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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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Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”