ProMotocross.com

Spring Creek Preview: Surging challengers chase down the leaders

Leave a comment

As the temperatures heat up across the South, the Lucas Oil Promo Motocross heads to Millville, Minn. at Spring Creek MX Park for Round 8 of the championship.

Both the 450 and 250 class have surging second-place riders who still believe they can win this year’s championship.

Marvin Musquin is determined to make the championship interesting after standing on the podium in three consecutive races. He won back to back at WW Ranch and Southwick. Last week, a terrible start to Moto 1 left him pinned under his bike on Lap 1, but rebounded to win Moto 2 and finish third overall.

While Musquin still mathematically controls his fate, Eli Tomac refuses to make it easy. Despite the occasional bad moto, Tomac has stood on the overall podium in every single race this year with wins at Pala, High Point and last week at RedBud.

The key to success will be in finding the perfect compromise between the ever shifting sand whoops and the hard-packed up and downhill sessions. Since the sand whoops often refuse to reveal their personality until Moto 1 is in the books, the overall will be in question until late in the day regardless of who dominates Race 1.

Likewise in the 250 class, second-place Dylan Ferrandis is making a charge on Adam Cianciarulo.

With three consecutive podium finishes, he was second overall at WW Ranch and Southwick. Last week he swept RedBud’s two motos while Cianciarulo stumbled to a fifth-place finish in Moto 1. The deficit currently sits at 25 points, but with 10 motos of action lying ahead of the riders, that can change quickly.

Chase Sexton will return to action this week after missing the last three motos and struggling with health issues for the last three rounds. With the championship out of reach, the 2019 250 East Supercross champion has nothing but winning on his mind.

MORE: Marvin Musquin interview

Schedule:

Qualifiers: 11:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold
Race: Live, 2 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, Moto 2 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, (Moto 2, re-air at 1 a.m. on NBC).

July 6 – 2019; Redbud

450: Eli Tomac (1-2) won over Jason Anderson (2-4) and Marvin Musquin (7-1)
250: Dylan Ferrandis (1-1) won over Adam Cianciarulo (5-2) and Justin Cooper (3-6)

July 21 – 2018; Spring Creek 

450: Eli Tomac (1-1) won over Ken Roczen (2-3) and Marvin Musquin (4-2)
250: Aaron Plessinger (1-1) won over Justin Cooper (4-3) and Alex Martin (7-2)

Overall Wins

450:
[3] Eli Tomac (Pala, High Point, RedBud)
[2] Ken Roczen (Hangtown, Thunder Valley)
[2] Marvin Musquin (WW Ranch, Southwick)

250:
[5] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown, Pala, Thunder Valley, High Point, Southwick)
[1] Justin Cooper (WW Ranch)
[1] Dylan Ferrandis (RedBud)

Moto Wins

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

250:
[5] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown II, Pala II, Thunder Valley II, High Point II, Southwick I)
[4] Dylan Ferrandis (WW Ranch II, Southwick 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)

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

Australia SuperCar Champion gets IndyCar Test at Team Penske

GETTY IMAGES
GETTY Images
Leave a comment

Scott McLaughlin’s latest reward for winning the 2019 Virgin Australia SuperCar championship is an INDYCAR test at Team Penske.

“Scott has been incredibly successful for DJR Team Penske over the last three seasons and he has become a true champion of our sport,” said team owner Roger Penske, who will become the owner of INDYCAR, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 in early January. “He certainly embraces new challenges and we think this is a great opportunity to utilize the IndyCar Series rookie testing program so Scott can experience what it is like to get behind the wheel of one of our Indy cars.”

McLaughlin, who has scored back-to-back Virgin Australia Supercars Champion for DJR Team Penske (DJRTP), will participate in an INDYCAR Rookie Evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. on Monday, January 13.

“I am always open to new challenges and I’m thankful to Team Penske for providing this opportunity to test an Indy car,” said McLaughlin, who established a new Supercars single season record with 18 victories this past season. “We had an amazing year in 2019 and I’m looking forward to defending our Supercars championship next season. I’m also excited to grow as a driver and being with Team Penske creates cool opportunities to try something new. Although I have spent a few hours in a simulator earlier this year, it’s going to be a blast to see what one really feels like at a place like Sebring.”

McLaughlin joined DJR Team Penske in 2017 as one of the brightest stars in Supercars. He has produced 35 victories and 44 pole positions over the last three seasons while helping DJRTP claim team championships in 2017 and 2019, the driver’s title each of the last two seasons and the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in October, along with co-driver Alex Premat.

McLaughlin will defend his Supercars title for DJRTP in 2020 in the No. 17 Shell V-Power Ford Mustang.  He will build on his already successful racing career by driving a full-sized open-wheel car for the first time.

Team Penske enjoyed another successful IndyCar Series season in 2019. The team earned its record 18th Indianapolis 500 victory as Simon Pagenaud captured the checkered flag in May, while Josef Newgarden won his second series title in three years and the team’s 16th INDYCAR Championship. Team Penske will once again compete with three full-season entries in 2020, featuring series champion drivers Newgarden, Pagenaud and Will Power.

Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 540 major race wins, over 620 pole positions and 37 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 53-year history, the team has also earned 18 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win, overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring along with a win in Australia’s legendary Bathurst 1000 race. Team Penske currently competes in the IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia SuperCars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500