The first-ever national at Ironman Raceway is going to be a wet, sloppy affair.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues this afternoon with the Thor Indiana National, a pivotal round for both title races. Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey are in a the middle of a tightly-contested battle in the 450 Class, with just seven points separating them headed into the final four motos of the season. In the 250 Class, Jeremy Martin is well on his way to a championship and could clinch it with another good performance today.
The riders will be faced with some challenging track conditions though. Heavy rains this morning slowed the track down substantially, and as a result, none of the riders were able to post a lap time under three minutes in any of the practice sessions. Weather is often the great equalizer, which could lead to some unpredictable racing once the gates drop.
First motos in both classes get underway at 1:00 p.m. ET and will stream live on ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra. Second motos in both classes will follow at 3:00 p.m. ET. Click here to access the Live Extra stream.
NBCSN will also have taped delayed coverage of the second motos later tonight, with 450 Class Moto 2 airing at 5:00 p.m. ET and 250 Class Moto 2 at 1:00 a.m. ET.
Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.
Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.
With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.
“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”
Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.
The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.
“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.
That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”