Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA — April 15, 2023
The 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series heads to Atlanta for an afternoon contest. The 3 pm start time will put riders on the track during the hottest part of the day. Fortunately, the forecast high is 80 degrees with a humidity of 47 percent, a perfect day for motocross racing.
Atlanta Supercross History
The first Supercross race held in Atlanta was on March 5, 1977, in Atlanta-Fulton Co. Stadium. It was the season opener, and Bob Hannah (Yamaha) won the race en route to his first of three consecutive titles. The series has only missed Atlanta twice since that first season (1987-1988), and 2023 will be the 48th Atlanta Supercross.
Fulton County Stadium hosted 14 450SX Class races from 1977-1992 before being demolished. The largest domed stadium in the world was built close by and would
begin hosting Supercross in 1993. The Georgia Dome stood until 2017, hosting 26 450SX Class races before it too was demolished in lieu of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mercedes-Benz Stadium entered the Supercross fray briefly from 2018-2020, including hosting a Triple Crown in 2018
In 2021 Atlanta Motor Speedway hosted its first three Supercross races in lieu of the traditional football stadium layout Atlanta had always raced. The Speedway opened in 1960 and features Dale Earnhardt as its winningest driver. Comparable to Daytona
International Speedway, the track is built on the infield of the historic 1.5-mile asphalt loop.
Eli Tomac became the second-winningest 450SX Class rider of all time after a 1-2-1 finish in Glendale gave him his seventh career Triple Crown victory and seventh victory of
the season. Taking sole possession of the red-plate, Tomac is looking to become the third rider to defend his 450SX Class title on a Yamaha. Bob Hannah (’78 & ’79) and Jeremy McGrath (’99 & ’00) each did it for the brand twice.
Jett Lawrence stole the show with his first Triple Crown victory and 12th 250SX Class win of his career. He is now tied for fourth on the all-time 250SX Class wins list with Austin
Forkner, Brian Swink, Eli Tomac, Damon Huffman, and Ernesto Fonseca. He is one win behind tying Jeremy McGrath and Nathan Ramsey for second all-time with 13. With presumably only three more races in his 250SX Class career, the best he could do would be 15 wins, one behind. Lawrence also scored his 20th podium in 28 career 250SX Class starts.
This week the 250 SX East riders return to the track, and Hunter Lawrence will try and keep pace with brother Jett. Prior to the first East/West showdown of the year next week at East Rutherford.
250SX East Heats
Haiden Deegan(283) grabbed the holeshot and pulled away in Heat One of the 250SX East riders. Tom Vialle(128) ran second, with Hunter Lawrence(96) closing in third. Lawrence did not panic and remained patient. Catching Vialle and passing him at the midpoint. Deegan made it easy for Lawrence dropping his bike when he had a three-second lead.
Lawrence took the heat win, Vialle ran second, and Talon Hawkins(339) passed Deegan for third.
In Heat Two, Nate Thrasher(29) was the leader around the first turn, and he pulled away. Jordan Smith(58) and Jeremy Martin(6) held the second and third positions throughout the moto.
In the first 450SX heat, Cooper Webb(2) led from start to finish. Ken Roczen(94) held down the second position the whole way. Josh Hill(751) was the third man in line as all the passing in the moto happened back in the pack.
The second Heat looked as though it might go the same route as the first heat. Jason Anderson(21) led the whole way, with Justin Barcia(51) in second. Until the last lap, when Barcia was able to take the Heat win from his rival with a late pass. Chase Sexton(23) held down the third spot behind them.
Aaron Plessinger(7) finished in 10th place and will have to come out of the Last Chance Qualifier if he wants to make the main event.
250SX East Main Event
Deegan and Lawrence raced side-by-side to the holeshot line, with Haiden taking the honor by the narrowest of margins. Into the second corner, Lawrence out-maneuvered the youngster and took the top spot.
A mistake by Hunter saw him come completely unseated in the air. When he landed, the bike took a sharp pivot to the left and exited the track. Deegan reclaimed the lead. Lawrence stayed upright and re-entered the track in second ahead of Jordan Smith(58) and Nate Thrasher(29). Vialle crashed out of the event on the first lap.
Not to be denied, Lawrence made the pass to retake the top spot. Smith was also able to get around Deegan for second place. Deegan sat solidly in third, and any threat was eliminated when Thrasher crashed out of the event in the second half of the moto. Joe Shimoda(30), returning from injury, held down the fourth spot.
Lawrence, Smith, and Deegan held their positions to earn spots on the podium.
250SX East Main Event Results
|1||96||Hunter Lawrence||Honda CRF250R||Team Honda HRC|
|2||58||Jordon Smith||Yamaha YZ250F||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing|
|3||238||Haiden Deegan||Yamaha YZ250F||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing|
|4||30||Jo Shimoda||Kawasaki KX250||Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki|
|5||63||Max Anstie||Honda CRF250R||Fire Power Honda|
|6||66||Henry Miller||Honda CRF250R||Ti-Lube, Storm Lake Honda, Innovation Concrete Inc, Rangeline|
|7||57||Chris Blose||Kawasaki KX250||Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki|
|8||339||Talon Hawkins||Husqvarna FC 250||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing|
|9||67||Cullin Park||Honda CRF250R||Phoenix Racing Honda|
|10||243||Caden Braswell||Honda CRF250R||Phoenix Racing Honda|
|11||50||Marshal Weltin||Suzuki RM-Z250||Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki|
|12||91||Jeremy Hand||Honda CRF250R||Valley Ford Truck, Dean Hushon Insulation, Wiseco, SKDA, 6D|
|13||602||Gage Linville||Honda CRF250R||FirePower Honda|
|14||125||Luke Neese||Honda CRF250R||Red Research Group, Honda of Lynchburg|
|15||460||Michael Hicks||Honda CRF250R||TiLube Honda Racing, Storm Lake Honda, FXR, 6D, X Brand|
|16||330||A J Catanzaro||Honda CRF250R||The Moto Academy, Honda|
|17||116||TJ Albright||Yamaha YZ250F||3D Racing Yamaha|
|18||285||Coty Schock||Honda CRF250R||Phoenix Racing Honda|
|19||29||Nate Thrasher||Yamaha YZ250F||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing|
|20||62||Jace Owen||Honda CRF250R||Phoenix Racing Honda|
|21||6||Jeremy Martin||Yamaha YZ250F||Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha|
|22||128||Tom Vialle||KTM 250 SX-F FE||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing|
250SX East Points Standings
|1||96||Hunter Lawrence||Wesley Chapel, FL||177|
|2||238||Haiden Deegan||Tallahassee, FL||132|
|3||63||Max Anstie||Cairo, GA||122|
|4||29||Nate Thrasher||Livingston, TN||120|
|5||58||Jordon Smith||Ochlocknee, GA||115|
|6||6||Jeremy Martin||Rochester, MN||111|
|7||57||Chris Blose||Phoenix, AZ||104|
|8||128||Tom Vialle||Murrieta, CA||86|
|9||67||Cullin Park||Clermont, FL||81|
|10||285||Coty Schock||Dover, DE||77|
|11||66||Henry Miller||Rochester, MN||72|
|12||62||Jace Owen||Mattoon, IL||66|
|13||339||Talon Hawkins||Temecula, CA||62|
|14||832||Chance Hymas||Pocatello, ID||60|
|15||91||Jeremy Hand||Mantua, OH||52|
450SX Main Event
Aaron Plessinger won the LCQ. While he will not have a great gate pick, he is in the main event.
Ken Roczen was the quickest around the first turn, just ahead of Chase Sexton. But, it was Sexton who moved ahead out of the second turn. Ken Anderson was third, Justin Barcia fourth, and Cooper Webb in fifth. Eli Tomac started in 10th. Barcia moved into third as Anderson started to fade.
Webb made the pass on Anderson while Tomac was blitzing through the field. Eli made short work of Anderson and set out to run down Webb. Out front, the top three held their positions. Aaron Plessinger, coming off the win in the LCQ, had worked his way into the sixth position.
With six minutes to go, Webb was holding Tomac at bay. The rider making moves was Barcia, as he caught and passed Roczen for second place. As the clock clicked down to two minutes, Tomac was closing on Webb.
Sexton held on for the win and gained points on both Tomac and Webb.
Barcia and Roczen joined Sexton on the podium, and Webb managed to put some distance between himself and Tomac on the final laps. It paid off by moving Webb one point closer to Tomac in the points battle.
450SX Main Event Results
|1||23||Chase Sexton||Honda CRF450R||Team Honda HRC|
|2||51||Justin Barcia||GASGAS MC 450F||Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing|
|3||94||Ken Roczen||Suzuki RM-Z450||Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki|
|4||2||Cooper Webb||KTM 450 SX-F FE||Red Bull KTM|
|5||1||Eli Tomac||Yamaha YZ450F||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing|
|6||7||Aaron Plessinger||KTM 450 SX-F FE||Red Bull KTM|
|7||9||Adam Cianciarulo||Kawasaki KX450SR||Monster Energy Kawasaki|
|8||15||Dean Wilson||Honda CRF450R||Fire Power Honda|
|9||45||Colt Nichols||Honda CRF450R||Team Honda HRC|
|10||46||Justin Hill||KTM 450 SX-F||Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports|
|11||751||Josh Hill||KTM 450 SX-F||Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports|
|12||12||Shane McElrath||Suzuki RM-Z450||Twisted Tea Suzuki Progressive Insurance|
|13||44||Benny Bloss||Yamaha YZ450F||Yamaha,Truck Central LLC, FXR, Arai, Alpinestars, Pod|
|14||11||Kyle Chisholm||Suzuki RM-Z450||Twisted Tea Suzuki Progressive Insurance|
|15||47||Fredrik Noren||Kawasaki KX450SR||MaddParts.com, Big Buildings Direct, Ronnie Prado Company|
|16||80||Kevin Moranz||KTM 450 SX-F||Next Level Racing, Tank Masters, Red Line Oil, KTM|
|17||78||Grant Harlan||Yamaha YZ450F||Rock River Yamaha|
|18||519||Joshua Cartwright||Kawasaki KX450||Psychic Motorsports/T3 Civil/Ronnie Prado Company, Cardinal|
|19||60||Justin Starling||GASGAS MC 450F||FXR, General Grind & Machine, JSR Motorsports|
|20||412||Jared Lesher||Yamaha YZ250||FMF, SLJ Services, Budget Blinds, Fly Racing, Blud Lubricants|
|21||21||Jason Anderson||Kawasaki KX450SR||Monster Energy Kawasaki|
|22||68||Cade Clason||Kawasaki KX450||Partzilla Prmx Racing|
450SX Points Standings
|1||1||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO||292|
|2||2||Cooper Webb||Newport, NC||286|
|3||23||Chase Sexton||Clermont, FL||275|
|4||51||Justin Barcia||Greenville, FL||239|
|5||94||Ken Roczen||Clermont, FL||238|
|6||21||Jason Anderson||Rio Rancho, NM||214|
|7||7||Aaron Plessinger||Hamilton, OH||213|
|8||9||Adam Cianciarulo||New Smyrna Beach, FL||155|
|9||28||Christian Craig||Clermont, FL||150|
|10||46||Justin Hill||Yoncalla, OR||140|
|11||15||Dean Wilson||Menifee, CA||136|
|12||45||Colt Nichols||Murrieta, CA||113|
|13||751||Josh Hill||Huntersville, NC||98|
|14||12||Shane McElrath||Oakland, FL||97|
|15||17||Joey Savatgy||Clermont, FL||85|