Race Recap: Cooper spins another winning Webb
After a dominating win, last weekend at Daytona Eli Tomac was expected to once again turn on his late-season charge for another supercross title, but in this sport constancy is key and no one else has exemplified that more than Cooper Webb. Webbs qualifying the past five races have been in the top 5, including a number one qualifier in Indianapolis 3 race and a pair of 2nd qualifying efforts in both Orlando races.
The Red Bull KTM Factory rider, Cooper Webb, qualified third overall for the 1st of three Arlington races, just behind Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider Jason Anderson (2nd Qualifier), and teammate Marvin Musquin (1st Qualifier). Jason Anderson seemed to feel comfortable on the track taking the win in heat 1 which had Team Honda HRC rider Ken Roczen just barely making the direct transfer spot in 7th. This season it has been unusual to see the series points leader struggle so much going into the main event. Perhaps after last weekend’s first turn contact the rivalry between Webb has made its way into Roczen’s head causing him to lose that laser focus we saw earlier this year in Indianapolis.
In heat race 2, we saw two fresh faces finishing first and second. Aaron Plessinger won his first heat race win this season aboard his Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha, followed by the Rocky Mountain ATV MC WPS KTM rider Joey Savatgy. Plessinger has had quite a bit of success this season but, getting his first heat race win gave him the confidence that is so key heading into the end of the Supercross season. After struggling with injuries his past two 450 seasons, a healthy Plessinger the second half of the season is something new for the fans and it seems he is starting to get into a rhythm after a podium finish last race.
The 450 main event started with Dean Wilson, a name we haven’t heard a lot of in this year’s main events, getting the holeshot. That excitement was short lived as Cooper Webb took over the lead in the second turn and never looked back. Webb would go on to win the race with no contest from the field. Second place would go to Troy Lee Designs Red Bull Gas Gas Factory rider Justin Barcia followed by Jason Anderson. Barcia has reemerged as a top rider on the first year efforts of the factory Gas Gas team; however, it comes as no surprise since the team is overseen by Roger De Coster despite him sayings that Barica might be peaking too soon earlier this year. Clearly, that is not the case as he is sits 4th in points heading into the home stretch of the season.
The last two races of the 250 West championship we have seen two different winners. Both of those winners qualified in the top three of the first Arlington race. Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider Justin Cooper took the first qualifying spot and Cameron Mcadoo took the third spot on his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Seth Hammaker, Mcadoo’s teammate, took the second qualifying spot and the win in heat one just ahead of the third member of the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team Jordan Smith.
Heat race two had both the early series champions, Mcadoo and Cooper, racing against each other; which saw Cooper taking the heat race victory. Mcadoo took second and third place went to Hunter Lawrence aboard his Team Honda HRC bike.
The main event started with Hammaker getting the holeshot followed by Jordan Smith and Hunter Lawrence rounding out the top three. Smith made a mistake about 6 minutes into the race causing him to go off track which allowed Hunter Lawrence to take over second place. The mistakes did not stop there for Smith. In a battle with teammate Cameron Mcadoo two minutes later, Smith lost traction on his rear tire causing him to lose the back end over a single jump and go over the bars. He got up checking on his right collar bone. Unfortunately for the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider, Smith finished in last place.
In three races we have seen three different riders take the top step of the podium. Cooper, Mcadoo, and now Hammaker. Mcadoo continues to lead the points race in the 250 West Championship by six points followed closely behind Justin Cooper.
The second of three races to take place in Arlington, Texas will be Tuesday 3/16 and a final race will happen on Saturday to finish out the three-race homestead. All racing aside the biggest story from this weekend’s race is that AT&T Stadium was sold out and filled with fans. The first time we have seen the stadium filled since prior to last March.