Eli Tomac wins Supercross Round 11 in Indianapolis; extends points lead as competition falls

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Eli Tomac scored his fourth consecutive Monster Energy Supercross race in Round 11 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Tomac took the lead from Justin Barcia with a little less than five minutes on the clock before he bobbled on the last two laps and almost gave Barcia his first win of the season.

“It was shaky the last couple of laps,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “Thankfully I was in control before that.

“The second-to-last lap, I had a big moment in the whoops and on the last lap I missed that entire rhythm section. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m about to throw this thing away’.”

One week after moving into sole possession of fifth on the all-time wins list, Tomac closed to within one victory of fourth-place Chad Reed’s 44. Ricky Carmichael sits third in the standings with 48 Supercross victories, but Tomac needs to run the table for the remainder of the season to catch him.

Click here for complete 450 provisional results

Making the race even more productive for Tomac, it came after the riders who entered Indy tied for second in the points crashed in separate incidents, dropping Jason Anderson to 51 points out of first and Malcolm Stewart to 53 points behind.

Justin Barcia’s second-place finish coupled with the issues for Anderson and Stewart allowed him to leapfrog them and move into second in the standings. Barcia is currently 48 points out of first

“It was a nice start; felt good,” Barcia told NBC Sports’ Daniel Blair. “It was a very winnable bike. I didn’t get the win tonight, but second is pretty good. I’ll take it. The track was insane.”

Barcia and Anderson got off to a strong start and battled for the lead in the opening minutes. When Anderson made the pass, however, he was not able to shake Barcia and a couple of laps later, the two made contact that sent Anderson to the ground.

“The pass on Jason?,” Barcia said. “I’ll have to watch it, but it’s one of those corners that if you leave it open – I wasn’t going very fast, I checked up and he hit the side of me. It’s a bummer. I don’t want to seen anyone go down.”

The replay revealed that it was Barcia who rode into the side of Anderson. The incident is under review by Supercross.

Coming home third was Marvin Musquin, who scored his second podium of 2022 and his second consecutive top-five.

“I love these conditions,” Musquin said afterward. “I’ve won here four times, twice in 250 and twice in 450.”

Chase Sexton and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.

For Webb, it was an emotional ride after hurting his shoulder and wrist in a massive crash with Sexton last week at Detroit.

Anderson started the season in a tight battle with Tomac, but after multiple incidents with Stewart, he has slowly been losing touch. He could not afford to give Tomac even a perceived advantage and the night got off strong when won his heat. Anderson was leading at the time of the crash, but instead of gaining five points, he lost seven after finishing the night sixth.

Stewart crashed while riding fourth after he jumped short in a rhythm section. He came home eighth.


Not many riders have had the opportunity to pass Jett Lawrence in 2022, but in the middle stages of the 250 East race, that is precisely what Cameron McAdoo accomplished.

McAdoo knew the only way beat Lawrence was to get as good a start as his rival – and at the end of Lap 1, the pair were nose to tail. When Lawrence bobbled ever so slightly in a rhythm section on consecutive laps, McAdoo held his momentum and took the lead for a couple of circuits.

In 2022, Lawrence seemingly won’t be denied, however, and eventually passed McAdoo for a final time in route to a greater than four second margin of victory.

“I got a holeshot finally and didn’t crash in the second turn, which is always lovely,” Lawrence told Daniel Blair. I kind of settled in too early and Cameron, he was riding really good tonight. He had a better pace at the start. We went back and forth that one time and then he got me. And I thought, ‘allright, he’s doing something I’m not,’ so I studied him and found out where I’m a bit better and where I’m not.”

With starts being critical, winning the heat is important. Lawrence had a tough beginning to the night and when he was clipped by another rider in Turn 1, he flipped off his bike like a ragdoll and another rider ran over his arm. He rode back to the front and passed Kyle Chisholm for the lead on the last lap.

McAdoo felt a mixture of pride and disappointment.

“That was confidence-inspiring with better starts tonight,” McAdoo told Will Christien. “I’m a bit bummed on getting passed back, but I can’t look like I lost my dog up here tonight. I’m not going to dwell on it.”

McAdoo has been on the podium in every race this year, but with Lawrence earning four wins to his one, he is slowly losing points to Lawrence. McAdoo trails by 11.

RJ Hampshire and Pierce Brown had a fierce battle for the final spot on the podium, but it came 35 seconds behind Lawrence. Hampshire took the spot for his first podium of 2022.

That Brown was part of the battle was a victory of sorts. He endoed his bike in the heat and had to make his way into the big show through the LCQ.

Rounding out the top five was Mitchell Oldenburg, the final rider on the lead lap.

Hunter Yoder qualified for the first Main event of his career and finished 19th.

Click here for complete 250 results


RACE RECAPS

ROUND 1, ANAHEIM: Ken Roczen renews battle with Cooper Webb by winning the opener

ROUND 2, OAKLAND: Jason Anderson wins for first time since championship season

ROUND 3, SAN DIEGO: Chase Sexton (450s) and Michael Mosiman (250s) deliver first career wins

ROUND 4, ANAHEIM: Four races, four winners as Eli Tomac solidifies points lead

ROUND 5, GLENDALE: Tomac wins back-to-back races in Arizona Triple Crown

ROUND 6, ANAHEIM: Anderson ties Tomac with two 2022 wins

ROUND 7, MINNEAPOLIS: Anderson does it again and closes to within three of Tomac

ROUND 8, ARLINGTON: Tomac wins overall as Anderson takes two features

ROUND 9, DAYTONA: History made as Tomac sets Daytona Supercross record

ROUND 10, DETROIT: Tomac wins incident-filled, third consecutive

Alexander Rossi ‘fits like a glove’ with his new IndyCar teammates at Arrow McLaren Racing

Alexander Rossi McLaren
Nate Ryan
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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – There are more than three dozen fresh faces on the Arrow McLaren Racing IndyCar team, but there was one that Felix Rosenqvist was particularly keen to know – Alexander Rossi.

The driver of the No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet is the most high-profile new hire for McLaren, which has expanded to a third car to pair with the No. 6 of Rosenqvist and No. 5 of Pato O’Ward.

And there is another layer than Rossi just being the new kid. McLaren marks only his second team in NTT IndyCar Series after seven seasons at Andretti Autosport, where he began with a victory in the 2016 Indy 500 and was a championship contender for several seasons.

Rossi is a mercurial talent, and when things go wrong, the red mist quickly descends (and sometimes has led to feuds with teammates). He went winless during two of his final seasons at Andretti and was out of contention more often than not, often bringing out the prickly side of his personality.

Yet there has been no trace of the dour Rossi since joining McLaren. The pragmatic Californian is quick to remind everyone he hasn’t worked with the team yet at a track (much less been in its car), and there surely will be times he gets frustrated.

But it’s clear that Rossi, who made five Formula One starts in 2015 after several years racing in Europe, already is meshing well with an organization whose England-based parent company has deep roots in F1.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” Rosenqvist said Tuesday during IndyCar’s preseason media availabilities. “I think Alex kind of has that bad-guy role a little bit in IndyCar. He’s always been that guy, which is cool. I think we need those guys, as well.

“Actually having gotten to know him, he’s been super nice, super kind. He fits like a glove in the team. I think it fills a role where Pato is kind of like the crazy guy, I’m somewhere in the middle, and Alex is the more engineering guy in the team. I think Alex has more experience, as well. He just feels like a guy who knows what he wants.

“Yeah, good addition to the team and great guy at the same time.”

There are many reasons why Rossi’s transition from Andretti to McLaren should be smoother than his abrupt move from F1 to IndyCar seven years ago. Namely, he no longer is the only newcomer to the team’s culture.

“It’s been kind of a good time to come in because everyone is finding a new role and position and kind of learning who’s who, finding everyone’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said.

But while Rossi might have questions about the team, he has none about the series. Unlike when he arrived at Andretti without any oval experience, Rossi joins McLaren with his IndyCar credentials secured as an established star with eight victories, seven poles and 28 podiums over 114 starts.

Even in his swan song with Andretti, Rossi still managed a farewell victory last July at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course that snapped a 49-race, three-year winless drought. It seems reasonable to believe he immediately could re-emerge in his 2017-19 title contender form.

“I know the series, and I know kind of everything that goes into American open-wheel racing vs. the European open-wheel racing, which is really the biggest transition,” Rossi said. “Certainly it’s the largest kind of team switch. I’ve obviously driven for different teams in the past in Europe, in sports cars, whatever, but never really in my full-time job. I’ve driven for the same organization for a very long time and have a lot of respect and fabulous memories with those people.

“So it has been a big kind of shift, trying to compare and contrast areas that I can bring kind of recommendations and experience to maybe help fill the gaps that exist at Arrow McLaren. Again, all of this is in theory, right? I don’t really know anything. We’ll have a much better idea and plan going into St. Pete (the March 5 season opener).”

He has gotten a good handle on how things work at its Indianapolis headquarters, though, and has been pleased by the leadership of new racing director Gavin Ward (who worked in F1 before a championship stint with Josef Newgarden at Team Penske). McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown also seems omnipresent on both sides of the Atlantic, making appearances at IndyCar races seemingly as much as in the F1 paddock.

“I think what’s very cool about Arrow McLaren is we do have the resources of the McLaren F1 team,” Rossi said. “They very much are being integrated in a lot of respects. It’s not two separate entities. McLaren Racing is one organization that has its people and resources and intellect in kind of everything. It’s been pretty cool to see how that can be an advantage to us in terms of people, resources, simulations, software, kind of everything. We’ve been able to kind of rely on that and use that as a tool that maybe other teams certainly don’t have.”

That will be helpful for Rossi with the methodologies and nuances of racing a Chevrolet for the first time after seven seasons with Honda.

And of course, there will be the relationship with O’Ward, who has been McLaren’s alpha star since 2020.

Rossi was in a similar role for Andretti, which raises questions about how McLaren will handle having two stars accustomed to being the face of the team. But O’Ward said IndyCar regulations should allow each driver to maintain their own style without being forced to adapt as in other series.

“At the end of the day, as much as teammates will help in order to gather data, it doesn’t mean they’re going to specifically help you in what you need because it’s a series where you can really tailor the car to what you want,” O’Ward said. “Rather than in Formula 1, (it’s) ‘This is the car, you need to learn how to drive this certain car.’ In IndyCar, it’s very different where you can customize it to what you want it to feel like or drive like.

“From past experience, I think Alex likes a car similar to what I do. I do think we have a very strong car in certain areas, but I definitely think he’s coming from a car where that other car has been stronger than us in other racetracks. I feel like if we can just find gains where we haven’t quite had a winning car, a podium car, that’s just going to help all of us.”

Though Thursday at The Thermal Club will mark the first time the trio works together at a track, Rosenqvist said he’s hung out a lot with Rossi (both are 31 years old) and deems his new teammate “well-integrated” in the simulator.

“I think the fit has been good with him, me and Pato,” Rosenqvist said. “On a trackside perspective, it’s obviously huge to have always a third opinion on things. Every driver’s opinion is valuable in its own way.”

Said O’Ward, 23: “It’s been great. (Rossi has) been great to have around. I think he needed a fresh start. I think he’s excited to really work with all of us, create the strongest package.”

Ever the realist, though, Rossi still is tempering some of his enthusiasm.

“Again, we haven’t really done anything yet other than some meetings and some team activities together,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for what they’ve done in IndyCar and also their prior careers. I think that we all bring something a little bit different to the table, which I think is really unique in terms of not only personalities but driving styles and experience levels.

“I think we have the ingredients to really be able to develop the team and continue to push the team forward to even a better level than what they’ve shown in the past. It’s been a really positive experience. Really I have nothing at all negative to say and can’t actually wait to get to work, get on track and start working together.”