Action motorsports are finally in full swing for the 2019 season, as the NTT IndyCar Series season opener in St. Petersburg joined Monster Energy Supercross, Best in the Desert, and Amsoil Snocross for an action-packed weekend of two- and four-wheel competition on dirt, snow, and tarmac. Add in the FIA World Rally Championship’s lone North American visit of the season with Rally Mexico, and there was no shortage of exciting racing to take in.
Here’s a look at the names that came out of the weekend victorious:
The Mint 400: Justin Lofton
For the first time in race history, the Mint 400 has a three-time winner, after Lofton took his third victory in five years at the Great American Off-Road Race. After starting fourth, Lofton battled Bryce Menzies intensely for the first two laps of the race, with the duo never more than a minute apart of one another. But when Menzies suffered a flat tire, Lofton seized command of the race lead and never looked back.
IndyCar Series: Josef Newgarden
The 17-race IndyCar season finally kicked off on Sunday on the streets of St. Petersburg, and it was 2017 champion Newgarden who kicked off his pursuit of a second title victorious. Thanks to a longer second stint, the Team Penske driver was able to claim the lead after the second cycle of pit stops, as he led 59 of the final 60 laps on the way to victory over defending series champion Scott Dixon.
Supercross 450: Eli Tomac
The 2019 edition of Tomac hasn’t racked up anywhere near as many wins as he did last year, but he’s at least clawing away at championship leader Cooper Webb. Tomac took a 6.889-second victory as part of a Kawasaki sweep of Daytona Supercross, and has now made his way up to second in points, tied with rival Marvin Musquin at 203. He’s got seven rounds to whittle down Webb’s 19-point lead.
Supercross 250 East: Austin Forkner
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Forkner took the win in the 250 East main event on Saturday. You probably have, considering that the only race he lost was the East/West Showdown in Atlanta, and even then, he was still the top finisher among the East riders. But Forkner took home another trophy with the win in Daytona, and now has a 23-point advantage over both Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton.
Snocross: Elias Ishoel
With four wins in 14 starts so far in 2018-19, Ishoel seems poised to take this year’s Snocross crown. He’s now got a 63-point advantage over Kody Kamm thanks to a sweep of the penultimate event of the season at Sundown Mountain Resort in Iowa. It was a long way from last season, when Ishoel was making his season debut in Iowa thanks to injuries that had kept him out of the first 12 rounds.