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2019 Supercross schedule announced, triple crown returns

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On the heels of his $1 million win and triple crown championship, Eli Tomac is already anticipating the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season. The 17-race season drew more than one million fans in 2018.

“We’re really looking forward to defending the Triple Crown Championship in 2019,” Tomac said in a press release. “The team was excited to take home the inaugural championship last year, and the three Main Event format is the same as the Monster Energy Cup, which we just recently won. Of course, the goal is always to win the overall Supercross Championship, but these races should be fun for the fans because they are short, fast and intense.”

In 2019, the three cities to host the Triple Crown will Anaheim, California at Angel Stadium, Detroit’s Ford Field, and Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Anaheim’s race will run on January 19 in conjunction with the third race on the schedule. Detroit will be held February 23 and Houston will run on March 30.

During these weekends, three Main Events will be run instead of the typical one. Qualification races will advance 22 riders into the mains in each class. Olympic-style scoring will allow contribute to the riders’ overall position, which in turn will award championship points.

I addition, two 250SX class East/West Showdown races are part of the schedule. On March 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and May 4 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The fastest 22 riders from both regions will get a rare opportunity to race head-to-head in these events.

“I think the East/West showdowns are really cool and a fun change in the schedule, especially for the fans,” said Christian Craig of GEICO Honda. “The best part is probably finding out which coast is more dominant or if they are pretty even.”

The 2019 season will also feature the highly anticipated runs of four rookies in the premier class. Joey Savatgy, Justin Hill, Zach Osborne and Aaron Plessinger will all debut on 450s January 5 at Angel Stadium. 

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).