Canard takes Moto 2, Dungey gets overall 450 Class Motocross win at Unadilla

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Another sweep wasn’t in the cards for Ryan Dungey this time, but it didn’t matter. With a victory in Moto 1 and a second-place finish in Moto 2 at Unadilla, the Red Bull KTM rider was able to secure his second straight overall victory.

More importantly, Dungey cut Ken Roczen’s 450 Class points lead in half today. Dungey entered the day 14 points back of his teammate. He’ll now leave Unadilla trailing by just seven points with two rounds left in the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motoross Championship.

In the first moto, Dungey used a strong start to put himself in third place behind the JGR Yamaha duo of Justin Brayton and Phil Nicoletti. By the end of the first lap though, Dungey had made his way around both riders and went on to lead every lap of the moto. Although Roczen kept it close for awhile, he couldn’t match Dungey’s pace and had to settle for second place.

The second moto of the day provided some of the best racing of the year. After Brayton earned another holeshot, Eli Tomac overtook him for the lead on the opening lap. Just over ten minutes into the moto, Trey Canard caught Tomac and was on his rear fender. The two went back-and-forth, exchanging the lead several times before Canard settled into the position on Lap 5. It wasn’t smooth sailing after that for Canard though – Tomac and Dungey caught back up to him, and both riders put on a fierce challenge late in the race. Dungey eventually passed Tomac for second, but Canard was able to secure the moto win – the first of his career in the 450 Class.

Watch a recap of 450 Moto 2:

Canard is one of the most respected riders in the series, and many were surely happy to see him finally win. One of the nicest guys in the sport, he has dealt with some severe injuries throughout the course of his career and has still managed to take his riding to new levels this year.

“I can’t tell you how good that feels,” Canard said about the moto win. “I’m not gonna sit here and cry about everything that’s happened. I’m just grateful“

As for Dungey, he’s still looking up at Roczen in the point standings, but there’s no doubt that things are trending in the right direction for him, and he’ll be hard to stop in the final two races.

“This was an awesome day,” Dungey said. “We came here and just wanted to make the best of the day and not worry about the future. It’s easy to get sidetracked, but there’s a lot of racing still.”

Unadilla 450 Class Overall Results
1. Ryan Dungey (1-2)
2. Trey Canard (4-1)
3. Eli Tomac (3-3)
4. Ken Roczen (2-4)
5. Justin Brayton (6-7)
6. Andrew Short (5-8)
7. Weston Peick (10-5)
8. Phil Nicoletti (7-9)
9. Brett Metcalfe (12-6)
10. Fredrik Noren (8-10)
*Moto 1 and Moto 2 results in parenthesis

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew ready for IndyCar ride

Road to Indy
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Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew has done nothing but dominate the 2019 season, winning seven of the 16 races run so far and finishing on the podium in all but two of those events.

Now all the 22-year-old Floridian needs to do to formally clinch the 2019 title is simply start the final two races of the season, both of which will be held this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For Askew, his maiden Indy Lights season will likely be one he’ll never forget. 

“It’s been a dream come true,” Askew told NBC Sports. “Being with the championship-winning team from last year, we had a really good shot at winning it again for Andretti Autosport. It’s very rare that we show up to a track and struggle to find speed. 

“That’s a fantastic feeling, especially as a driver. That gave me a lot of confidence and hopes of holding the million dollar check at the end of the year. That was the goal going into it.”

This weekend, Askew will accomplish said goal. The championship will not only bring him a sense of pride, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. 

As an award for being crowned the Indy Lights champion, Askew will be awarded a scholarship that guarantees him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events next year – including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Time will only tell which team Askew will race for in IndyCar next season, and whether or not Askew’s rookie campaign will be a full-time or part-time affair, but Askew’s performance during the last few seasons in the Road to Indy system has certainly drawn attention of IndyCar’s top team owners.

In August, Askew had the chance to drive an Indy car for the first time in his career during a test session at Portland International Raceway, driving the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda usually piloted by Scott Dixon.

“It was an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing that I was very fortunate to have,” Askew said. “I think with my experience in the past couple of years with Cape Motorsports and this year with Andretti Autosport, going into that test was very helpful.

“Going into the test, it was more of trying to treat it as just another day at the racetrack, when it really wasn’t. It was a fantastic opportunity for me – a great experience – and I hope I can take that into my rookie season next year in IndyCar.” 

The final two races of the 2019 Indy Lights season will take place this weekend on Saturday, September 21 at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday, September 22 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

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