Supercross may not be the most popular sport in the US — when it comes to racing, some fans may prefer NASCAR over guys riding dirtbikes. However, the niche fan support for Supercross is real and it was put on display this past weekend. Popculture.com was on hand for the Supercross event at Mercedes Benz-Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, where 59,743 fans got to see some of the top riders in the world go at it to earn points so they can win the championship at the end of the season.
Back in the 1990s, Jeremy McGrath was the world's most popular rider in Supercross, winning seven championships from 1993-2000. Currently, there isn't a rider with many titles under their belt, but riders like Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac certainly have the makings to reach that level. Webb and Tomac took part in the Atlanta race, but it was Ken Roczen who came out on top in the 450SX Class. Webb is the defending 450SX champion and Tomac came in with four wins this season. Roczen knew he had to make a move if he wanted to have a chance to win the title.
"I knew we had to do something because obviously with him clicking off wins, I have to win, there's around it," Roczen, who is now tied with Tomac in total points this season, said. "Getting a good start is definitely key."
Roczen is a former Motorcross Champion and he won the Supercross West Coast Championship in 2013 for the 250X Class. Webb and Tomac came in third and fourth place in Atlanta, respectively, and those three are in the top four in the current championships standings.
A Supercross event normally lasts around three hours but it feels like an hour because the action doesn't stop. It starts with the qualifying races for the 250SX and 450SX classes and the top 22 riders from the qualifying races will compete in the main event. As mentioned, Roczen won the 450SX main event which was the final event of the night. Before that race, Chase Sexton earned first place in the 250SX main event race and it was big for him since he's not a fan of the Atlanta track.
"The track was tough," said Sexton, who was the 250SX Eastern Regional Champion last year and the current points leader. "...Wasn't really a fan of Atlanta. This is my first race, I ended up getting hurt here. But it was good to get a win."
Sexton, Roczen, Webb and Tomac are just a few of the guys who look to lead Supercross to new heights in 2020 and the rest of the decade. And it wouldn't be a surprise to see one of these guys reach McGrath's level when their careers are all said and done.