Filipe Albuquerque holds off Ricky Taylor to win BUBBA Burger Long Beach Grand Prix

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Action Express’ Filipe Albuquerque took the checkered flag first in Saturday’s BUBBA Burger Long Beach Grand Prix, narrowly holding off Team Penske’s Ricky Taylor to win the race on the popular street course for the second straight year.

Taylor’s Acura-powered machine was within striking distance of Albuquerque’s Cadillac, but got caught up in lapped traffic on the final lap, essentially giving the win to the No. 5 Action Express team.

“Ricky was just really quick. Mustang Sampling just did a amazing job with the strategy. We had a hard start and we still came back. I Love it!” Albuquerque told NBCSN following his victory.

Albuquerque would take the lead with 41 minutes remaining in the race to after coming out of the pits ahead of both Penske DPis, and would not cease the lead for the remainder of the race. It was the first victory for Albuquerque and co-driver Joao Barbosa’ since the duo won last year’s Long Beach GP.

With Action Express taking the top spot on the podium, and the Ricky Taylor/Helio Castroneves combo finishing second, Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya would finish third, putting both Penske Acuras on the podium, seemingly appropriate with tomorrow’s NTT IndyCar Series event on the track is the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The race for the DPi victory was an incident-filled one, with the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P piloted by Jonathan Bomarito making contact with the No. 54 Nissan of Jonathan Bennett in turn 8 in lap 2, causing the Mazda to spin and make contact with the outside wall. The No. 55 would finish the race 15th overall.

The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac was the first retirement of the afternoon after Renger van der Zande made contact with the turn 9 concrete, ending the day for the DPi co-points leaders.

The No. 50 Juncos Racing Cadillac DPi of Will Owen also made contact with a tire barrier with six minutes remaining, after a relatively successful afternoon that saw the team lead earlier in the race with Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel.

Earl Bamber in the No. 912 Porche 911 would lead Jan Magnussen’s No. 3 Corvette C7.R to the checkered flag to claim the GT Le Mans class class victory in the race. Magnussen limped across the finish line after making contact  with the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Dirk Mueller on the last lap, sending Mueller into the wall.

The second Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner would finish third in the GTLM class.

The next race of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season is the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, May 5. NBCSN will have live flag-to-flag coverage of the race, beginning at 1:30 p.m. E.T.

Full Race results 

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Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).