The Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship has developed a recipe for guaranteed excitement at the final round. Through the bulk of the season the 250SX Class, composed mostly of younger and less experienced professional racers, is divided into two divisions to lessen the strain on riders and teams… But the final round is a mash-up race that doubles the competition, throws in new variables, and intensifies the pressure. Both division's shared final round pits the top racers of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class against the best of the Western Regional 250SX Class in the Dave Coombs Sr. 250SX East/West Showdown where points for each championship are paid based on each rider's overall finish.
The showdown has allowed big point sweeps, intense racing, interesting team dynamics, and plenty of what the sport's fans return for – big thrills. This year the regular season racing has been so dramatic in both regions no one can really know what to expect. And yes, there are two championships on the line and both will be determined by the points awarded from the race. If you haven't been following the series, here are the title contenders with one race left.
Western Region Underdog: Cameron McAdoo has had the wildest season in possibly any sport on the globe this year. During the opening laps of round seven of the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event, McAdoo had a violent crash. His bike slammed him to the ground, plowed into him, snatched him back up off the dirt, and whipped him down again. Miraculously, McAdoo recovered, was medically cleared to race, and finished after the restart with a third place.
Three days later during qualifying at round eight the young racer got off balance on a triple jump face and flew bike-less through the air. He impacted the ground hard but got up and raced that night. Two corners into the Main Event McAdoo tangled with other riders then got clipped in the shoulder and head by an airborne bike's rear wheel. Another restart, and again McAdoo answered the bell, battered and sore, wearing a torn jersey just as he had on Tuesday. McAdoo had two more crashes in that race when one rider crashed in front of him, and a different rider later t-boned him. The points lost that night dropped him from second to third in the title chase, but if there's anyone who'll push when there's even a small chance, Kawasaki's Cameron McAdoo has emerged as that man.
Eastern Region Underdog: Jo Shimoda, McAdoo's Kawasaki teammate contesting the opposite region, earned his first podium early in the season but didn't consider it legitimate because he'd landed the position after two riders collided and went off the track on the final lap. At the penultimate race of the season, last Saturday inside Rice-Eccles Stadium, Shimoda sat on the starting line 28 points down. He needed to gain three points on the championship leader to force the title to the final round. When the gate dropped, Shimoda rocketed down the start straight to capture the holeshot. He held the lead but faced intense pressure from GASGAS racer Michael Mosiman. When he finally managed some breathing room from Mosiman he was suddenly hounded by Honda rider Jett Lawrence. Shimoda kept his composure, didn't back off the throttle, and turned the dramatic test of will into his first Supercross win, the first-ever by a Japanese racer, to take the title fight to the final round.
Western Region Underdog: As if the finale needed another storyline, Hunter Lawrence, Honda teammate and older brother to Jett, is still in the title hunt. Hunter earned his first win in 2021 – as did his younger brother. The Dave Coombs Sr. 250SX East/West Showdown marks the first time the two will compete against each other this season. As brothers do, the two have been talking big as to who will be the faster Lawrence this Saturday, but there's also that question of how hard they will race each other with a title on the line for their team as well as their family name.
Eastern Region Favorite: Colt Nichols' biggest threat all season long was his own Yamaha teammate Christian Craig; the two ambitious racers gave no quarter. Nichols held a scant eight point lead going into round eight. Then in qualifying Craig had a bail-off crash that resulted in what's likely a fractured fibula and sprained ankle. The title was winnable for Nichols last Saturday night, but Shimoda seized the opportunity to show more speed and determination than he had all season, marking him as the lone threat to Nichols' first title.
Western Region Favorite: Justin Cooper has had the speed to win, and he's earned three victories this season. But the road has been as rough as a Supercross track late in a Main Event. At both round seven and eight Cooper had to give up a lead due to red flag restarts. But the confident racer took each setback in stride, re-took his spot at the front after the restart, and brought home one win and one runner-up finish. Cooper holds a 20 point cushion but must contend with two riders within striking distance of the title if he should have a bad race.
With no defending champions in either division, the race will put two new names into the record books. Each thrilling Supercross event this year has allowed fans inside the stadiums in a restricted-attendance, pod-style seating structure. Fans can tune in live on Peacock and NBCSN at 8 p.m. MT. For more information on the incredible season, recap videos, rider profiles, and great stories, please visit SupercrossLIVE.com.