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Las Vegas 250 Supercross Preview: Two championships on the line

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Unlike the 450 class, which is all but wrapped up with Cooper Webb’s massive lead, the Supercross 250s have much tighter battles on the line and both championships will be decided this week in Las Vegas during the second East/West Showdown of the year.

In the West, Adam Cianciarulo holds an eight-point advantage over Dylan Ferrandis.

In the East, Chase Sexton has an advantage of nine points over Justin Cooper.

In both, it’s a two man battle, but since this is an East/West Showdown with both divisions on track at the same time, there will be four riders to watch Saturday night.

Cianciarulo’s magic number is fifth. If he finishes there or better, it’s Cianciarulo’s title no matter what Ferrandis does. In the last East/West Showdown at Atlanta, Cianciarulo and Ferrandis finished first and second.

Cianciarulo got where he is by winning five races and sweeping the top five. Ferrandis has two wins and five runner-up finishes, but he lost significant ground in Glendale during Round 2 and in the mud at San Diego three weeks later when he finished outside the top five.

Sexton’s safety valve is sixth or better. Even if Cooper wins and ties Sexton with one win apiece, Sexton has three second-place finishes to Cooper’s one and so he holds the tiebreaker.

With the dominance of Austin Forkner, Sexton has been the forgotten man. He finished fourth in the last Showdown at Atlanta, but that was one of only two times that he failed to stand on the podium. A sixth-place finish is not a foregone conclusion, but one would be hard-pressed to bet against Sexton.

Like Sexton, Cooper has a perfect record of top-fives but his average finish lags behind Sexton has an average of 2.75; Cooper’s is 3.25.

With two division on track, finishing among the top six is not a foregone conclusion. Eat coast rider Mitchell Oldenburg has three top-fives in his last four starts including a second last week in New Jersey. Colt Nichols has third-place finishes in his last two attempts and he won the season opener in Anaheim.

MORE: Austin Forkner out for the season
MORE: Cooper Webb wants to win in style

Schedule:

Qualifying: 4 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold
Race: Live, 10 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold and USA Network

Last Week:

Chase Sexton scored his first win of the East season over Mitchell Oldenburg and Justin Cooper.

Last Year:

Adam Cianciarulo won over Jordan Smith and Shane McElrath

Winners

West:
[5] Adam Cianciarulo (Glendale, Oakland, San Diego, Atlanta and Denver)
[2] Dylan Ferrandis (Seattle and Houston)
[1] Colt Nichols (Anaheim I)
[1] Shane McElrath (Anaheim II)

East:
[5] Austin Forkner (Minneapolis, Arlington, Detroit, Daytona and Indianapolis)
[1] Martin Davalos (Nashville)
[1] Chase Sexton (New Jersey)

Top-5s

West:
Adam Cianciarulo (9)
Dylan Ferrandis (7)
Colt Nichols (6)
Shane McElrath (5)
RJ Hampshire (5)
James Decotis (4)
Jacob Hayes (1)
Garrett Marchbanks (1)
Jess Pettis (1)
Michael Mosiman (1)
Chris Blose (1)
Michael Mosiman (1)

East:
Justin Cooper (8)
Chase Sexton (8)
Austin Forkner (6)
Martin Davalos (5)
Jordon Smith (3)
Mitchell Oldenburg (3)
Alex Martin (2)
Brandon Hartranft (2)
Kyle Peters (1)

Points Leaders

250 West:
Adam Cianciarulo (208)
Dylan Ferrandis (200)
Colt Nichols (163)
RJ Hampshire (145)
James Decotis (128)
Cameron McAdoo (128)

250 East:
Chase Sexton (174)
Justin Cooper (165)
Austin Forkner (152)
Martin Davalos (134)
Mitchell Oldenburg (128)

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.