold onto the final podium spot until both JMart and Jo Shimoda blitzed by him with about three minutes to go. Save for a small Shimoda tip over after where he lost no spots, this one was pretty routine. Another strong showing for HLaw.

450 Class

The big story of the day happened about 20 seconds into this one. Cooper Webb, after briefly taking the lead, went down in the 90-degree corner after the whoops, with Adam Cianciarulo running into his head with nowhere to go. Just an absolutely horrifying-looking incident for Webb, who luckily was able to get up on his own for a brief moment before he went onto the mule. Tomac would go on to win this won over AC, but the big concern was of course elsewhere. After the commercial break here, we saw Webb in the back just crying and hugging some of the Red Bull KTM folks before going into an ambulance and off to a hospital. Devastating doesn't even begin to describe this situation, no real update on his condition as of Saturday evening either.

Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia were shot out of a cannon here right off the bat, but once again some riders were hitting the deck. Benny Bloss and Lane Shaw went down right away in the opening rhythm section, then Jason Anderson went down in the same spot not too far later. Just an absolutely rough few weeks for El Hombre here. Meanwhile, back up front, it became a three-man breakaway in no time at all with Barcia taking the lead from Roczen, then Chase Sexton joined the party to get by the 94 as well. If the 23 had another lap, he may have gotten Bam Bam, but he made things very competitive nonetheless. A very strong win here for Barcia though.

250 East Class Recap

1st - No. 1E Hunter Lawrence (Honda HRC)

Pretty decent day at the office I'll say for HLaw.

For more thoughts on Hunter Lawrence's Championship victory click here.

2nd - No. 30 Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki)

A great result for the believers of the Jo Shimoda Agenda yesterday. This serves as his first Supercross podium in nearly 15 months on the dot, dating back to Glendale in Feburary of 2022. Browsing through the Main Event lap times, he was probably going to get by Jordon Smith clean at some point here, but both he and Lawrence got an absolute gift when he made a little off-track excursion six laps in. Over those final five laps, Shimoda had the Star Yamaha rider beat him head-to-head in four of those. Good building block round here with just a round to go before outdoors.

4th - No. 238 Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

Kind of crazy to think that Deegan wasn't even supposed to turn pro this year, and now he's a 15-minute East/West Showdown Main Event away from potentially finishing second in the Eastern Regional points standings. Not only that but doing so after a very shakey Supercross Futures showing in Anaheim just seven days before making the jump to the pro ranks. Nothing jumped out about Deegan's performance in Nashville per se, but he's just been really solid all year long, far better than I had initially expected. Hopefully, he finishes things out strong.

12th - No. 339 Talon Hawkins (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing)

Gotta imagine it was a LONG Saturday for the Husqvarna rookie, but Hawkins should be happy about how things ultimately turned out. Had to make it into the Main Event the hard way by winning the LCQ first of all. Then he got buried by the time he got to the finish jump in around 17th place. But Hawkins did a solid job of getting himself up to 12th all things considered. Would have to believe he was gassed by the midway point of this one and the lap times would show that theory could have some merit. Either way, these are now the best consecutive finishes the rookie has put up all season, after finishing eight at Atlanta a few weeks ago. Wouldnt call his year anything to write home about, but I don't think it's fair to hold Hawkins to what Deegan's standard is right now either. Phenomenal kit from Fly yesterday as well by the way.

250 East Class Nashville Top 10

1st No. 1E Hunter Lawrence

2nd No. 30 Jo Shimoda

3rd No. 58 Jordan Smith

4th No. 238 Haiden Deegan

5th No. 63 Max Anstie

6th No. 6 Jeremy Martin

7th No. 128 Tom Vialle

8th No. 57 Chris Blose

9th No. 66 Henry Miller

10th No. 67 Cullin Park

250 East Class Point Standings after Nashville

1st No. 1E Hunter Lawrence (224 Points. 250 Eastern Regional Champion)

2nd No. 238 Haiden Deegan (168 Points)

3rd No. 63 Max Anstie (166 Points)

4th No. 58 Jordon Smith (141 Points)

5th No. 57 Chris Blose (132 Points)

6th No. 6 Jeremy Martin (128 Points)

7th No. 29 Nate Thrasher (120 Points)

8th No. 128 Tom Vialle (111 Points)

9th No. 67 Cullin Park (109 Points)

10th No. 285 Coty Schock (89 Points)

450 Class Recap

1st - No. 23 Chase Sexton (Honda HRC)

Given the minimal points gained Sexton got on Tomac here, it would take a collapse the likes we haven't seen since Damon Bradshaw in 1992 out of the reigning Champion for him to win. Nevertheless, at this point, you can only control what you can control, and Sexton took full advantage of Tomac playing the numbers game. But to Sexton's credit, he was absolutely on it in this one, running over a second faster a lap than just about anyone else in that Main Event. That's of course excluding Tomac, who clearly wasn't trying to push the issue here, and Justin Barica, who only ran the first eight laps.

Had things been closer in the points, I would have been very interested to see how things would have gone down between the two. Right now the round that Sexton is circling as the one that prevented that scenario is Indianapolis where he finished 10th after running as high as second between laps 3-6. Since then, however, he has had three wins, four podiums, and six top-fives for an average finish of 2.33. Tomac in that same span? Average finish of 2.33, two wins, five podiums, and six top-fives. Getting an encore of that Washougal-Budds Creek-Ironman-Pala 2 war from Motocross last year would have been amazing stuff, but it just wasn't meant to be. Still, a great win for Sexton here.

4th - No. 45 Colt Nichols (Honda HRC)

Gotta imagine the vibes were REALLY good at the HRC rig on Saturday evening. Nichols hasn't run this well since Anaheim 1, and he was legitimately in the top five for the entire running here. Even if Barcia hadn't crashed out, a fifth still would have been good enough for Nichols' career-best on a 450. Very under-the-radar phenomenal day for the former 250 Champion, but he wasn't the only standout performer from Saturday.

5th - No. 46 Justin Hill (Team Tedder KTM)

A lot to unpack here to show how wild this entire situation is. Justin Hill, just three years removed from a 250 West Championship with Mitch Payton and Pro Circuit, decided to hang up the boots, eventually becoming a sheriff in-between mid-2020 - the end of 2022. After a 2.5-year gap between Main Event starts before this year, he is currently well on pace for a career-best points finish (currently eighth), just finished a season-best sixth, and was a whole one (1) spot out of running first in the opening two Main Event laps in Nashville.

One of the more preposterous chain of events I've ever seen in any form of Motorsports. Taking a layoff like this, coming back, and somehow getting better just doesn't happen often. Give all the credit in the world to Hill here. It's felt like Hill has gotten better since the midway point of the year and his results reflect that, only finishing outside the top 10 once since Daytona. I don't know what the extent of the barrage of the KTM group riders' injuries are, but I'd be knocking down his door for a fill-in ride for outdoors if he's interested.

10th - No. 751 Josh Hill (Team Tedder KTM)

I was nine (9) years old when Josh Hill took home his only career 450 Supercross Main Event win in 2008. It is now 15 years later and the elder Hill brother just picked up his second top-10 of the season. Whatever they have going right with those Tedder KTM's, keep it up. One of the better small stories out of this Supercross season is what's happened/happening with that team and the Hill brothers if you ask me.

21st - No. 51 Justin Barcia (TLD/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing)

Cooper Webb was not the only rider to go down hard in Nashville unfortunately, as the dragon's back claimed Bam Bam a little before the halfway mark yesterday. Coudlnt exactly make out what was bothering him in real-time, but whatever it was, Barcia was feeling every bit of it. Couldn't be happening at a worse time either for Bam-Bam. This last month or so may have been the best he's ever looked, and he was excellent indoors in his 2013 rookie campaign. If for nothing else, the TLD kit was on point once again.

450 Class Nashville Top 10

1st No. 23 Chase Sexton

2nd No. 1 Eli Tomac

3rd No. 94 Ken Roczen

4th No. 45 Colt Nichols

5th No. 46 Justin Hill

6th No. 21 Jason Anderson

7th No. 15 Dean Wilson

8th No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo

9th No. 11 Kyle Chisholm (!!!)

10th No. 751 Josh Hill

450 Class Point Standings after Nashville

1st No. 1 Eli Tomac (338 Points)

2nd No. 23 Chase Sexton (320 Points)

3rd No. 2 Cooper Webb (304 Points)

4th No. 94 Ken Roczen (280 Points)

5th No. 51 Justin Barcia (267 Points)

6th No. 21 Jason Anderson (242 Points)

7th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (213 Points)

8th No. 46 Justin Hill (172 Points)

9th No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo (170 Points)

10th No. 15 Dean Wilson (165 Points)

Nashville PulpMX Industry Idiots Fantasy Team

450 Class: Adam Cianciarulo (All-Star +7), Chiz (+5), Justin Starling (+10), Joshua Cartwright (+12)

250 Class: Max Anstie (All-Star +3), Marshal Weltin (+6), Tom Vialle (No Handicap), Brock Papi (+12)

Points Total: 243. Travis Marx has ruined Supercross for me (unless I win money in one of these last two rounds then he should unanimously win Man of the Year)

Next Up: Mile High Stadium (Denver, Colorado)

Cooper Webb Injury Update

No news on Webb on Saturday, but we did end up getting some great news on his condition around 11 AM EST on Sunday. via his wife's Instagram story, his medical tests came back all good, and the former two-time Champion is on his way home today. Best case scenario I'd say. Hoping he's in good spirits and hopefully we get to see him back on the bike sooner rather than later.

(Photo via Mariah Webb)

Main Image via FELD


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