Since the 2020 (virtual) NFL draft kicked off on Thursday night, to massive ratings because the world is starved for sports, we here at Racer X thought it would be a fun exercise to put on our team manager hats and have a draft for the best possible team for success in the sport. The goal is to pick a team of riders that will find success over the next five years in both the 250 and 450 classes of supercross and motocross in the U.S. Those are the rules and every rider in the world is eligible. It’s that simple.
This task isn’t easy. You want to grab some riders that are young because you’re thinking five years out, but you also want guys that can win right now, and you want riders to have success in both classes.
I declared myself commissioner of the league and literally set draft order at random. We’re ready to go! We will run five rounds of this draft and we’ll post each one separately, and then of course wrap up the whole thing with the complete teams at the end. Let us know in the comments below who’s got the best team!
[P.S. THIS IS HYPOTHETICAL AND MEANT TO BE FUN. So just chill out everyone, okay?]
If you missed our picks in the first round, second round, or third and fourth rounds, make sure to check them out before reading this post.
25th Overall Pick: Jason Weigandt
With the 25th Pick in the Racer X Draft, Jason Weigandt selects…Shane McElrath, Yamaha, North Carolina.
It appears we’ve all been, ahem, sleeping on Shane again. Remember the Tampa Supercross, where he stomped everyone in 250SX East? This is back when we heard Shane was the fastest Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha rider at the test track. We’re only a few races removed from Shane going this fast and yet everyone has forgotten already. Let’s just at least say Shane is right there with his teammates Justin Cooper and Dylan Ferrandis, yet here he is hanging out in round five while DFerr and JCoop went early. Plus, Shane is a veteran, at age 25. This lines up perfectly with my old-as-hell team. I can’t wait until Shane is hitting his stride in the 450 class at age 30!
26th Overall Pick: Mitch Kendra
Team Kendra was on the clock for a while, debating on riders to pick in this last but still important round. The team almost traded away its last pick but a deal was unable to be negotiated. So without further delay…
With the 26th overall pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft, Mitch Kendra selects…Pierce Brown, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM, Utah!
This was a tough decision between two teammates as the Team Kendra executives were torn between Brown and Brandon Hartranft. While Hartranft has really come out of his shell this year, earning his first two podium finishes of his pro career, he’s already passed the threshold twice for pointing out of the 250SX Class (who knows how this year’s system/championship will work but this could be the third straight year for him hitting the mark IF this year counts towards pointing out). Team Kendra needs someone to accompany Jettson and RJ in the 250SX Class and Pierce will be a nice fit. He’s a young kid (I believe only 17 years old), he’s got time in the 250SX Class and he’s still learning and everyone here at Team Kendra is okay with that. He’s going to continue to grow his skills under Tyler Keefe’s wing and will be a contender shortly. Look for him to take big strides come the 2021 supercross season.
Kellen Brauer is up next!
27th Overall Pick: Kellen Brauer
I feel pretty confident that I have two future 450 champions, one 450 rider in a win now situation, and a future 250 champion already on my roster. So I'm going to wrap it up by bolstering the future of my 250 team.
With the 27th selection in the 2020 Racer X Draft, Kellen Brauer selects.... Jo Shimoda!
Shimoda will have his 18th birthday next week which, of course, leaves him plenty of time to develop into a terrific 250 rider and not feel the need to rush into the 450s for any reason. Being on the GEICO Honda team in the 2010's was similar to being on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team in the 2000’s. A team that has proven success in building champions both indoors and out and seemingly endless resources as they can just stack the team full of six or seven riders when most others in the paddock cut a hard line at four. Shimoda has quietly put together a really impressive rookie supercross season as well. Through four rounds, he sits sixth in points and hasn't finished outside of the top 10 once. His best result was a fifth at Atlanta and he doesn't seem to be intimidated by the pressure of the pro ranks at all. He has time to grow as he realistically won't be the expected rider to win on that team for at least another year. But once he blossoms those talents by year three, he could be a championship caliber rider in the 250 ranks until our five year plan is up.
28th Overall Pick: Jason Thomas
With the 28th pick, I am going with a rider that is ready to win now and will also win for years to come. He is the older brother of a former pick in this draft but I believe he may end up being the best value of all. Team JT is more than happy to add Hunter Lawrence to our powerhouse roster!
Hunter is about to burst back onto the scene after multiple injuries. The perfect combo of win now and win later will make Hunter a huge coup. My team is awesome!
29th Overall Pick: Steve Matthes
With my final pick, I’d just like to point out that I did call the Great Tim Ferry and he notified me that his son Evan won’t be pro for another couple of years if not longer so I couldn’t go with him. It will be nice though to see Evan dominate the sport like his dad did though! With my last pick of this draft I’d like to select Brandon Hartranft of the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM team. He’s in his third year of being a pro, he’s really stepped it up this year with factory KTM equipment, he’s a very hard worker by all accounts and he’ll be good to jump onto a 450. In fact, he might be a tad heavy right now for a 250. Hartranft is a working man’s hero, he’s not flashy, he doesn’t have a big personality but he might emerge into a Jeff Stanton-type of rider… okay, maybe not six titles but he can become a very good rider with success that not many would’ve pegged him for. So, yeah, I’ll take Hartranft and holy crap is my team STACKED.
30th Overall Pick: Chase Stallo
With the 30th and final pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft, Chase Stallo selects...Ryder Difrancesco!
Justification: Yeah, he may not turn pro for a few years, but I have a ton of veterans like Roczen, Anderson, and Barcia that will be battling for titles. Justin Cooper will win 250 titles and when he moves up, Ryder will slot in and dominate 250s. Plus, he has a cool name and vibe and will bring in sponsors to my team. I win the draft! Thanks and goodnight.
Who do you think had the best draft? Let us know below and in the comments section!
Who had the best team overall?
Jason Weigandt 20 votes - 17.2%
Mitch Kendra 8 votes - 6.9%
Kellen Brauer 7 votes - 6%
Jason Thomas 38 votes - 32.8%
Steve Matthes 25 votes - 21.6%
Chase Stallo 18 votes - 15.5%
Who had the best 450 team?
Jason Weigandt 26 votes - 27.4%
Mitch Kendra 1 votes - 1.1%
Kellen Brauer 6 votes - 6.3%
Jason Thomas 23 votes - 24.2%
Steve Matthes 25 votes - 26.3%
Chase Stallo 14 votes - 14.7%
Who had the best 250 team?
Jason Weigandt 12 votes - 12%
Mitch Kendra 6 votes - 6%
Kellen Brauer 9 votes - 9%
Jason Thomas 44 votes - 44%
Steve Matthes 20 votes - 20%
Chase Stallo 9 votes - 9%