HOUSTON — The Monster Energy AMA Supercross schedule has been released, and that should be music to Cooper Webb’s ears.
The county native has shined in the sport over the past two seasons, winning the 450SX class in 2019 and finishing as runner-up in the past campaign.
This will be his fifth year in the premier class. He took 13th and ninth, respectively, in his first two 450SX seasons.
The Red Bull KTM Factory rider fell just 25 points shy of Eli Tomac for the top spot this past season, even though he earned more podium finishes (13) than any rider in the series, including eight straight at one point.
The last seven races took place at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Races in Salt Lake City, Utah, were held with tight restrictions, including no fans in attendance. The final three weeks featured three races on Wednesdays and four on Sundays. The series previously underwent an 85-day break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fans will be welcomed back into stadiums this season at reduced capacities.
One of the unexpected surprises of racing in the bubble in Salt Lake City was the creation of mid-week races due to the condensed nature of the schedule.
Racing every Wednesday during the three-week stretch became a fan-favorite while also boosting television ratings in an otherwise nontraditional broadcast window for supercross.
With that in mind, the organization will host four Super Tuesday races, one in each of the host cities – Houston, Tex., Indianapolis, Ind., Glendale, Ariz., Arlington, Tex. – marking a first in the sport’s 48-year history.
Since the series began in 1974, California has hosted most of the openers as the city of Anaheim has become synonymous with the start of the supercross season.
For the first time in 25 years, the series will start in another state by opening Jan. 16, 2021 at NRG Stadium in Houston for the first three rounds. The Texas trio of races will be followed by a two-race stint at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The series will then venture west to State Farm Stadium in Glendale for another three races, then traverse south to Daytona Beach, Fla. for the annual singular event at Daytona International Speedway. Rounds 10-12 will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington after a two-week break.
Rounds 13-16 of the 17-race championship will be announced at a later date as Monster Energy AMA Supercross continues to work with stadium partners, as well as local governments and health departments while also staying current with national mandates and CDC guidelines.
The season finale will take place at Rice-Eccles Stadium as the Utah Sports Commission, a long-time supercross partner, is once again eager to host the season’s final event and championship.
Webb has experienced an eventful offseason.
The biggest event came Oct. 29 when the 25-year-old married his girlfriend of four years, Mariah Williams, in Temecula, Calif.
In late August, he took part in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship opener, but it was announced later that he would miss the remainder of the season after compounding an ongoing back injury.
Webb was diagnosed with three herniated disks, a torn nerve and bone contusions on his sacrum and both iliac joints.
He suffered a nasty crash earlier this year at Arlington during the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season that led to a back injury. He later injured his back again in practice and continued to experience nagging pains due to two bulging disks.
Webb hasn’t enjoyed as much success in the motocross 450 class but has tallied three straight top-10 season finishes after winning the 250MX championship in 2016. He took eighth in 2017, followed by ninth in 2018 and sixth in 2019.