Gray Leadbetter

Gray Leadbetter Wraps Up 2023-24 Nitrocross Season in Las Vegas With Double Podiums

March 8, 2024

Off-road champion Gray Leadbetter finished off the 2023-24 Nitrocross SXS season last weekend with a pair of third place finishes at the Nitrodome at Planet Hollywood. Racing against the biggest field of the season in the #28 84 Lumber/Cottonwood Development Company/Engel & Volkers Foothills Lake James Can-Am, Leadbetter locked up third place in the final standings with her third and fourth podium results of the season.

Just two short weeks after racing alongside Travis Pastrana in her first Extreme E race in Saudi Arabia for Jimmie Johnson’s Legacy Motor Club, Leadbetter was back on track with Pastrana—this time as competitors—in the final Nitrocross doubleheader of the year. She entered the weekend a solid third in the championship with 370 points, having finished fourth or better in every previous race with two podiums. She’d also have some new company on track as her boyfriend, freestyle motocross star Banksy, left her spotter’s stand to race against her.

Friday’s first race on the pavement-heavy Nitrodome course saw Leadbetter take an early heat victory on the way to a solid starting spot on the feature grid. In that final, she’d settle into third place behind Pastrana and Tyler Remmereid after surviving a first-lap incident that impacted multiple drivers. Banksy would settle in behind her for the first half of the race, but the gap would widen as she saved her Joker Lap for later in the six-lap final. The gap would close back up slightly, but her third place was never in doubt.

In Saturday’s season finale, Leadbetter started sixth on the 12-car grid, but another accident—this time as the leaders battled in the middle of the race—shook things up once more. She gained two spots that lap, getting past Remmereid for fourth after the incident, and then Jokered the next lap to pounce into third ahead of series champion Kainan Baker. She’d hold that spot until the finish, joining Banksy on the podium as he finished second.

“I don’t even know where to start,” Leadbetter said. “We finished the season off with yet another podium, which makes it 10 races with fourth place or better finishes against some of the best there is, and third in the championship. Congrats to Tyler and Kainan, excited to race with you more in the future.

“Also, everyone kept asking if Banksy and I made a bet on who would beat each other and looks like we would’ve broke even! But seriously, I never thought I’d be ‘happy to lose to someone’ but after making a few mistakes of my own on Saturday, I couldn’t be more happy (and impressed) to share the podium with you. Till next time we race against each other!”

The 2024-25 Nitrocross season will resume in September from Richmond Raceway. Leadbetter, meanwhile, has a busy summer ahead after joining Extreme E with Jimmie Johnson’s Legacy Motor Club and a planned Championship Off-Road program to be announced in the coming months. To stay in the loop with all of Gray’s racing exploits, follow @grayleadbetter on social media.