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Qualification report for Atlanta Supercross

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The points battle continues to take center stage in Round 9 of the Supercross season.

Last week’s winner Eli Tomac topped qualification with a lap of 47.915 seconds, placing him ahead of Marvin Musquin (47.966) and Dean Wilson (48.034).

Lurking in fourth was points leader Cooper Webb (48.146), but before anyone thinks this is a sign of weakness, it will pay to remember this is a rider who does not tip his hand until the race.

Ken Roczen posted the seventh-best time of 48.524.

Cedric Soubeyras was the fastest rider from Group B with a lap of 50.537.

Click here for combined qualifying results

MORE: Austin Forkner: When hyperbole simply isn’t enough

In the 250 class:

In the East versus West battle, the West won qualification with Dylan Ferrandis marginally better (.015 seconds) than Justin Cooper.

Austin Forkner went down in the whoops and appeared to land on his hand in 250 East Qualification 2. Two minutes later, he was off course with another crash. Incredibly, he ended in third.

Adam Cianciarulo oversteered his bike in the sand and had his own off-bike occasion in 250 West Qualification 2. He climbed back on and posted the second-best time.

In the East, Cooper posted the fastest overall lap with a time of 47.978. He bettered Chase Sexton’s lap of 48.112 and Forkner’s 48.771.

In the West, Ferrandis topped the speed chart with a lap of 47.963 over Cianciarulo (48.052) and Colt Nichols (48.155).

Click here for combined East qualifying results
Click here for combined West qualifying results

Qualification each week can be seen live with NBC’s Sport Gold Supercross / Motocross season pass, which can be purchased at https://www.nbcsports.com/gold.

MORE: Atlanta Preview: East meets West
MORE: Justin Barcia to miss Atlanta Supercross

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Attention NASCAR teams: IMSA drivers available for Daytona!

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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?