Supercross: Eli Tomac looks to pad points lead in Atlanta

Feld Entertainment Inc
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As the Monster Energy Supercross season heads into Round 9 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, the halfway points battle is shaping up as a two-rider affair with Eli Tomac holding a seven-point lead over Ken Roczen. (Watch on NBCSN or stream live.)

Cooper Webb and Justin Barcia sit 26 and 27 points out, respectively, with a real chance at catching the leaders, but only if they begin standing on the podium regularly in the final nine rounds.  At 42 points in arrears, Jason Anderson needs to make up nearly five points per race, which could be difficult with how Tomac is performing.

After getting off to a slow start in 2020 with a seventh in Anaheim 1 and a fourth in St Louis, Tomac won Anaheim 2. He has stood on the podium in all but one round since then. Tomac’s win in Tampa two weeks ago and his victory in Arlington last week give him more momentum than anyone in the field.

Roczen is slowly losing ground. His only bad effort since the season opener was a sixth in San Diego, but that bobble allowed Tomac to get close. Roczen lost the red plate at Tampa with a third-place finish and saw a few more points slip in Arlington.

MORE: Justin Barcia set to attack the final nine rounds

MORE: Adam Cianciarulo, Cooper Webb crash in Arlington

Meanwhile, two of the riders who were keeping Tomac and Roczen in sight had terrible outings in Arlington. Cooper Webb and Adam Cianciarulo had hard offs in the dragon’s back section of the track. Webb will race this week despite his soreness; Cianciarulo is recovering from a broken collarbone.

Zach Osborne sustained a broken rib, sprained wrist and bruised lungs in a practice crash this week. The timing of his return to the bike is unknown at this time, but he will certainly miss Atlanta.

Broc Tickle broke his hand in an incident last week in Dallas. He just climbed back on a bike and is off once more.

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Two winners in two rounds of the 250 East division sees a tie at the top of the standings. With 49 points apiece, Shane McElrath and Chase Sexton will both have red plates affixed to their bikes this week. Only one will be so adorned next week.

Jimmy Decotis crashed in Arlington and was unable to ride. He is expected to be on his bike this week despite nursing a fractured pelvis.

After getting battered and bruised during the offseason, Pierce Brown will make his 250 East debut this week.

Jace Owens will miss Atlanta with an illness.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 11 a.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 5:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN

Last Week:

Eli Tomac beat Ken Roczen and Jason Anderson in the 450 class.
Chase Sexton beat Shane McElrath RJ Hampshire in the 250 class.

Last Atlanta race (March, 2019):

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

Points Leaders

450s:
Eli Tomac (181)
Ken Roczen (174)
Cooper Webb (155)
Justin Barcia (154)
Jason Anderson (139)

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

250 East:
Shane McElrath (49)
Chase Sexton (49)
Jeremy Martin (40)
Garrett Marchbanks (38)
Jordon Smith (37)

Wins

450

(4) Eli Tomac (Anaheim 2, Oakland, Tampa, and Dallase)
(2) Ken Roczen (St. Louis and Glendale)
(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)

250 East

(1) Shane McElrath (Tampa)
(1) Chase Sexton (Dallas)

Top-5s

450

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

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

250 East

(2) Shane McElrath
(2) Chase Sexton
(2) Jeremy Martin
(2) Garrett Marchbanks
(1) Jordon Smith
(1) RJ Hampshire

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III