Detroit Supercross by the numbers: Eli Tomac aims for fourth straight Ford Field win A bike rev at Daytona drives Bobby Piazza all the way to Detroit

Looking at the Detroit Supercross numbers, Eli Tomac has four wins in his last five races at Ford Field, but Cooper Webb has a red plate after a wild night in Indianapolis.

The Pontiac Silverdome held the first Supercross race in Detroit, where Marty Smith won the four-bike overall. He won two of these features on his way to the top rung. From 1976 to 2005, the Silverdome hosted 46 premier races, still ranked third of any venue behind Angel Stadium in Anaheim and the indoor track at Daytona International Speedway.

Ford Field has hosted Supercross since 2002, with nine more races added to the list.

Until last year, only one Detroit winner took the title until Tomac made them two last year. Tomac’s win last year was his 42nd, giving him sole possession of fifth place on that leaderboard.

Tomac has the last three wins at Ford Field, but as the series missed that spot in 2018 and 2020, they have drifted apart a bit. Last year’s win was part of an incredible five-fight win streak that started in Arlington, Texas and ended in Seattle.

Last year, Tomac was followed across the line by Malcolm Stewart and Justin Barcia.. Meanwhile, his two closest rivals in the 2023 championship were on hiatus, with Cooper Webb eight laps behind the pace in 20th and Chase Sexton finishing 22nd.

At Indy, on a heavily battered track, Hunter Lawrence took his 10th win out of 250, placing him 22nd on the all-time win list. If he wins this week in Detroit, he’ll tie with his brother Jett Lawrence and move up to 17th.

Nate Thrasher also achieved double figures in Indy. Having finished second, he is now in the top five in the 250 class with 23 starts. It is noteworthy that 17 of his attempts were in the top 10.

Last week’s third-place finisher, Jordon Smith, might have had something to say about Lawrence’s victory. In 2017, he took first place in this race and is Detroit’s only winner in this area.

Duplicating stats from the 450 class, only two 250 Ford Field winners have claimed the championship, and like in the senior division, Jett Lawrence joined Tomac last year.

Last five Indianapolis winners

450 s
2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Eli Tomac
2017: Eli Tomac
2016: Jason Anderson
2015: Eli Tomac

250 s
2022: Jett Lawrence
2019: Austin Forkner
2017: Jordon Smith
2016: Malcolm Stewart
2015: Justin Bogle

By numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Being a private owner isn’t easy, and sometimes it takes innovative, guerrilla marketing tactics like Bobby Piazza soliciting donations to rev his bike at the Daytona Monster Energy Supercross to make the difference between racing that night or watching the next race. from the back. van.

Without a factory contract, riders like Piazza have to cover most of their costs out of pocket. Piazza has sponsors he’s incredibly proud of, but the cost of living on the road and traveling from city to city can be prohibitive.

A couple of weeks ago, NBC Sports stumbled upon Piazza while raising $20 donations for his motorcycle at Daytona International Speedway’s garage.

“It costs about $1,500 every weekend to get there, whether you’re driving or flying all those stages after check-in, fuel bills, hotels and all the other fun stuff,” Piazza told NBC Sports. “First in Houston I made a $20 donation and you got a free t-shirt because you are not allowed to sell t-shirts. [in the paddock]. Then I asked people to take pictures with me and my bike.

I’ve had a couple of kids overclock my bike and it’s pretty much gone from there. People started digging, and then Daytona came. I said hell start my bike for a $20 donation. Try to get me to the next round.”

The trick worked. Piazza raised enough in Dayton to advance to the next round in Indianapolis, where he used the tactic again.

Once again, he made enough in Circle City to move to Motor City, where Supercross races take place this weekend.

“They choose the top 40 to qualify; The top 40 get paid,” Piazza said. “But by the time you get to the next round, check in and all that stuff, you’ll be negative.”

In Dayton, Piazza raised about twice the base amount needed to pay for fuel and additional expenses to get to Indianapolis last week. There, he narrowly missed out on the night show when he mistakenly jumped onto the red cross flag during his last, fastest qualifying lap.

MORE: Scott Meshi lives a life of purpose in a results-driven world.

But for Piazza, putting on a nightly show is only part of the equation. Just being part of the show is the most important part.

“Honestly, this story with bike revolutions has become popular,” Piazza said. “People love it. It definitely helped me get to Indy. If I hadn’t done it in Dayton, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to Indy. And now that I’ve done it [again]I’m going to Detroit this weekend.”

Kids and fans of all ages love the opportunity to start the Bobb Piazza engine. — Bobby Piazza

Piazza won’t be able to apply his overclocking bike strategy at Detroit’s Ford Field because the paddock is indoors, but it’s elevated enough to take the pressure off immediately.

Ultimately, it may not matter as the next round is nationwide in Seattle, followed by the weekend. Even if Piazza can get a third party to ship his bike to the West Coast (which in turn lowers his fuel costs), he might not get the bike back in time to test and prepare for Round 12 in Glendale, Arizona. .

“It’s hard to be a privateer,” Piazza said. “I have a bunch of great sponsors who help me for sure.

“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be doing this, but pretty much it’s me, my girlfriend and my dog. We go to every Supercross race in my van. … I try to do shows every weekend, just to get through, just to get through to the next round.”

One of the defining characteristics of Supercross, perhaps one of its greatest qualities, is how accessible the sport is to fans. A gimmick like spinning Piazza’s bike becomes more than just a way for him to cover his expenses. He invites young racers or beginner racers to the arena – to his world.

And that emotional fulfillment is a huge part of what Piazza gets from these fan interactions.

“I love doing it,” Piazza said. “I have been racing professionally for 10 years. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, just to talk to the fans. [is important]. I mean, the results are good and all, but just going there and seeing the faces of these kids and all these people making everyone happy and just having a good time is worth it.”


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