Supercross Preview: East meets West in 250 showdown

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“East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” wrote Rudyard Kipling in 1889. Some 130 years later, the AMA Supercross is out to prove him wrong in the 250 class.

Kipling’s tale of an epic showdown between two strong men standing face to face “tho’ they come (from) the ends of the earth” will play out in Atlanta as the best of the East, Austin Forkner takes on Adam Cianciarulo and the rest of the Western contingent.

Last week, Forkner added another weekend to his perfect start and enters with three wins. In five starts in the West division, Cianciarulo also has three victories and another pair of top-fives to his credit. The two bring their respective points’ lead into the battle that only one can win. And if not Forkner or Cianciarulo, Shane McElrath (West), Jordon Smith, Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton (East) also bring perfect records of top-five finishes to the weekend.

This will be the first of two matchups between the East and West divisions in the 250 class. The other will be in the season finale in Las Vegas.

In the 450 class, Cooper Webb will try to protect a lead that stands at six points over Ken Roczen. Last week Webb finished second  to Eli Tomac, but managed to gain a little ground over Roczen in fourth.

Justin Barcia will miss his first round of the season after crashing on his test track in Florida. The winner of the opening round in Anaheim, he has finished in the top 10 in all but one race since.


Qualifying: 1 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold
Race: Live, 7 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold and NBCSN

Last Week:

Eli Tomac got back on track with his second win of the year over Cooper Webb and Chad Reed in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner remained perfect with a win over Jordon Smith and Chase Sexton in the 250 class.

Last Year:

This was a Triple Crown event.
Jason Anderson (2-1-4) beat Marvin Musquin (4-5-1) and Eli Tomac (5-3-2) in the 450 class.
In 250s, Austin Forkner (4-2-3) won over Zach Osborne (1-3-5) and Jordon Smith (3-4-6) in the 250 class.


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

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

250 East:
[3] Austin Forkner (Minneapolis, Arlington and Detroit)


Ken Roczen (8)
Marvin Musquin (6)
Eli Tomac (6)
Cooper Webb (6)
Blake Baggett (4)
Dean Wilson (2)
Joey Savatgy (2)
Chad Reed (2)
Justin Barcia (1)
Jason Anderson (1)
Justin Bogle (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 (3)
Jordon Smith (3)
Justin Cooper (3)
Chase Sexton (3)
Martin Davalos (2)
Alex Martin (1)

Points Leaders

Cooper Webb (173)
Ken Roczen (167)
Marvin Musquin (161)
Eli Tomac (160)
Dean Wilson (122)

250 West:
Adam Cianciarulo (114)
Shane McElrath (106)
Colt Nichols (104)
Dylan Ferrandis (102)
RJ Hampshire (75)

250 East:
Austin Forkner (78)
Jordon Smith (65)
Justin Cooper (63)
Chase Sexton (60)
Alex Martin (51)

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Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.