Bourdais crushes field at Milwaukee for second win of year (VIDEO)

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MILWAUKEE – Sebastien Bourdais partied like it was the old Champ Car days at the oldest continuously operating race track in North America.

The Frenchman won his second race of the Verizon IndyCar Series season at the Milwaukee Mile, controlling the second half of the 250-lap race, the ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers. He also won at the track in 2006.

WATCH: Full replay of ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250

The driver of the No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet drove an utterly dynamic middle stint of the race after the halfway mark, gapping the field by anywhere from three to four mph per lap and stretching his lead on the one-mile oval to a full lap, in running a “rabbit” strategy on pure pace.

Bourdais needed a final stop on Lap 212 to ensure he made the finish, but his lead was almost never in doubt after his prior 90 laps.

A late caution on Lap 222 when Justin Wilson stopped in Turn 1 with a mechanical issue nearly sabotaged Bourdais’ race.

Most of the field pitted for fresh tires, Bourdais had a two-car gap between he and the rest of the field, as Juan Pablo Montoya and Ed Carpenter stayed out.

Bourdais held off Helio Castroneves, who made a great drive from last in the field up to second, and Graham Rahal, who followed up his Auto Club Speedway win with another podium.

Montoya and polesitter Josef Newgarden completed the top five.

Montoya held on on the older tires, and in the process extended his points lead. He is now up by 54 points over Scott Dixon, who finished seventh after a late fallback.

Newgarden led three times for 109 laps, including all but six of the first 100 laps, but was caught out on strategy. He made it home fifth and said he could afford to be disappointed with his first top-five of the year that wasn’t a win.

Tony Kanaan was sixth ahead of Dixon. Marco Andretti, Simon Pagenaud and Ed Carpenter completed the top 10 finishers.

Will Power crashed out just past the halfway mark, caught up with nowhere to go when Ryan Briscoe lost control through Turns 3 and 4.

Montoya now leads Dixon by 54, Castroneves and Rahal by 69 and Power by 70 heading to Iowa Speedway next week.

RESULTS

WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Results Sunday of the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.015-mile Milwaukee Mile, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1.  (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 250, Running
2.  (24) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 250, Running
3.  (6) Graham Rahal, Honda, 250, Running
4.  (8) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 250, Running
5.  (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 250, Running
6.  (4) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 250, Running
7.  (10) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 250, Running
8.  (9) Marco Andretti, Honda, 250, Running
9.  (17) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 250, Running
10.  (22) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 250, Running
11.  (12) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 250, Running
12.  (7) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 250, Running
13.  (16) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 250, Running
14.  (13) Takuma Sato, Honda, 250, Running
15.  (18) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 250, Running
16.  (20) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 248, Running
17.  (21) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 221, Running
18.  (15) Justin Wilson, Honda, 219, Mechanical
19.  (3) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 183, Contact
20.  (19) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 156, Mechanical
21.  (2) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 130, Contact
22.  (14) Will Power, Chevrolet, 130, Contact
23.  (5) James Jakes, Honda, 113, Mechanical
24.  (23) Pippa Mann, Honda, 27, Handling

Race Statistics
Winners average speed:  130.373
Time of Race: 01:56:46.8264
Margin of victory: 2.2366
Cautions: 3 for 36 laps
Lead changes: 9 among 6 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Newgarden 1 – 54
Rahal 55 – 59
Newgarden 60 – 100
Bourdais 101
Wilson 102
Dixon 103 – 116
Bourdais 117 – 170
Newgarden 171 -184
Kanaan 185 – 187
Bourdais 188 – 250

Verizon IndyCar Point Standings: Montoya 439, Dixon 385, Rahal 370, Castroneves 370, Power 369, Bourdais 343, Andretti 332, Kanaan 314, Newgarden 309, Pagenaud 278.

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

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Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX
Chase Sexton wins Anaheim 2 in 450s; Levi Kitchen takes 250s
Results and points from Anaheim 2