There’s one statistic we never really took into account: What is the most successful driver / mechanic combination of all time in sport? The idea came when mechanic Brian Kranz told us this year would mark the end of his 11 seasons with Eli Tomac. Tomac is heading to Monster Energy / Star Yamaha Racing, and Kranz will stay with Monster Energy Kawasaki and take a job in the racing store. Kranz started working with Tomac for the 2011 season. Those many years in this kind of high pressure title contender environment is much, much more than even the most iconic driver / mechanic duos.
So how do Tomac and Kranz rank all the time in terms of wins? We have tried to figure this out here. A word of warning, however, it is difficult to keep track of these statistics officially as the names of the mechanics do not appear on entry lists or result columns. On occasion, a mechanic will miss a race while his driver is still there, but Kranz told us he’s been there for all of Eli’s wins since ’11.
Either way, we’ve figured out the length of each high-level driver / mechanic relationship and calculated the number of wins here. We would like to ensure accuracy, but this is the first time anyone has collated statistics like this. Steve Matthes and I came up with some metrics, and a special thanks also to the SX research department and the MX research department, which pulls stats for the television team in this sport.
We also asked Matthes, who worked in the pro paddock for ten years, about these iconic rider / mechanic duos. While ripping for Kelly Smith in 2000, Matthes helped the Michigan native secure the United States’ first KTM victory at High Point National via races 1-4. Matthes also helped Tim Ferry win the first round of the 2003 Budds Creek National (Ferry got tangled in the first turn of the second round and ultimately didn’t finish the race), so we’ll give him a half win for that day as well. Thus, Matthes clinched 1.5 national victories. The guys below have had a lot more success than that.
Carmichael with Watts – 1997 to 2002
|Total number of wins:||90 (36 SX and 54 MX)|
|250 / SX LITES / 125 SX||11|
|450 / SX / 250SX||25|
|250 / MX LITE / 125||26|
|450 / MX / 250MX||28|
Remarks: No surprise to see a combination of Ricky Carmichael and someone at the top. Chad Watts started with RC in his 125 days on the Pro Kawasaki circuit, followed it to the factory unit Chevy Trucks Kawasaki 250, then to the Honda team in 2002. They produced the first season. perfect 24-0 together that season. When Carmichael was interviewed on television in the Steel City National Finals that year, he and Watts stepped onto the podium together, as maintaining the 24-0 bar was seen as just as difficult for the mechanic as it was for him. the pilot.
Watts was Carmichael’s mechanic until the start of the 2003 season, then Mike Gosselaar became RC’s mechanic from San Diego round of the 2003 supercross season.
steve Matthes: Watts had a great career and probably would have been very successful had he been 100% focused on his job, but his departure from RC and Honda ended his career as a race mechanic. Still, getting together with a young RC was such a stroke of luck and combined with his skills, they made a hell of a combination for many years to come. Great duo for sure.