Motocross, Mecum Dealmakers lead this weekend’s racing coverage on NBC Sports

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The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Unadilla National and a new episode of NBCSN’s new reality series, Mecum Dealmakers, featuring highlights of their Kansas City auction, headline NBC Sports Group’s motorsports coverage this weekend.

All coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Unadilla National and Mecum Dealmakers: Kansas City will stream live via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.

LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS UNADILLA NATIONAL – SATURDAY

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present five hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Unadilla National coverage from New Berlin, N.Y. on Saturday.

Coverage starts on Live Extra at 10:30 a.m. ET with practice, followed by the pre-race show at 12:15 p.m. ET. Race coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on Live Extra with 1st Motos, followed by live coverage of the 450 class of 2nd Motos at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. NBCSN will present coverage of the 250 Class of 2nd Motos at 4 p.m. ET.

Two weekends ago, Ryan Dungey swept the 450 Class for his second win in three weeks, while Marvin Musquin swept the 250 Class for his first win of the season.

Veteran play-by-play voice Jason Weigandt, analyst and two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston, and pit reporter Georgia Lindsay will call the action from Unadilla National in New Berlin, N.Y.

MECUM DEALMAKERS: KANSAS CITYTHURSDAY AT 10 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBCSN presents a new episode of the new reality series, Mecum Dealmakers, with highlights from Kansas City auction on Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET.

The series provides car enthusiasts with a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the high-intensity world of Mecum Auctions, President and Founder Dana Mecum and his son Frank Mecum work together to manage the high pressure of the auction floor, where buyers and sellers hope to make the deal of a lifetime, often with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line.

This week’s episode features the sale of a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss, as well as the first wedding proposal in Mecum Auctions history, and a trip to a local Kansas City BBQ hangout for a little karaoke from the Mecum team.

NBCSN will air previous editions of Mecum Dealmakers from Kissimmee and Houston on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET, leading into the premiere of Mecum Dealmakers: Kansas City.

In addition, NBCSN will also present a new episode of /DRIVE on NBC Sports on Thursday at 11 p.m. ET, following Mecum Dealmakers: Kansas City.

This week’s episode features host Matt Farah’s ride in a 1,200-horsepower Hennessey Venom GT, and Mike Musto’s trek to Johnson Valley, Calif. for the King of the Hammers, one of the toughest one-day off-road races in the U.S.

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Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit

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Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.