Cooper Webb sweeps Spring Creek in route to his first Motocross win

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When Cooper Webb wins, he is determined to do so in grand style.

Weather delayed the start of Round 8 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross championship as a combination of rain and lightning kept the competition off Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minn. Moto 1 in the 250 class was a muddy affair. The track began to dry before the 450 class took to the track, but the ruts continued to deepen.

Webb did not allow a little moisture to rain on his parade. He scored his first career moto win in Moto 1 and then picked up where he left off. in Moto 2.

Prior to this weekend, Webb had not even stood on the podium in the Motocross series.

Webb was leading Moto 2 early when he saw Ken Roczen triple the uphill segment for the first time in the combined races. Emboldened, Webb was certain he could do that on the following lap. He couldn’t. Webb crashed and allowed Roczen to get around.

“I was feeling good,” Webb said. “Ken was riding awesome and I went and followed him up the triple and I crashed – which sucked. But I just got up and put my head down. I knew I had some tricks up my sleeve.”

Webb charged hard for the remainder of the race and finally caught back up to Roczen as time ran off the clock. With two laps remaining Roczen lost momentum in the whoops and allowed Webb to blaze past.

This is the first career win for the 2019 Supercross champion who has struggled for most of the outdoor season. Webb’s best finish so far this year was fourth, which he scored three times. In fact, Webb is coming off back to back fourth-place finishes at Southwick and RedBud.

Zach Osborne took second overall with two consistent motos. Finishing fourth in Moto 1 and third in Moto 2, he scored his third consecutive podium after finishing third overall in WW Ranch and second at Southwick. Osborne missed last week’s race at RedBud with a shoulder injury sustained in practice.

Eli Tomac padded his points lead over Marvin Musquin. He finished a comfortable second in Moto 1 and then struggled in Moto 2 to finish fifth. As has been the case all season, Tomac struggled to put two motos together. Tomac ran up on Justin Bogle and stalled his bike. The mark of his championships have been a refusal to give up. His 2-5 was enough to score third overall.

“I just wasn’t on it in that moto,” Tomac said after the second race. “No one to blame there but myself. Just some bad riding. The mistake there in the back didn’t help me at all – shuffled me back a few spots.

“Got to regroup and come out swinging for Washougal.”

A big pileup in Moto 2 gobbled up Marvin Musquin and pinned him under his bike for the second time in two weeks. Musquin was forced to overcome the loss of track position and finish seventh. Finishing 3-7, Musquin finished fourth overall but lost four points to Tomac.

Roczen came close to winning a fourth moto of the season and he needs a strong run. He finished second in Moto 2, but coupled with a 14th in Moto 1, he lost a ton of points. Roczen finished fifth overall.

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

Mud or dry – it doesn’t matter for Adam Cianciarulo.

In Moto 1, Cianciarulo was riding a snake after getting a clod of dirt in his goggles that limited his vision. He followed the leader Hunter Lawrence off course early in the race, had several instances during which he flew sideways across ruts, and finally went off course and then down with four minutes on the clock. Somewhere in the midst of all the chaos, he was forced to jettison his eyewear.

The mud giveth and the mud taketh away – but it tooketh away only one spot since then fourth-place Chase Sexton was more than 20 seconds behind him at the time.

Moto 2 was never in question. Cianciarulo grabbed the lead at the start and never looked back. While second through fifth battled with a few seconds between each position, he climbed to a 22-second advantage with about five minutes remaining. He cruised home and earned the overall with a 3-1.

“I’m not really an angry person,” Cianciarulo told NBC Sports Gold after the conclusion of Moto 2. “But after that first moto for some reason I was really mad. Just mad at the situation. It was frustrating and I had to get to my girlfriend in the semi and put my ear pods on and just breathe.”

Still angry by the time the moto started, Cianciarulo used that to focus him.

Alex Martin wanted to make a statement on his home track. With the family home literally on the property, this track is special and Martin pushed harder than in any race. Finishing second in both motos, he took second overall. Martin made a dramatic pass in Moto 2 as time ran off the clock and the 3-lap-to-go sign was shown.

After the race’s conclusion, Martin was penalized one position for not slowing sufficiently when he went off course. His 2-3 was still enough to finish second overall. This was Martin’s first overall podium since this race last year when he finished third.

Lawrence took the lead early in Moto 1. It is difficult to pass on a muddy track and despite making a few charges, Cianciarulo was unable to get to the lead before he went down. As has been the case too often this season, the second moto was Lawrence’s undoing. Missing a shift off the line, he finished sixth, but with a 1-6 he was able to stand on bottom step of the podium.

With nine minutes remaining on the clock, the second-place rider in points Dylan Ferrandis showed both what makes him so great and risky. Flying through the whoops, he blasted past Colt Nichols. At the end of the straightaway, he was unable to navigate the turn and went down – handing the position right back to his teammate.

Ferrandis finished fourth overall with a 5-4.

Shane McElrath rounded out the top five with a 4-5.

Chase Sexton’s return showed a lot of promise in the first moto. He was riding fourth when he went down in the mud and fell back through the field. Finishing seventh in Moto 2, he scored a respectable 12th overall.

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)
[2] Cooper Webb (Spring Creek I & II)
[1] Blake Baggett (High Point I)
[1] Zach Osborne (The Wick II)

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

Next race: Washougal MX Park, Washougal, Wash., July 27

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

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IndyCar’s Scott Dixon staying fit during lengthy time off

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During a regular racing schedule, five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing would spend much of his time between races at PitFit in Indianapolis.

The highly advanced workout facility on the northwest side of Indianapolis is run by noted sports trainer Jim Leo. His clientele includes IndyCar Series drivers and other athletes in the area.

In addition to the array of workout machines, Leo’s facility also has advanced equipment to test a driver’s reaction time. These range from a board with lights that rapidly flash, and a driver have to hit the board to turn them off. There are other tests drivers do to keep their skills sharp and reaction time focused.

Times have changed, though.

Indiana is under a statewide lockdown with the exception of essential services only. Instead of going to PitFit, Dixon is working out at his home on the north side of Indianapolis.

His reaction time is being tested by his wife, Emma, throw a tennis ball at him, changing the direction with each toss.

“I’ve gone back to old school, like tennis balls and Emma can drop them or throw them,” Dixon told NBCSports.com. “As long as you keep up with basic cardio and lift weights and work on the neck muscles, that’s the harder part to get ready for. “As we get through this transition, we have 8-10 weeks before these things get lifted.

“I had already stopped going into Pit Fit last week. We had not been doing that for a while. Haven’t left the house for 13 days, now. We went to the grocery store once. The rest of the stuff has been delivered.

“We’re locked down, man, trying to do our best for everyone else.”

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Dixon’s home has an impressive array of workout equipment. That allows the 39-year-old racing legend to stay fit during this extended time off that won’t end until the last week of May at the earliest.

“I have most of the stuff I need at home,” Dixon explained. “Some of the reaction stuff, the D-2s and Synaptic machines plus some of the upper-body machines are pretty unique machines. Those are the machines that Jim Leo has at PitFit.

“As far as cycling, running, general weights, skiers and rollers, I have that at home.”

It seems like a lifetime ago when the world was normal. That was before the dreaded COVID-19 outbreak has literally sent society underground and locked in while a solution to this fatal virus is found.

Photo by Chris Graythen, Getty Images

Before this unexpected shutdown, Dixon would go into PitFit to work on specialized equipment on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He would do the rest of his physical workout at home.

“I started skipping that when we got home before the lockdown,” Dixon said. “Before the lockdown, Jim could have stayed open because he never has more than 10 people at once.

“Typically, he would have the drivers spaced out where Tony Kanaan and I would go in at 8 in the morning and Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe would go in at 9:30 and then Zach Veach and Spencer Pigot and Charlie Kimball would go in around 11. There were only about five of us going in at once.”

Two weeks ago, Leo dropped off some equipment at Dixon’s house along with more instructions to focus on his workouts during the layoff.

Sacrifices are being made all throughout the world, including racing.

“You can’t be selfish,” Dixon said. “It sucks for the drivers, but it sucks a lot worse for a lot of other people. Luckily, the school the girls go to has e-learning. It’s school as usual on the computer from 8:30 to 3 and that has been seamless on that front.

“On a personal note, it’s nice to be home with the baby and bonding as well and that is great. But all of us wish everything was back to normal as soon as possible.”

RELATED: Vikings’ Kyle Rudolph adjusting to ‘new normal’ for training

Dixon is the father of three, including young daughters Poppy (10), Tilly (8) and infant son, Kit.

This is a time to keep his family safe.

“You hear mixed messages about who is more at risk,” Dixon said. “Obviously, older people with underlying conditions. We’re a fairly healthy family, but still it sounds like something can trigger a pretty bad situation. It’s better to be safe than sorry so we are limiting our contact as fast as possible. The quicker everybody locks down, the quicker we will get through the situation. If we stay home, we will see a decline and hopefully get back to normal pretty quickly.

“It’s a new thing for everybody.”

For now, Dixon works out at home, while the girls continue their classes on the computer. Emma spends time with her infant son, Kit, while taking care of the family.

These days of working out at home will be important because once racing is scheduled to return, tentatively set for May 30 at Detroit, it will be flat-out, racing nearly every weekend.

There won’t be time-off in-between races.

“No, but everybody is having plenty of rest right now,” Dixon quipped. “It’s not what anybody wants. We all keep hoping everybody remains safe and healthy. It’s a difficult time for a lot of people and we’ve been very lucky that we don’t know anybody that has had an issue so far. Hopefully, that remains the same.

“Everybody is ready to go. We were ready to go at St. Pete. This will be welcomed greatly.

“Nothing is normal these days. I think what IndyCar and IMS did was probably the best of the situations. You never want to move the dates of the 500, but you always want the people to be relaxed enough they are going to come to the race, too.

“The way they have done the schedule is pretty cool. It gives them enough wiggle room now with Detroit being the kickoff. What is also fun is the July 4 doubleheader weekend at Indianapolis and St. Pete finishing the season.”

Once life returns to normal, depending on what the new normal will look like, race drivers and athletes will once again be in an area they know.

The difficult part of this, however, is nobody knows when the COVID-19 pandemic will end.

“The hard part right now is there are so many unknowns,” Dixon said. “That is what people hate. They could wrap their hands around two weeks, but it could be another six weeks. People will go crazy.

“That is what we are going through right now. The unknown. Nobody knows what the next step is.”

That is why Dixon has a message for all race fans to take these orders seriously.

“Stay safe. Stay away from people. Lock down. Get this period done with,” Dixon said. “Once we do that, hopefully we can crack on like normal and people can find fixes and therapies. As soon as everybody bunkers down, we will get through this sooner instead of later.

“Let’s get back to normal as quick as possible and get back to racing when we can.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500