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

A post shared by Hunter Lawrence (@hunterlawrence) on

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, Acura battle for top speed as cars back on track for Rolex 24 at Daytona practice

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The new hybrid prototypes of Cadillac and Acura battled atop the speed chart as practice resumed Thursday for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Richard Westbrook was fastest Thursday afternoon in the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh with a 1-minute, 35.185-second lap around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.

That pace topped Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.366 lap that topped the Thursday morning session that marked the first time the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was back on track since qualifying Sunday afternoon that concluded the four-day Roar Before The Rolex 24 test.

Punctuated by Tom Blomqvist’s pole position for defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing, the Acura ARX-06s had been fastest for much of the Roar and led four consecutive practice sessions.

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But the times have been extremely tight in the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category that has brought hybrid engines to IMSA’s premier class. Only 0.9 seconds separated the nine LMDh cars in GTP in qualifying, and though the spread slightly widened to 1.378 seconds in Thursday’s practices with teams on varying strategies and preparation, Westbrook still pooh-poohed the importance of speeds.

“It’s always nice to be at the top, but I don’t think it means too much or read too much into it” Westbrook said. “Big fuel tanks in the GTP class this year, so you have no idea what fuel levels people are running. We had a good run, and the car is really enjoyable to drive now. I definitely wasn’t saying that a month ago.

“It really does feel good now. We are working on performance and definitely unlocking some potential, and it just gives us more confidence going into the race. It’s going to be super tight. Everyone’s got the same power, everyone has the same downforce, everyone has the same drag levels and let’s just go race.”

Because teams have put such a premium on reliability, handling mostly has suffered in the GTPs, but Westbrook said the tide had turned Thursday.

“These cars are so competitive, and you were just running it for the sake of running it in the beginning, and there’s so much going on, you don’t really have time to work on performance,” he said. “A lot of emphasis was on durability in the beginning, and rightly so, but now finally we can work on performance, and that’s the same for other manufacturers as well. But we’re worrying about ourselves and improving every run, and I think everybody’s pretty happy with their Cadillac right now.”

Mike Shank, co-owner of Blomqvist’s No. 60 on the pole, said his team still was facing reliability problems despite its speed.

“We address them literally every hour,” Shank said. “We’re addressing some little thing we’re doing better to try to make it last. And also we’re talking about how we race the race, which will be different from years past.

“Just think about every system in the car, I’m not going to say which ones we’re working on, but there are systems in the car that ORECA and HPD are continually trying to improve. By the way, sometimes we put them on the car and take them off before it even goes out on the track because something didn’t work with electronics. There’s so much programming. So many departments have to talk to each other. That bridge gets broken from a code not being totally correct, and the car won’t run. Or the power steering turns off.”

Former Rolex 24 winner Renger van der Zande of Ganassi said it still is a waiting game until the 24-hour race begins Saturday shortly after 1:30 p.m.

“I think the performance of the car is good,” van der Zande said. “No drama. We’re chipping away on setup step by step and the team is in control. It’s crazy out there what people do on the track at the moment. It’s about staying cool and peak at the right moment, and it’s not the right moment yet for that. We’ll keep digging.”


PRACTICE RESULTS:

Click here for Session I (by class)

Click here for Session II (by class)

Combined speeds