Ken Roczen is perfect in Glendale Triple Crown

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Two weeks after scoring his first Supercross win in three years, Ken Roczen found himself back atop the podium, not once but three times. With a perfect performance, Roczen won all three Mains of the Triple Crown event at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. and easily scored the overall win.

“I was praying after the (second Main) to make it through (the third) safe,” Roczen said on NBC Sports Gold Saturday night. “I didn’t get the very best start before (the restart). I focused a little bit more on this one and grabbed the hole shot and just rode my own race.”

Roczen entered the final Main with a points’ cushion and could have taken an easy route to the overall victory. Winning can become addictive, however, and after waiting so long to get back to the top step of the podium, Roczen was not going to be denied.

Last week Roczen finished second at Anaheim 2 to secure the red plate. He holds onto it for another week with his Glendale victory.

Tomac was second in the first two Mains. His third race was much more adventurous. After going down in heavy traffic during the restart, Tomac was forced to charge from 13th. That has been familiar ground for him during the past two years and Tomac easily rode through the field. With a 2-2-3, he finished second overall and currently sits eight points behind in the points.

Jason Anderson finished third overall.

“The red flag’s always a bummer,” Anderson said after the race. “It sucked for my race, but I never want to see a guy getting hurt. All in all I had a great night and I kept getting better.”

Anderson did indeed finish progressively better in each Main with a 5-3-2 in route to his second podium of the season and a sweep of the top five.

Cooper Webb also improved throughout the night. His finishes of 8-5-4 was enough to score fourth overall.

Justin Barcia rounded out the top five with a 6-8-7.

Adam Cianciarulo is learning some hard lessons. On multiple occasions during the opening four rounds it has appeared he is ready to seriously challenge for the championship in his rookie season. He has made some impressive passes among the leaders and momentarily set sail – only to crash out of the top five in the closing laps.

That happened one more time at Glendale when he had a hard off in the closing laps while running third. He ended the final Main with a 17th-place finish and fell to eighth overall after running third and sixth in the first two races.

The next Triple Crown event is on tap for Arlington February 22.
Overall Results | Points

With a 1-1-3, Austin Forkner became the first repeat winner of the season in 250s.

If it seemed like he had something to prove, that is because he did. After winning at St. Louis, he had a disappointing Anaheim 2 and finished 17th. His penalty for cutting the track in Anaheim 1 still lurked in his memory as well. At Glendale, he dominated the first two Mains and had a two-point cushion over Dylan Ferrandis entering the final race.

He needed it and with five points on the night, he narrowly edged Ferrandis for the overall.

“The first rhythm section I almost jumped into the back of somebody,” Forkner said from the top rung of the podium after the third Main. “I tensed up a little bit. I kind of had everything to lose and the other guys didn’t have anything to lose, so they were just going for it.”

Ferrandis was the model of consistency with second-place finishes in each Main. That gave him six points for the night and a big incentive to try and catch Justin Cooper. Ferrandis could not cut into Cooper’s considerable lead during the race, but he was able to trims a lot off the points’ deficit. He entered Glendale 12 points back. Ferrandis left just three behind Cooper.

Michael Mosiman earned his first podium of the season. Finishing 4-4-6, he came into Glendale with a couple of fourth-place finishes. But just missing the top three actually elevated expectations for him and his fans.

“This season I’m riding a lot better and the expectations are higher, so I get to carry that pressure with me,” Mosiman said.

It was almost a disastrous night for Justin Cooper but he managed to keep the points’ lead. Cooper finished 17th in the first Main after crashing. He earned the hole shot in Main 2 and then crashed again before finishing ninth.

Cooper won the third Main in an act of determination.

“(It was a )pretty hard day for me,” Cooper said after winning the third race. “Up and down. A rollercoaster. This sport is brutal and it keeps you on your toes.”

Overall Results | Points

Austin Forkner won the first two Mains in dominant fashion. Feld Entertainment Inc.

450s

Main 1: In a dramatic showdown Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac showed they will be two of the riders to beat this season. … Roczen grabbed the early lead and would not be distracted by Tomac, who hung tightly to his back wheel. … For most of the race, these two riders were within a second of one another until Roczen gained an advantage late and ended the race nearly two seconds ahead of Tomac. … Adam Cianciarulo took the final spot on the podium and continues to bank experience. … Malcolm Stewart and Jason Anderson rounded out the top five. … Zach Osborne led early, but crashed about two minutes into the race; he retired with damage. … It was a bad start for Cooper Webb. He dropped to 10th in the opening minutes and could rally to finish only eighth. | Results

Main 2: Ken Roczen made it look effortless as he crossed the finish line more than six seconds ahead of Tomac. … Roczen got the hole shot and held his advantage throughout. … Jason Anderson stood on the final step of the podium with Blake Baggett taking fourth. … Cooper Webb earned a better start this time, but he was quickly embroiled in a battle with Adam Cianciarulo that allowed Roczen to scoot away. … Cianciarulo grabbed second early, but with seven minutes remaining, he fell and remounted in eighth. Cianciarulo gained two positions before the checkers and finished sixth. … The initial start was red flagged for an accident involving Justin Bogle. Cianciarulo took a bad angle. When he cut in front of the pack, several riders – including Bogle – went down. Bogle high-sided and face-planted in the crash and was helped off the track by the Alpine Star medical staff. | Results

Main 3: Ken Roczen benefitted from a complete restart and got the early lead once the gate dropped a second time. … Once in the lead, Roczen rode a smooth, relaxed race and beat Jason Anderson to the line by more than five seconds. … Rounding out the podium, Eli Tomac had an adventurous race. He went down hard in traffic and remounted his Kawasaki 13th. Tomac is accustomed to coming from the back of the pack, however. … Tomac was embroiled with a battle with last year’s champion Cooper Webb, who hung onto his rear wheel. … Martin Davalos rounded out the top five. … Adam Cianciarulo is learning some hard lessons. Riding third, he had a hard off in the closing laps and had to be helped from the track. Cianciarulo finished 17th, one lap off the pace. … The red flag was brought out for a hard crash involving Chris Blose. | Results

250s

Main 1: An aggressive move by Austin Forkner on the opening lap paid off with the Main 1 win. Forkner body slammed Christian Craig on the opening lap and then passed Alex Martin to get into clean air. … He held the lead for the rest of the race and walked away from Dylan Ferrandis in second. … Michael Mosiman kept his magical season alive with a third-place finish. … Craig rallied to finish fourth with Brandon Hartranft rounding out the top five … Points leader Justin Cooper went down on the first lap in a multi-rider incident and bent his handlebar. Trying to make up time, he fell again with seven minutes remaining. Cooper finished 17th. | Results

Main 2: Austin Forkner made it two for two. He dove to the inside of Derek Drake midway through the race and never looked back. … Dylan Ferrandis took a few laps to get around Drake and lost touch with Forkner. … Drake held on for the final step of the podium. … Michael Mosiman took the fourth spot with Jacob Hayes rounding out the top five. … It was another disappointing race for Justin Cooper. He went down while leading and remounted in 21st; he climbed to ninth. … Christian Craig went down early and was helped off course by the Alpine Medical staff. | Results

Main 3: Justin Cooper earned the holeshot, but then again he had started among the leaders in the second Main as well and suffered a disappointing. This time he held on take the victory. … Dylan Ferrandis was forced to settle for second for the third straight Main. … He and Austin Forkner got mired in traffic on the opening lap and had to come from the middle of the pack. … Brandon Hartranft took fourth with Jacob Hayes finishing fifth for the second straight race. | Results

Next race: February 1, RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland Calif.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

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Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
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On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)