Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac bring tight Supercross points battle to Tampa

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Ken Roczen holds a razor-thin margin over Eli Tomac as the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season heads cross country. From the Pacific coast and San Diego, the series will head Saturday to Florida for Round 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. at 7 p.m. ET. (Stream live on NBCSN).

Every week, there are battles throughout the field and after racing for wins through most of the early season, Roczen and Tomac were forced to overcome bad starts in the San Diego Main and slice their way through a different group of riders. The riders remained in contact for most of the race with Tomac stalking Roczen. Midway through, Tomac passed the points leader.

Tomac advanced to fourth, but came up about 3.5 seconds short of earning his fourth consecutive podium. He was able to place Justin Barcia between himself and Roczen, however, and closed to within a single point.

Tomac won at Tampa two seasons ago and could leave Florida with the points lead.

That allowed for a couple of fresh faces at the front of the pack. Cooper Webb scored his first win of the season in San Diego over super-rookie Adam Cianciarulo.

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Webb and Cianciarulo’s performance in San Diego added two more names to the championship mix. This was Webb’s fourth podium in the first six races.

Cianciarulo now has two podiums and a fourth in his first six 450 races and feels confidence build with each race he runs among the top five. Cianciarulo led 20 laps last week before getting passed late.

Barcia’s fifth-place finish in San Diego was enough to hold onto fourth in the standings, but he’s trending downward after standing on the podium in his first two races this year.

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Dylan Ferrandis’ third win of the season came under the watchful eye of the sanctioning body as he continues to race on probation. Austin Forkner finished second and still lost ground in the battle. The West riders get a chance to regroup and Forkner can work out a plan on how to erase a 13-point deficit to Ferrandis.

Supercross swaps coasts and it’s time for the 250 East riders to take to the track.

Chase Sexton was scheduled to run in the West Region. A collarbone injury in December changed those plans. His switch to the East gave him six more weeks to recover. It also provides him an opportunity to defend his 250 East championship.

Sexton battles one of last year’s standouts from the West as RJ Hampshire (fourth in 250 West points last year) shift regions. Colt Nichols was also scheduled to race in the East division, but a dislocated collarbone will delay his start.

Jeremy Martin returns from a 2018 injury in the outdoor season to race as a teammate to Sexton on a Honda.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 11 a.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN

Last Week:

Cooper Webb beat Adam Cianciarulo and Blake Baggett in the 450 class.
Dylan Ferrandis beat Austin Forkner and Justin Cooper in the 250 class.

Last Tampa race (February, 2018):

Eli Tomac beat Marvin Musquin and Jason Anderson in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner beat Dylan Ferrandis and Zach Osborne in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Ken Roczen (130)
Eli Tomac (129)
Cooper Webb (121)
Justin Barcia (116)
Adam Cianciarulo (113)

250 West:
Dylan Ferrandis (135)
Justin Cooper (128)
Austin Forkner (122)
Brandon Hartranft (110)
Alex Martin (98)

Wins

450

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

250 West

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

Top-5s

450

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

250 West

(5) Dylan Ferrandis
(5) Austin Forkner
(5) Justin Cooper
(4) Michael Mosiman
(4) 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.