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Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac bring the battle to Oakland

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Ken Roczen looks to extend his eight-point lead over Eli Tomac when the Monster Energy Supercross Series heads into RingCentral Coliseum Oakland, Calif. Saturday night for Round 5.

After finishing second or third six times in 2019 without winning, Roczen has now won two of the first four races of 2020 and appears to be in control of the season. Last week’s overall win at Glendale with a sweep of the three races served notice that he is much stronger and more focused this year. With his effort, Roczen became the first rider to sweep a 450 Triple Crown event.

Tomac won a critical Round 3, however, and has a penchant for overcoming deficits, so he cannot be discounted. He finished fourth at Oakland last year.

Meanwhile last year’s champion Cooper Webb is 20 points out of the lead and desperately needs a podium to stop his slide.

Last year Webb’s win at Oakland preceded his championship. In 2018 Jason Anderson also won Oakland before taking the championship, so this race could be pivotal.

Blake Baggett will look to extend his league-leading streak of starts this week. At Glendale, he made his 57th straight main. Baggett stood on the Oakland podium last year with a third.

Tomac is second on the active list with 36.

Austin Forkner has had an uneven start to his season, but he keeps bouncing back with wins in alternating weeks. He made a statement at Glendale with dominant wins in the first two races and has an opportunity to finally gain some momentum in Oakland.

Subscribe to the Supercross Pass for complete qualification and race coverage of the 2020 season.

Cameron McAdoo is expected to return to action at Oakland after sustaining a collapsed lung in a crash at St. Louis.

Glendale proved to be a critical race for injuries, Chris Blose crashed in the third race of the Triple Crown in the whoops. He sustained multiple injuries including a concussion, liver damage, a hip injury and one to his arm. Despite the multiple injuries, Blose would like to return before the season concludes.

Blose is joined on the concussion protocol by Justin Bogle and Benny Bloss.

Bogle crashed in the second race. Bloss crashed in qualification. Both riders expect to return before the Supercross season is over.

Deven Raper sprained an ankle in practice before Glendale. He will not race in Oakland.

Christian Craig sustained a hand injury in a Glendale crash and will miss at least the next two weeks.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 2:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN

Last Week:

Ken Roczen beat Eli Tomac and Jason Anderson in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner beat Dylan Ferrandis and Michael Mosiman in the 250 class.

Last Oakland race (January, 2019):

Cooper Webb beat Marvin Musquin and Blake Baggett in the 450 class.
Adam Cianciarulo beat Dylan Ferrandis and Colt Nichols in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Ken Roczen (92)
Eli Tomac (84)
Justin Barcia (81)
Jason Anderson (78)
Cooper Webb (72)

250 West:
Justin Cooper (86)
Dylan Ferrandis (83)
Brandon Hartranft (77)
Austin Forkner (76)
Alex Martin (66)

Wins

450

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

250 West

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

Top-5s

450

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

250 West

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

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Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”