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Salt Lake City Showdown! This Week in Supercross: Supercross Championship Final

Salt Lake City Showdown! This Week in Supercross: Supercross Championship Final

Well here we go, after 5 long months of AMA Supercross action the 2024 Championship reaches it’s conclusion this weekend in Salt Lake City.

In the 450’s Jett Lawrence just needs to be in cruise control to get the job done, with a 17th position or better giving him the much deserved title.

It’s not so clear cut in the 250’s with the West and East coming together for their Showdown with both titles on the line.  In the East Tom Vialle has a 15 point buffer over Haiden Deegan, but we know this is a fight that is far from over with the West racers also in the mix and a fiesty Deegan looking to take the battle to the French racer.  Also the contest for the final spot on the podium is looking tasty with our British hopes resting on Max Anstie who is one of four riders seperated by just two points that could all nail the third place. They are Pierce Brown, Coty Shock and Cameron Mcadoo but the latter is out due to an injury.

Over in the West RJ Hampshire and Levi Kitchen are tied on points so this is set to be an almighty showdown between these two. Jordan Smith and Jo Shimoda have only two points between them also in the race for the final step on the box…

Now let’s dive into the stats and facts from this week in Supercross courtesy of Feld Motor Sports, Inc. – Images also courtesy of Feld

450SX Class Recap: Denver

Jett Lawrence: Scored his eighth 450SX Class victory, all in his rookie season, to move into the top-25 all-time on the Premier Class wins list. He ties Chase Sexton, Ron Lechien, and Jimmy Ellis on the list. He now has 48 wins in 97 AMA starts (49%) and 65 podiums (67%). Lawrence will become the third Premier Class rookie to win the 450SX Class title if he scores a 17th or better in the Salt Lake City Finale and/or Cooper Webb scoring third or worse.

Hunter Lawrence: Led early on and was passed by Jett, securing the first ever 1-2 finish for brothers in the Premier Class. The runner-up finish was the best of his rookie season and second podium. H. Lawrence will be looking to make his 100th AMA start in the Salt Lake City Finale, and currently sits just under 50% in AMA podium finishes (46/99).

Jason Anderson: Scored his first back-to-back podiums of his season with a third. He has 50 podiums and 150 starts in his 450SX Class career, becoming just one of five riders in Premier Class history with 150 starts and a title. (Jeremy McGrath, Eli Tomac, Jeff Ward, and Chad Reed). His 50th podium moves him into the top-15 on the all-time Premier Class podiums list.

Notes: Justin Barcia (4th) 73rd 450SX Class top five finish, good for 15th all-time. 124th top-10 ties him with Jeff Ward for 11th. Cooper Webb (5th) 150th top-five finish in his AMA career. He is 150/239 all-time in AMA top-fives (63%) Justin Cooper (6th) 18th top-10 in 19 450SX Class starts (95%). Malcolm Stewart (7th) Tied his best finish of his season. 63rd 450SX Class top-10 finish in 103 starts (61%). He looks to make his 200th career AMA start in the SLC Finale.

450SX Class: Salt Lake City Historical Facts

History Lesson: The first 450SX Class round held in Salt Lake City was on April 28, 2001 in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Ricky Carmichael clinched his first 450SX Class title the round before, over Jeremy McGrath, and would win the first SLC Supercross on a Kawasaki. He made it back-to-back in 2002 in SLC, his only two wins in the city.

Solid SX Tradition in SLC: The series returned to Salt Lake City as the penultimate 450SX Class round from 2009-2013 and 2017-2018. Salt Lake City hosted the last seven rounds of the 2020 Covid-19 altered season in one of the greatest sporting accomplishments during the height of the pandemic. Rice-Eccles Stadium cashed that improbable summer in for two rounds finishing off 2021, and a single finale round in the next three seasons (2022-2024).

End of Season Test: Rice-Eccles Stadium has hosted the most penultimate rounds in 450SX Class history with 12. In 2020-2021 Salt Lake City doubled as the penultimate and finale rounds. 2024 is the fifth time Salt Lake City will be the finale. Only two venues have hosted more 450SX Class finales than Rice-Eccles Stadium (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum & Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas).

Breaking it Down: Rice- Eccles Stadium History: 22 previous 450SX Class races, 2024 SLC will be #23. Only 36% (8/22) of rounds has the winner of SLC won the title, including Chase Sexton last season in his official title clinching round.

Manufacturer Wins in Salt Lake City

Kawasaki: 8 (2022)
KTM: 7 (2021)
Honda: 5 (2023)
Yamaha: 1 (2003)
Husqvarna: 1 (2020)

Top Winners in Salt Lake City

Cooper Webb: 4 (’20, ’20, ’20, ’21)
Ryan Villopoto: 3 (’09, ’11, ’13)
Eli Tomac: 3 (’17, ’21, ’21)
Ricky Carmichael: 2 (’01-’02)
Kevin Windham: 2 (’04 & ’10)
Marvin Musquin: 2 (’18 & ’21)

450SX Class: First Time Winners in Salt Lake City

Zach Osborne: 2020

250SX Class Recap: Denver

Jo Shimoda: Earned his second career 250SX Class victory and sixth AMA victory. He was making his 40th career 250SX Class start and nailed his 10th podium. Shimoda sits two points behind Jordon Smith for third in the standings while still not being mathematically eliminated from the Championship with a 23-point deficit.

Levi Kitchen: Stole share of red-plate with a runner-up finish in Denver. He was making his 20th 250SX Class start and earned his 11th podium (seventh of season). He now has 15 AMA podiums in 47 starts (32%).

RJ Hampshire: Became the 21st rider to score 20 250SX Class podiums in his career after a third-place performance in Denver. His 37th top-five finish moved him passed Mike Brown for sixth all-time while his top-10 finish #54 idles him in seventh on that list. It was also his 75th AMA top-five finish in his 170th start (44%). The Champion will be whoever finishes higher between Kitchen/Hampshire, unless they both DNF and/or score less than two points. In that case Shimoda and Smith would be the beneficiaries.

Notes: Nate Thrasher (4th ) 15th top -five finish in 33rd start, fourth of the season. Jordon Smith (5th) 67th start moves him into a tie for 13th with Chris Gosselaar on the all-time 250SX Class starts list. His 39th top-five moves him into a tie with Nathan Ramsey for third on the all-time 250SX Class top-five list. Preston Taylor (19th), Carter Stephenson (20th), and Brad West (21st) each made their first 250SX Class starts.

Showdown Stats

The first 250SX Class Showdown was on April 20, 1985 in the Houston Astrodome. Eddie Warren scored the victory for the Eastern Regional en-route to his Championship. Bobby Moore scored the win in Dallas’ Cotton Bowl for the Western Regional in the second Showdown of 1985 and all-time en-route to his title.

From 1985-1996 there were 31 points paying East/West Showdowns held, and almost yearly in the Houston Astrodome and Irving Stadium. The Western Regional won 2/3rds of the Showdowns during those seasons before a change in the structure. The Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Showdown in the Las Vegas Finale would not be a points-paying round, but featured a slew of exciting races to cap off the Regional Championships in those seasons.

In 2016, after 20 years without a points-paying Showdown, the series held a Showdown in the Las Vegas finale that counted for points. Since then, every 250SX Class Regional has held their Finale as an East/West Showdown, including the 2024 season that includes a tie atop the Western Regional Standings.

Overall, there have been 44 points paying East/West Showdowns (31 from 1985-1996 and 13 from 2016-2024). Salt Lake City will be the 45th. There were 19 non points paying Showdowns as well (1997-2015), for a grand total of 63.

250SX Class: Salt Lake City Facts

History Lesson: The first 250SX Class round held in Salt Lake City was on April 28, 2001 in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Ernesto Fonseca won on a Yamaha, clinching the Western Regional title over Suzuki’s Rodrig Thain.

Venue History: The 250SX Class has the same venue history in Salt Lake City as the 450SX Class.

Title %: The eventual 250SX Class Champion only won 3/11 races in Salt Lake City before 2020: James Stewart (2003), Ivan Tedesco (2004), and Eli Tomac (2012). In 2020 Chase Sexton won 2/7 in SLC on the way to his Championship, but Western Regional counterpart Dylan Ferrandis scored the Western title without winning any of the SLC rounds. Jett Lawrence was the only Champion from 2021-2023 to win in SLC, leaving the Championship percentage at 32% (7/22).

East or West?: After Rice-Eccles Stadium exclusively held Western Regional competition in the first 11 SLC 250SX Class rounds, the venue became an Eastern Regional round for the first three of 7 in 2020. Afterwards, the Western Regional stormed SLC rounds 4-5. SLC 6 was an Eastern Regional before the East/West Showdown in the finale. In 2021, with two Rice-Eccles Stadium rounds on the schedule to end the season, only the East raced in the first installment while the finale was a 250SX Class Showdown where both titles were determined. The series returned to Salt Lake City for one round in 2022-2023, both being Showdowns, as 2024 is.

Manufacturer Wins in Salt Lake City

Honda: 8 (2023)
Kawasaki: 7 (2021)
Yamaha: 4 (2022)
KTM: 2 (2018)
Suzuki: 1 (2013)

Top Winners in Salt Lake City

Shane McElrath: 4 (’17-’18, ’20 x2)
Chase Sexton: 3 (’20, ’20, ‘20)
James Stewart: 2 (’02-’03)
Austin Forkner: 2 (’20, ‘20)
Jett Lawrence: 2 (’21, ’23)

250SX Class: First Time Winners in Salt Lake City

Jason Anderson: 2013
Jo Shimoda: 2021


450SX Class Past Winners in Salt Lake City

2001: Ricky Carmichael, Kawasaki
2002: Ricky Carmichael, Honda
2003: Chad Reed, Yamaha
2004: Kevin Windham, Honda
2009: Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki
2010: Kevin Windham, Honda
2011: Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki
2012: Ryan Dungey, KTM
2013: Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki
2017: Eli Tomac, Kawasaki
2018: Marvin Musquin, KTM
2020: Eli Tomac, Kawasaki
2020: Cooper Webb, KTM
2020: Eli Tomac, Kawasaki
2020: Cooper Webb, KTM
2020: Ken Roczen, Honda
2020: Cooper Webb, KTM
2020: Zach Osborne, Husqvarna
2021: Marvin Musquin, KTM
2021: Cooper Webb, KTM
2022: Jason Anderson, Kawasaki
2023: Chase Sexton, Honda

250SX Class Past Winners in Salt Lake City

2001: Stephane Roncada, Yamaha
2002: James Stewart, Kawasaki
2003: James Stewart, Kawasaki
2004: Ivan Tedesco, Kawasaki
2009: Trey Canard, Honda
2010: Josh Hansen, Kawasaki
2011: Eli Tomac, Honda
2012: Eli Tomac, Honda
2013: Jason Anderson, Suzuki
2017: Shane McElrath, KTM
2018: Shane McElrath, KTM
2020: Shane McElrath, Yamaha
2020: Shane McElrath, Yamaha
2020: Chase Sexton, Honda
2020: Austin Forkner, Kawasaki
2020: Austin Forkner, Kawasaki
2020: Chase Sexton, Honda
2020: Chase Sexton, Honda
2021: Jo Shimoda, Kawasaki
2021: Jett Lawrence, Honda
2022: Nate Thrasher, Yamaha
2023: Jett Lawrence, Honda