Arlington Supercross by the numbers: defending winner Eli Tomac looks to pad points lead IndyCar bringing alternate tire to an oval, using 2 compounds in Gateway race Aug. 27
Eli Tomac caught up with Ricky Carmichael last week for third on the all-time Supercross win list, and if his 2022 and 2020 numbers are any indication, he will single-handedly take that spot this weekend in Arlington and is close to one of the second. place James Stewart. Tomac also has some recent momentum with four wins in the first six races of this season, but one of his tight spots came at Anaheim 2 in the third round of the 2023 Triple Crown. This Saturday night he will have to survive in three films.
It helps that Tomac is the defense winner at Arlington when consistency and a 3-2-2 record ensured him the overall win in 2022.
Last year, the winner of two Triple Crown films failed to win the grand prize. Jason Anderson finished sixth in the first main and lost too much to Tomac.
As for Tomac’s seeming dominance in the first six rounds of 2023, the numbers are actually a lot closer than racing Arlington Supercross would suggest. Chase Sexton and Cooper Webb, with one win each and a top five finish, are not going to give up. Both riders are currently seven points behind the first. The three main events mean that any of the top three riders have every chance of making a mistake.
A week after struggling in Tampa and choosing a risk-free race to maintain the points lead, Tomac attacked Oakland and set five of the 10 fastest laps in his run.
However, Sexton had speed more often than Tomac. Over the course of six rounds, he was fastest in 17 of the 24 races he competed in 2023. If he can avoid mistakes like the one he made in Oakland last week, he will continue to challenge Tomac for the points lead. The crashes in Houston and Tampa were also rounds that just got away from the Honda rider.
And, of course, you can’t discount Webb. After winning in Tampa, he finished second in Oakland, tying Sexton in second place.
Arlington is where Supercross finished the closest. In 2019, Webb finished ahead of Ken Roczen to win by 0.028 seconds. Once Webb took the lead with this win, he never gave it up en route to the championship.
Webb (4 wins), Tomac (3) and Roczen (1) have wins in Arlington. So did Marvin Musquin, but it was reported this week that he was out indefinitely with a wrist injury.
In the 250 division, Hunter Lawrence is looking to maintain his perfect winning streak. He already leads the supermotocross power rankings over his brother Jett Lawrence and would love another great night like he did at the 250 East opening in Houston.
In a field filled with rookies, not a single active driver out of 250 won at Arlington.
Last week, Jett Lawrence tied Tomac for sixth on the all-time winners list in supermotocross (the combination of supercross and motocross) with 24.
Last five Arlington winners
2022: Eli Tomac
2021 Race 1: Cooper Webb
2021 Race 2: Cooper Webb
2021 Race 3: Cooper Webb
2020: Eli Tomac
2022: Cameron McAdoo
2021 Race 1: Justin Cooper
2021 Race 2: Hunter Lawrence
2021 Race 3: Justin Cooper
2020: Chase Sexton
More Supermotocross Reports
How to watch the Arlington Supercross
Max Anstey: Don’t Skip Steps
Marvin Musquin out indefinitely with wrist injury
Supermotocross ranking after Oakland
Eli Tomac wins Oakland; ties Ricky Carmichael on the winners list
Results and points after Auckland
Jason Anderson gets suspended sentence for rough driving
Eli Tomac wins Arlington 2022
The NTT IndyCar series will use optional tires for the first time this season for oval racing. The race on August 27 at the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway will test alternative compounds.
The rules will be the same as for road and street circuits, which require the mandatory use of a new set of spares (traditionally referred to as “reds”) during the race. The alternative compound is designed to be softer and faster, but wears out faster than the base compound.
This leads to divergent strategies and often results in more overtaking during the race as the cars move forward faster and back out based on their tire wear.
The concept of an alternative tire compound has been around for nearly 20 years since Firestone introduced it. with 2004 Long Beach Grand Prix.
Alternative tires were fully featured in the IndyCar series for the 2009 season. and have since been used in street and road racing but not yet used on ovals. NASCAR tried a softer tire during the 2017 All-Star Race but no longer used.
Firestone will also use the new tire, made from more environmentally friendly materials, on street circuits in the 2023 season.
“We are committed to sustainability in all areas of our business and we are thrilled to promote guayule and other sustainable practices in America’s leading open wheel racing series.”
Read more about sustainability growth in 2023 below. @FirestoneRacing.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) February 23, 2023
Debuting last year in Nashville, the tire, derived from the desert guayule bush, will make its season opener March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Bridgestone, the parent company of Firestone, has invested $42 million to establish a planting and harvesting center for guayule native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.
“We are committed to sustainability in all areas of our business and we are thrilled to promote guayule and other sustainable practices in America’s premier open wheel racing series,” Paolo Ferrari, CEO of Bridgestone Americas, said in a press release. “Firestone has a huge legacy of innovation and racing performance that we will continue to build on as we enter a new era of cleaner, safer and more sustainable mobility on and off the track.”
The announcement of an alternative tire for the Gateway was one of several elements of the competition that IndyCar unveiled on Friday:
– In addition to the new mobile medical unit, there will be several safety improvements, including mandatory rain vanes to drain water from the airscreen in wet conditions; new rear muffler and stronger rear wheel cables; new rear LED rain lights; new and higher headrest protection; new mandatory steering arm designed for greater durability;
EM Motorsports telemetry will be added to the EM Marshalling System, giving teams the ability to get reliable information faster from IndyCar (which will also get more “wireless” elements).
– IndyCar will make several aerodynamic changes, including optional short oval barge sides for road and street events, and optional underwing sidewall and braided grille for Texas Motor Speedway. New optional braided fender liner, new mandatory braided weaves for stability, and a new optional underwing inner bargeboard will be available for the oval Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and cars will be allowed an additional 3 degrees of range on the adjustable rear fender. There are also additional underwing road and road lanes.
o Weaving to fill the freeway became optional (also at Texas Motor Speedway).
– IndyCar will once again hold second groove training in Texas and Gateway.
– The first red flag during the first qualifying round of the road and street course will stop the 10-minute clock (the clock counts subsequent red flags). Firestone Fast Six still has 6 minutes of guaranteed time. The qualifying clock now starts when the first car crosses the alternate start-finish line.