WATCH LIVE: Hometown heroes Martin, Dungey go for victory at Spring Creek MX Park

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Coverage of the Spring Creek National begins with the online pre-show, exclusively on ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra at 1:15 PM E.T. The pre-show will go into coverage of first and second motos in both classes from 2:00-6:00 PM E.T. Click here to access the Live Extra stream.

NBCSN will also televise same-day coverage of second motos at 6:00 PM E.T.

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship’s annual trip to Millville, Minn. for the Spring Creek National serves as a homecoming race for several riders on the series – most notably, 250 Class points leader Jeremy Martin, who can literally call this one his “home race.”

That’s because Jeremy and his older brother Alex grew up riding the facility, which their parents John and Greta Martin have owned since the late 1980s.

Martin has looked dominant at times this season, and while the rest of the field has started to catch up in recent weeks, there’s no doubt that the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider is the heavy favorite to win today’s race and extend his points lead over Blake Baggett and Cooper Webb.

The 450 Class also features a Minnesota native in the thick of the championship race – Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. Currently 26 points back of his teammate Ken Roczen in the point standings, Dungey is coming off a win a week ago at Budds Creek and has been one of the most successful riders at Spring Creek over the years.

Between his time in the 250 Class and the 450 Class, Dungey had won here five years in a row until his streak was snapped by James Stewart last season. Dungey should be in contention for a victory once again today but will no doubt face another fierce challenge from Roczen.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.