Photos: Jaden Conwright Racing

American teen racer Jaden Conwright eyes next step after Asian F3 success

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American teen race car driver Jaden Conwright is looking forward to what’s next for his career after an outstanding rookie season in the Asian F3 series.

Conwright earned five podiums – including one win and two poles – en route to finishing third in the championship standings in the series’ inaugural season.

That was quite an achievement, given that Conwright sat out the previous 20 months, his last race being the 2016 Italian F4 championship.

Now after his Asian F3 debut for Absolute Racing – which included finishing outside the top-six just twice in 15 races – it’s time for the 19-year-old Fremont, California native to put his career into the next gear.

“It’s definitely been a good season,” Conwright said. “For somebody who lives and breathes racing like I do, taking a year out to test in 2017 was not easy, but it was the right decision and the prospect of rejoining the grid in 2018 kept my motivation levels high.

“More importantly still, I made sure to apply everything I learned last year to come back stronger than ever, and to achieve the results that we did was extremely satisfying.

“Racing and testing require two completely different mindsets, and whilst my lap times were pretty good right from the outset, it took slightly longer to fully blow the cobwebs away in race situations, where I was a little bit rustier and had to re-adapt to things like standing starts and wheel-to-wheel battles – but I made consistent progress in terms of my driving and mental approach throughout.”

Conwright, a former World Speed Motorsports Rising Star Award winner, continues to work toward obtaining his FIA Super License with his sites set on continuing up the open-wheel racing ladder.

“Working with Absolute Racing was a total pleasure,” Conwright said. “It’s a real family environment and I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more supportive or capable group of guys behind me, and to be able to measure myself against such a high caliber of rivals in Asian F3 was very positive for my own career development.”

As for the future, “I’m not sure what’s in store just yet,” Conwright said. “But I definitely want to continue my progression in single-seaters – be that in Asia, Europe or back home in the US – because I still have more to learn in the discipline, and plenty of unfinished business.”

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Supercross Preview: It’s Webb’s World for now

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A short launching area and tight left-hand turn is going to create a lot of drama this week in Round 8 of the Supercross season as the riders invade Detroit’s Ford Field after one year off.

Last week Cooper Webb won for the fourth time in the last five races. Incredibly, two of these count among the five closest finishes in Supercross history with a .760-second win over Marvin Musquin at Oakland and last week’s .028-second win over Ken Roczen. Webb has won in a variety of ways so far this year. He has gained experience protecting a lead and coming from behind with Arlington’s incredible run. He even won the first Triple Crown race at Anaheim II after taking two of the three heats.

Last year, Jason Anderson seemingly came out of nowhere to grab the points lead in Round 2. He never relinquished it. Webb has tighter competition in 2019, but he shows know sign of letting up as the four-man battle for the lead became a three-rider challenge last week with Eli Tomac’s trouble.

Eli Tomac cooled off in a hurry. After sweeping the top five in the first five rounds and winning San Diego, he finished sixth in Minneapolis and 12th at Arlington. This week will be a test of his ability to rebound.

Which rider will be the first to win in 2019, Roczen or Musquin? Between them they have finished second or third 10 times this season. They have both stood on the podium in the last three events, but have yet to climb to the top rung.

Vince Friese injured his knee during practice at Arlington and may have a torn ACL. He is unlikely to ride this week.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 12 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold
Race: Live, 7 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold, 8 p.m. on NBCSN

Last Week:

Cooper Webb won his fourth event in the past five races over Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner won over Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton in the 250 class.

Last Year:

Event was not run in 2018.

In 2017 Eli Tomac beat Marvin Musquin and Ryan Dungey in the 450 class.
In 250s, Jordon Smith won over Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo in the 250 class.

Winners

450s:
[4] Cooper Webb (Anaheim II, Oakland, Minneapolis, and Arlington)
[1] Justin Barcia (Anaheim I)
[1] Blake Baggett (Glendale)
[1] Eli Tomac (San Diego)

250 West:
[3] Adam Cianciarulo (Glendale, Oakland, San Diego)
[1] Colt Nichols (Anaheim I)
[1] Shane McElrath (Anaheim II)

250 East:
[2] Austin Forkner (Minneapolis and Arlington)

Top-5s

450s:
Ken Roczen (7)
Marvin Musquin (6)
Eli Tomac (5)
Cooper Webb (5)
Blake Baggett (3)
Dean Wilson (2)
Joey Savatgy (2)
Justin Barcia (1)
Jason Anderson (1)
Justin Bogle (1)
Chad Reed (1)
Justin Brayton (1)

250 West:
Shane McElrath (5)
Adam Cianciarulo (5)
Colt Nichols (4)
RJ Hampshire (3)
Dylan Ferrandis (3)
James Decotis (2)
Jacob Hayes (1)
Garrett Marchbanks (1)
Jess Pettis (1)

250 East:
Austin Forkner (2)
Jordon Smith (2)
Justin Cooper (2)
Chase Sexton (2)
Alex Martin (1)
Martin Davalos (1)

Points Leaders

450s:
Cooper Webb (150)
Ken Roczen (148)
Marvin Musquin (144)
Eli Tomac (134)
Dean Wilson (110)

250 West:
Adam Cianciarulo (114)
Shane McElrath (105)
Colt Nichols (104)
Dylan Ferrandis (102)
RJ Hampshire (75)

250 East:
Austin Forkner (52)
Justin Cooper (44)
Jordon Smith (42)
Chase Sexton (39)
Mitchell Oldenburg (34)
Alex Martin (34)

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