After a few days of warmth, we are headed back north to the Midwestern city of Indianapolis. Indy is an underrated venue as the city council did a great job of revitalizing the downtown center a decade ago or so. What was once a downtrodden industrial landscape is now a vibrant, upbeat marketplace. There are numerous bars and restaurants to visit, nice hotels to stay in, and common areas to hang out in warmer months. Whoever was responsible for the rejuvenation, my hat is tipped to you.
The 2023 Indy layout features a start that cuts across the width of the stadium. These shorter starts that bend into a 90 left are not my favorite, but they have been around a long time and look to do so moving forward.
As riders veer left, they enter a rhythm section immediately, upping the ante for potential chaos. These first few jumps look to be small and riders will want to work through them quickly in order to set up a triple to exit the lane.
A netted 180 left will set riders up for a triple out of the corner and if they feel froggy, a quad into the next corner. If the dirt is soft, all bets are off on the quad but riders will still need to find ways to triple through.
A 180 right fires riders into the only whoops section of the weekend and if Indy whoops are true to form, they should be jumpable by main event time. Watch for riders to swing wide in the lead-in berm and try to careen up the would- be inside of their competitor before the next 90 left. Simply pulling alongside is enough to execute a pass as the next left approaches.
A step-on step-off is up next and riders will try to seat bounce out of the inside to shorten the racetrack. A 90 left is immediate upon landing and riders will also try to stick to the inside here. There is not much benefit to going outside in these 90’s, exacerbating the one-lined effect they cause.
A double out of the aforementioned 90 leads to the only standard supercross triple of the round, followed by a netted 180 left.
The next rhythm section is interesting in that a 3-3 combo looks to be the quickest but it won’t be easy. The transition from the first triple is a tough one as riders will land on a small landing, putting pressure on the front end. They will then be asked to triple from a taller jump as all of that weight is still on the front end. As that front end “unloads”, riders will be exiting the take-off. It creates a strange dynamic and riders will be working hard to keep their front end down as a result. That “unloading” wants to propel the front end higher but with a small landing on the second triple, followed by an immediate corner, riders will want their front end to remain neutral to low. It’s nothing that elite riders can’t handle, just a nuance that most are oblivious to.
A 180 right leads to a tricky triple and then the finish line double. Riders scream across the Mechanics’ Area and into a 90 left.
A step-on step-off mirrors the opposite end of the stadium and the same approach applies. Stick to the inside in both 90’s and protect the good line.
A single jump puts riders back into the first corner merge and onto lap 2.
Eli Tomac won his 7th Daytona Supercross, tying Richard Petty for the most wins of anyone to ever grace Daytona.
Cooper Webb may have come up a tad bit short in Daytona but he served notice that he isn’t going away any time soon.
Justin Barcia rode much better than his results indicated. Had he gotten up front on the first lap, that would have been an absolute war for the win.
RJ Hampshire won his first ever 450 heat race and backed that up with an 8th in the main event. That ride landed him a follow-up appearance this weekend in Indy.
Hunter Lawrence won again, extending his points lead and also adding his name to the Daytona history books.
Max Anstie put in a solid, if not quiet, ride Saturday night. His runner-up finish is another chapter in a fantastic 2023 book he’s writing.
Coty Schock got inside the top ten and is becoming somewhat of a Daytona savant.
Chance Hymas put his factory Honda 250 inside the top ten and thus concluded his east coast swing. We will see him again in May at Fox Raceway.
Dylan Ferrandis was attempting to come back after his big Houston crash but another crash on Friday derailed that plan.
Colt Nichols had a big crash right in front of me on Saturday afternoon and decided to forego Saturday night’s festivities.
Joey Savatgy has apparently called it a season after he couldn’t reach an agreement with RWR to continue on. (Note: this was always the plan with a slight chance of racing past Daytona).
Jason Weigandt resigns from Racer X and enrolls at MMI Orlando.
With Chase Sexton, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, Jason Anderson, Justin Barcia, Aaron Plessinger, Dylan Ferrandis, and others all looking for new contracts in 2024, Monster/Yamaha/Star Racing’s Bobby Regan decides to just hire the entire field.
RJ Hampshire holeshots another heat race leading to this week’s “The Craig Family” vlog to just feature Christian throwing endless haymakers at the air outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
SuperAgent Lucas Mirtl works tirelessly through the night on Thursday, negotiating with the Indianapolis Colts to unretire Peyton Manning’s #18 jersey if he can deliver Jett Lawrence on a 450 by Saturday.