JGRMX / Yoshimura / Suzuki Racing

Broc Tickle joins JGR Racing for Tampa Supercross

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Broc Tickle makes his return to the seat of a 450 bike this week at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. for Round 7 of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season (Saturday February 15, on NBCSN at 7 p.m.), riding for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Suzuki the team announced Wednesday.

Tickle will fill in for JGR’s injured riders Fredrik Noren and Joey Savatgy.

Noren is out with a leg injury from St. Louis. Savatgy is sidelined with a foot injury sustained in a crash in Australia during the offseason.

Tickle’s return comes the weekend that a two-year suspension from FIM expires. The suspension was due to a negative finding in an anti-doping test after the 2018 San Diego race.

“I’m ready to go racing and looking forward to just getting back in the mix,” Tickle said in a press release. “The overall goal is to go out, enjoy it, have fun, and do the best I can do. Two years of not racing is a big deal but I’m up for the challenge and eager to be back on the gate as well as being back to training, riding, and doing this at the highest level.”

Tickle has eight podiums, 21 top-five and 93 top-10 finishes during his 450 career.

Tickle will finish out the season on JGR’s Suzuki.

“I’m excited to see Broc back on a Suzuki this weekend in Tampa,” said Jeremy Albrecht, Team Manager. “He has been testing and riding in North Carolina with our team for a couple weeks and will finish out the Supercross season on our team. His speed and fitness are good so we will see this weekend where he ends up.”

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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.