Rich Shepherd, ProMotocross

Marvin Musquin wins at WW Ranch, Eli Tomac takes points lead

Leave a comment

In hot and humid conditions, riders have to find the right pace to make it to the end of the day. With his Moto 1 win at WW Ranch Motocross Park in Jacksonville, Fla. and a third in Moto 2, Marvin Musquin claimed the overall victory over the new points leader Eli Tomac. And in doing so, Musquin became the first rider to win an overall beside the two riders who entered the Round 5 tied at the top of the leaderboard.

It was Musquin’s first win of the season and his first since Unadilla last year.

Musquin was chasing Tomac for the Moto win to sweep the event, but in the final third of the race he began to fade.

“I tried my best and ran out of energy a little bit,” Musquin told NBCSN after the race. “The track was demanding. It was tough. So to pick up the pace was difficult.”

Tomac won Moto 2 to finish second overall – but that was not the big surprise of the afternoon. With a terrible start to the start of Moto 1, Tomac completed Lap 1 18th and must have seen his championship start to unravel. He was barely able to recover for a seventh.

“It was the result of a really bad start in the first Moto,” Tomac said after the race. “I didn’t even move when I let out the clutch; I just didn’t go anywhere with the sand.”

While Tomac collected himself after his poor start, Ken Roczen kept the leader in sight after a thrilling handlebar-to-handlebar battle at the halfway point with Musquin that saw both of the Frenchman’s feet come off the pedals. Roczen finished second in Moto 2 and banked 22 points. At the conclusion of that race, Tomac briefly fell eight points out of first.

Moto 2 would prove to be even more disastrous for Roczen than Moto 1 was for Tomac. He fell to 10th at the end of the race and banked only 11 points as Tomac rode to the win. When it was all over, Tomac left Jacksonville with a six-point advantage.

Zach Osborne mounted a late-race charge and tried to deny Tomac the Moto win and three of his points. After finishing fifth in Moto 2, he was forced to settle for third overall.

Coming back from injury, Jason Anderson (3-4) podiumed in his first race and finished fourth overall.

Cooper Webb (4-5) rounded out the top five.

Roczen’s disappointing Moto 2 relegated him to sixth overall.

450 Moto 1 Results
450 Moto 2 Results
450 Overall Results
Points Standings

Justin Cooper is the bridesmaid no more.

After winning Moto 1 in the first three rounds, but falling behind points’ leader Adam Cianciarulo each time, he was even more frustrated last week with a ninth-place finish overall.

This week, he gave up the Moto win to score the overall with a 2-2. It was a hard fought victory after which the rider was forced to complete his interview sitting next to his bike, gasping for breath.

“Got out front. Man it felt good,” Cooper said haltingly on NBCSN after finishing second in the Moto 2. “That was the longest event of my life. I can barely stand up right now. I’m about to pass out. It’s so hot right now. Just want to give it up to my whole team.”

Cooper shaved eight points off Cianciarulo’s advantage and served notice that it will not be as easy as the leader might have imagined.

Wedged between the two points’ contenders, Dylan Ferrandis scored his first Moto win of the season in in the second race. Coupled with a fourth in Moto 1, he handily beat Cianciarulo for the second rung on the overall podium.

Like Tomac in the 450 class, Cianciarulo was handicapped with a bad start in Moto 1. Riding eighth at the end of Lap 1, he was also forced to charge forward.  Finishing 5-3, this was the rider’s worst performance of the year on his home track.

“There wasn’t a whole lot wrong with me today,” a collected Cianciarulo said. “They were just ripping. This speaks to their skill on the bike. I didn’t feel too great all day. I didn’t gel with the track. My body didn’t feel real good.

“It’s just one of those days that’s tough. You’re going to have them over the course of a long season.”

Michael Mosiman (3-5) and Hunter Lawrence (8-4) rounded out the top five.

Chase Sexton won Moto 1, but could barely mount his bike for Moto 2 after suffering heat exhaustion. He made a pair of laps around the track and was then forced into the pits when it became obvious he would not earn any points in the second race.

Derek Drake earned the holeshot in Moto 1 and pulled away from Cooper – then fell on Lap 3 hard enough to bend the bike.

250 Moto 1 Results
250 Moto 2 Results
250 Overall Results
Points Standings

Moto Wins

450MX
[5] Eli Tomac (Hangtown II, Pala I & Pala II, Thunder Valley II, WW Ranch II)
[3] Ken Roczen (Hangtown I, Thunder Valley I, High Point II)
[1] Blake Baggett (High Point I)
[1] Marvin Musquin (WW Ranch I)

250MX
[4] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown II, Pala II, Thunder Valley I, High Point II)
[3] Justin Cooper (Hangtown I, Pala I, Thunder Valley I)
[1] Hunter Lawrence (High Point I)
[1] Chase Sexton (WW Ranch I)
[1] Dylan Ferrandis (WW Ranch II)

Next race: The Wick 338, Southwick Mass, June 29

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

Leave a comment

NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.