Detroit has a rich legacy in the sport going back to 1976 when the Pontiac Silverdome hosted its first Supercross. Decades of springtime doubleheaders followed before the race moved to Ford Field in 2006 (28 miles southeast) as the new home for SX in Michigan.
- Two venues have hosted Supercross in Michigan: The Pontiac Silverdome (1976-2005) and Ford Field (2006-present)
- The Silverdome hosted 46 SX rounds, a lofty number due to 17 double-header weekends.
- In 2006, Supercross moved to Ford Field. The Silverdome was demolished in 2017.
- Ford Field lies within the shadows of Detroit’s skyline and is across the street from Comerica Park.
- Home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, Ford Field hosted Super Bowl XL in 2006.
1976: Held over two evenings in late March, the 1976 Pontiac Supercross hosted the fourth round of the series. The four moto format was unique even during a period when the sport was going through its early exploration phase. Honda’s Marty Smith won with 4-1-2-1 scores, beating Pierre Karsmakers (1-2-1-7) and Jimmy Weinert (2-4-4-6).
2002: A crash-fest, the 2002 Pontiac Supercross is a classic, just for its thrills, spills and chills effect. Ricky Carmichael’s high speed loopout on lap two blew the doors open for a new name to emerge. Ernesto Fonseca, Ezra Lusk, Tim Ferry and Nathan Ramsey all led the race but it was Ramsey (who came through the LCQ and fell early in the main event), who came away with the win, holding off a fast charging Carmichael. It was the first ever win for the Honda CRF450R, second win for a four stroke and Ramsey’s one and only 450SX victory.
2023: Aaron Plessinger suffers one of the most heart-breaking losses in Supercross history. After leading 20 of the 23 laps, AP7 only had 1.5 laps left to go, and a healthy lead, when he caught his right foot in a jump face rut. He ended the night in 13th. Chase Sexton won the main event but was docked 7 championship points for jumping on the red cross flag.
Bob Hannah is the all-time leader in Detroit, all 9 of his victories coming at the Pontiac Silverdome between 1977-1984. His first six wins were consecutive; he won all three doubleheaders held from 1977-1979. In 1984 (pictured) he was mobbed by the fans after winning his 9th race in The Dome.
Johnny O’Mara won the second round of 1984’s doubleheader, held on Sunday afternoon starting at 2:00 p.m. This photo shows the light coming through The Dome’s fiberglass fabric, which was held up by air pressure.