Supercross resuming season May 31 in Salt Lake City for final 7 races

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Supercross announced Thursday afternoon that its 2020 season will be restarted May 31 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will run through June 21.

The final seven races will be held without fans in attendance and broadcast on NBC Sports Group (primarily on NBCSN).

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross season has been on hold since the Round 10 race March 7 at Daytona International Speedway.

The dates for the final seven races of the 2020 season in Salt Lake City are:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).

Eli Tomac won at Daytona over Ken Roczen to take the lead in the championship standings by three points.

Roczen, who has three victories this season, told “Lunch Talk Live” host Mike Tirico in a Wednesday interview that he has spent time resting and recovering during the unexpected layoff after the midpoint of the grueling season of 17 events in four months.

“Obviously when the whole coronavirus thing started, we were all in the unknown and kind of still are in the unknown of when we’ll continue racing,” he told Tirico. “But it looked like (the return) was going to be quite far out.

“I took some time off and actually helped my body because no matter what, when we start back up racing, and they’re still trying to get all the races in, there’s going to be a lot of racing all in a row. And not to mention going into 2021 series, there’s going to be a lot of back to back racing with very little time off, so I decided to take some time off.

Supercross and AMA Lucas Oil Motocross executives have been working together to align their schedules so that riders can compete in both series without overlap. The start of the outdoor national season has been pushed to late June.

Here’s the release from the AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series:

Ellenton, Fla., (May 14, 2020) – Feld Entertainment, Inc. announced today that the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will resume racing at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 31 and will run through June 21. The final seven, made-for-tv races will be broadcast on NBC networks without fans in attendance. The Utah Sports Commission, a longtime partner of Supercross, has coordinated our return to Utah.

Like all forms of sports, the Monster Energy Supercross Championship was abruptly halted in early March after completing ten rounds of the 17-round Championship. The last race was held on March 7 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. where Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac earned his fifth win of the season over top rival Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen, both of whom are competing for their first premiere class title with only three points of separation.

The sports industry in the United States, like virtually all industries, is being severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Monster Energy Supercross fuels an entire industry and is the primary source of income for thousands, including competitors. With no events, the industry is in severe economic peril. It’s important to the economic infrastructure to get back-to-work. Unlike other professional sports with guaranteed contracts, Supercross athletes, team personnel and many others involved in event and television production are independent contractors.

“We’re excited to continue our work with Feld Entertainment, Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah, the Utah Department of Health Services and the continued support of Utah’s Governor Gary R. Herbert who made it possible for Supercross’ return to Utah,” said Jeff Robbins, President and CEO, Utah Sports Commission. “We also look forward to showcasing Utah worldwide via Supercross’ global footprint.”

The responsible return to racing will provide guidelines and protocols to competitors and essential staff that complies with all federal, state and local health guidance and mandates. Mitigation efforts include mandated prescreening, testing, temperature checks, face masks, increased sanitation efforts and social distancing to limit contact among individuals executing the events. The stadium will assist with the implementation and execution of our plan. Supercross, in partnership with the Alpinestars Medical Unit, has a trained medical team of 7 professionals to assist on site.

The racing format has been adjusted to reduce the number of athletes to stay within the minimum requirements and a standard race format will be used for all seven rounds, except for the finale which will be an Eastern/Western Regional 250SX Class Showdown.

  • Supercross Race Format for Final Seven Rounds:
    • 450SX Class – 40 Riders based on current point standings and 2020 top 100 number or combined season qualifying results
    • 250SX Class – 40 Riders based on current point standings and 2020 top 100 number or combined season qualifying results
    • Two qualifying sessions will be held for gate pick
    • 250SX Class – Two Heat Races and a Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ)
    • 450SX Class – Two Heat Races and a Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ)
    • 250SX Class Main Event
    • 450SX Class Main Event

In the final seven races, three champions will be crowned – one in the 450SX Class and two in the 250SX Eastern and Western Regional Classes. It is the hope of the series that the final seven races will start to bring some normalcy to race fans by creating memorable experiences through the live television broadcast that continue to bring people together via a shared experience while also uplifting the human spirit, as all forms of sport do.

Supercross athletes have little to no contact as riders race solo against other competitors and wear several protective elements – full-face helmets that cover the mouth, goggles, gloves, jerseys and pants that leave little to no skin exposed, plus fully secured knee-high boots.

Supercross partners Oakley, Toyota and VP Racing Fuels have been lending their expertise to the medical community and first responders by developing and mass-producing protective shields, eyewear and hand sanitizer. This type of expertise that exists within the industry, coupled with Utah’s leadership and Feld Entertainment’s live event experience will all factor in to helping the industry get back to racing while aiding in the recovery and healing process nationwide.

NBC and NBCSN Television Schedule:

Round 11 (East) – Sunday, May 31                 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET on NBCSN then 4:00 – 6:00 ET on NBC

Round 12 (East) – Wednesday, June 3          10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET on NBCSN

Round 13 (East) – Sunday, June 7                  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET on NBCSN

Round 14 (West) – Wednesday, June 10      7:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET on NBCSN

Round 15 (West) – Sunday, June 14              7:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET on NBCSN

Round 16 (East) – Wednesday, June 17        7:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET on NBCSN

Round 17 (East/West) – Sunday, June 21      3:00 pm – 4:30 pm ET on NBCSN then 4:30 – 6:00 ET on NBC

*TV schedule subject to change.

NBC Sports will present the final seven, made-for-TV races across NBC, NBCSN & NBCSports.com. Races will also be available to domestic livestream subscribers via the NBC Sports Gold “Supercross Pass” and internationally via the Supercross Video Pass.

For more information on either one of these livestream options please visit NBCSports.com/Gold or SupercrossLIVE.tv .

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
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On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)