Eli Tomac, Dylan Ferrandis get first wins at Anaheim 2


Round 3 of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. looked eerily familiar. The top three riders in 2019 points reprised their battle at the head of the pack for the first time this year. Eli Tomac’s cold start to the 2020 season finally heated up with a convincing win over Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb.

As for the race, it was another slow start for Tomac. Riding 10th at the end of Lap 1, Tomac came from the middle of the pack once again, but this time he knew he could catch the leaders.

“That was a big push,” Tomac said after the race. “Luckily I was able to get the insides in the first few corners there and then it was game on. It was realistic to catch to front today. I was riding way better and was more comfortable on my motorcycle.”

With his win, Tomac jumped two positions in the standings to third in points.

Second-place finisher Roczen was disappointed after giving up the race lead, but was consoled by the points’ lead.

“I grabbed a super great start,” Roczen said. “I made it around the first turn and had a good gap going, but to win this Main event I had to skim the whoops. I made some adjustments from the heat race, but I wasn’t that comfortable out there.”

Roczen led early but was soon challenged. Blake Baggett slipped past Roczen and then immediately fell in the next turn. Baggett ended the race in 14th.

Webb took the final spot on the podium, but after battling the flu and strep for the past two weeks, he was happy to feel healthy.

The points’ leader entering the race, Barcia had a tough outing. He was outside the top 10 in the first five minutes and managed to climb as high as seventh before dropping to ninth in the final rundown. He lost the lead to Roczen and now trails by six.

Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson rounded out the top five.

Dylan Ferrandis survived multiple incidents at Anaheim 2 to earn his first win in 2020. Feld Entertainment Inc.

Dylan Ferrandis took the checkers first in a race that threatened to end under review. That speaks volumes about the intensity of the 250 West Main.

The incident that brought about the potential review came halfway through the Main when Ferrandis made heavy contact with Christian Craig as the pair battled for second place. Ferrandis catapulted Craig off his bike as both riders fell. Ferrandis was quick to reclaim his seat and continued on his quest to catch the leader.

“From my perspective, I scrubbed really fast past the finish line. … We made contact, but I feel like I was a little bit in front of him,” Ferrandis said from the top spot on the podium with boos raining down. “It’s not the kind of racing I want to do, but otherwise I give everything I have and a win is awesome.”

More drama was set up late in the race.

The leader, 16-year-old Jett Lawrence was gifted an 11-second lead with Ferrandis and Craig’s incident. It wasn’t enough.

With four minutes on the clock, Lawrence fell and allowed last year’s 250 West champion to close within two seconds. Lawrence regained his composure and maintained a steady advantage for the next two minutes until a bobble brought Ferrandis into contact.

The final lap shaped up to be a classic battle. Ferrandis took the lead with time running off the clock. Struggling to catch him, Lawrence endoed hard into a jump. His bike followed him into the crash scene and slammed into him. Lawrence was helped off the track by the Alpine Medical team. At the conclusion of the night, the team announced Lawrence suffered a broken collarbone.

Justin Cooper inherited second and maintained his points’ lead.

On the heels of his first podium finish last week at St. Louis, Brandon Hartranft scored another and solidified his position of third in the standings.

A night that started out with so much promise for Honda teammates Craig and Lawrence ended with neither rider on the lead lap. They earned a three-second lead over Austin Forkner early in the race. Forkner was running third when he landed awkwardly and laid his bike down. Forkner had trouble restarting his Kawasaki and finished 17th.

Lawrence finished ninth as the first rider one lap down.


Heat 1: Eli Tomac finally looked like Eli Tomac; he took the heat win by nearly 10 seconds over the field. … Tomac and Cooper Webb needed to get out of the gate fast. They have not shown the level of strength necessary to contend for the championship and in a 17-race season, there is not much time to find one’s rhythm. … Webb finished second. … Dean Wilson rounded out the podium … Justin Brayton was involved in a Turn 1 accident, but he climbed back onto his steed and rode into a transfer position with his seventh-place finish. … Chad Reed was in the final transfer position until the next to last lap; he was run down and passed by Justin Hill, who was forced to come from the back after he was also involved in the Turn 1 incident. | Heat 1 Results

Heat 2: Ken Roczen picked up where he left off in St. Louis with a win in his heat. … He did not walk away with the victory uncontested, however. He was embroiled in a fierce battle with Adam Cianciarulo in the early laps … Cianciarulo got a fast, aggressive start and held the advantage for half of the heat before succumbing to the veteran. Once he fell behind, AC went to school on Roczen. Based on that observation, Cianciarulo said he lost the majority of his time in the whoops. … Jason Anderson took the final spot on the podium. … Malcolm Stewart finished fourth. … Zach Osborne took the final transfer spot over Chris Blose. | Heat 2 Results

LCQ: After getting edged on the next-to-last lap of his heat, Chad Reed paced the field to win the Last Chance Qualifier over Chris Blose. … Ryan Breece advanced with his third-place finish, but it came with a little drama: Breece muscled Jason Clermont out of the lead and off of the track halfway through the race. … Alex Ray grabbed the final transfer spot. | LCQ Results


Heat 1: Austin Forkner walked away with the win by nearly 11 seconds over Mitchell Oldenburg. “I really wanted to try and crush these guys in this heat race and make a statement.” Forkner declared from the top step of the podium. … Justin Cooper rounded out the top three. … The final transfer spot went to Lorenzo Camporese, edging out Taiki Koga. … Alex Martin was also sent to the LCQ after crashing early in the rhythm section. | Heat 1 Results

Heat 2: Christian Craig got the early jump and maintained it through the heat as Jett Lawrence and Dylan Ferrandis were forced to come through the field. It wasn’t simple. Craig had to battle a loose seat. … Ferrandis and Lawrence were jammed up in the opening lap and the pair had to come blazing through the field. … Logan Karnow took the final transfer over Michael Mosiman. | Heat 2 Results

LCQ: Michael Mosiman put two fast straights together on the opening lap and blasted past Alex Martin. … That’s how they finished the LCQ with Mosiman holding a more-than seven-second lead. … Luke Clout finished third with Robbie Wageman taking the final transfer spot. | LCQ Results

Click here for 450 Overall Results | Season Points
Click here for 250 Overall Results | Season Points

Next race: January 25, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

In tears after the Indianapolis 500, Santino Ferrucci is proud of his third-place finish


INDIANAPOLIS – Santino Ferrucci was in tears after last Sunday’s 107th Indy 500.

The AJ Foyt Racing driver from Woodbury, Connecticut had just driven the best race of his career, only to have the final yellow flag of the race fly just a second or two before he would have been in position for the win.

The field had just been given the green flag with four laps to go and Ferrucci was charging in the No. 14 Chevrolet into Turn 1, about to pass both Josef Newgarden for second place, which would have put him in prime position to draft past Marcus Ericsson for the victory.

JOSEF’S FAMILY TIES: Newgarden wins Indy 500 with wisdom of father, wife

But IndyCar race control issued the third red flag stoppage in the final 15 laps of the race and with Ferrucci 2 inches behind Newgarden’s Chevrolet, he was lined up third.

When IndyCar had the remaining drivers refire the engines for three-quarters of a lap behind the Pace Car followed by a one-lap green and white flag dash to the finish, Ferrucci knew there was little he could do to get past the front two cars.

Newgarden passed Ericsson on the backstretch and went on to take the checkered flag for his first Indianapolis 500 victory. Ericsson was just 0.0974-of-a-second away from winning the Indy 500 for the second year in a row and Ferrucci was 0.5273-of-a-second away from winning his first career NTT IndyCar Series race.

It was a fantastic effort for Ferrucci, but to come so close to winning the biggest race in the world, the kid from Connecticut was heartbroken.

“We were so good this month,” Ferrucci told NBC Sports after climbing out of his car. “When you are that fast all month long, you just want it that much more. The way we did everything to finish the race under green, it’s great for the fans, IndyCar did the right thing, but sometimes it’s a tough pill to swallow restarting third like that when you are really second.

“It’s all timing and scoring. That doesn’t lie. If it says we are third, we are third. It’s very bittersweet.”

When Ericsson and Newgarden were both “Unleashing the Dragon” with the draft-breaking zigzag moves at the end of the race, Ferrucci admitted he was hoping it would play into his favor if those two made contact ahead of him.

“I was hoping and praying because when you are third, that’s all you can do – hope and pray,” Ferrucci said.

His prayers were not answered, but his determination to win the Indianapolis 500 remains undeterred.

He has never finished outside of the top 10 in the Indianapolis 500. Ferrucci was seventh as a rookie in 2019, fourth in 2020, sixth in 2021, 10th last year and third this past Sunday.

“I love this place,” the driver said. “I love coming here. I’m always so comfortable in the race. We are good at avoiding all of the accidents that happened in front of us.

“We will win it eventually. We have to.”

Ferrucci has proven he likes to rise to the big moments.

“I like the pressure,” he said. “We do well under pressure.

“But you have to take third, sometimes.

“We had a really good shot at winning this race. We made the most of it.”

Ferrucci continues to display the uncanny knack for racing hard and avoiding trouble. When he took the lead in the No. 14 car made famous by his team owner, legendary four-time Indianapolis 500 winner AJ Foyt, many of the fans in the crowd of 330,000 roared with approval.

Ferrucci was in front for 11 laps and was in prime position to pounce at the end, before the final 15 laps brought out red flag fever.

Because of that, and the timing of where he was when the last yellow light came on before the final red, put him in a difficult position to win the race.

“It’s just emotional, bittersweet,” he said. “It was emotional getting in the car, which was kind of strange because you feel like there’s a lot of people that really want this, the team really wants this.

“We worked so hard to be where we were. We ran out front all day long. It’s definitely one of the more difficult races that I’ve probably ever run, and just we also knew that we had a really good car.

“We got really close with Felix Rosenqvist when he was wrecking so very thankful, we were able to avoid that. And then yeah, coming to the end, I think on the second to final restart, me and Marcus battling it into 1, and obviously it going red when it did, it’s part of this place, it’s part of racing, it’s part of the Speedway.

“I’m just bummed. I’m sure Marcus Ericsson thinks the same thing I do.

“All three of us could have won it at any point in time.

“Yeah, it’s bittersweet.”

A few days have passed since Ferrucci was crying when he got out of the race car. He celebrated his birthday on Wednesday by mowing his lawn after a 12-hour drive back to his home in Texas. On Thursday morning, he flies to Detroit to get ready for this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the streets of downtown Detroit.

It has given him a chance to reflect on the biggest weekend of his career.

“Everybody saw on national television I was basically crying,” Ferrucci said. “It’s just one of those competitor things in you that there was so much riding on that race, and it was going so well up until that — it finished really well.

“It wasn’t just pressure to perform but emotional pressure to just be there and to know that we probably had that race won, had it gone yellow two seconds later, it’s just kind of heartbreaking. But still, at the end of the day, you come home in third, to join Helio Castroneves and one other driver, (Harry Hartz, who finished second, second, fourth, fourth and second from 1922-1926), in five of your first five starts in top 10s. And, then you really start to look at what you’ve accomplished at the 500 in your first five starts with four different teams and what you did with A.J. Foyt — what we’ve done at AJ Foyt Racing, who hasn’t had a podium or top 3 since the year 2000 at the Speedway.

“There are so many positives, and that day could have been so much worse. We had so many close calls between pit lane and some of the crashes on track that at the end of the day I was just really, really happy.

“I went to bed that night knowing that I did the best I could, the team did the best they could, and that’s the track.”

Ferrucci stressed that he didn’t have a problem with IndyCar race control doing everything in their power to make sure the race finished the distance under green.

“The way that IndyCar finished under green was 100 percent correct for the fans,” Ferrucci said. “It didn’t affect anything for me. What affected me wasn’t the red, it was the yellow.

“The second it went yellow, had it gone yellow two seconds later had they waited, which you can’t wait when you’re crashing, so there’s nothing you can do, I was in third, I was about 6 inches behind Newgarden, and that’s very clear in the video.

“At the end of the day, nothing changed for me. The fact that they actually went red and restarted the race gave me that opportunity to win again. I just didn’t have a great restart because it’s chaotic when you just go. You’ve got to also remember there’s no restart zone.

“At that point when you’re going green for one lap, it was really cool to see the shootout, I’m not going to lie, but you know that they’re going green, so you were literally at the hands of the leader on a completely random — you could start going into 3 in the middle of 3 and 4 out of 4. He could start the race whenever he wanted to start the race instead of in the zone, so it was completely unpredictable.

“(Ericsson) had a really good jump, and I did not. That’s what took me out of the win at the end of the race. It had nothing to do with IndyCar or the red in my opinion.”

Ferrucci and rookie teammate Benjamin Pedersen helped put a smile on 88-year-old AJ Foyt’s face in what started as the one of the saddest months of Foyt’s life after his wife of 68 years, Lucy, died.

Foyt returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway dealing with grief, but for the past three weeks, he was able to see his racing team return to prominence.

I think he was really proud,” Ferrucci said of Foyt. “There’s truly two people that understood my emotions and felt my emotions on Sunday. A.J. was one, and Michael Cannon (his engineer) was the other.

“If you look at some of the photos from that day, you can kind of see it in my eyes, just — you really have to have it in your hands and then lose it in your hands to kind of understand that feeling of when you work that hard. You have to understand you’re coming from a team with two cars, a budget that’s a quarter of the size of Penske and Ganassi, and that’s all month long. We wanted it probably that much more than everybody else that day.

“To come up that short, A.J.’s finished second and third on dominant days in the ’70s, and he talked about those races, where we had the car to win. We were by far the best car at the end of that race. Once the Team McLarens were out of it and the 10 car and the 21 had the incident in pit lane, that left us.

“We were the car to win, and yeah, just sitting third knowing there’s nothing you can do, after all that hard work, yeah, it’s a feeling that very few people would understand.

“But he was incredibly proud of I think what the organization accomplished. I’m very proud of Larry and what Larry Foyt has done with the team because Larry has had control of this team since 2007, and to see him get his first podium as a team boss and team owner at the speedway was huge.

“I think everybody was incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500