Lucas Oil Pro Motocross: More than $6 million on the line

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With less than two weeks remain until the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season kicks off at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, Calif., MX Sports Pro Racing has announced a record for prize money and contingency awards will be on the line during the 2019 season.

The sports’ six competing manufacturers (Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha) have laid out programs that, combined with a $1 million purse, will total more than $6 million in awards.

“The unwavering commitment from our manufacturers has helped the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship reach an all-time level of contingency support, which will only serve to benefit the hundreds of riders that will contest the Nationals this summer,” said Davey Coombs, President of MX Sports Pro Racing in a press release. “The (manufacturers) play a crucial role in elevating the global influence of American motocross, and Pro Motocross provides a platform for manufacturers to showcase their off-road endeavors.

“Our record sum is also a welcome indication of the overall health of the motorcycle industry.”

On May 18, Eli Tomac will look to start his campaign on the tough California dirt. It could not come at a better time. Ending the 2019 Supercross season with three victories in the last four rounds and six total wins, Tomac had as much momentum in the closing weeks as Supercross champion Cooper Webb.

In fact, over the course of the final seven rounds, Tomac and Webb had identical average finishes of 2.43 while Tomac edged his competitor in regard to wins at three to two.

In the 250 class, a vacant title and depth of new talent insures that a first time champion will be crowned at the end of a summer season that will include 12 venues.

As with the Supercross season, all of the race action can be viewed live with season passes at NBC Sports Gold, with race coverage hosted on the NBC family of Networks. 

2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Schedule

May 18: Hangtown Motocross Classic, Rancho Cordova, Calif.
May 25: Fox Raceway National, Pala, Calif.
June 1: Thunder Valley National, Lakewood, Colo.
June 15: High Point National, Mt. Morris, Pa.
June 22: Florida National, Jacksonville, Fla.
June 29: Southwick National, Southwick, Mass.
July 6: RedBud National, Buchanan, Mich.
July 20: Spring Creek National, Millville, Minn.
July 27: Washougal National, Washougal, Wash.
August 10: Unadilla National, New Berlin, N.Y.
August 17: Budds Creek National, Mechanicsville, Md.
August 24: Ironman National. Crawfordsville, Ind.

Tickets for all events are on-sale at

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IndyCar’s revised schedule gives Tony Kanaan an extra race in 2020

INDYCAR Photo by Joe Skibinski
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Tony Kanaan got a bit of good news when the latest revised NTT IndyCar Series schedule was released Monday.

Kanaan’s “Ironman Streak” of 317 consecutive starts would have concluded with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 15. That race was postponed, and the races that followed have been canceled or rescheduled later in the year. The season tentatively is scheduled to start June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the reason for the tentative nature of this year’s 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule.

Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar Series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, started the season with a limited schedule for A.J. Foyt Racing in the No. 14 Chevrolet. That schedule included all five oval races, including the 104th Indianapolis 500.

A silver lining for Kanaan is that this year’s trip to Iowa Speedway will be a doubleheader, instead of a single oval contest. His schedule has grown from five to six races for 2020, should the season start on time with the June 6 contest at Texas Motor Speedway and the additional race at Iowa.

“I’m really happy that IndyCar has been very proactive about the schedule and keeping us posted with the plans,” Kanaan told Tuesday afternoon from his home in Indianapolis. “I’m double happy that now with Iowa being a doubleheader, I’m doing six races instead of five.”

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Kanaan’s “Last Lap” is something that many fans and competitors in IndyCar want to celebrate. He has been a fierce foe on the track but also a valued friend outside the car to many of his fellow racers.

He also has been quite popular with fans and likely is the most popular Indianapolis 500 driver of his generation.

Scott Dixon was Kanaan’s teammate at Chip Ganassi Racing from 2013-17. At one time, they were foes but eventually became friends.

“I hope it’s not T.K.’s last 500,” Dixon told “I was hoping T.K. would get a full season. That has changed. His first race of what was going to his regular season was going to be the 500. Hopefully, that plays out.

“You have to look at T.K. for who he is, what he has accomplished and what he has done for the sport. He has been massive for the Indianapolis 500, for the city of Indianapolis to the whole culture of the sport. He is a legend of the sport.

“We had our differences early in our career and had problems in 2002 and 2003 and 2004 when we were battling for championships. We fought for race wins and championships in the 2000s. I’ve been on both sides, where he was fighting against me in a championship or where he was fighting with me to go for a championship. He is a hell of a competitor; a fantastic person.

“I hope it’s not his last, but if it is, I hope it’s an extremely successful one for him this season.”

Even before Kanaan joined Chip Ganassi Racing, Dixon admitted he couldn’t help but be drawn to Kanaan’s personality.

“T.K. is a very likable person,” Dixon said. “You just have to go to dinner with the guy once, and you understand why that is. The ups and downs were a competitive scenario where he was helping you for a win or helping someone else for a win. There was never a dislike or distrust. We always got along very well.

“We are very tight right now and really close. He is a funny-ass dude. He has always been a really good friend for me, that’s for sure.”

Back in 2003 when both had come to the old Indy Racing League after beginning their careers in CART, the two drivers were racing hard for the lead at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan on April 13, 2003. They were involved in a hard crash in Turn 2 that left Kanaan broken up with injuries. IRL officials penalized Dixon for “aggressive driving.” Dixon had to sit out the first three days of practice for the next race – the 2003 Indianapolis 500.

Kanaan recovered in time and did not miss any racing. He started second and finished third in that year’s Indy 500.

“We were racing hard and going for the win,” Dixon recalled of the Motegi race. “It was a crucial part of the season. Everybody has to be aggressive. I respect Tony for that. He was not letting up. That is what I always saw with Tony, how hard the guy will push. He will go to the absolute limit, and that is why he was inspiring and why he was a successful driver.

“Those moments are blips. You might not talk to the guy for a week, but then you are back on track. T.K. is very close with our family and we are with his.”

This season, because of highly unusual circumstances, T.K.’s IndyCar career will last for one more race than previously scheduled.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500