T-Dog’s Hot Takes: Title Contenders, Podium Contenders, and Rider’s to Watch on the 250SX East Region

I love Supercross, that’s why I write this incredible column each week. With that being said I can’t stand these West rounds anymore. So, instead of writing about Anaheim 3, we are going to give you a 250SX East Region preview with my ELITE takes. The goal of this column is to give you a quick analysis of how I think this region will play out. I’ve separated this into three sections: title contenders, podium contenders, and my rider’s to watch. 

Title Contenders

Jett Lawrence: I think a lot of people have already given the East Championship plate to the 2021 250 National Champion. If he’s fully healed after his injury that forced him East, he’s going to be lethal. 

RJ Hampshire: RJ left GEICO Honda two years ago for a fresh start at Rockstar Energy Husqvarna and started training with Aldon Baker. His speed has never been an issue, however staying healthy and crashing has. Is this the year that RJ puts together all of the pieces for his first career championship? 

Jeremy Martin: At some point the stars have to align for J-Mart in SX, right? His SX season lasted all but one corner last year, so he never had the chance to show what he had on his Star Yamaha. Can J-Mart match the speed of the younger generation indoors and pull off his first SX title? Anytime J-Mart lines up in the gate he’s a title threat no matter what. 

Podium Contenders

Austin Forkner: After an underwhelming, but consistent summer, Forkner heads into another SX season that he should have already won a few seasons ago. He had another big getoff at the test track in the off-season, so I wonder if he’s fully healthy right now. He’s been quiet, which could be a really good thing, or a really bad thing. I personally believe he can find the speed he once had, but I don’t know if he wants to risk it anymore. 

Max Vohland: With some standout rides in an injury shortened rookie SX season, Max should make the jump to the next level in his sophomore season. He should continue his climb to podium threat and possible race winner.

Pierce Brown: The speed is there. The consistency problems and injury bugs are there too. I project that Brown will either be on the podium or trying his balls off to get there. I just hope he can stay healthy throughout the season. 

Cameron McAdoo: My heart tells me to put Cam up top as the fourth title contender, but my mind won’t let me forget the mistakes that he made last season. I think his season will be more in control, but I still see a bad race happening that will take him out of things. Either way, I’m a big fan of Big Mac and he definitely has the speed to win races and be in the title hunt. 

Levi Kitchen: The Chef Dog will make his SX debut in Minneapolis. I’ve been touting Levi since Loretta’s of 2020 when he destroyed the B classes. I just like to watch him ride. His style is going to suit SX and he should be on the box a couple times this season. Dare I say via a win? Yes. 

Riders to Watch

Grant Harlan: I’m biased. He’s getting an entire column devoted to him (again) on Friday, however YOU need to keep your eyes on the #65 Ti Lube Honda of Har Dog! This dude will turn heads this season just like he did last year. His progression has been very impressive in such a short period of time and with a very productive offseason of training at Club MX we’re coming in hot! Oh, I forgot to mention, I’m on his helmet again. Talk about a dream team. Har Dog. Championship. STAMP IT!

Hunter Yoder: Har Dog’s rookie teammate on the Ti Lube Honda team is Hunter Yoder on the #508. Yoder has been training in California during the off-season and has been learning SX techniques from Josh Hansen and Josh Hill. Talk about talent! It’ll be cool to watch Yoder Dog progress. Also,he spent most of the off-season wearing a T-Dog sticker on his helmet. He found them around the race shop and said they made him go faster. Shocker. 

Coty Schock: Speaking of shock, I like Schock Dog’s story a lot and I promised him that I’d write a column on him, but I never did. I suck. He does not. Schock was the story of the year last year, especially during the nationals when he started finishing inside of the 450 class top ten and pushing for top fives on his Chaparral Honda ride. Some of his SX rides come to mind last year as well, especially at Daytona when he ran up front early in the 250 main. He earned National #37 and will keep progressing on his Phoenix Honda in 22. 

Jordon Smith: I just realized all of my guys to watch are racing the all new 2022 CRF250. I didn’t do this on purpose, however Honda has a ton of great talent on the rise. Smith is on this list because I think he is ready to break through once again. He’s switched up his program and he’s on a new team and he’s based out of MTF again. A place he’s always called home. I think these changes will be exactly what Jordon needs to get his career back on track. Plus he’s a veteran now with a ton of SX skills. He’s won races before and almost won a championship. He’s #90 in your programs folks, on the Firepower Honda, with Martin Davalos as his team manager. Sounds like a great program to me. 

Main image: Husqvarna

Written by Troy Dog

Faster than Slaw Dog. Editor-in-Chief

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