Rich Shepherd, ProMotocross

Eli Tomac wins RedBud, Marvin Musquin steals the show

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Eli Tomac scored his third overall victory at RedBud, but Marvin Musquin scored an important moral victory in Buchanan, Mich. after starting Moto 1 dead last.

Tomac scored the Moto 1 victory – reversing a recent trend that has burdened him with poor starts. He grabbed the lead from Cooper Webb at the halfway point of Moto 1 and that gave him maximum points for the race. Tomac’s poor start this week came in Moto 2, with him mired outside the top five for much of the race.

In patented Tomac form, he charged in the final half of Moto 2 to close the gap on Jason Anderson and then Ken Roczen to finish second and take the overall with a 1-2.

Even so, Tomac thought there was more in tank.

“The track just got beat up there (in the second Moto),” he told NBC after the race. “I wasn’t able to do all my sweet outside railer-berms that time. I was following guys a little bit deeper in the pack.

“Overall, it was just a little rougher track and I was behind the fast guys. That was a lot of work.”

But it was Musquin that put on the best show of the afternoon. Pinned beneath his bike on the first lap, it took two corner workers to lift the KTM off his prone body. He rejoined the fray dead last in 40th but managed to slice his way though the field to seventh at the end.

In Moto 2, Musquin took the lead at the 19-minute mark and commanded the rest of the race. He banked 39 points total – and in doing so lost eight to the leader – but it could have been so much worse had he not been able to point in the first race. With a 7-1, he finished third overall.

NBC Sports Gold

Jason Anderson had the most consistent run of the day. Finishing 2-4, he was second overall to score his third overall podium and continue a sweep of the top five this year.

Cooper Webb earned the holeshot in Moto 1, but lost the lead early to Justin Bogle. Webb held onto third in that race and finished fifth in Moto 2 for fourth overall.

Ken Roczen can also claim a moral victory. Health issues are causing him to fade late in races continued in both Motos, but were less severe this week than previously. Roczen slipped to sixth in the first race, but he was solidly in second in Moto 2 until the very end when he let Tomac get past and steal two precious points. With a 6-3, he rounded out the top five in the overall.

Sitting fourth in the points entering RedBud – and on the heels of his Moto 2 win last week – Zach Osborne was unable to ride after suffering a practice crash on Thursday that injured his shoulder. Not expected to require surgery, the injury was sufficient to keep Osborne from being able to grip the handlebar.

Osborne could be back in action as early as two weeks from now in Millville.

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

Dylan Ferrandis dominated RedBud with a sweep of Victory Lane in both Motos, but fireworks from the first Moto reverberated through the second and created some interesting storylines.

The first half of Ferrandis’ season was dominated with slow starts, but he has reversed that trend in recent weeks. The first four weeks produced only one podium finish and three fourth-place results. That kept the leader Adam Cianciarulo from getting too far ahead. Back to back second-place finishes at WW Ranch and Southwick allowed Ferrandis to close to third in the points entering this weekend.

But Ferrandis wanted the overall win and with a solid afternoon, he accomplished that goal.

“Getting ready for the outdoor after a long Supercross season is tough, so it took me time, but finally we are where we want to be,” Ferrrandis told NBC Sports Gold after the race.

The strong run a RedBud elevated Ferrandis to second in the standings, 25 points behind Cianciarulo.

Off-track excursions, penalties and blown engines ultimately made the difference for the overall for the remainder of the leaders.

Finishing second overall, Cianciarulo lost points after getting penalized in Moto 1. He crossed under the checkers third, but was docked two positions for accelerating after he ran off course in Moto 1.

Cianciarulo was off course twice. The most dramatic of happened on Lap 1 when Cianciarulo and Alex Martin got too close over a jump. Cianciarulo pulled to the left and left the track, but did not slow enough for the officials’ taste.  He recovered to finish second in Moto 2 and finished second overall with a 5-2.

Justin Cooper rounded out the podium with a 3-6.

RJ Hampshire finished fourth with a 2-8.

Hampshire’s second-place finish in Moto 1 was helped along by a problem for Alex Martin. Circling in second in the closing laps with a comfortable margin, he lost a hose on his bike that caused a catastrophic eninge failure. Martin started the final lap in second, but the bike gave up the ghose and he finished 19th. Rebounding to third in Moto 2, he was 11th overall.

Joey Crown’s debut started in fourth on Lap 1 of Moto 1. He was still in the top 10 at the halfway mark – and just after that, he had an apparent issue with his foot peg that caused him to DNF. He finished 17th in Moto 2.

Dealing with lingering effects from fatigue mid-race at WW Ranch and Southwick, Chase Sexton elected to sit out RedBud. In an Instagram post earlier this week, Sexton said he was “not going to race until I’m ready to win.”

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

Moto Wins

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

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

Next race: Spring Creek, Millville, Minn., July 20

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

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Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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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.