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AMA Supercross kicks off Daytona Bike Week

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Next week Supercross will hosts its 46th Daytona race in the 450 class and its 34th in 250s. This is a race that through the years has become interwoven into the fabric of the sport.

The 1974 450s race inaugurated the series with a victory for Pierre Karsmakers. In 1985, the 250 class got underway for the first time with a win for Eddie Warren.

Daytona has never fallen off the schedule – it is the only venue that has hosted a race every season – and with its unique position on the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway, there is ample room to create one of the longest and most grueling tracks the riders will face all year.

Designed by NBC analyst Ricky Carmichael for the 12th consecutive year, the course features long straightaways, tall jumps and a variety of surfaces as the course transitions sand to dirt. The course stretches 3,100 feet in length.

Making this one of the most prestigious events to win is that it is part of Daytona’s famed Bike Week.

Seven riders have won their first Supercross race on this track, including Carmichael in 2000 and Justin Brayton last year.

Earlier this year, Blake Baggett scored his first win in Round 2 at Glendale, Ariz. Cooper Webb got his first career win at Anaheim II and has gone on to dominate Victory Lane.

In 250s, Travis Pastrana won his first race in 2000. Marvin Musquin followed in 2013.

Still, because of the uniqueness of this track, this is not a harbinger of the season champion. The winner of the Daytona Supercross has taken top honors only 21 times in 45 seasons. Ryan Dungey was the last to do so in 2015.

The action continues after the Supercross riders leave the track.

When they pack up and head for Indianapolis, the best in amateur racing hit the track for the 10th annual Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross scheduled for Sunday and Monday. In turn, that is followed by Vintage Supercross and ATV Supercross on Tuesday.

Finally, the American Flat Track series will kick off their season next Thursday with a dirt and asphalt TT track. This third annual event will use the tri-oval at the start / finish line. Jared Mees won that race last year by only .462 seconds over JD Beach.

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WATCH LIVE: IndyCar practice and qualifying at Laguna Seca

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For the first time in 15 years, Indy cars will be racing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and the stakes have never been higher.

Tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Monterey is the final race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, and with four drivers mathematically eligible for the series championship, there will be plenty of story lines to follow.

Current series points leader Josef Newgarden enters this weekend with a 41-point lead over second-place Alexander Rossi.

A California native, Rossi attended his first IndyCar race with his father as child at Laguna Seca when he was three years old.

He now hopes to win his first IndyCar championship at the track where he fell in love with the sport, but after suffering a broken bolt in practice 1 yesterday, he will need to find speed in P3 and qualifying today in order to put himself in the best position to fight for the title.

Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon are also in contention to win the championship this weekend, and another title would only add to their already illustrious IndyCar careers.

Leigh Diffey, Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell will call today’s on-track action from the booth, while Marty Snider, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller will report from the pits.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday 9/21, 1 p.m. ET, IndyCar Practice 3, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 9/21, 4:30 p.m. ET, IndyCar Qualifying, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold

Saturday 9/21, 6 p.m. ET, Indy Lights Race 1, NBC Sports Gold 

 

For sessions on NBC Sports Gold, be sure to have your username and password handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.