Ken Roczen becomes fourth different winner in Supercross Round 4

Supercross Round 4
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Ken Roczen would not be denied in Round 4 of the Supercross season at Indianapolis as he cemented his points lead with a victory. He became the fourth different rider to win in the first four races of the season.

It wasn’t and easy trip to the top of the podium.

Eli Tomac got the holeshot and was leading on Lap 3 when he leaned over a little too aggressively exiting the whoops. He laid his Kawasaki down and handed the lead over to teammate Adam Cianciarulo with Roczen hot on his tail.

Tomac remounted in third and quickly caught the two leaders. For the next 10 laps a blanket could have been thrown over the potential podium riders. Roczen stalked and then passed Cianciarulo on Lap 13 with Tomac following him through. Cianciarulo would leave the battle on Lap 14 when he too laid his bike over.

Roczen and Tomac remained in contact for the remainder of the race. But with only a few minutes remaining on the clock, Roczen cross-rutted and jumped off course. Not wishing incur a penalty from Supercross, he took a cautious approach to rejoining the course and then re-passed Tomac for the lead on the following lap.

“I was so glad we made it happen,” Roczen said from the top of the podium. “I made a mistake on the second double. I jumped off the track and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I let Eli by because I didn’t want to gain an advantage. I felt like that was the right thing to do. I put the pass on again right away and had a clear track.”

Tomac was once more riding high on the seesaw that has defined the first four rounds. He finished 15th in Round 1, won Round 2, struggled in the final race in Houston to finish fifth and rebounded at Indy to score a second-place finish.

After finishing 13th in Round 1, Tomac had what he then described as a “scary deficit” of 16 points. His Round 2 win, coupled with a penalty for Roczen, shaved that to four markers, but greater consistency from his rival threatens is slowly building the deficit back toward the double digits. Following Round 4, Tomac is nine points behind the leader.

“The pace tonight was hot for sure, the whole moto,” Tomac said. “I thought to get a chance at this thing I’m going to have to start out front. Unfortunately made the mistake, clipped my front end on that last loop.

“Looking back, I was like ‘gosh darnit, I’m such a dork.’ The rest of the moto I was paying attention to pop my front wheel over that jump.”

Cooper Webb rounded out the podium.

“The start has been really important recently,” Webb said. “We’re all super close. Tonight showed there’s three of us that are really fighting hard. And there are a lot of other contenders too. It’s going to be just maximizing opportunities all year.”

After leading 10 laps in the middle of the race, Cianciarulo finished fourth with Zach Osborne rounding out the top five.

POINTS, RESULTS: All the postrace statistics from Round 4 in Supercross

In 250s, Colt Nichols became the first repeat winner in either class. Behind him, last-lap drama radically altered the podium.

Nichols and Craig made an early battle out of who would keep the red plate. They raced head to head in the first heat with Craig winning that battle. In the Main event, they picked up where they left off at the gate drop. Nichols scored the holeshot and surged to the lead.

Craig gave chase. As it turned out, he should have been looking over his shoulder instead.

“That’s ideal,” Nichols said from the top of the podium. ” Whenever you get a good start and put yourself in a position. I’ve been struggling to do that this year, so it felt really good to get the holeshot and come around the first turn, get a fresh tear off and ride your own race.”

The 250 class was marked by drama – both drama that might have been and drama that was.

In Round 3, Michael Mosiman and Jett Lawrence tangled at Houston when Lawrence rode into the side of Mosiman’s bike in a tight corner. Lawrence got the better outcome and finished third.

In Saturday night’s heat race, the two squared off again. Mosiman made an aggressive pass on Lap 2 of Heat 2, but did not touch Lawrence. He did, however, use up all of the track and sent Lawrence to the ground.

In the Main, Lawrence got off to a terrible start. He missed a shift out of the gates and then stalled on a wall jump when it appeared he was about to run into the back of Thomas Do. He remounted in 12th. From then until the white flag lap, he put on a show. With a few minutes remaining on the clock, he caught Mosiman running fourth at the time.

A lapped rider separated the two and Lawrence surged past. Lawrence set his sights on Craig and caught him on the final lap – clearly faster and with a line that would have given him second and marked him as Indy’s Comeback Kid. Craig took a wide exit in a sweeping turn and rode both bikes off course.

Mosiman and Jo Shimoda swept past, taking the two podium spots given up by Craig and Lawrence in the incident.

A second-place finish was Mosiman’s best result of the season and his third consecutive top-five.

“Obviously stuff went down with Jett and I the week prior,” Mosiman said. “You hear about it all week. Use it as motivation. I didn’t want to say anything – use words – I just wanted to share it with my actions. And I think I did that tonight.

“Jett and I are cool. He gets it. We fist-bumped at the end of the night.”

Shimoda finished third to earn his fourth consecutive top-five of the season.

“I put on a really good ride. I was pushing the whole time,” Lawrence said after finishing fourth. “I thought I could get Christian on that last turn and we came together. I wasn’t too fazed, but then we got tangled up and just kept going. I was bummed because I put my heart into that race.”

Craig rounded out the top five in fifth.

Max Vohland did not make his feature. He crashed in practice and was evaluated for a possible dislocated right hip.

ROUND 1, HOUSTON: Justin Barcia wins opener for third consecutive time

ROUND 2, HOUSTON: Eli Tomac rebounds, wins after Round 1 disappointment

ROUND 3, HOUSTON: Cooper Webb wins, Ken Roczen denied revenge

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws

The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)