SupercrossLIVE

Eli Tomac scores first 2019 Supercross win at San Diego

Leave a comment

Round 5 of the 2019 Supercross season came down to who made the least costly mistake. Eli Tomac got hung up on a tough block with three laps remaining and lost 10 seconds while he extricated himself. Fortunately, he had a 26 second lead at the time and held his advantage. His trouble wasn’t over yet, however; on the final lap, he also had to avoid a fallen Alex Ray before he was able to ascend to the top step of the podium.

With his win, Tomac took the points lead.

Marvin Musquin took advantage of a bobble by Roczen on the final straight of the final lap to score his third consecutive runner-up finish.

Roczen grabbed the hole shot, but gave the lead away when he fell off the first tabletop. Roczen recovered and climbed to second until Musquin passed him on the final lap. He crossed under the checkers third, to score his fifth top-five in five races this season.

“I got a perfect start,” Roczen told NBCSN after the race. “I really jumped out of the gate – hooked up great. Almost went down in the first turn. It was really slippery. I threw it away in the second turn over there. I couldn’t believe it because having a clear track there would have really helped.”

Mud is a great equalizer and it contributed to a pair of best season finishes for the drivers finishing fourth and fifth. Fourth-place Justin Bogle’s previous best this year was a 10th in last week’s Oakland race. Chad Reed finished fifth after scoring ninths at Anaheim in the opener and again at Oakland.

Rain pelted San Diego before the race began making this the muddiest weekend of the season. As a result of the conditions, the Main events for both the 450 and 250 class were shortened by five minutes.

In total, more than half the field scored or tied their best result of the season including sixth-place Aaron Plessinger and seventh-place Joey Savatgy.

Justin Hill crashed in qualification. He was taken to the hospital to evaluate whether he sustained a rib injury.

On Lap 6, Cooper Webb went down while running fifth. Webb got hard on the brake when Musquin stopped abruptly in front of him. Webb fell to eighth in the rundown and lost his points lead. Webb left San Diego fourth in the standings – eight markers behind Tomac.

Complete Results
Points Standings

250s

It is important to get an early lead with a heavy track – especially in a shortened Main. By Lap 3, Adam Cianciarulo had a 12-second lead over Dylan Ferrandis. With his sizeable lead, Cianciarulo was able to ride a smart race and finished 8.574 seconds ahead of Garrett Marchbanks to score his third victory of the season. With that win, he took the points lead as the West division takes a couple of weeks off.

Marchbank’s second-place finish was a career best.

James Decotis scored his best finish of the season in third. It was his second top five, following a fifth at Glendale.

Shane McElrath had a terrible weekend. He dropped to 16th in his heat and had to use the LCQ to advance. He fell again early in the Main and was forced to work his way from 20th on Lap 1. McElrath climbed all the way to fourth and missed the podium by one position.

Jess Pettis rounded out the top five in fifth and scored his best career result.

Colt Nichols entered San Diego with the points lead by three over Cianciarulo. He was a victim of the mud on the opening laps and dropped to 15th-place position at the end of Lap 3. He finished 10th and lost three positions in the standings.

On the last lap, Dylan Ferrandis got stuck in the mud and could not make his way to the finish line. He dropped from second to seventh with the incident.

Complete Results
Points Standings

450 Heat 1: Ken Roczen needed the confidence that comes with a heat win – and he got it. … Points leader Cooper Webb had a promising start to the weekend with his second place finish. … Joey Savatgy rounded out the top three. … Justin Barcia won the opening round of the Supercross season in the mud at Anaheim; he finished fourth in his Round 5 heat.

450 Heat 2: Eli Tomac took the lead from Aaron Plessinger on the final lap of the heat as the two riders finished 1-2. … Plessinger and Justin Bogle swapped the lead on Lap 1. … Marvin Musquin finished third. … Bogle went down twice midway through the heat. He recovered with the lead after the first fall; he was less fortunate with the second trip to the ground while trying to clear his clutch handle of mud. Bogle faded to fifth, but finished in a transfer position.

450 Last Chance Qualifier: Ben Lamay made his third Main of the season; he finished 18th in both Anaheim races. … Lamay beat Theodore Pauli, Alex Ray and Carlen Gardner, who also transferred. This is Pauli’s first Main.

250 Heat 1: Dylan Ferrandis mastered the mud in the first heat and beat Adam Cianciarulo by .774 seconds. Enzo Lopes finished a distant 30 seconds behind in third. In the six-minute, heat only seven riders finished on the lead lap. … On the opening lap, Jerry Robin caught the edge of a jump and ate the landing.

250 Heat 2: RJ Hampshire found the inside rut in Turn 1 of Lap 1 and grabbed the lead over points leader Colt Nichols; they held their positions until the checkers. It was the second heat win of the year. … James Decotis rounded out the top three. … Shane McElrath – who was third entering the event – got mired behind Hampshire at the gate drop and fell back early. He kept falling and finished 16th in the 20-bike field.

250 Last Chance Qualifier: Garrett Marchbanks scored his first LCQ victory over Shane McElrath. Deegan Vonlossberg and Chris Howell also advanced to the Main.

Points Leaders

450s
Eli Tomac (106) (1 win)
Marvin Musquin (102)
Ken Roczen (102)
Cooper Webb (98) (2)
Blake Baggett (80) (1)
Dean Wilson (80)

250s West
Adam Cianciarulo (114 points) (3 wins)
Shane McElrath (106) (1)
Colt Nichols (104) (1)
Dylan Ferrandis (102)
RJ Hampshire (75)

450 top 5s

Ken Roczen: 5
Eli Tomac: 5
Marvin Musquin: 4
Cooper Webb: 3
Dean Wilson: 2
Blake Baggett: 2
Jason Anderson: 1
Justin Barcia: 1
Justin Bogle: 1
Chad Reed: 1

250 top 5s

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

Next race: February 9, US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

Attention NASCAR teams: IMSA drivers available for Daytona!

Ker Robertson/Getty Images
Leave a comment

NASCAR will be making its debut on the Daytona International Speedway road course next month, and there’s a big fan who’d like to join the historic weekend.

This fan actually has impressive credentials, too — a few thousand laps around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

In 2014, the winning GTLM team in the sports car endurance classic included IMSA Porsche driver Nick Tandy, who rabidly has followed NASCAR for more than 30 years since growing up in England.

So why not try racing NASCAR? Especially because Tandy has the weekend of Aug. 14-16 free.

He’s not picky, either — offering up his services on Twitter (as well as those of Porsche teammate Earl Bamber) for an ARCA, Xfinity, trucks or Cup ride.

Tandy’s affinity for American stock-car racing runs deep.

His first trip to the World Center of Racing was as a fan attending the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. During Rolex testing in January, Tandy, 35, said he hadn’t missed a Cup race on TV in 15 years.

Among his favorite NASCAR drivers: the Earnhardts, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. When IMSA ran the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2014, Tandy stayed a few extra days at the Brickyard and bought Kyle Busch gear for himself and his children.

He briefly took the stage during a NASCAR weekend last October. After IMSA’s season finale at Road Atlanta, Tandy made a few demonstration laps and a burnout in his No. 911 Porsche before the Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

He also has some experience in stock cars, having raced Modified-type grass-roots series on England’s quarter-mile short tracks.

Couple that with a Daytona road course record that includes two consecutive podium class finishes (including last Saturday) and a sports car resume with 13 IMSA victories and an overall win in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans … and maybe a NASCAR team should take a look.

And Tandy isn’t the only IMSA driver who likely would be available.

Corvette driver Jordan Taylor, who won the 2017 Rolex 24 overall title with Jeff Gordon as a teammate (and the inspiration for his Rodney Sandstrom persona), also tweeted his availability for the weekend on the high banks.

Sports car veteran Andy Lally, a GTD driver with multiple class wins in the Rolex 24 as well as 38 Cup starts (he was the 2011 rookie of the season in NASCAR’s premier series), also hung out his shingle.

There also is AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth (who just won at Daytona last Saturday), the Englishman who teamed with Kyle Busch at the Rolex 24 in January and made an Xfinity start at Mid-Ohio last year with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Many sports car drivers (such as Taylor) already live in Florida, and many are hunkering down in the Sunshine State with IMSA returning to action at Daytona last week and Sebring International Raceway next week. Because of COVID-19-related travel concerns and restrictions, several IMSA stars who live outside the country are riding out the pandemic within a few hours of Daytona with nothing to do.

Why not a weekend at the World Center of Racing?

Over the years, scads of “road-course ringers” (including some Formula One veterans) have tried their hands in stock cars at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International.

How about considering the many sports car drivers who already have reached victory lane at Daytona by making a few right-hand turns, too?