2023 Nashville Supercross Recap
A 250 champion crowned and a major shakeup in the 450 class highlighted Round 15 of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season on Saturday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.
A garbage track too.
In what resembled an overly dry, tan tasteless brownie missing the vital moist dark chocolate fudge for a delicious experience, the slippery, dusty hard pack, along with a little bravado took out a few riders. But as widely expected, Hunter Lawrence coasted to his first professional championship easily taking the win and 2023 250 East class crown.
One-half of the Australian brothers dominating the lights class (brother Jett should win the West title Saturday in Denver), Lawrence grabbed the Holeshot, quickly lost the lead to Jordon Smith and really only needed to ride around the Top 20 to clinch the crown because he was so far ahead in points. But he stuck around up front then Smith bobbled a few laps later and rode off the track allowing Lawrence to put a exclamative stamp on the whole championship ordeal.
"I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Everyone that is with me now was with me when I was at my lowest of lows, so this is incredible," Lawrence said. "I can't say I ever dreamed of this as a kid because I didn't know this was possible. This is just surreal. This means the world."
Too bad Joe Shimoda started the season injured. In only his second race back he finished second and looked in season form. He coulda been a contenda! Smith settled on third. Rookie Haiden Deegan finished fourth and sits in second-place in the standings just two in front of Max Anstie, who made headlines a week earlier with his resounding mud race win in East Rutherford. He rounded out the Top 5 in Nashville.
2023 250 East Class Supercross Season Standings
- Hunter Lawrence (224) - 250 East Class Champion
- Haiden Deegan (168)
- Max Anstie (166)
- Jordon Smith (141)
- Chris Blose (132)
Cooper Webb's competitive fire got the best of him in the Heat race against Eli Tomac. Down only 11 points to Tomac in the Championship standings heading into the round, Webb ran it hard on Tomac in the first corner after the Holeshot and perhaps fearing a bit of agressive riding in the next corner when Tomac took the inside line, Webb pushed wide, missed the main rut and collapsed his bike in the dirt.
Unfortunately, Adam Cianciarulo was unable to get out of the way and drove his front wheel right into the back of Webb's head. Webb, clearly in a concussed daze, wobbled to get up and needed assistance. His evening over, along with the final two rounds - and his chase for the Championship.
In the Main Event, Tomac full throttled the Holeshot and sprang out to an early lead with Justin Hill in second and Chase Sexton, still looking to make it a Championship fight, in third. Four minutes later, Tomac nearly endoed coming out of the whoops, saved it and admitted in his post-race interview it was time to dial it back thereafter. Thus, with about nine minutes left, Sexton caught Tomac easily got around and led the rest of the way.
"I didn't get the best start, but I made my way up. I saw Eli offline and I just wanted to click as many good laps as I could and see if I could get close," Sexton said. ":With the track being this sketchy it's hard to be out front the whole time. That was a tough track. I felt super smooth really locked in."
Sexton's fourth win of the season along with Webb knocked out of the main puts him in second-place, 18 points back of Tomac, with two rounds remaining. By all accounts Tomac can coast the final two rounds but as Webb can attest, anything can happen.
Justin Barcia, who won for the first time this season in the East Rutherford mud race, toppled end-over-end on the dragonback while in third ending his four-round podium streak and likely the season. Ken Roczen finished third for the third straight round and should catch Webb in points to finish third for the season.
2023 450 Class Supercross Season Standings
- Eli Tomac (338)
- Chase Sexton (320)
- Cooper Webb (304)
- Ken Roczen (280)
- Justin Barcia (267)
Supercross travels west for the second-to-last round in Denver, Tomac's home race. He will need to gain seven points on Sexton to clinch the 450 class title a round early.