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Records and Curses Broken: Eli Tomac pulled off a dramatic victory in the 2023 Anaheim Opener. In eight previous attempts, Tomac had never won an opener and averaged 10th place in them, including seventh and sixth in his title runs. His first opener victory was his 45th 450SX Class win moving him into fourth all-time, surpassing Chad Reed. The win was his 89th AMA victory which ties him with Jeremy McGrath for third. Tomac has now won a race for nine straight seasons (‘15-‘23), tying McGrath (‘93-‘01) for second all-time in that category and only one season behind record-holder James Stewart (‘05-‘14).
Comeback Cooper Finds Podium: Webb scrambled from 10th to second in an amazing comeback ride to secure his 46th career 450SX Class podium. Webb now has a runner-up finish in back-to-back season openers and is 15th all time on the 450SX Class podiums list. Webb’s podium percentage now sits at 50% (46/92) and of active riders, only Tomac’s 57.4% (84/148) is better. His 57th top-five finish ties him with Bob Hannah for 23rd all-time.
Like Mike: Chase Sexton, donning Michael Jordan’s number and jersey, showed why he is a title favorite for the SMX Championship after a runner-up finish in the 2022 Motocross season and a third place in the Anaheim Opener. His 12th career podium moves him into a tie for 40th all-time with Marty Tripes on the podiums list and his 19th top-five finish moves him into a tie for 49th with Damon Huffman and Sebastian Tortelli on that list.
Notes: Colt Nichols and Grant Harlan both made their first career 450SX Class starts, finishing sixth and 17th respectfully. Nichols became the 265th 450SX Class rider to earn a top-10 finish. Dean Wilson made his 100th start and finished 14th. He is one of just 44 riders with 100 450SX Class starts. Wilson and Josh Hill (18th) each eclipsed 10 seasons with a 450SX Class start, the 51st and 52nd riders of all-time to do so. 13 former 250SX Class champions lined up in the Anaheim Opener Main Event, the second most ever behind the 2016 Anaheim Opener (15).
History Lesson: The first 450SX Class race held in San Diego was on October 25, 1980 and is one of just two October Supercross races in the history of the sport (1984, Oakland). Mike Bell had clinched the title over a month before in Philadelphia and tacked on the seventh win of his title season in the San Diego finale.
Lordy Lordy SDSX is 40: The San Diego Supercross was held in Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium 31 times from 1980-2014 and has since been demolished. From 2015-2022 the series moved to PETCO Park where there were eight races held. 2023 marks the 40th San Diego Supercross and brings in a new venue, Snapdragon Stadium.
Snapdragon Stadium: Brand new Snapdragon Stadium, home of the San Diego State Aztecs, was built near the site of former Supercross mainstay Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium and opened in 2022. It will be the 63rd different venue to host a Supercross race and first new venue since Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2021.
A Real Who’s Who: The winner of San Diego has gone onto win the title in 16/39 (41%) races and none since Jason Anderson in 2018. The previous five San Diego winners (Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen, and Anderson) represent the top-five consensus Championship contenders in 2023.
Manufacturer Wins in San Diego (Last Win)
Top Winners in San Diego
450SX Class: First Time Winners in San Diego
Handling Business: Jett Lawrence cruised to victory in the Anaheim Opener for his eighth career 250SX Class victory. The 2022 Eastern Regional 250SX Class champion has his eyes set on becoming the fourth different rider to win a title on both coasts (Ernesto Fonseca ’99 & ’01; James Stewart ’03-’04; Grant Langston ’05-’06). He is tied for 22nd in 250SX Class wins with Keith Turpin, Denny Stephenson, Jake Weimer, and Dean Wilson.
RJ Shines: 250SX Class veteran RJ Hampshire proved why he is a legit competitor for Lawrence and the Western Regional title in the Anaheim Opener. Hampshire qualified fourth, beat Lawrence in his heat race, and captured a runner-up in the Main Event with the second fastest lap-time all while keeping Lawrence within a mistake from losing the lead. RJ nabbed his eighth podium, 24th top-five, and 40th top-10 finish and will make his 50th career 250SX Class start in Oakland.
McAdoo Chasing Jett Again: Through the first five rounds in the 2022 Eastern Regional 250SX Class title hunt, Cameron McAdoo only trailed Lawrence by 11-points and, at one point, held the red plate. Unfortunately, McAdoo missed the rest of the season and was unable to shoot his shot at taking Lawrence down head-to-head in the points. After his third-place ride in the Anaheim Opener, McAdoo is looking to make this at least a three-man battle for the title.
Notes: 2022 Supercross Futures competitor Hunter Cross scored his first trip to the Main Event and finished 19th. Max Vohland raised eyebrows with his first career top-five finish after two injury-filled seasons. Levi Kitchen’s third career start resulted in a career-best seventh. Jett Lawrence looks to tie Shane McElrath for 21st on the all-time 250SX Class wins list with nine if victorious in Oakland.
History Lesson: The first ever 250SX Class race held in San Diego was on January 26, 1985 in Jack Murphy Stadium and Todd Campbell’s #415 Kawasaki took the checkers as the classes first winner. Campbell switched to a KTM by season’s end and finished fourth in the inaugural Western Regional 250SX Class series’ point standings behind Bobby Moore, Mike Healy, and Billy Frank.
Consistent Stop: San Diego has hosted a 250SX Class race in every 250SX Class season except for 1988, 1997, and 2021. 2023 will be the 37th time the gate will drop for a 250SX Class race in San Diego and first in Snapdragon Stadium. Snapdragon Stadium will be the 56th different venue to host a 250SX Class race.
Winner’s Circle: The winner of San Diego has won the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship in 16/36 (44%) races and only three times since 2011 (Cooper Webb twice and Dylan Ferrandis in 2020). That is 32/75 (43%) combined with the 450SX Class.
Decade of Winners: Seven of the eight San Diego 250SX Class Supercross winners from the 2010’s (2010-2019) are active top-15 450SX Class racers: Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Hill, Shane McElrath, Joey Savatgy, Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac, and Dean Wilson. 2020’s winner Dylan Ferrandis is also Eli Tomac’s teammate on Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha.
Manufacturer Wins in San Diego/PETCO Park (Last Win)
Top Winners in San Diego
250SX Class: First Time Winners in San Diego