Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ryan Dungey took his first 450SX win of the season at the ninth round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series held at Lucas Oil Stadium in front of a packed crowd. His dominate win moved him to second overall in the championship point standings.
Ryan Dungey was on the gas from the first practice through the final checkered flag. He turned the fastest qualifying time in the first timed practice which earned him the first gate pick in his heat race. He and his teammate, Ken Roczen, were placed in the same heat. When the gate dropped, Dungey came around the first corner in third position while Roczen sat about mid-pack.
On his KTM 450SX-F Dungey spent the first half of the heat race reeling in Justin Brayton. He made a pass to take over second position at the three lap mark and then began to chase the lead ride. Dungey charged forward and came within two bike lengths of the lead rider before the checkered flag. His second place result earned him an easy transfer spot to the main event. Meanwhile, Roczen struggled to find his rhythm in the heat race and finished fifth just one spot away from qualifying.
Roczen returned to the track for the semi race. He easily pulled the holeshot and went on to lead every lap of the semi to earn a transfer spot in the main event.
Dungey continued his good fortune in the main event where he pulled a second place start behind holeshot winner Mike Alessi. Roczen had a good jump but got pinched off by Ryan Villopoto, Josh Hill and James Stewart. The four riders ended up colliding and all crashed around the first corner. Roczen had to start from the back of the back and spent the first half of the race making passes to move toward the top ten.
Out front, Dungey used the first four laps to determine where to make a pass for the lead. He was able to do it on a big sweeping turn before the sand section. He made a clean pass to take over first place. Once in the lead, Dungey was never challenged for the remaining laps and went on to take his first win of the season by a margin of seven seconds.
“This win was a long time coming”, stated Dungey. “It feels so good to finally be on the top step. The track was really tough tonight. It was very soft and technical with a lot of big ruts. We are only halfway into the season and I’m finally gaining some points toward the championship. My goal is to remain consistent as you never know what can happen with eight rounds remaining. I want to give a big thanks to the entire Red Bull KTM Factory Team for their hard work.”
Back on the track, Roczen had worked his way up to ninth place by the thirteenth lap of the race. He then made another pass for eighth place on Justin Brayton but the pass would be short lived as Roczen made a mistake in a rhythm section moments later resulting in an over the bars crash. Roczen walked away from the crash but was clearly shook up. He pulled off after the incident and did not finish the race.
“I hit the ground pretty hard after my crash off the start when I got caught-up with Villopoto”, stated Roczen. “I pushed hard for the next few laps, but then I cased a triple in a rhythm section which sent me flying over the bars. I feel really beat up and am disappointed to not finish the race but am thankful I am okay and will be back to race Daytona.”
Heading to the tenth round of the season, Dungey has jumped up to second overall in the point standings while Roczen remains third overall despite not finishing the Indianapolis Supercross.
Next Round: March 8, 2014 – Daytona Beach, FL
Results 450SX class Indianapolis
1. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, 18:23:650 min (20 laps)
2. Eli Tomac (USA), Honda, +6.926 sec
3. Cole Seely (USA), Honda, +12.217
4. Ryan Villopoto (USA), Kawasaki, +15.472
5. Broc Tickle (USA), Suzuki, +18.055
6. Andrew Short (USA), KTM, +30.040
21. Ken Roczen (GER), KTM, +13 laps
Standings 450SX class after 9 of 17 rounds
1. Vilopoto, 184 points
2. Dungey, 161
3. Roczen, 158
4. James Stewart (USA), Suzuki, 154
5. Justin Brayton (USA), Yamaha, 143
8. Short, 109
12. Ivan Tedesco (USA), KTM, 62
19. Matthew Goerke (USA), KTM, 41
Photos by S Cudby via KTM
Last weekend in Atlanta at the Monster Energy Supercross race in the Georgia Dome, during the second 450 Sx heat race Smartop Motoconcepts’ Mike Alessi and RCH Suzuki’s Broc Tickle had an incident on the final lap. The crash took both riders down and attracted the attention of AMA officials, the fans and team owner Ricky Carmichael.
Tickle had just passed Alessi, cleanly on the inside as they exited a corner and they headed down the straight into the next tight right hand corner. Tickle took a wide line while Alessi dove to the inside and as Tickle squared off the corner, Alessi drilled Tickle at a 90 degree angle causing both riders to fall. It appeared to me to be a deliberate hit based on frustration as Alessi had been passed twice in succession and he decided to take it out on Tickle.
Alessi has been known to lay hits in the past but usually his errors in judgement have not been so blatant. A great starter, Alessi has been known to pull holeshots on all of the best riders. It is however his physical conditioning and race craft that have let him down, cementing him in this sport as a mid pack rider, mediocre at best. He has lost factory rides because of this and because of an aggressive manager in the form of his outspoken father he is now again a privateer, trying yet again to change his luck and search for success in the top level of this sport.
Ricky Carmichael, owner of RCH Racing, commented afterward that “I try not to pump my own team too much on TV, but Broc has been riding well all day and that was a cheap shot that took him out. You just don’t do something like Alessi did… Poor decisions like this are what have kept Mike from realizing his potential.”
Tickle was reserved in his comments after the incident, “”My perspective? I thought I had made a clean pass and I wasn’t expecting it. I got taken out and ejected off the bike… it caught me off guard.”
Meanwhile when asked, Alessi made remarks that it was an unfortunate incident and that he and Tickle are friends. The AMA saw it differently.
AMA officials later reviewed the incident and determined that Alessi violated the Monster Energy AMA Supercross rules and decided to fine him $4000 for the infraction, as well as place him on probation for the rest of 2014. Kevin Crowther, Director of AMA Supercross and Pro Racing Relations offered this statement:
“After a review of the incident that took place between rider Mike Alessi and rider Broc Tickle in the 450SX heat race, the race director determined that Alessi violated rule A2, c. 17 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, rulebook. As a result of this violation, the race director assessed Alessi a penalty of $4,000 and placed him on probation for the remainder of the 2014 season. There was no appeal.”
A2 is the section of the 2014 rule book dealing with “General Offences and Penalties.” Section c. outlines the infractions the AMA will take disciplinary action on and Alessi is charged with violating the 17th of these, which is “riding on or off the track at any time in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of other riders.”
I used to be a fan of Mike’s in fact one of his number plates rests in my trailer. But after this behaviour I fail to see any reason to still support this rider and I figure his days of being a pro are numbered. This hit, was so deliberate and cheap that I really think he is done as a pro. He will slowly fade into obscurity as he will never get a factory ride again and the four thousand dollar penalty levelled by the AMA will surely hit his low-budget operation hard.
Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino won the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood – round two of the Rally America National Championship – held on February 21-22 in Salem, MO. The victory marks the seventh time the team has won the event out of their last eight attempts.
Block led the rally from the very first stage, but Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew kept it close despite getting a flat on Stage 5. The first day of competition ended with Higgins only 20.6 seconds behind Block. On the second day disaster struck Higgins with an engine failure on Stage 9 that forced his retirement. The DNF also broke an amazing streak of 22 consecutive podium finishes by Higgins.
“I felt as if I had very few mistakes this weekend,” said Block, “Unfortunately, my top competition fell out on day two and I was able to extend my lead. It took some pressure off, which I don’t like, because I like to push hard. Instead, I was able to just enjoy these roads and put on a good show for the fans.”
Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team’s Antoine L’Estage and Marshall Clarke immediately moved into second place with Higgins out. However, L’Estage’s normally reliable Mitsubishi EVO X overheated on Stage 13 and was unable to continue.
Action sports icon, Travis Pastrana, who rejoined Subaru Rally Team USA with co-driver Chrissie Beavis, hung on to take second place overall. It is his first rally podium after a nearly three year absence from the sport. His placement is even more remarkable considering he withstood two intense days of rally racing with a repaired broken leg and recently dislocated ankle.
FY Racing’s Adam Yeoman and Jordan Schulze took a well-earned third place finish, their second overall podium since joining national competition in 2011.
In Super Production (SP), 2013 Rookie of the Year recipient, Nick Roberts, stood on top of the SP Class podium for only the second time in his short rally career. Roberts and his co-driver, Rhianon Gelsomino, capitalized on the retirement of other top SP contenders to find themselves first in class and fourth place overall.
“It’s pretty surreal at this point,” added Roberts, “Never thought there was a chance to win. We worked hard on our notes and pedalled the car the best that we could.”
Dillon Van Way and co-driver Andrew Edwards kept their podium streak alive with a Super Production second place finish only 48.3 seconds behind the leader. Van Way and Edwards have seen immediate success since entering SP competition from the Two-Wheel Drive ranks. They have entered four Rally America rounds in their SP Class car and have stood on the podium each time.
2013 Super Production champs, David Sterckx and Karen Jankowski, rounded out the finishers in third place. Overheating problems plagued the team and they spent the entire event trading positions with Evan Cline and Greg Dorman until the very last stage when Sterckx and Jankowski finalized third place.
The Super Production Class lost a big contender before the race even started. Lauchlin O’Sullivan and Scott Putnam lost control on a practice stage hitting a tree in the co-driver’s front quarter. The team recently won at Sno*Drift in January and were favourites entering the 100 Acre Wood Rally.
Ford Racing’s Andrew Comrie-Picard (ACP) with Ole Holter won the Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) category in their Team O’Neil prepared Ford Fiesta, outlasting second place Scion Racing’s Matthew Johnson and Jeremy Wimpey. However, both drivers spent most of the event chasing after 2WD leaders Will Hudson and Brian Szykowny, until damage sustained from a big jump forced Hudson out of the race. Both ACP and Johnson have 2WD victories under their belts, but Johnson holds onto the 2WD points standing lead.
“This event was really confidence inspiring,” commented Comrie-Picard, “This event really favors high horsepower for faster speeds, but we were exact with the Ford Fiesta and we did what we came here to do. ”
Third place in 2WD went to brothers Troy and Jeremy Miller, who entered just their second national event and have stood on the podium both times. Team Honda Research’s James Robinson and James Guitar won their second consecutive B-SPEC Class in a Honda Fit against Tracy Gardiner and Tabitha Lohr in their Toyota Yaris.
The Tresspassers Wil Regional Rally and 100 Acre Wood Regional Rally was won by Evan Cline and Jake Blattner. The drivers were also in national SP contention and finished fourth in class and seventh overall. The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood was forced to cancel Stage 11 when an unrelated automotive emergency closed the highway on the transit route.
Photo Credits Alex Haugen via Rally America
I am pleased to present our friend and Formula One Insider Ernie Black. Known as the F1 Poet on Twitter, Ernie is a poet and published author, and he has written for e-Racing Magazine, GPWEEK, F1 Plus, Richland F1, and the F1 Times. He attended the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto and he has written a very interesting and entertaining report. His creative eye and passion for the automobile is evident in his photographs as well, presented here for all to enjoy. You can reach him on Twitter @TheF1Poet and see his Website: http://TheF1Poet.Wordpress.com
The CIAS ran in Toronto from February 14th to the 23rd and as always, it was a massive draw. The popularity of the event hasn’t wavered in years. I have never missed this show. From the perspective of a massive Gearhead to an automotive journalist covering it from different angles, it has always been enjoyable.
I do however have some criticisms. I find the cost is exorbitantly more than it should be. Almost $25 (CAD) should be considered borderline aggravated financial assault. You can walk into any dealership and see 90% of these cars for free. What else does the show offer? A food court offering typical high sodium, artery clogging fare, vendor booths reminiscent of a flea-market and a handful of useful exhibits run by sometimes less than enthusiastic but relatively well informed representatives.
Well, that doesn’t do a very good job of selling the show now does it? Here is where things take a positive turn. It’s the 10% of cars you can’t see in your local dealerships that are the big draw. If you are in the market for a new car, there is no comparison to the convenience of having it all under one roof. Being able to compare cars or trucks, fact, figures and features on all the models you’re interested in is invaluable. If you’re not looking to buy something new, you might consider looking at what you might want to buy in two or three years’ time. If you’re a dreamer, there is no better place than Auto Exotica.
Having missed media day on Thursday February 13th, I attended the show on its penultimate day. I approached this event with a different idea this year. Rather than covering the models specifically from a features, price and practicality stand point, I covered the crowd. I wandered around each exhibit, took some photos and observed. I wanted to see what the general public was really interested in. The results were not surprising.
I found families gravitated to SUVs, Minivans and hatchbacks which I expected. What I didn’t expect was the attention most of the Hybrids were receiving. The Nissan Leaf is a ZERO emissions, all electric car which sat there as lonely as the man on the moon on a cloudy night. There weren’t crowds gathering around the Toyota Prius either. The Prius is a champion in its segment, but the display did nothing to showcase the car and make it appealing as the baby blue coloured car blended in with its surroundings, taking on an almost irrelevant identity. The same could not be said for the BMW i3 and i8 displays. Bold and sharp, these cars held audiences captive more so than the mighty M3 and M5. Hybrid was the “Buzz Word”. Even Porsche displayed its Cayenne eHybrid like a proud peacock, complete with its charging station. With a 30km range on the battery, it’s clear that performance is still its primary focus.
Performance cars are always the real draw. They are what dreams and mid-life crises are made of. Standing back and watching the children’s eyes light up as though their favourite super hero was standing before them was inspiring. Super cars are super heroes to many of us still. I witnessed the love of the automobile spark and flourish in the matter of moments and I can rest assured that there are future generations of Gearheads like me ready to pass the torch to.
It wasn’t just the children. Men and women alike stood in line of a crowd, often four or five people deep. Inching ever closer to the front in the hopes to snap a photo of one of these high-priced super models behind the velvet rope. I have to applaud Maserati of North America however for leaving the velvet ropes behind this year and allowing dreamers the chance to sit in their opulent and sexy cars. I was happy to see McLaren’s P1 on display as well as the beautiful new Lotus Evora, which incidentally, if you’re looking for a good little track car, is a very good choice. The perennial favourites are the seductive ladies from Modena. The lunacy which is Lamborghini and mythical Ferrari displays were small but very powerful. My biggest disappointments in the Auto Exotica exhibit were the lack of superstars Pagani and Bugatti as well as Ferrari’s big gun with the least creative name, the La Ferrari.
My biggest surprise? FIAT. FIAT? The FIAT 500L, which is the larger 4 door sibling of the Cinquecento run-about made that had made it onto the Globe and Mail’s 10 ugliest cars list, yet there was a line-up to sit in it. Incredibly spacious for a “small car”, it boasted a massive panoramic roof, reasonable head and leg room as well as pretty frugal gas consumption numbers. But it was not the 500L that stole the show for FIAT, it was that saucy little 500 Abarth. Dressed in red with its rear exposed poised in a confident and muscular stance, it was an absolute magnet on the showroom floor. It might have actually garnered more attention than the stunning models FIAT hired for their exhibit which caused one gentleman to bump groin first into the Abarth’s side-view mirror.
The car culture is alive and well and the current generation of Gearheads can rest assured that the future is safe, friendly and green as well as bold, sexy and bright.
Each 1:64 scale vehicle features a unique body style and design details that are authentic to each character. Twelve unique character cars are planned for the HW Marvel line this fall to kick off the assortment. These cars will be complemented by a variety of classic Hot Wheels track sets themed around Amazing Spider-Man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, and other awesome Marvel properties. (Rumor has it that there are also plans for a Pop Culture mix of cars with Marvel character decos… We’ll keep you posted.)
Earnhardt’s win marks the eighth Daytona 500 crown for Hendrick Motorsports, which most recently won The Great American race last year. All told, the organization has won the Daytona 500 in consecutive seasons twice. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson did it first in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Earnhardt’s win this year follows that of teammate Johnson’s 2013 victory at The Great American Race.
Earnhardt’s victory at Daytona also qualifies him for the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup race per the recent changes to NASCAR rules.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you can feel in this sport, apart from accepting the trophy for the championship, said Earnhardt, during the post-race show in Victory Lane.
Prior to Sunday, the driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS had recorded runner-up honors in three of the last four Daytona 500 contests. But on Sunday, after a six-plus hour delay, it was his turn. Earnhardt’s victory, the 20th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career, marks the 219th for Hendrick Motorsports.
The question still remains though, will Dale win a number of races this season and can he win a championship? Recent years performance will say no as he has failed to post a win in four of the five last seasons, and the one season in which he did post a win, it was the only win of the season, 2012. Furthermore after fourteen years in NASCAR’s top tier division he has failed to win a Championship and has only finished the season in the top three points position once. That said, in 2004 when he won his first Daytona 500 he had his best career points finish of third in the Championship standings. This year may be the one where he puts together a great season and brings home a title. His loyal fans certainly deserve it as does his family name.