Feld Entertainment Inc

Supercross Round 4 in Glendale is anyone’s race to win

Leave a comment

The Monster Energy Supercross series heads to Glendale, Ariz.’s State Farm Stadium for Round 4 and they are still looking for a repeat winner in either the 450 of 250 class. The first three rounds of the 450 class have gone to Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac.

Last year Blake Baggett stood on the top step of the podium. Last week he led for about a foot before crashing and could provide another unique winner.

In 250s, Justin Cooper, Austin Forkner and Dylan Ferrandis have shown a ton of aggression in route to the top spot of the first three races.

The question that remains to be answered is whether Glendale will provide a new winner, or be the rubber match that allows one of the top riders to establish dominance.

With a win in St. Louis and a second-place finish last week at Anaheim 2, Roczen snatched the red plate from Barcia.

Cooper’s consistent top-fives in the first three weeks have made him the points’ leader in 250s.

But this week could go to any of the top riders. This is Supercross’ first Triple Crown format weekend with three races contributing to the overall victory. The three events will be shorter than the typical feature and there is less time to get to the front of the pack. Riders in both classes have already shown a high degree of intensity. If they crank it up another notch, the races will be filled with excitement and possibly carnage from start to finish.

A long opening stretch followed by an 11-jump rhythm section will separate the meek from the bold. Any rider who manages to quadruple part of this could have a distinct advantage.  State Farm Arena is a big venue that provides for high-speed straights and challenging turns.

In 450s, Dylan Merriam sustained a broken collarbone and ribs at Anaheim 2 and will be off the bike for the next three weeks at least.

In 250s, Jett Lawrence went from the lead of the race at Anaheim 2 to the care center with a broken collarbone last week. He is out for the foreseeable future.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 2:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold with a replay on NBCSN January 26, 2 p.m.

Last Week:

Eli Tomac beat Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb in the 450 class.
Dylan Ferrandis beat Justin Cooper and Brandon Hartranft in the 250 class.

Last St. Louis race (January, 2019):

Blake Baggett beat Jason Anderson and Ken Roczen in the 450 class.
Adam Cianciarulo beat Colt Nichols and Shane McElrath in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Ken Roczen (66)
Justin Barcia (63)
Eli Tomac (61)
Jason Anderson (57)
Adam Cianciarulo (56)

250 West:
Justin Cooper (72)
Dylan Ferrandis (60)
Brandon Hartranft (58)
Austin Forkner (50)
Alex Martin (50)

Wins

450

(1) Justin Barcia (Anaheim 1)
(1) Ken Roczen (St. Louis)
(1) Eli Tomac (Anaheim 2)

250 West

(1) Justin Cooper (Anaheim 1)
(1) Austin Forkner (St. Louis)
(1) Dylan Ferrandis (Anaheim 2)

Top-5s

450

(3) Jason Anderson
(2) Justin Barcia
(2) Eli Tomac
(2) Ken Roczen
(2) Cooper Webb
(2) Zach Osborne
(1) Adam Cianciarulo
(1) Blake Baggett

250 West

(3) Justin Cooper
(2) Austin Forkner
(2) Dylan Ferrandis
(2) Brandon Hartranft
(2) Michael Mosiman
(2) Alex Martin
(1) Christian Craig
(1) Jett Lawrence

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

An IndyCar iRacing Challenge at Talladega? Drivers have discussed it

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is interested in an IndyCar iRacing event on an oval, he might like the latest idea being kicked around by NTT Series drivers.

“I personally would want to run at Talladega, but I don’t think that’s an option,” Arrow McLaren SP driver rookie Oliver Askew told NBCSports.com in a Friday interview about his simulation work for the second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “IndyCar drivers have a group chat with iRacing, and someone had the idea of running at Talladega, and I thought it was brilliant.”

It actually would be a throwback of sorts as a USAC-sanctioned race with Indy cars at Talladega nearly happened 40 years ago.

The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will be running its second consecutive road course Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or streaming here).

Of the four remaining races in the six-race series, there’s a chance that three of them could be ovals: A Drivers’ Choice track April 11; a “Random Draw” April 18 and a non-IndyCar “Dream” track May 2 (the April 25 race will be at Circuit of the Americas).

ENTRY LIST: Who will be racing at Barber

SPOTTER GUIDE: All 29 of this weekend’s paint schemes

IndyCar drivers are voting on next week’s track, and the options include high-speed ovals such as Texas Motor Speedway and Michigan Speedway.

A multicar crash at Talladega last October. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Talladega apparently isn’t on the list for next week, but surely it could be considered for a future race if it meant having Earnhardt in the field. The 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver is a six-time winner at Talladega, and the NASCAR on NBC analyst’s family is synonymous with the 2.66-mile oval where his late seven-time champion father won a record 10 times.

“I hope he can make that happen,” Askew said of racing against Earnhardt. “I hope IndyCar can grant his wish on that.”

The addition of Earnhardt would fit well with an IndyCar iRacing Challenge that already features champions from NASCAR (Jimmie Johnson) and Supercars (Scott McLaughlin).

Will Power would like to see more of that.

“I think that would be great if we can get big-name drivers from other series,” Power said. “Getting a couple guys from Europe would be cool.”