IndyCar: Chaves’ day goes off course early, causes corner worker error, spawns memes


AVONDALE, La. – Say this much for Indy Lights champion and Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Gabby Chaves’ Sunday at NOLA Motorsports Park: it was entertaining.

But unfortunately for the driver of the No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda, a 15th-place result stung a bit considering he was racing the eventual race winner, James Hinchcliffe, at the time of his off-course excursion on Lap 16.

Chaves, who started 17th, was ninth with Hinchcliffe 10th on Lap 12, before Hinchcliffe pitted on Lap 13 and Chaves a lap later on Lap 14. Chaves crossed the line in 13th on Lap 14 with Hinchcliffe two spots behind him in 15th.

“‘Hinch’ already had a lap on warm tires, and he was behind me. I wasn’t even defending my position,” Chaves explained to MotorSportsTalk post-race.

“He went around the outside and had plenty of room to give me. But he came down across and hit my front wing and I spun. Then I got caught in the grass, and there was nothing I could do.”

Given the rain made the grass akin to a swamp, Chaves got stuck. He received assistance from a corner worker to get back going, but then stopped on track once back on the racing surface.

The only problem was, that the local corner worker’s assistance was “unauthorized,” per an IndyCar spokesman to the AP.

It also spawned at least a couple memes on Twitter (second meme, as created by @PandaBoogaloo, was picked up elsewhere), and it was the first of six cautions that littered the remainder of the 47-lap race.

Here’s the video of the push back onto the track:

If nothing else, Chaves could at least take solace in another day of learning, and surviving his first rain race in IndyCar in basically one piece.

“We had pretty good pace. Obviously we made pretty good passes, going through the field,” he said.

“It’s kind of funny the guy we had an incident with won the race. So we were in contention for something!

“It’s just a matter of getting the experience and seeing what the strategy is to stay clean out there. A lot of times, it’s out of your control.”

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Anaheim 2


The Triple Crown format shook up the results in the Monster Energy Supercross round at Anaheim 2 with no rider dominating, but in the end two wins and a fifth-place were enough to give Chase Sexton the overall victory. It was the second 450 Supercross win of his career coming a little more than a year after he won his first in San Diego.

This year San Diego was not nearly as kind. Sexton crashed on the first lap of his heat and his Honda was center punched by another rider. The damage sent him into the Last Chance Qualifier and a poor gate pick contributed to his fifth-place finish last week.

Sexton showed he was more than ready to put that behind him Saturday night in Angel Stadium by winning the first of three races in the Triple Crown format. Entering Race 3 as one of three drivers who could have secured the overall win, he chased down Jason Anderson on Lap 4 and led the final 10 laps.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here 250 Results

Ultimately Anderson dropped to third in the final Supercross moto of the season in Anaheim 2, but strong results in the first two races secured second overall. Anderson won the second race and his 5-1-3 fell two positions shy of the overall win.

All questions about whether Ken Roczen would need an adjustment period as he switched from Honda to Suzuki have been answered: He did not. Sweeping the top five in his two Supercross Main events and in Anaheim 2’s Triple Crown, he amassed enough points with his results of 2-3-4 to score his first podium of the season.

Click here for 450 Triple Crown Race 1 | Race 2 | Race 3

Cooper Webb steadily improved his results during the Triple Crown, but a seventh-place finish in the first race proved to be too much to overcome. He finished fourth in Race 2 and charged to second in the final race to secure fourth overall.

Dylan Ferrandis showed a lot of consistency with results of 4-6-5 to round out the top five.

Eli Tomac was one of the three riders who might have secured the overall victory by winning Race 3, but he pressed too hard while trying to pass Webb for second. He jumped wide midway through the race and landed on a Tuff Blox. After getting violently pitched from his Yamaha, he found that it was slightly damaged when he remounted and could only salvage sixth-place points with finishes of 3-2-13.

It was enough for him to maintain the overall lead in the points’ standings by four over Sexton and Webb.

Click here for Round 1 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Levi Kitchen didn’t win a battle on Saturday night, but he won the war. He established in the top five in Race 1 with a fourth-place finish and then swept the runner-up spot in the final two motos. That first SuperMotocross victory of his career with a previous best of seventh in Supercross this year in Anaheim 1 and a third in Motocross last year at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado. It was a much-needed morale boost for Kitchen, who finished 21st last week in San Diego.

The night was disappointing by Jett Lawrence standards. He suffered falls in the first two races and stalled one another occasion, but was able to overcome those problems each time with results of third and sixth. That put him in a position where he had a shot at the overall if Kitchen stumbled just a little in the final moto. Lawrence won Race 3, but still does not have an overall Triple Crown win in the Supercross 250 division. With only one more Triple Crown on the schedule before he climbs on a 450 for the outdoor season, time is running out.

Click here for 250 Triple Crown Race 1 | Race 2 | Race 3 | Last Chance Qualifier

The Triple Crown always shakes up the Supercross results and Anaheim 2 was no exception.

Stilez Roberston capitalized on mistakes by Lawrence, RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo during Race 2 and won. That victory, coupled with a third in Race 3 and a sixth in the first main, was enough to give him the final position on the podium. In this format the results are added together and the lowest number wins. Robertson tied Lawrence with identical results of 10 accumulated points, but Lawrence’s win in the final race relegated Robertson to third.

With a total score of 15 (5-4-6), Mitchell Oldenburg was a relatively distant fifth. The 18 points he earned are enough to keep him fourth in the standings and with McAdoo and Hampshire experience trouble in the race, he was able to close the gap on second in the standings.

Click here for 250 West Overall results | 250 West rider points

After missing last week’s Main, Max Vohland finished with results of 7-8-4 in the Anaheim 2 Supercross race and rounds out the top five.

McAdoo and Hampshire both lost ground in the championship standings with difficult races.

McAdoo was able to salvage sixth-place points (17) and that allowed him to leapfrog Hampshire (12). Proving that even bad days are not that bad for last year’s 250 East champion, Lawrence left Anaheim 2 with a points’ lead of 16 over second-place.

2023 Results

Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 2: Ken Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s