High Point preview: Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac battle for MX supremacy

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Ken Roczen has ample reason to look forward to the this week’s Round 4 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Penn. He came out of the gates strong this year with a Moto 1 victory and overall win at Hangtown and backed that up with another win at Thunder Valley to complete his comeback.

Last week’s victory gave Roczen the red plate for the second time this year with a two-point advantage over Eli Tomac.

Roczen is also the only 450 rider entered this week with two wins at High Point after taking back-to-back wins in 2015 and 2016.

Accustomed to being considered a favorite for winning the championship at this stage of the season, Tomac is going to have to stop throwing away the first Moto if he wants overall wins. Dropping back deep in the pack at both Hangtown and Thunder Valley he failed to recover and earn a podium in either race – giving Roczen an easy task of winning the overall. At Pala, Tomac won both Motos.

Zach Osborne sits 24 points out of second and 26 from the lead.

Meanwhile, 250 Supercross champion Cooper Webb is mired deep in sixth, 38 points behind the leader, after finishing fifth at Hangtown and sixth at Pala and Thunder Valley. This week the focus shift from winning and making a run at the title to simply earning a podium.

With the controversy from Thunder Valley put to rest and no penalty handed down to Adam Cianciarulo for shortening the course, the 250 class leader remains undefeated. The first three rounds have all gone the same way with Justin Cooper winning Moto 1 and Cianciarulo winning Moto 2.

There are no former winners entered in the 250 class this week, which means a new winner is guaranteed.

Siting 11th in the points, Shane McElrath will miss High Point because of a practice crash. Jordan Smith (14th) will also miss this week’s race and is out for an undetermined length of time as he undergoes surgery to fix tendons in his right wrist.

MORE: Cole Seely out for the remainder of the season

Schedule:

Qualifiers: 10:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold
Race: Live, 1 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold (Moto 1), 450 Moto 2 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and NBC Sports Gold, switching to NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold at 4 p.m. ET.

June 1 – 2019 Thunder Valley Motocross Park

450: Ken Roczen (1-2) won over Eli Tomac (5-1) and Zach Osborne (2-4).
250: Adam Cianciarulo (2-1) won over Justin Cooper (1-2) and Michael Mosiman (4-3).

June 16, 2018 – High Point

450: Eli Tomac (2-1) defeated Marvin Musquin (1-2) and Justin Barcia (3-5).
250: Aaron Plessinger (1-1) beat Austin Forkner (4-2) and Justin Cooper (3-4).

Overall Wins

450:
[2] Ken Roczen (Hangtown, Thunder Valley)
[1] Eli Tomac (Pala)

250:
[3] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown, Pala, Thunder Valley)

Moto Wins

450:
[4] Eli Tomac (Hangtown II, Pala I & II, Thunder Valley II)
[2] Ken Roczen (Hangtown I, Thunder Valley I)

250:
[3] Justin Cooper (Hangtown I, Pala I, Thunder Valley I)
[3] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown II, Pala II, Thunder Valley II)

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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.