Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Cooper Webb, Jason Anderson face turning point in Anaheim

Leave a comment

Round 3 of the Supercross season kicks off with qualification on NBCSports Gold at 4:00 PM eastern at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. and it could be a turning point for the two most recent champions Cooper Webb and Jason Anderson. Time is running out: The past four championships have gone to riders who won during the first three rounds.

The past two seasons have also gone to surprise winners. While Anderson had strong points finishes in two of his previous three seasons in 450 competition, he wasn’t on many radar screens entering 2018. Anderson finished third in the standings in 2016 and fourth in 2017, but most eyes were trained on Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac at the time.

That is until Anderson swept the podium in the first three races with a win in Round 2 at Houston.

Last year, Anderson’s bid to repeat as champion got off to a slow start with a 14th-place finish in Anaheim 1 and it came to an abrupt halt with a practice crash following a disappointing ninth-place finish in Anaheim 2. The highlight of 2019 was a second-place finish at Glendale.

Anderson has performed well in the first two rounds of 2020 with a fifth-place finish at Anaheim 1 and a third-place podium at St. Louis.

Both riders have earned podium finishes in their first two races, but neither has dominated.

MORE: Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen off to a slow start

Webb battled flu-like symptoms in the season opener before putting in one of the gutsiest performances of the year so far. He finished third in Anaheim 1. Round 2 was not nearly as kind. Webb struggled throughout the race and managed only a 12th-place finish at the Dome at America’s Center.

Anaheim 2 proved to be the turning point of his season last year. Webb started 2019 year with a fifth in Anaheim 1 and a 10th at Glendale. With an average finish of 7.5 that is identical to his 2020 performance, Webb came back to Anaheim in Round 3 and scored his first career win.

Ryan Dungey won the three previous championships. In his last two he also won during the first three rounds. Dungey’s first win of the 2017 season came in Round 3 at Anaheim 2. In 2016, Dungey won Rounds 2 & 3 at San Diego 1 and Anaheim 2. He would also win Round 4 at Oakland.

In 2015, Dungey had to wait for his first win until Round 5 when the series returned to Anaheim for a third time that year. He stood on the podium in the three races immediately preceding, however.

If the pattern holds and the 2020 champion wins in the first three rounds, Justin Barcia and Ken Roczen have the inside line.

Barcia won Anaheim 1 in a surprising development, but he proved that was not a fluke with his second-place finish last week. Barcia would not make much noise for the remainder of the season, however, and with only a handful of 450SX wins to his credit, he would certainly keep the surprise champions streak alive as well.

Roczen has emotion and momentum on his side after breaking a three-year winless streak at St. Louis. He finished sixth at Anaheim 1.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.