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Eli Tomac closes the gap on Ken Roczen entering San Diego

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Eli Tomac closed the gap to three points on Ken Roczen last week with his Monster Energy Supercross win at RingCentral Coliseum. They will continue their battle down the coast in San Diego in PETCO Park Saturday night (on NBCSN at 10 p.m. ET). Last year’s San Diego race was a muddy, sloppy affair. This year it’s forecast to be contested under clear skies.

Tomac had one of those performances at Oakland that makes one wonder how he does not yet have a Supercross championship. He’s come close with a second last year and in 2015 and ’17.

Meanwhile, Roczen is also searching for his first Supercross championship after finishing second in 2016.

Injuries kept him from challenging in 2017-18, and a bout with fatigue plagued him last year, so the stinger he sustained to his foot in Oakland played heavily on his mind. He medically is cleared for San Diego. The potential injury came in the final turn last week when Cooper Webb knocked him off balance in a battle for second.

With his Oakland win, Tomac took sole possession of seventh on the all-time wins list. It also moved him into 10th on the all-time list of podium finishes.

The winner of San Diego has won the title 42 percent of the time, including three of the last five years.

For now, it is shaping up to be a two-man show with Tomac three points behind Roczen. Sitting 12 points out of second and 15 from first, Justin Barcia needs to gain some momentum. Barcia narrowly missed the top five last week with his sixth-place finish.

He chased Jason Anderson in the closing laps. But Anderson kept his perfect 2020 top-five streak alive.

Cooper Webb has his work cut out for him. San Diego has not been good to him with an average finish of 13th. He has 18 points to make up on Roczen if he wants the red plate again. Last year, he finished eighth in this race.

Webb won San Diego in 2015 and 2016, however, making him one of five riders with two victories there. Tomac also has two (2011 and 2013). No one has more.

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

Justin Cooper earned his 10th career podium last week, but lost the red plate to teammate Dylan Ferrandis.

Wedged between two extremely aggressive riders in the points, he told NBC this week that the key to his success is consistency. Cooper is only two points behind Ferrandis and eight ahead of Austin Forkner.

Cooper’s 10 podium finishes have come in just 15 starts. Four of them have come in the five races of 2020. Better yet, Cooper has yet to finish outside of the top 10.

Luke Clout has been closing in on a strong run all year with a seventh at St. Louis and a sixth in A2. He finally earned his first career top five last week in Oakland.

Christian Craig remains out with a hand injury sustained at San Diego.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN

Last Week:

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

Last San Diego race (February, 2019):

Eli Tomac beat Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen in the 450 class.
Adam Cianciarulo beat Garrett Marchbanks and Jimmy Decotis in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Ken Roczen (113)
Eli Tomac (110)
Justin Barcia (98)
Jason Anderson (96)
Cooper Webb (95)

250 West:
Dylan Ferrandis (109)
Justin Cooper (107)
Austin Forkner (99)
Brandon Hartranft (92)
Alex Martin (85)

Wins

450

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

250 West

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

Top-5s

450

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

250 West

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

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Donny Schatz edges Kyle Larson for Outlaws victory at Lake Ozark

Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
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Donny Schatz made a last-lap pass on Kyle Larson, snatching a World of Outlaws victory Saturday night at Lake Ozark Speedway.

Larson started on the pole, led 30 of 35 laps and was in control until a caution set up a two-lap shootout to the finish before a limited crowd in Eldon, Missouri.

Schatz and Larson traded the lead twice over the final two laps, but the 10-time champion emerged with his first victory since the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returned in mid-May from a two-month layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

‘THEY’VE STUCK BEHIND ME’: Kyle Larson comments on future, Outlaws plans

“Man, I don’t know what to say, but Kyle’s a damn good racer,” Schatz, who led five laps, told DirtVision after his 296th Outlaws win. “I kind of had to go where he didn’t. We got that green-white-checkered, and I decided I was going to send it. He decided the same thing.

Donny Schatz celebrates at Lake Ozark Speedway after his second Outlaws Sprint Car victory of the season (Trent Gower).

“I’m glad to get the win. It feels like it’s been forever. I’ve been out here 24 years, and every night is a learning experience still.”

Larson finished second in his fifth start since he began racing with the Outlaws after being suspended from NASCAR.

“Obviously, it would have been nice to get the win,” Larson said on DirtVision. “I figured Donny would rip the middle. The restarts before, he’d almost clear me in (turns) 3 and 4. I should have known to protect and block his momentum. I felt I exited 2 OK. We don’t have spotters or rearview mirrors so you can’t see how close he is or really hear it when the pace is so slow.

“I just didn’t do a good enough job to run a smarter final couple of laps.”

Brad Sweet, Larson’s brother in law, finished third, with Shane Stewart and David Gravel rounding out the top five.

Larson rebounded from a 10th in Friday’s feature at Lake Ozark Speedway, continuing his streak of top-10 finishes in all five of his starts since the Outlaws’ return.

“We got our car a lot better from last night, so that was a plus,” said Larson, who finished second and first in back-to-back nights last week at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at Pevely, Missouri. “These guys are really tough. To be on the podium with Donny and Brad, they’ve won lots of big races and championships, it’s nice. I just didn’t do what I needed to do that last restart.”

Larson nearly had a flawless night Saturday, turning a 11.426-second lap to capture his second pole position this season and won the pole dash to start first in the feature.

Larson, who was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing from his NASCAR Cup Series ride last month for using a racial slur in an iRacing event, said last week that he plans to run several more NOS Energy Sprint Car Series races this year.

Larson remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR but was approved to race by the Outlaws after completing sensitivity training.