This is uncharted waters, but we don’t know if it will impact on the proceedings. Monster Energy AMA Supercross just took two weekends off, or essentially three whole weeks on the calendar, before re-engaging for a stretch run of five races in three weeks. This will be over by May 1 in Salt Lake City. Will things look different then compared to now?
Well, the story really only revolves around two riders. Maybe three. Simply because this upcoming three-race tilt at Atlanta Motor Speedway reminds people of Daytona International Speedway, Eli Tomac might have a fighting chance at a big run. It would be tough, though. First, even three-straight wins doesn’t do much for a 41 point deficit. Second, assuming Atlanta will race like Daytona is only that—an assumption. No one has seen a supercross at Atlanta Motor Speedway, so we don’t know what will happen, but merely holding a race on the infield of a NASCAR track doesn’t guarantee Daytona’s mix of high speed and rough, which lends itself so well to Tomac. Photos of the build indicates classic Georgia red clay, a far cry from the black sand that creates Daytona’s differentiator from regular supercross rounds. Atlanta will be different from a stadium supercross layout, but will it be different enough to really change the results?
When you combine the rare two-week break with the new event and layout, plus the still relatively new idea of three races in one week, you get a lot of intrigue. Want more? Saturday’s Atlanta 1 is a daytime race, and there’s a threat of rain in the forecast. How man curveballs do you want?
Unfortunately for everyone else, Cooper Webb, the points leader, seems happy with it all.
“It’s cool because none of us have an advantage or know what to expect at all,” said Webb following his win at the latest event in the series, at Arlington 3. “It’s going to be different than our regular stadium supercross and being outside, the weather can be a factor. That Atlanta dirt is usually pretty good and hopefully they can keep it that way all week for us. I’ve always loved going to Atlanta, it’s the closest race to home for me, being from North Carolina, and I always went there as a kid to watch. Going to Atlanta Motor Speedway will be good and to have fans there, I always enjoy that additive of some local fans. We’ll see how it is.”
While Atlanta could bring some nice southern comfort for Webb, the bottom line is that everything is rolling his way right now so change might not be a good thing. The two weekends off, the threat of rain, the different style of racetrack, is at least a chance for someone to move things their direction. Ken Roczen, second in points, has to hope one of those things trips Webb up. It only takes one bad race for Webb’s 15-point lead to go up in smoke. Roczen has recently spoken only of keeping the dream alive and staying in contention, instead of making bold proclamations of a late-season surge. In the end, a bad race by one contender is more likely to decide this title instead of five-straight wins from another. Does the break, the speedway, the weather and the schedule open up opportunity? History says no, as rarely does someone with Webb’s momentum throw it away late. No season is built quite like this one, though, and that’s what gives everyone else some hope heading to Atlanta.