Love Triple Crowns! They’re great, props to Feld Motor Sports and the AMA for giving us these beautiful bastards a few times a year in Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Should there be 17 of these? No, that’s too many. It’s like donuts—they’re good but you can’t eat (or shouldn’t eat) donuts every day. Triple Crowns every week is too much but once in a while, they’re great.
My longstanding belief is that we, as a sport, we need to get our shit together in regard to these Triple Crowns. The AMA, despite these Triple Crowns being a thing for years, STILL cannot give us Triple Crown stats on their 1995-era results and timing and scoring page. They literally still don’t count the TC races under the laps led stats, they call them “mains” on their scoring page. Meanwhile Feld guys is calling them “races”. Like, seriously?
I love stats, I love looking back at the history of the sport and when we talk riders, eras, etc., we need these things to look on. But somehow, the AMA has decided that we don’t need Triple Crown stats. Or they’re too cheap to update the timing and scoring page they’ve had for twenty years or more. To call them “races” like Feld is doing is ridiculous because this Saturday night in Houston we will see a lot of, by definition, “races”. So, what’s different?
We will also see a 450SX and a 250SX “main” this weekend so the AMA calling these things “mains” is also ridiculous. Like, this baffles me. Our promoters and our sanctioning body just don’t seem to care. Are we not a multi-million-dollar industry with millions of people watching and following our sport? We can’t agree on a name? We can’t keep track of these things that are basically mini-main events? We can’t even get the two groups in charge of the sport to call it the same (dumb) thing?
AM I THE CRAZY PERSON HERE?
Ok, I need to relax and look at the results yeah?
1 | 43 | Levi Kitchen | Havana, FL | Yamaha YZ250F | 4-2-2
The Chef gets a win! In only his fifth SX ever, Levi took the overall win without leading a single lap all night long. Yes, you read that right. Look, it doesn’t diminish his win in my eyes because this is the format and besides, NO ONE KEEPS TRACK OF LAPS LED OR TRIPLE CROWN WINS SO ALL IT SHOWS IS KITCHEN GOT THE WIN!!! Yay for Levi! He’s been a bit unlucky to start his SX career so why not have it go his way, right? We had him on the PulpMX Show and he said he’s not going to buy anything with the bonus, just gonna bank it. Smart kid!
2 | 18 | Jett Lawrence | Zephyrhills, FL | Honda CRF250R | 3-6-1
The JETT didn’t win a TC race. Again. This is a thing and on the PulpMX Show on Monday, he admitted that even though his lack of success at these things isn’t due to anything at all being different for him, it’s going to be a “thing” now with everyone. Everyone is going to be talking about Jett not winning Triple Crowns. Hey man, we don’t make the rules, it is just what it is and until he wins one and doesn’t make mistakes, we’re going to talk about it. Also, I can’t believe some “people” were saying there could be a perfect season for Jett. Those people are idiots.
3 | 40 | Stilez Robertson | Bakersfield, CA | Yamaha YZ250F | 6-1-3
If you’re Stilez, you’re happy to get on the podium and also win one of the “mains,” right? Like, yes it’s not a regular “main” but it’s only minimally less and Robertson rode himself up into the win. A positive night for Stilez.
4 | 49 | Mitchell Oldenburg | Godley, TX | Honda CRF250R | 5-4-6
Freckle did very well but I didn’t notice him a lot out there. He seemed to move forward each time though, which is a good thing.
5 | 34 | Max Vohland | Granite Bay, CA | KTM 250 SX-F FE | 7-8-4
Maximus has gone 5-DNQ-5 through the first three races. In talking to him afterward he said even though he didn’t make the main last week and even though the keyboard warriors were predicting doom for him, everyone at KTM was fine because his riding was good, which is true in my mind. But he did make dumb mistakes that you would think a third-year pro wouldn’t make, right? Still, two top-fives is great in my eyes.
6 | 48 | Cameron McAdoo | Sioux City, IA | Kawasaki KX250 | 8-7-5
WOW. Massive props to Cam for lining up after a bad practice crash that left his left arm looking like Thanos had infected it. By toughing it out, he moved into second in the points, thanks to Hampshire’s rough night. Could’ve maybe gotten a win in “race” two but he went down. McAdoo’s tougher than a two-dollar steak.
7 | 41 | Derek Kelley | Riverside, CA | KTM 250 SX-F | 10-5-7
D Kelly is legit now. He’s just a top ten guy and that fifth is impressive in “main” or “race” two. AEO has to be stoked with his rides the last two years.
8 | 33 | Pierce Brown | Sandy, UT | GASGAS MC 250F | 2-13-8
Well, that second is good but the other two races were crash induced finishes. Brown’s fast, he just has to stay up.
9 | 69 | Phillip Nicoletti | Bethel, NY | Yamaha YZ250F | 12-3-19
I mean, the Wide World of Sports thing with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat can really be applied to our friend and fellow RXI employee (is there some sort of Racer X employee bonus for leading laps of a SX? Weege?), as he led eight laps before he admitted on the PulpMX Show on Monday that yes, he crumpled under the pressure. Only Phil would admit this, other riders would say they tightened up, but not Phil who said he cracked under the pressure of leading. But still, that third is awesome and the first rider to be leading laps with an experimental light on will be Phil’s legacy in the sport. I think. That’s the thrill of victory part. The agony of defeat is a Tuff Block getting shot into his lane (NOTHING we can do about flying Tuff Blocks, BTW) while he was in the air and he absolutely ruined himself. Poor Phil, even when things go right, they go wrong. Honestly, Phil leading laps with a light on is great. 2023 is going to be downhill from here.
10 | 79 | Dylan Walsh | Wildomar, CA | Kawasaki KX250 | 14-11-10
Walsh gets the most improved rider award I think in the 250SX west series. He’s been great to start the year. The UK rider has opened some eyes for sure.
11 | 24 | RJ Hampshire | Minneola, FL | Husqvarna FC 250 RE | 1-22-13
Well, just a week after we were all praising RJ for seemingly being pretty calm and cool to start the year and opining that maybe he’s figured it out? Well, not so fast. After that first win he went down hard in the sand when his hand blew off and took a hard hit. Props to him for lining up in race three but he didn’t look like he was all there.
12 | 111 | Anthony Rodriguez | Tallahassee, FL | Honda CRF250R | 18-10-9
A-Rod’s had a quiet start to is SX comeback to start the year. If I’m being honest, I thought he’d be a bit better. He’s been fine, no complaints, but we haven’t seen the sizzle yet.
13 | 56 | Enzo Lopes | Chesterfield, SC | Yamaha YZ250F | 11-9-18
Lopes was the surprise of the first two races but had a rough TC when his starts abandoned him, then he crashed. His qualifying speed was still there though!
14 | 83 | Cole Thompson | Brigden, ON | Yamaha YZ250F | 9-16-14
Didn’t notice Cole at all.
15 | 508 | Hunter Yoder | Menifee, CA | Kawasaki KX250 | 13-19-12
Walsh gets the most improved rider award, but Yoder would be runner up for sure. This dude was going to quit the sport last year. He had two mains to his name and things weren’t working out well for him. He decided to give it another go with the PRMX team and he’s three-for-three to start the year.
16 | 93 | Jerry Robin | Hamel, MN | GASGAS | MC 250F | 16-12-16
We knew Jerry would not be partaking in that 250SX LCQ. Nope, not with his speed. He’s easily able to do a fast lap to qualify, I think we all know that. His shoulder is fixed now as well so he’s definitely been better and hasn’t been crashing as much in the mains.
17 | 84 | Mitchell Harrison | Leesburg, FL | GASGAS MC 250F | 22-14-11
Harrison’s back at SX but he raced the Canadian nationals last year (almost won the MX2 title) and by all accounts he’s really enjoyed his time up there and will be heading back.
18 | 85 | Dilan Schwartz | Alpine, CA | Suzuki RM-Z250 | 17-15-15
I think we can all now just safely say Dilan is a better outdoor rider than indoor right now, right? Are we there yet? Can we stamp that?
19| 410 | Brandon Scharer | Gentry, AR | Suzuki RM-Z250 | 15-20-20
With Ty Masterpool strangely departing yet another team, the door is open for Scharer on the Bar-X team to put it into the main event and then tough out three finishes with crashes (I think).
20 | 604 | Max Miller | Springfield, OR | KTM 250 SX-F | 20-21-17
Did not notice Miller out there at all. Seriously.
21 | 42 | Joshua Varize | Perris, CA | KTM 250 SX-F | 21-17-21
Varize has had an up and down start to the 250SX west series. Maybe the week off will help him get settled.
22 | 388 | Brandon Ray | Fremont, CA | Honda CRF250R | 19-18-22
Ray got into the “race” via the LCQ and as always, there was a lot of chaos in that race.
1 | 23 | Chase Sexton | Clermont, FL | Honda CRF450R | 1-5-1
There it is! Chase was on the PulpMX Show and admitted that his first two races were subpar for him, even though he was third in the points. He did some testing this week on his bike and got into a happier place where his bike doesn’t pitch front to back more than he would like, and bingo-bango, he was great all day. I think he was the fastest guy every time in the three practices and then won two of the three “races,” or “mains,” which basically made him unstoppable all day. A crash in “race” two was all that held him back. Great day for the two-three, and for Honda, although I didn’t like the white Hondas that were in honor of some minibikes Honda was launching with that color scheme. Hondas are red. That is all.
2 | 21 | Jason Anderson | Rio Rancho, NM | Kawasaki KX450SR | 5-1-3
You see someone like JA get fifth in a “race,” or a “main,” (see what I’m doing here?) and figure that he’s out of this thing right? Oh no, that’s what Triple Crowns do baby! Jason rode great to get the win in the second “thing” and then led the third “thing” for a while. That would’ve given him the overall but Sexton’s heat was too much to handle for the #21 and he ended up third for second overall. That’s the first podium of the year for the Team Green rider.
3 | 94 | Ken Roczen | Clermont, FL | Suzuki RM-Z450 | 2-3-4
It took a couple of races, but Roczen is feeling comfortable on the Suzuki, he was in position to win the OA going into the last “race,” and he also was the first (and one of only two) guys to go triple on/off on those tabletops, so you know he was feeling comfy on the bike to do that. He didn’t get the start he needed in the last “race,” but he looked better. Afterward when I was talking to an HEP team member about Kenny’s switch to Factory Connection suspension and they, unlike other teams, said whatever Roczen needs to feel more comfy is cool. I was also told that, “We’ll put a horn on his bike if it makes him go faster,” which, to me, is a good thing.
4 | 2 | Cooper Webb | Newport, NC | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 7-4-2
Webb’s starts didn’t help him at all. I felt like he was his old self stalking some of the guys down, but he needs longer races to do the most damage. The sprinting stuff, without good starts, don’t play into his hands that well. Also, the whoops were pretty tough and Coop didn’t look that comfy in them. Did anyone else notice this? Insert Homer fading into the bushes emoji here.
5 | 14 | Dylan Ferrandis | Tallahassee, FL | Yamaha YZ450F | 4-6-5
Quiet night for Ferrandis. He was pretty consistent but just had the ninth, sixth, and eighth-best lap times in the three “mains” and he was faster overall at the first two races. So, all in all, a fifth is not too bad for the Frenchman.
6 | 1 | Eli Tomac | Cortez, CO | Yamaha YZ450F | 3-2-13
ET was in position to win the overall going into the last “main” and would’ve ended up on the podium if not for a big crash jumping onto the tabletop trying to get by Webb. It was a big one, he was saved by the Tuff Block but in the end, he didn’t lose many points because of the TC format. Honestly, on Saturday he wasn’t the Tomac we’ve seen at the first two races and his 3-2 finishes were just him on auto-pilot and not the Tomac from the first two races.
7 | 7 | Aaron Plessinger | Hamilton, OH | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 8-7-7
Quiet night for AP. He never seemed to get the starts he needed to challenge the top guys. So far through three races, he seems to be a bit better than last year, but he’s also crashed a bit more than he or KTM would like, I would think.
8 | 51 | Justin Barcia | Greenville, FL | GASGAS MC 450F | 11-8-6
I have no doubt that Bam’s whole day was affected by having his life flash before his eyes in practice when he flew onto the other lane and Ferrandis almost T-boned him. Barcia got away with a bruised tailbone but it could’ve been way worse.
9 | 9 | Adam Cianciarulo | New Smyrna Beach, FL | Kawasaki KX450SR | 6-11-8
AC got the starts he needed and there was probably hope on his end that with the shorter races he could sneak into the top five, but it was not to be. Building, building, building…
10 | 17 | Joey Savatgy | Clermont, FL | Kawasaki KX450SR | 10-9-9
Another 10th for Joey, a true privateer out there, and he’s gone 10-10-10 in the three races to start the year and sits 11th in the points. That means he’s out of opening ceremonies, which is a tough deal for 10-10-10 finishes. Sooooo, if Mookie is out for a while with a knee injury and given that Rockstar Husqvarna seems to fill in, would Joe Dawg get the call?
11 | 28 | Christian Craig | Clermont, FL | Husqvarna FC 450 RE | 9-10-10
Craig’s not feeling comfy on his bike right now, but I thought he looked spicier in practice. Yet, his results seemed to stay the same. He cancelled his flight back to Florida this week to test with the team so he’s getting to work trying to feel better on his bike. I have great sources that told me coming into the season, he was the fastest guys most days out of the Baker Crew in Florida.
12 | 45 | Colt Nichols | Murrieta, CA | Honda CRF450R | 12-14-11
I think that round-one sixth was a bit optimistic for Nichols and he’s settled into his spot here at the last two races. He’s a top ten-ish guy and there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, the dude missed a year and he’s on a new bike and in a new class.
13 | 15 | Dean Wilson | Menifee, CA | Honda CRF450R | 13-12-12
Dean’s team put out a PR this week that “Dean Wilson has more to show at A2,” which I thought was a bit odd. Like, basically calling Wilson out, which Dean and I thought was hilarious. I don’t know if he showed more this weekend, he was the second non-factory guy.
14 | 46 | Justin Hill | Yoncalla, OR | KTM 450 SX-F | 14-13-17
I think Hill’s been pretty good in his comeback to the sport. In the past when we’ve seen riders take a year off, think Damon Bradshaw or Mike Kiedrowski, they’ve generally come back a little worse than where they were, right? Well, not that Hill’s in those guys’ leagues, but he’s come back from two years off and is basically a tick off of where he was with MCR when he was a ninth to 12th place guy and that was TWO years ago.
15 | 47 | Fredrik Noren | Indian Trail, NC | Kawasaki KX450SR | 15-20-14
Freddie had to go to the LCQ to get into the main but he was pretty solid from there, outside of the second main. He’s three-for-three this year, and is it just me or is Freddie avoiding the grenade-like crashing of past years? Like, the switch to Kawasaki has really agreed with him.
16 | 12 | Shane McElrath | Oakland, FL | Suzuki RM-Z450 | 16-16-18
I caught up to Shane after the race and honestly, I expected him to be in a worse mood about his season than what he was. He does portray a positive guy so there’s that, but there’s no way this is where he thinks he should be through three races. But I came away after our interview with positive vibes from Shane. Maybe he should be an inspirational speaker.
17 | 11 | Kyle Chisholm | Valrico, FL | Suzuki RM-Z450 | 21-18-15
Chiz, like Roczen, is working on his bike and trying to get it right for him. He’s been very valuable to the team as a test guy and he’s even staying in Cali this week to do more testing for the team to get feeling better on the Suzuki. “Some” ex-riders out there think my take that the Suzuki can win is crazy, but Kenny almost did this weekend. The bike is not as advanced as other factories in terms of technology and R&D, but you can still win races on it. That’s why I love our sport; the bike is not the end all and be all.
18 | 44 | Benny Bloss | Oak Grove, MO | Yamaha YZ450F | 17-15-22
COME ON BENNY! We all know Benji is fast as crap but he crashed out at A1, missed San Diego, and then with limited time and still not healthy, rode himself into the top 18 on just skill. And then all of us just wanted Benji to ride three safe “mains” and get out of Anaheim being okay. But oh no, Benji said, ‘Not so fast there,” as he crumbled himself onto Tuff Blocks with THREE TURNS TO GO IN THE LAST “MAIN”. He couldn’t help it, Benny went Benny. It was so close…
19 | 60 | Justin Starling | Riverview, FL | GASGAS MC 450F | 20-19-16
Starling had Jason Anderson yelling at him after race two, which is never a good feeling when the guy who just won is upset. Anyway, Lewis Phillips and I have declared that with Chiz now being a “factory” guy, Starling is taking over as the new Chiz. As in, he won’t wow you with speed, he won’t catch your eye for some quad, but he’s in the main, he's doing laps and he’s solid. Congrats to Starling on becoming Chiz.
20 | 68 | Cade Clason | Chesterfield, SC | Kawasaki KX450 | 19-17-20
You knew, or at least I knew, that despite going zero for two to start the year, Cade was going to get into the main at the TC because of his speed and he did just that. Crashes hurt him and in his second “main” he was in a battle of death with McElrath and others.
21 | 519 | Joshua Cartwright | Fort Worth, TX | Kawasaki KX450 | 18-21-19
I did not have “Josh Cartwright just straight up qualifies himself into the top 18 at a Triple Crown and avoids the race of death 450SX LCQ”. Good for Josh, he’s much improved this year, and if you listened to my Privateer Podcast with him, he’s doing all of this with a full-time job during the week!
22 | 80 | Kevin Moranz | Topeka, | KS KTM 450 SX-F | 22-22-21
Rough night for Moranz Mafia Crew.
Thanks for reading. We’re back to the regular “races” this weekend in Houston where there will be two “mains”. Yep. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk about these ridiculous names or more.