Blake Baggett wins second straight 250 Class Motocross round at High Point

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A lot can change in two weeks. After the first two rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Jeremy Martin was setting the 250 Class ablaze and looking untouchable. Two weeks later, Martin may still have the points lead, but Blake Baggett is suddenly the one on the attack.

Following his overall victory a week ago at Thunder Valley, which brought an end to Martin’s winning streak, Baggett kept on rolling Saturday at High Point. With a 1-1 sweep, he extended his moto win streak to three and his overall win streak to two.

Ten minutes into the first 250 Class moto of the day, Baggett found himself in a head-to-head battle for second place with Martin, who has been nearly impossible to pass all year to say the least. Not only did Baggett win the duel, he continued charging ahead and passed Justin Bogle for the lead less than two minutes later. Building up a ten-second advantage, Baggett went on to comfortably win the moto.

It was more of the same for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider in the second moto of the day. Starting from outside the top-five, Baggett worked his way through the pack up to second place within the first five minutes, ultimately setting him up to challenge Christophe Pourcel for the lead. As they rounded a turn, Baggett went to the outside of Pourcel and tripled one of the jumps, sending him to the front of the field. Once again, Baggett checked out from there and ran up a 16-second margin of victory over the rest of his competitors.

At first, Martin seemed to welcome the challenge. “Baggett’s finally back now, and I’m excited about it,” he said on the podium after placing second behind Baggett in Moto 1. “I crossed the finish line smiling about it.”

While it may have been all smiles after that first moto, his demeanor shifted a bit after a sixth-place finish in Moto 2. At that point, Martin seemed anxious to enter the off-week and quickly put this result behind him. “The [last] two races are in the past, so it’s time to move forward,” he said, promising to get better before they take the track again in two weeks.

Martin’s 2-6 moto finishes were enough to put him second overall for the day behind Baggett, but it allowed the 2012 champion to trim 13 points off of Martin’s championship lead. With the momentum shifting, the stage is set for a huge showdown when the series resumes at Muddy Creek.

High Point 250 Class Overall Results
1.
 Blake Baggett (1-1)
2. Jeremy Martin (2-6)
3. Jason Anderson (7-2)
4. Justin Bogle (4-4)
5. Christophe Pourcel (6-3)
6. Cooper Webb (3-7)
7. Marvin Musquin (5-8)
8. Justin Hill (9-5)
9. Cole Seely (8-9)
10. Alex Martin (10-10)
*Moto 1 and Moto 2 results in parenthesis

Watch Baggett’s pass on Pourcel from Moto 2:

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.