Rahal wins exciting, tense MAVTV 500 under yellow (VIDEO)


Graham Rahal has won what was an at times thrilling, at times tense and nerve-wracking MAVTV 500 under yellow, following a severe looking accident between Ryan Briscoe and Ryan Hunter-Reay with two laps to go.

Rahal was just ahead of Tony Kanaan when the caution flew. It breaks a seven-year winless drought for the driver of the No. 15 Mi-Jack/Steak ‘n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, dating to the 2008 race at St. Petersburg, and a seven-year drought for the RLL team since Hunter-Reay’s win at Watkins Glen later that year.

WATCH: Full replay of Saturday’s race

Arguably the most controversial moment of the race occurred when following a pit stop, Rahal was released with a portion of the fuel buckeye still attached, but was subject to a post-race penalty rather than one in-race.

Rahal’s comments first in victory lane: “Our weakness has been these ovals. The next 3 races are going to define our year. I knew we were good in race trim. I can’t thank Mike and Dave and my dad for all believing in me. Steak ‘n Shake is the good luck charm. D-A Lubricants. You don’t know how good this feels. So long coming.

“When we went back to 16th I was a little worried. I knew my car was good. It wasn’t quick up front. I wasn’t as good as the Chevys.”

Meanwhile here was Derrick Walker, the president of competition of operations, commenting to NBCSN: “The stewards looked at that and they considered it was a post race penalty. It certainly looked pretty scary there. There will be a penalty I can assure. It just didn’t affect the competition on track.”

The Briscoe/RHR accident with two to go was the second severe accident inside of 10 laps, with the other involving Will Power and Takuma Sato.

Controversy about Rahal’s race and the scary accidents ending aside, Saturday’s race could easily be considered one of the best IndyCar races in recent memory, if not all-time.

The race set a record number of lead changes, with 80, eclipsing the previous mark of 73 set in the CART season finale held November 4, 2001.

There were 14 of the 23 drivers who started who led the race at one stage or another.

Until the last 50 to 75 laps, it had been a fairly clean race. The first half of the race ran entirely caution-free, and there wasn’t the first caution until Lap 136 when Helio Castroneves got squeezed in-between Power and Briscoe on the backstraight, which sent him into a spin.

And then it all boiled down to a series of late-race restarts, where it became a question of who would edge ahead and who could survive the potential and likely carnage.

Rahal won, and the drought snapped a 124-race winless streak as mentioned above.

With Marco Andretti in third, it marked the first time both drivers have been on the same podium in their IndyCar careers.

Juan Pablo Montoya extended his points lead with fourth and rising star Sage Karam completed the top five.

It was a fascinating day and one we’ll likely be talking about for a while, for various reasons.

Results are below.

FONTANA, Calif. – Results Saturday of the MAVTV 500 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1.  (19) Graham Rahal, Honda, 250, Running
2.  (6) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 250, Running
3.  (3) Marco Andretti, Honda, 250, Running
4.  (5) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 250, Running
5.  (10) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 250, Running
6.  (7) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 250, Running
7.  (23) James Jakes, Honda, 250, Running
8.  (13) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 250, Running
9.  (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 250, Running
10.  (17) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 250, Running
11.  (11) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 250, Running
12.  (21) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 250, Running
13.  (22) Pippa Mann, Honda, 250, Running
14.  (15) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 250, Running
15.  (14) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 249, Contact
16.  (16) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 249, Contact
17.  (20) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 246, Running
18.  (9) Takuma Sato, Honda, 241, Contact
19.  (8) Will Power, Chevrolet, 241, Contact
20.  (18) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 237, Running
21.  (12) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 161, Contact
22.  (4) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 157, Contact
23.  (2) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 136, Contact

Race Statistics
Winners average speed:  168.846
Time of Race: 02:57:40.6179
Margin of victory: Under caution
Cautions: 6 for 46 laps
Lead changes: 80 among 14 drivers
Lap Leaders:
Castroneves 1 – 2
Montoya 3
Castroneves 4 – 7
Andretti 8 – 14
Kanaan 15
Andretti 16 – 21
Kanaan 22 – 23
Karam 24
Kanaan 25
Karam 26 – 29
Kanaan 30 – 33
Andretti 34 – 35
Power 36
Sato 37 – 38
Kanaan 39 -40
Andretti 41 -43
Montoya 44 – 46
Sato 47 – 51
Dixon 52 – 54
Sato 55 – 69
Kanaan 70
Sato 71 – 72
Dixon 73
Power 74 – 76
Castroneves 77 – 79
Power 80
Castroneves 81 – 83
Power 84 – 85
Castroneves 86 -94
Power 95
Castroneves 96
Power 97 – 98
Kanaan 99
Power 100 – 101
Kanaan 102 – 105
Sato 106
Power 107
Sato 108 – 109
Carpenter 110 – 111
Dixon 111 -112
Power 113
Castroneves 114 – 116
Briscoe 117
Castroneves 118 – 135
Rahal 136 – 138
Power 139 – 153
Pagenaud 154 – 156
Munoz 157 – 169
Power 170 – 172
Munoz 173
Sato 174
Power 175
Sato 176 – 178
Kanaan 179 – 182
Rahal 183
Kanaan 184 – 185
Andretti 186 – 187
Montoya 188
Power 189 – 1994
Andretti 195 – 200
Power 201
Dixon 202
Hunter-Reay 203 – 205
Briscoe 206
Kanaan 207
Briscoe 208
Power 209 – 212
Andretti 213
Power 214
Andretti 215
Power 216 – 217
Andretti 218
Power 219 – 220
Andretti 221 – 222
Power 223 – 227
Rahal 228
Power 229 – 235
Briscoe 236
Power 237
Briscoe 238 – 240
Rahal 241 – 250

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Montoya 407, Power 361, Dixon 358, Rahal 334, Castroneves 330, Andretti 308, Bourdais 290, Kanaan 285, Newgarden 277, Pagenaud 256.

Chase Sexton wins Triple Crown Anaheim 2 Supercross: Levi Kitchen unseats Jett Lawrence in 250s

Supercross Anaheim 2
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Chase Sexton won two of the three races in the Monster Energy Supercross Anaheim 2 Triple Crown, which was enough to overcome a fifth-place finish in Race 2 and give him the overall victory. It was the second Supercross win of his career.

“Super big night for me,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “After last weekend with that being a struggle, I just need to come out here and stop the bleeding a little bit and I did that tonight.”

Sexton suffered a crash on Lap 1 of his heat, sending him into Last Chance Qualifier. The bad gate pick put him in a difficult position to start the race and he was able to climb to only fifth at the checkers.

At Anaheim 2, three riders entered the final race of the Triple Crown in a winner-take-all scenario. Sexton, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac each had a shot at victory. It raised the intensity level for all riders in an evening that featured a lot of comers and goers.

Jason Anderson took the early lead in Race 3, which set him up for the overall victory. Sexton stalked and passed him midway through the race and then a minor mistake late allowed Webb to slip around as well. Anderson’s 5-1-3 gave him second overall.

“I had a tough couple of rounds, getting off that Anaheim 1 crash and then last week weekend I fumbled a little bit, but I’m excited to get back on the box and start moving forward,” Anderson told Jason Thomas.

Anderson finished seventh in the first two rounds of 2023.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Ken Roczen was the model of consistency in the opening rounds and at Anaheim 2. In three races so far this year, he’s gotten progressively better each time with a fifth in A1, a fourth last week in San Deigo and a third this week.

With results of 2-3-4, he earned his first podium of the season, which lands him fourth in the standings.

“This was hard earned,” Roczen said after the race. “I completely botched the start and then to have to work my way up. I only happen on the very last lap to step up here on the podium.”

Webb’s solid second-place finish in the third race allowed him to leapfrog several riders and finish fourth overall, but a seventh in Race 1 kept him off the podium. He improved in each race in Anaheim, however, with a 7-4-2.

With a 4-6-5, Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.

The intensity of the race was a little too much for Tomac.

While battling side-by-side with Webb in Race 3 at the one-third mark, Tomac jumped wide and crashed hard. He fell to 14th, doing some damage to his bike in the process. He advanced only one position in that race to 13th. His first two races, a third and second, were strong enough to give him sixth overall. He retains the points lead, but it has shrunk to a gap of only four over Sexton and Webb.

Malcolm Stewart injured late in the week and was not able to mount.

Levi Kitchen became the first rider to unseat Jett Lawrence in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 and won the overall with consistency. In his three races, Kitchen finished 4-2-2 to narrowly edge the winner of the first two races.

“This whole day; this is unbelievable. I took a few good slams in practice and I was down on myself,” Kitchen told NBC Sports Jason Thomas afterward. “The first moto I got a good start and got shuffled back, then I knew I just needed to be consistent.”

Jett Lawrence saved his best for last – which wasn’t hard given the struggles he experienced in the first two races.

Despite those problems, he entered Race 3 of the Triple Crown three points behind Kitchen after suffering a pair of disappointing races by his personal measuring stick. In the first and second 250 races of the night, Lawrence hit the ground. He dropped to the final rider in the running order in Race 2 with a Lap 1 fall. But in both races, he was able to overcome his mistake and close the gap so that he had a chance to take his first Triple Crown win of his career.

Click here for full 250 West Main Results

Lawrence rode to third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. In the final race of the night, Lawrence did all he could. He earned the holeshot, but when Kitchen fell in behind him, Lawrence’s fate was sealed. His 3-6-1 tied him in points with Stilez Robertson, but the tiebreaker goes to the final round and his win secured second-place.

“I can definitely say Triple Crowns are not my thing,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Will Christien. “We have one more to try and fix this, so hopefully we can get that done.”

Lawrence will move into the 450 class for the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season and his 250 record book will be closed.

The best news for Lawrence is the other riders who entered this round in the top three had a worse night, so Lawrence leaves Anaheim with a 16-point gap on Cameron McAdoo and 17 over RJ Hampshire.

Roberston finished 6-1-3 to take the final step of the podium.

“Getting that win in the second Main meant a lot,” Roberston told Thomas. “I wish I could have done a little better in the third one, but we’re still up here on the box.”

Mitchell Oldenburg used consistency to earn fourth in the overall. He finished 5-4-6.

After missing the Main last week in San Diego, Max Vohland finished 7-8-4 to round out the top five.

RJ Hampshire set himself up as the early favorite with his Race 1 win. In Race 2, it all fell apart. He fell in the sand section and damaged his bike, finishing last in that race. The final event of the night for the 250s provided only a 13th-place finish, leaving Hampshire deep in the points.

Cameron McAdoo hard crash in qualification, which was scary news for a team that has seen three of their riders sidelined with injury. McAdoo was never quite able to get his rhythm with an 8-7-5.

2023 Race Recaps

San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Anaheim 2 coverage

Power Rankings Week 2
SuperMotocross tightens playoff schedule
Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence go two-for-two in San Diego
Results and points after San Diego
Seth Hammaker to miss 250 E season opener with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner with injury
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX