Showdown victory in Nashville elevates RJ Hampshire into 250SX West points lead

A third victory of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship saw Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider RJ Hampshire take over the 250SX West points lead in Nashville's 250SX East/West Showdown tonight, setting him up to contend for the western regional title into its closing stages.

Hampshire was at his very best onboard the Husqvarna Motorcycles FC 250 Rockstar Edition inside Nissan Stadium, qualifying quickest in class and then going on to win his Heat race. From there he managed to deliver a commanding Main Event win after leading the entire race, which sees him reclaim the red plate with a two-point advantage and just two rounds remaining in the 250SX West series.

"First off, I'm so proud of this team," said Hampshire. "I had that feeling from the beginning – Practice went awesome with P1, then in the Heat race I came from the back to win that, followed by a holeshot in the Main Event to lead every lap for the win! That's the first time that's ever happened in my career and it came at a really good time to do it. Tonight I executed the start in that Main Event, and felt like that was what I really needed. I had the speed, so it was just giving myself a chance, and it was an awesome race from there. I had a couple of moments in the beginning, then settled in and it's a big weight off my shoulders. I knew I could close the points lead tonight, but didn't expect to get the red plate back – I'm so happy for my whole team and all of our supporters! This Nashville crowd is awesome, I love this state, and it's pretty cool to come away with the win here tonight."

Alongside Hampshire in the Showdown was 250SX East newcomer Casey Cochran, the teenager impressing early on today by clocking the sixth-quickest time in Qualifying and finishing fourth in his Heat race. The Main Event was tougher on his way to an eventual P15 result, but it was another positive step in these initial stages of his professional career.

"First Showdown of my career, so a new experience and I'm just learning, building each weekend, so I'm stoked to come back again next weekend," Cochran commented. "Overall, a pretty good day in Qualifying and the Heat race again... gotta clean up a few mistakes, but I'm happy with my riding and want to continue in this direction."

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing 450SX entry Malcolm Stewart also displayed promise in his first visit to Nashville, powering his Husqvarna Motorcycles FC 450 Rockstar Edition to ninth on the time-sheets in Qualifying and then surging to P4 in Heat 2. The Main Event saw him earn his ninth top 10 finish of the year in P9, despite an early fall, and is motivated to keep climbing the order in the upcoming final races of the season.

"Nashville, I honestly felt like overall I was riding alright," Stewart reflected. "It was definitely a pretty crazy, notchy track, and we made a few mistakes. I didn't get off to a good start, wasn't sure when I was, and then went down after the finish line, but was able to salvage a ninth. We're trying, doing everything we can to get back up there where we should be, but it's a matter of time, so we're just going to take the momentum that we have and fight all the way to the end because we're not giving up."

Next Race: April 27 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Results 450SX Class – Nashville
1. Jett Lawrence (AUS), Honda
2. Eli Tomac (USA), Yamaha
3. Cooper Webb (USA), Yamaha
5. Justin Barcia (USA), GASGAS
9. Malcolm Stewart (USA), Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
DNF. Chase Sexton (USA), KTM

Standings 450SX Class 2024 after 14 of 17 rounds
1. Jett Lawrence, 286 points
2. Cooper Webb, 281
3. Eli Tomac, 253
4. Chase Sexton, 246
7. Aaron Plessinger, 198
9. Justin Barcia, 166
11. Malcolm Stewart, 155

Results 250SX East/West Showdown Class – Nashville
1. RJ Hampshire (USA), Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
2. Jo Shimoda (JPN), Honda
3. Tom Vialle (FRA), KTM
9. Julien Beaumer (USA), KTM
11. Pierce Brown (USA), GASGAS
15. Casey Cochran (USA), Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
19. Ryder DiFrancesco (USA), GASGAS

Standings 250SX East Class 2024 after 7 of 9 rounds
1. Tom Vialle, 136 points
2. Haiden Deegan, 123
3. Cameron McAdoo, 120
4. Pierce Brown, 116
24. Casey Cochran, 14

Standings 250SX West Class 2024 after 8 of 10 rounds
1. RJ Hampshire, 166 points
2. Levi Kitchen, 164
3. Jordon Smith, 148
6. Julien Beaumer, 106
12. Ryder DiFrancesco, 68