Race Previews: Pro Motocross heads west to Washougal

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Four weeks remain in the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season as the riders head to the West Coast and Washougal MX Park.

Last week in Minnesota at Spring Creek, Eli Tomac kept his perfect record of podium finishes alive with a third-place overall that included moto finishes of second and fifth. Now that he firmly has the lead, he refuses to give up ground to Marvin Musquin who lost points to him in both races last week.

With a deficit of 38 points and eight motos remaining, Musquin no longer controls his fate but the math is not completely restrictive yet. Musquin needs to make up a little less than 10 points per weekend. So long as Tomac stands on the podium in the majority of motos, however, Musquin’s hopes are dashed. But that doesn’t mean there is not a lot of riding and racing on the horizon.

Last week Cooper Webb scored his first overall win in grand style. Entering the weekend without ever winning a moto in the outdoor season, Webb not only scored the overall but did so with a sweep of the two motos. It was a performance reminiscent of his first win in the Supercross series that opened up an immediately floodgate.

In 250s, after wining his second moto of the season and finishing third overall Hunter Lawrence suffered a practice crash earlier this week and will not race. According to his Instagram page a freak accident caused the accident and injury. Lawrence does not disclose the nature of the injury, but says surgery will probably be required.

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Hey guys, so a freak accident happened yesterday whilst i was out training and we had something break in the engine at the top of a jump upramp and locked up, by the time i let go of the handlebars i was already lawn darting into the ground 🎯, my team pulled apart the engine asap and what we found was a freak accident and what part broke we normally run for 100 hours and this part only had 3 hrs on it! So it wasn’t my teams fault we are digging to the bottom of it to prevent this happening again, thankyou to my team for supporting me in times like this and everyone else who rides this rollercoaster of a sport with me, as of now we are unsure of the time frame i am out for but getting checked up today, most likely surgery is required, so sorry guys i’m speechless, good luck to my team mates this weekend, put those red rockets out front 💪🏽 #mirtztillithurtz #ithurtz #maddogdown #miloracing 📸- @crunch724 / @lebigusa

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Joey Crown’s introduction to Motocross continues to be beset by problems. An injury to his thumb while practicing last week at Spring Creek kept him off the bike. He hopes to be back in action in time for Unadilla next week.

MORE: Eli Tomac versus Marvin Musquin at Washougal

Schedule:

Qualifiers: 1:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold
Race: Live, 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, Moto 2 at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, (Moto 2, re-air at 10 p.m. on NBC).

July 6 – 2019; Spring Creek

450: Cooper Webb  (1-1) won over Zach Osborne (4-3) and Eli Tomac (2-5)
250: Adam Cianciarulo (3-1) won over Alex Martin (2-3) and Hunter Lawrence (1-6)

July 28 – 2018; Washougal 

450: Eli Tomac (1-1) won over Ken Roczen (3-2) and Marvin Musquin (2-3)
250: Aaron Plessinger (4-3) won over Shane McElrath (9-1) and Joey Savatgy (1-9)

Overall Wins

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

250:
[6] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown, Pala, Thunder Valley, High Point, Southwick, Spring Creek)
[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)
[2] Cooper Webb (Spring Creek I & II)
[1] Blake Baggett (High Point I)
[1] Zach Osborne (Southwick II)

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

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Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.