During an exclusive virtual press conference with the media on Tuesday morning, hosted in conjunction with NBC Sports, SMX personnel confirmed the final entry list for each respective class of competition. The top 20 points earners in the 450cc and 250cc divisions from the regular season have secured seeds into the Main Event Motos at Playoff 1, Playoff 2, and Final, and will enter the opening race at zMAX Dragway with points based on their finishing position in the regular season standings. The top seed in each respective class, the Team Honda HRC duo of Chase Sexton (450cc) and Hunter Lawrence (250cc), will lead the field into action with 25 points apiece.
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Due to various circumstances across each division, the seeded field has been adjusted to reflect the current status of each athlete. In the 450cc class, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac will be forced to forgo the SMX Playoffs as he continues to recover from a ruptured achilles suffered earlier this season. As a result, the seeded premier class field will consist of 19 racers and will in turn provide three transfer positions out of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). In the 250cc class, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence will contest the 450cc division as the third seed and will forgo his spot in the 250cc field. An additional vacancy will come from Team Honda HRC rookie Chance Hymas, who continues his recovery from a torn ACL suffered this summer. With the absence of two seeds, the 250cc class will provide four transfer positions out of the LCQ.
Athletes occupying positions 21 through 30 in the regular season standings automatically earn positions in the LCQ for each class at each respective playoff round. However, additional confirmations for the final SMX entry list have seen the group of LCQ participants expand in each division. In the 450cc class, injuries and other factors have led to notable exceptions that include Jose Butron (21st), Christian Craig (22nd), Lorenzo Locurcio (24th), Benny Bloss (28th), Romain Pape (29th), and Joey Savatgy (30th). Alternatively, those vacancies have allowed for the confirmations of Josh Cartwright, Jerry Robin, Jeremy Hand, Bryce Shelly, Jace Kessler, and Max Miller.
In the 250cc division, injuries and other factors have led to notable exceptions that include Enzo Lopes (21st), Jeremy Martin (22nd), Mitchell Oldenburg (25th), Nate Thrasher (26th), Daxton Bennick (28th), Stilez Robertson (29th), and Cameron McAdoo (30th). As a result, those vacancies have allowed for the confirmations of Austin Forkner, Coty Schock, Preston Kilroy, Josh Varize, Michael Hicks, Hunter Yoder, and Luke Neese.