(Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA)

Matt Brabham standing by and ready to go for IndyCar ride

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Have seat and helmet, will travel.

That’s become Matt Brabham’s unofficial motto as he continues pursuing a full-time ride in the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2017 – if not a fill-in role still this season.

Brabham may not have a ride but that’s not keeping him from going to races. For example, he’ll be at this weekend’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America in Wisconsin.

Brabham’s custom made IndyCar seat is being stored by KV Racing Technology in one of its transporters that travel to each race, so that Brabham will have quick access if he’s called upon to replace another driver at the last minute.

“KV Racing has been kind enough to make some space in their truck for my seat and I am ready to go if anything eventuates,” Brabham said in a media release. “I just have to make sure I am on the ground and put myself in a position where I can continue to educate myself on every aspect of the business.”

He’s also bringing his helmet and firesuit, as he’ll be driving the Honda two-seater Indy car at the track this weekend, as well.

Brabham has been riding a string of good luck of late. After finishing 16th in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and 22nd in the Indianapolis 500, Brabham has racked up three straight wins.

Admittedly, they haven’t been on the IndyCar circuit, but a win is a win if you’re a race car driver.

First came back-to-back wins in the Stadium Super Trucks Series three weeks ago at Belle Isle in a fill-in role for series founder Robby Gordon.

Then this past weekend, back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Brabham picked up a class win co-driving an older Indy Lights car with Lee Brahin in the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.

Not only did the younger Brabham celebrate in Victory Circle and drank from a ceremonial bottle of milk, his father Geoff was also a winner in a different class, driving a Brabham BT35.

There has already been some interest from potential teams for Brabham’s driving talent. PIRTEK Team Murray owner Brett “Crusher” Murray had a number of meetings in Detroit about Brabham during the Belle Isle weekend and he has additional meetings this week in the United Kingdom.

“Matt’s faultless performance … has created the opportunity to open discussions with several parties and we look forward to continuing those in coming weeks as we evaluate what is available,” Murray said. “I could not have been happier with Matt’s efforts during the last six months and can confidently say that he is one of the best talents I have had the pleasure of working with in 30 years in the business.”

Brabham appreciates Murray’s efforts and is hoping the ongoing conversations eventually bear fruit.

“It is nice that people are keen to sit down and discuss the future with us and I am sure that would not be the case if we had not created something positive in the month of May,” he said.

“There are just so many elements that need to come together, but hard work is not something that myself, “Crusher” or our team have ever been scared of. I think we proved that last month, but that is just the start.

“We have just got to be patient, respectful and don’t lose focus on our end goal, which is a long-term and successful IndyCar career.”

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Adam Cianciarulo serves notice with Monster Energy Cup win

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In his debut on a 450 Kawasaki, Adam Cianciarulo held off teammate Eli Tomac in a hotly contested final Main to win the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium: One race; one win.

“My first thought was, ‘what I life I get to live,’ ” Cianciarulo told NBCSN after the race. “That whole race I knew (Eli) was behind me. We had a gap and I knew it was going to come down to the Joker Lane.”

For Cianciarulo, it was all about managing pressure. He earned the holeshot in the first and final Mains. In the first race, he lost his bike and the lead under the bridge. In the final Main, he withstood a fierce charge for 10 laps from one of the best riders ever in Supercross.

Tomac stalked Cianciarulo for eight laps. At one point, he made the pass, but Cianciarulo expertly executed a crossover move and retook the point in the same corner. Tomac knew he was going to have to change things up if he wanted to make a pass for the lead and the overall win.

“Going into the Joker, I couldn’t really ever make the pass stick, so I thought let me get in this thing a lap early and see if I can make the speed up on the track,” Tomac said after the race.

He had a reason to believe it would turn out in his favor because he used the tactic in the second Main and made up four spots on the track – advancing from seventh to fourth.

“Just the opportunity to race with Eli,” Cianciarulo continued from Victory Lane. “You know, he’s accomplished so much and just to be out there on the track with him. I’m just stoked to be out there with him.”

Cianciarulo would have been forgiven if he thought Las Vegas owed him something. Entering the Supercross season finale this year, he only needed a clean finish to win the 250 West championship. He crashed and handed the win over to Dylan Ferrandis, but instead of allowing that to frustrate him, Cianciarulo used it as motivation.

“(Winning this race) is a little bit of redemption, but to be honest with you I look at (the accident in) Vegas now after winning the outdoor motocross championship as something that helped me get there,” Cianciarulo said. “It’s helped me grow.”

With his overall win, Cianciarulo pocketed a $100,000 check. The payday could have been $1 million if any rider had been able to win all three Mains. Instead, three Mains featured three different riders. Tomac won the first Main, Malcolm Stewart the second, and Cianciarulo the third.

Tomac stormed to the lead in the first Main and was slicing through the field in Main 2 before he flipped his bike on a bad landing. He fell from challenging for the lead to 10th. Ten laps does not allow a lot of time to make up for a mistake, but Tomac was able to make up significant time by taking the Joker Lane one lap before Cianciarulo and Stewart.

Malcolm Stewart finished third in his return to Supercross racing. SupercrossLive.com

Stewart would win the second Main, completing a comeback nine months in the making. Early in the Supercross season, he crashed hard in Phoenix and broke his femur.

“I’ve been waiting nine months for all this; I’m just having fun out there.” Stewart said at the end of Main 2. “We’ve got another race to go and hopefully we’re on the top step, but if not, we’re already making dreams come true. I’ve already marked things off my checklist. It was just to win a Main Event.”

Entering the final Main Cianciarulo, Tomac, and Stewart were in a dead heat in regard to points. Cianciarulo finished second in the first two Mains, Tomac had a 1-3 with Stewart at a 3-1. The battle would be a “winner takes all” scenario.

How they finished in the final Main determined the overall result with Stewart finishing third in the race and overall standings.

Vince Friese had the ride of his life. With a 4-5-5, he finished fourth.

Friese was also trying to erase an injury-plagued season.

“I had a good (2019) season going,” Friese said. “I don’t think I got to show everything I had. It was frustrating getting hurt just a few races in and five months off the motorcycle is not fun, so I was hungry tonight.”

The World Champion Tim Gajser scored a 7-4-4 and rounded out the top five.

Dean Wilson crashed hard in the last lap of practice. He was transported to the hospital with a leg injury.

Evan Ferry won the Supermini division on the strength of winning both Mains. Gavin Towers and Myles Gilmore rounded out the top three.

In 250 Futures, Jett Lawrence won both Mains and the overall. Jalek Swoll and Brock Papi rounded out the top three.

Main 1 Results
Main 2 Results
Main 3 Results
Overall Results

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