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Las Vegas 450 Supercross: Tomac wins the battle; Webb wins the war

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Eli Tomac did all he could Saturday night in Las Vegas. He jumped out to an early lead and stretched his advantage seemingly every lap, ending the night more than 12 seconds ahead of Marvin Musquin.

Heck, Tomac did all he could for the last four rounds of the Supercross season – sweeping the podium and winning back to back races at Nashville and Denver.  It just wasn’t enough to catch Cooper Webb for the championship.

“It was all I could do tonight, was to control my destiny,” Tomac said after the race. “Getting out front early with the holeshot and really rode a clean race. Better than that heat race.  More mistake free.”

Tomac’s comfortable lead over the field allowed him to stay focus. On several occasions during the past few rounds, he’s had to overcome accidents and mental errors that kept him from being even more dominant that his four-race podium streak suggests.

But, just as he’s done all year long, Cooper Webb refused to go bobble. Finishing third on the night, he scored his 12 consecutive top five dating back to Minneapolis in Round 6 – all but one of these was a podium.

“It’s been an incredible journey,” Webb said after the race on USA Network. “The change this year. I was a washed up 10th-place guy last year and this KTM team believed in me … and transformed me and got me back to what I always knew I could be.

“I really can’t believe it. This year was really not expected at all.”

Musquin’s second-place finish was enough to secure third in the standings. In another year, his season might have been enough to claim the Number 1 plate. He scored 14 top-five finishes in 17 rounds, but with teammate Webb winning more often and scoring an average finish of 2.88 to Musquin’s 3.44, he had to settle for a simply great season instead of a near-perfect one.

Fittingly, the rider who was fourth in the standings finished fourth in the race as well. All season long the battle has belonged to Webb, Tomac, Musquin and Ken Roczen, but in recent weeks Roczen has faded with six results outside the top five in the last seven rounds. That was a stark reversal of fortune for the rider who started the season with nine top-fives. He has the consolation of ending on a high note.

The winner of Heat 1, Zach Osborne rounded out the top five to earn his third such finish in the last four weeks. Those are also his only top-fives this season.

Complete Results
Points Standings

Heat 1: After scoring top-fives in two of his last three Mains, Zach Osborne is on a roll. He earned the holeshot and led flag to flag. … Marvin Musquin pressured him hard on the last lap, but rode him clean and settled for second. … Blake Baggett rounded out the top three. … Back in ninth, Adam Enticknap grabbed the last transfer spot. … Joan Cros was the first rider of the outside looking in.

Heat 2: Eli Tomac needed to make a statement in his heat. He took second on Lap 3. One lap later, he charged Cooper Webb hard and tapped his wheel, but the pressure got to Tomac and like he’s done on several occasions in the past few weeks, he nearly crashed in the rhythm section. Tomac momentarily gave up the spot to Cole Seely, but regrouped and grabbed the lead just as they took the white flag. … Webb let him go and finished second. … Seely held onto third. … Carlen Gardner grabbed the final transfer spot in ninth.

Last Chance Qualifier: Alex Ray made a power move on the high speed section outside of the stadium and took the lead from Scott Champion – who held on to finish second. … Tevin Tapia was two seconds back in third with Charles Lefrancois in fourth. It was a night of near misses for Joan Cros, who finished just one spot outside the transfer spot in both his heat and the LCQ.

Points Leaders

450SX
Cooper Webb (379) (7 wins)
Eli Tomac (361) (6 wins)
Marvin Musquin (350) (2 wins)
Ken Roczen (319)
Blake Baggett (290) (1 win)

Top 5s

450SX
Cooper Webb: 15
Marvin Musquin: 14
Eli Tomac: 14
Ken Roczen: 11
Blake Baggett: 9
Joey Savatgy: 5
Dean Wilson: 4
Zach Osborne: 3
Chad Reed: 2
Justin Barcia: 2
Justin Bogle: 2
Jason Anderson: 1
Justin Brayton: 1
Aaron Plessinger: 1
Cole Seeley: 1

Next race: Lucas Oil Motocross Championship, May 18, Hangtown, Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

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Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”