Cooper Webb grabs 250SX victory with aggressive last-lap pass at Anaheim II Supercross

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One week after earning his first-career Supercross victory in the 250 Class, Cooper Webb took the checkered flag once again Saturday at Anaheim, turning in an incredible ride.

Webb got off to a poor start in the main event, leaving him 12th after the first lap while Zach Osborne and points leader Jessy Nelson did battle out front. Nelson passed Osborne to grab the race lead but threw it away on Lap 8 after clipping his rear tire on the over/under jump and crashing. With Nelson losing several spots, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers inherited the top spot and looked to be in position to win the race and take possession of the points lead.

Meanwhile, Webb continued his charge through the field and by the final lap of the race, the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider was up to second place and hot on the heels of Bowers. With the checkered flag nearly in sight, Bowers went high on one of the final turns and left the door open for Webb to make an aggressive pass for the lead. Webb dove inside of Bowers, making enough contact to send him into the tuff blocks and off the track.

Bowers recovered to finish in second, while Webb cruised to his second-straight victory. Red Bull KTM’s Justin Hill rounded out the podium.

Known to have a propensity for aggressive riding of his own, Bowers did not take issue with Webb’s pass after the race. In fact, the two training partners even praised each other’s racing when all was said and done.

Saturday night’s events also led to a shakeup in the 250SX point standings. Nelson will give up the points lead to Webb, who now holds a 4-point edge on both Nelson and Bowers and will run the red plate next week in Oakland for the first time in his career.

Anaheim II 250SX Results
1. Cooper Webb
2. Tyler Bowers (-6.1 seconds)
3. Justin Hill
4. Zach Osborne
5. Malcolm Stewart

250SX Point Standings
1. Cooper Webb, 64
2. Jessy Nelson, 60
3. Tyler Bowers, 60
4. Zach Osborne, 54
5. Justin Hill, 53

Penske Acura duo of Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves win third straight

Ricky Taylor Helio Castroneves
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Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves made it three consecutive victories in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, winning Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to close in on the points lead in the DPi class.

After Castroneves started on the pole position in No. 7 Acura, Taylor took the checkered flag by 0.607 seconds ahead of Felipe Nasr’s No. 31 Cadillac.

Aside from being three victories in a row for Castroneves and Taylor (who also won at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta), it was the third consecutive victory for Team Penske at Mid-Ohio, which is the home racetrack for Acura.

Penske is in its final season with Acura, which announced this week that it’ll field DPi cars with Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing next season.

“I’m just proud,” Taylor told NBC Sports reporter Dillon Welch. “Helio did an amazing job at the start, kept his cool. It’s not easy starting on the outside, but he settled in, picked people off and put us in a position to jump the 31 on a stop.

“Then I felt like we were the strongest car on track when we had new tires. It was a real team effort.”

Helio Castroneves picked up Ricky Taylor and carried him several yards down the pit lane in celebration.

“This guy, I’m so proud of him,” said Castroneves, who will be returning to the NTT IndyCar Series next weekend. “The entire Team Penske, Acura, it’s a team, and today it was all about being cool.

“Last year, I had a little issue and lost my cool at the start of the race, and we threw the race away, so this time, if something happens, I know we’re going to come back, and here we are in victory circle.”

With three races remaining this season for the premier class, Castroneves and Taylor have moved to third in the standings, five points behind Renger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe, who finished third in the No. 10 Cadillac at Mid-Ohio.

Ranked three points behind in second is Pipo Derani, who is Nasr’s teammate.

The championship race could have been tighter as Acura Penske driver Juan Pablo Montoya passed van der Zande for third after the cars banged together a few times with 10 minutes remaining.

But Montoya spun off course a few minutes later in Turn 1 and handed a podium finish back to the Wayne Taylor Racing car.

“Bashy, bashy right there,” van der Zande said. “Old school NASCAR racing, I guess. I’m not so used to that. He was very aggressive but also very very fast. It was a fantastic race for us.”

The final three races will be held at Road Atlanta, Laguna Seca and Sebring.

“It was a great third place with a lot of pressure from Montoya and Mazda and everyone really,” Briscoe said. “We’ll take the points and keep pushing. It’s so close. Can’t think too far ahead, but we’d love to get another win or two to finish out the season. There’s some really big races coming up, and this team tends to excel in the long races, so we’re looking forward to it.”

In other divisions at Mid-Ohio:

–Corvette Racing scored its first victory at the track in eight years as the No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia won from the pole position. Teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner finished second in a class that featured only four cars because of the pullout of Porsche.

It was the fourth victory this season for the No. 3 and the fifth for Corvette, which also is 1-2 in the points standings with the No. 3 ahead by 17 points.

“It was a perfect weekend for our Corvette,” Taylor told NBC Sports’ Parker Kligerman. “The car rolled off the truck really well. This was one of the tracks where we never tested at, so the preparation by the team really set us up well. … We’ve been so strong on pace and reliability.”

Said Garcia: “It’s a shame that Porsche is not here as we want them back for sure. It was a brilliant job by everyone. Jordan did a fantastic job all day long, getting on pole and then getting a solid lead even if there were a ton of yellows. The C8.R worked perfectly again today.”

–The No. 14 Lexus of AIM Vasser Sullivan won in the GTD class, moving drivers Aaron Telitz and Jack Hawksworth to the points lead. With four races remaining, Telitz trails the No. 86 Acura by two points, and Hawksworth is four points behind.