One of the most dramatic weekends of the year in action motorsports saw some shocking results in Indianapolis 500 qualifying, Pro Motocross title contenders establishing themselves to start the season at Hangtown, and four of the NHRA’s finest racers throwing down the gauntlet in Richmond. Which racers impressed you the most this weekend? Here’s a look at some of the standout performers:
Indianapolis 500 Qualifying: Simon Pagenaud
Could 2019 be Pagenaud’s year at Indy? Last weekend, he won his third IndyCar Grand Prix in six tries on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. This weekend, he gave Roger Penske yet another pole for the 500 after topping the nine-car shootout for the inside of Row 1. After Will Power’s breakthrough victory last year, Pagenaud hopes to become the second straight driver to win the 500 after winning the Grand Prix earlier in the month.
Indianapolis 500 Last Row Shootout: Kyle Kaiser
David beats Goliath! The mighty McLaren and Fernando Alonso have fallen, thanks to Kaiser’s heroic drive to close the Last Row Shootout with a spot in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. After coming to the speedway unsponsored, Kaiser and Juncos Racing showed early speed before suffering a major practice wreck. Despite skipping Sunday practice, they made the show with a rebuilt car.
NHRA: All Four Nitro Winners
How are you supposed to break this one up? Pro Stock’s Bo Butner and Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Andrew Hines each won their fourth race of the season in Sunday’s Virginia NHRA Nationals, while Top Fuel’s Steve Torrence and Funny Car’s Ron Capps continued their respective winning streaks as well. In short, every winner at Virginia Motorsports Park was the best that their class has to offer right now.
Pro Motocross 450: Ken Roczen
Remember when we all thought Roczen’s career was over? Rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated—like so many other world-class athletes, the Honda rider has come back with a vengeance and showed why he’ll be one of Eli Tomac’s biggest threats for the 2019 outdoor title at Hangtown. Roczen qualified first and finished 1-2 on the day to take the overall victory in the season opener.
Pro Motocross 250: Adam Cianciarulo
What do you do when your heart gets broken in motocross? You get back on the bike and keep riding. Cianciarulo’s Supercross 250 West title loss in the Las Vegas finale was a heartbreaker, but he led Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki to a 2-1 result and thus the overall victory at Hangtown. Like Roczen in the 450 class, Cianciarulo has 47 points going into the series’ return to Pala Raceway.
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: Rob MacCachren
Estero Beach is one of the most unique host venues for LOORRS, especially because it represents the series’ only trip outside of the United States all year. MacCachren knows a thing or two about winning in Mexico, though, and he proved it again with a stellar weekend in Pro 2. After finishing second to Jerett Brooks on Saturday, the legendary driver scored the victory on Sunday to continue his title defense.