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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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Attention NASCAR teams: IMSA drivers available for Daytona!

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NASCAR will be making its debut on the Daytona International Speedway road course next month, and there’s a big fan who’d like to join the historic weekend.

This fan actually has impressive credentials, too — a few thousand laps around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

In 2014, the winning GTLM team in the sports car endurance classic included IMSA Porsche driver Nick Tandy, who rabidly has followed NASCAR for more than 30 years since growing up in England.

So why not try racing NASCAR? Especially because Tandy has the weekend of Aug. 14-16 free.

He’s not picky, either — offering up his services on Twitter (as well as those of Porsche teammate Earl Bamber) for an ARCA, Xfinity, trucks or Cup ride.

Tandy’s affinity for American stock-car racing runs deep.

His first trip to the World Center of Racing was as a fan attending the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. During Rolex testing in January, Tandy, 35, said he hadn’t missed a Cup race on TV in 15 years.

Among his favorite NASCAR drivers: the Earnhardts, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. When IMSA ran the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2014, Tandy stayed a few extra days at the Brickyard and bought Kyle Busch gear for himself and his children.

He briefly took the stage during a NASCAR weekend last October. After IMSA’s season finale at Road Atlanta, Tandy made a few demonstration laps and a burnout in his No. 911 Porsche before the Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

He also has some experience in stock cars, having raced Modified-type grass-roots series on England’s quarter-mile short tracks.

Couple that with a Daytona road course record that includes two consecutive podium class finishes (including last Saturday) and a sports car resume with 13 IMSA victories and an overall win in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans … and maybe a NASCAR team should take a look.

And Tandy isn’t the only IMSA driver who likely would be available.

Corvette driver Jordan Taylor, who won the 2017 Rolex 24 overall title with Jeff Gordon as a teammate (and the inspiration for his Rodney Sandstrom persona), also tweeted his availability for the weekend on the high banks.

Sports car veteran Andy Lally, a GTD driver with multiple class wins in the Rolex 24 as well as 38 Cup starts (he was the 2011 rookie of the season in NASCAR’s premier series), also hung out his shingle.

There also is AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth (who just won at Daytona last Saturday), the Englishman who teamed with Kyle Busch at the Rolex 24 in January and made an Xfinity start at Mid-Ohio last year with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Many sports car drivers (such as Taylor) already live in Florida, and many are hunkering down in the Sunshine State with IMSA returning to action at Daytona last week and Sebring International Raceway next week. Because of COVID-19-related travel concerns and restrictions, several IMSA stars who live outside the country are riding out the pandemic within a few hours of Daytona with nothing to do.

Why not a weekend at the World Center of Racing?

Over the years, scads of “road-course ringers” (including some Formula One veterans) have tried their hands in stock cars at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International.

How about considering the many sports car drivers who already have reached victory lane at Daytona by making a few right-hand turns, too?