Supercross 2021: Results and points standings after Round 14 at Atlanta

0 Comments

Time is running out on Ken Roczen, but his Monster Energy Supercross Round 14 win shaved a lot of points off his deficit to Cooper Webb and if the results continue to trend favorably, he is back in the thick of the championship battle.

Roczen grabbed the lead early in the Main and cruised to an easy victory over teammate Chase Sexton, while his principal rival in the points struggled. Roczen entered the race 22 points out of the lead with four races remaining. He left only 13 down but will need more nights like this to become the fourth consecutive first-time Supercross 450 champion.

Jason Anderson took the last spot on the podium, but he had to ride through the Last Chance Qualifier to be a part of the Main.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here 250 Results

Anderson got tangled up with Alex Ray as the two had a mid-air collision that sent both hard to the ground. Instead of immediately remounting, Anderson stopped long enough to chastise Ray for the contact – and as a result, he narrowly missed advancing directly into the feature as one of the top nine riders in his heat.

Justin Barcia remains on a quest to win a second race this season in the 450 class after taking the season-opener. He made himself as wide as possible, but slipped to fourth at the checkers.

Eli Tomac had another mediocre start that had him mired ninth in the opening laps. He climbed to fifth at the end, but without major problems for Webb and Roczen, his hopes of defending his 2020 championship are all but over.

Meanwhile, it was a bad night for Webb. He started with the leaders but never really seemed to find a rhythm. As he dropped back steadily, he saw his points lead wither with a sixth-place finish.

Marvin Musquin in seventh, Aaron Plessinger in eighth, Dean Wilson in ninth, and Joey Savatgy rounded out the top 10.

Click here for Round 14 450 Main results | 450 Rider Points | Manufacturer Points


Justin Cooper kept the pressure on Cameron McAdoo and Hunter Lawrence in the 250 class. He scored his second win in the last three races and continues to have a perfect record of top-five finishes.

In the closing laps, Hunter Lawrence had the fastest bike on the track. He was more than a second a lap faster than Cooper as the leader rode safely to protect a 10-second lead. That speed allowed him to catch and pass McAdoo as the white flag waved.

If McAdoo can make up the ground he needs in the final two races, he will have a red flag to thank for his championship. It will not matter at all that the red flag waved for him.

Click here for 250 West Main results | 250 Rider Points

McAdoo won Heat 1 and hoped to keep the points tight. He was racing fifth when he slammed into the face of the tunnel jump. His foot got hung on the peg and his Kawasaki dragged him up and onto the top of the obstacle.

The rider was stunned and the race was red-flagged in order to help him down from the tunnel jump. But as the field prepared to line back up, McAdoo was heard pleading his case to the medical staff. He won his argument and was cleared to restart. The race had not completed three laps so a complete restart was required.

Round 13 winner Nate Thrasher finished fourth to earn his second career top-five in as many weeks.

Garrett Marchbanks rounded out the top five.

Mitchell Harrison in sixth, Coty Schock in seventh and Pierce Brown in eighth grabbed the next three positions.

Seth Hammaker had an adventurous race. He fell from second in Heat 2, remounted and fell again. His second crash dropped him to 13th and he was not quite able to transfer directly into the Main. He rebounded to finish ninth.

Jalek Swoll rounded out the top 10.

Next Up: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga. April 17.

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 1 AT HOUSTON: Justin Barcia, Christian Craig take early lead

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 2 AT HOUSTON: Eli Tomac closes gap, Jett Lawrence wins his first

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 3 AT HOUSTON: Ken Roczen earns one-point margin; Colt Nichols, Christian Craig share 250 lead

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 4 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen wins to extend points margin, Colt Nichols doubles down

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 5 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen makes it two in a row; Colt Nichols threepeats

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 6 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen continues to roll; Christian Craig stops Colt Nichols

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 7 AT ORLANDO: Cooper Webb gets second win as Jett Lawrence also doubles

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 8 AT ORLANDO: Cooper Webb wins again to close the gap on Ken Roczen

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 9 AT DAYTONA: Eli Tomac gets back in contention with fifth Daytona win

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 10 AT ARLINGTON: The Battle of words between Webb and Roczen ends with Webb win

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 11 AT ARLINGTON: Cooper Webb two-for-two in Arlington; Hunter Lawrence wins first 250

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 12 AT ARLINGTON: Cooper Webb gets second residency sweep with perfect Arlington effort

POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 13 AT ATLANTA: Eli Tomac surges to second win on NASCAR infield course

The Thermal Club wants an IndyCar race, and series executives liked its initial impact at test

1 Comment

THERMAL, Calif. – Many teams in the NTT IndyCar Series questioned the relevancy of having a two-day preseason test at The Thermal Club.

The team owners, drivers and engineers believed the 17-turn, 3.067-mile race course that winds and twists its way through a gated private community (about 45 minutes southeast of Palm Springs) had no relevance to any track on the 17-race schedule.

To the leaders of IndyCar, however, there was plenty of relevance to hosting its “Spring Training” at a sort of motorsports country club that caters to extremely wealthy residents who also are automotive enthusiasts.

“Both with our stakeholders and the media that covers IndyCar, we wanted them to know that we are going to do things differently,” Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles told NBC Sports from the private VIP viewing area that overlooks the long straights and twisting turns of the course. “This is going to be a year when we expect our growth to go to a whole new level.

“What better way to send that message than to be at a place we have never been that is exceptional?

“The quality of this place; the facilities are off the charts. The customer service, the welcoming feeling you get from the staff here. The track itself is fast. The drivers are having a great time on it.

FRIDAY SPEEDSThird session l Fourth session l Combined

‘AN AMAZING PLACE’: IndyCar and its big plans for Thermal

“It really sent a message to our other promoters and our drivers and team owners that something is up. We want fans around the country and the sports industry to know that something is going on with IndyCar this year.”

The Thermal Club is a concept driven by Tim Rogers, who made his fortune by supplying gasoline to 7-Eleven stores in 36 states. He wanted to create a private community that mixed multimillion-dollar homes and luxury villas with a high-speed race course.

The two-day IndyCar “Spring Training” was the most ambitious motorsports project yet for The Thermal Club.

Rogers wants it to be the first step in a long-term goal for the community.

“Our endgame is we want to host an IndyCar Series race at The Thermal Club one day,” Rogers told NBC Sports as IndyCar hit the track again Friday morning. “This was a good trial to see how the facility can handle it and if the facility works for them.”

Felix Rosenqvist makes laps in the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Dallara-Chevrolet during the first day of NTT IndyCar Series testing (Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY Sports Images).

The two-day test was closed to the general public. It was open only to credentialed news media, members of the Thermal Club and a limited number of their guests.

With the spectacular backdrop of the Coachella Valley that is rimmed with snow-capped mountains, The Thermal Club could provide a great setting for an NBC telecast of an IndyCar Series race (and possibly line up a big sponsor for a return on its investment with a larger than normal audience during a ripe time such as the first weekend of February).

NASCAR is using that same model Sunday at the Los Angeles Coliseum by hosting the Busch Light Clash. The National Football League’s AFC and NFC Championship games were last weekend and next Sunday is the Super Bowl.

“That could work, but we have room where we could separate the public and the private members area, too,” Rogers said. “We could accommodate 4,000 or so of the general public.

“This would be a premium event for a premium crowd.”


Rogers’ dream of The Thermal Club began 11 years ago. He will talk to IndyCar about a return for Spring Training next year with hopes of getting a date on the schedule for 2025.

“Whatever fits,” Rogers said.

Miles and Penske Entertainment, the owners of IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Indianapolis 500, realize Rogers has an ambitious dream of getting a race on the schedule.

Miles, however, isn’t ready to indicate that a race at Thermal is part of IndyCar’s future (though drivers seem open to the concept).

“Tim and everybody at The Thermal Club have done a phenomenal job of being hosts here for this test,” Miles said. “Everybody is very happy we are here, and I expect we will find a way to continue to be here. Whether that means a race and when is really a bridge we aren’t ready to cross yet.

“We really like opening the championship season each year in St. Petersburg, Florida. We’ll have to see. But it’s a great way to start the season in this way, and right now, we are happy to be here.”

Indycar Series Test - Day 1
Defending IndyCar champion Will Power takes laps at The Thermal Club during the first day of the track’s first test (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images).

On track, it was a successful two-day test session with 27 car/driver combinations that will compete in IndyCar in 2023. It’s the largest field for IndyCar since the 1990s. There were a few spins here and there but no major incidents across 2,560 laps.

Kyle Kirkwood led the final session Friday while getting acquainted with his new No. 27 team at Andretti Autosport. Kirkwood has replaced Alexander Rossi at Andretti, whom Kirkwood drove for in Indy Lights.

His time of 1 minute, 38.827 seconds (111.721 mph) around the 3.067-mile road course was the fastest of the fourth and final session. But the fastest speed over two days was defending Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing in the Friday morning session (1:38.4228, 112.182 mph in the No. 8 Honda).

Callum Ilott of Juncos Hollinger Racing was second in the final session at 1:38.8404 (111.707 mph) in the No. 77 Chevrolet. Rookie Marcus Armstrong of New Zealand was third at 1:38.8049 (111.707 mph) in the No. 11 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing was fourth at 1:38.8718 (111.672 mph) in the No. 10. Defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Will Power of Team Penske rounded out the top five at 1:38.9341 (111.602 mph) in the No. 12 Chevrolet.

Ericsson was the fastest in combined times followed by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard at 1:38.5682 in the No. 45 Honda, Kirkwood, Ilott and Armstrong. Positions 3-5 speeds were from the final practice session on Friday.

Indycar Series Test - Day 1
With members’ houses in the background, Romain Grosjean navigates the turns of The Thermal Club in his No. 28 Dallara-Honda (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images).

Drivers didn’t know what to expect before hitting the track. After the two-day test was over, NBC Sports asked several drivers what they learned from The Thermal Club.

“I think it’s a first-class facility, no doubt,” two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske said. “I think the entire facility here at Thermal really rolled out the red carpet for us. They did a tremendous job.

“It was a fairly flawless test, I would say, for two days. I think the great thing about this was we had a two-day test, which was fantastic. You got to have this warmup; this preseason build. That was the biggest positive for me, is that we were here, we were running cars. It was a great facility to do it at.

IndyCar Thermal Club test
Josef Newgarden said his No. 2 team (which has a new lead engineer) used The Thermal Club test as an opportunity for building cohesion (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images).
Indycar Series Test - Day 2
Josef Newgarden (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images).

“I think the track was a lot more fun than we anticipated. It was challenging, definitely technical. I don’t know how relevant it is. For us, it wasn’t really relevant to anywhere we’re going, but that’s OK.”

But even though the track has no sector particularly similar to any road or street course on the schedule, there still were benefits.

“In a lot of ways, it is relevant,” Newgarden said. “For us it was relevant for building the team up, trying to work in a competitive environment, be competitive together. That’s everything. So regardless of is the setup going to apply to a certain track or another, (it) doesn’t really matter.

“For us, it was applying the principles of how we’re going to work together. From that standpoint, it was very productive for everybody. Raceability-wise, it’s hard to say. It was chewing tires up. Big drop-off from run one to two. I think from a race standpoint, that would be quite positive. You’d have big tire deg here.

“You’d have to do more work on runoff areas if we wanted to race here, but it’s possible. I don’t think it would take much effort to do the things to run an actual race.”


Indycar Series Test - Day 1
Will Power (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Kirkwood found speed in his Andretti Autosport machine, but he used the test to create a smooth working relationship with his new crew.

“I wouldn’t say that we found something here that is going to translate to anywhere, right?” the 2021 Indy Lights champion said. “This is a very unique track, although it was a lot of fun to drive, and it kind of surprised me in the amount of grip that it actually produced.

“It was quite a bit faster than what we expected.”

Many of the NTT IndyCar Series teams will test later this month at Sebring, Florida, as they prepare for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to kick off the season March 5.

“It’s a very nice facility, a nice area, it’s pretty cool to have two days of testing here with a lot of high-profile people,” two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Will Power of Team Penske told NBC Sports. “It’s a very technical, tough track.

“It’s pretty good.”

Indycar Series Test - Day 2
IndyCar drivers turns laps on the second day of testing at The Thermal Club, which is nestled in the Coachella Valley that is ringed by mountains in Southern California (Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images).

The Thermal Club received rave reviews, welcomed IndyCar and provided exposure to the movers and shakers of the business community that own the luxury villas and homes in this ultra-rich community.

Could it be a venue of the future for a series that sells lifestyle as much as on-track competition?

“This is a fantastic facility and the circuit is a fast circuit,” team owner Bobby Rahal told NBC Sports. “It’s pretty exciting to watch the cars run around here. I think it would be attractive to people.

“I’ll leave that up to Mark Miles and (IndyCar President) Jay Frye and everybody else whether we have a race here, but why not?

“It’s a great place.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500