Sandell secures his, Herta’s first Red Bull GRC win of year in Detroit race two

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If speed was the only thing required to win Red Bull Global Rallycross races, Patrik Sandell would have had one by now in 2015.

But with luck having sabotaged most of his season, it took until Sunday for the second of two races in Detroit and Round 6 on the season for the driver of the No. 18 Bryan Herta RallySport Kobalt Tools Ford Fiesta ST to finally win one.

The Swede was afforded a reprieve after being caught up in a four-car, first-lap pileup off the first start of the race on Belle Isle Park before going into the Kobalt Tools Joker.

Sandell and Scott Speed, in the No. 41 Kinetic Vision Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Volkswagen Beetle, were side-by-side, with Speed coming down on Sandell as he sought to make the Joker around the fountain section of the course.

The contact knocked Sandell into Ken Block, in the No. 43 Monster Energy Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST, and Block into Speed’s VARX teammate Tanner Foust in the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Volkswagen Beetle.

Foust incurred the worst damage from the accident and was out on the spot; meanwhile, Block was issued a penalty for rough driving by series officials and sent to the back of the grid for the restart.

The 10-lap final was uneventful from there and Sandell, whose car wasn’t significantly damaged from the Speed contact, led Speed as both completed the Joker cleanly on the second attempt.

Sandell pulled away en route to his first win of the year, with Speed coming second for the second straight race.

“Yeah finally!” an excited Sandell told NBC’s Will Christien. “The team has been working so hard. I’m so happy for Bryan Herta RallySport. We’ve been fast all year but a lot of bad luck. Now we won and we really showed where we want to be here.”

A less than pleased Block, who unofficially saw his championship lead shrink from 45 points to 26, did not agree with the penalty call. He was resigned to a seventh place finish after banking a second, first and first in the previous three finals.

“I got hit, that’s all that happened. Thanks, officials,” Block told NBC’s Kristen Kenney with a peace sign and a quick walk-off back into his motor coach.

Olsbergs MSE teammates Sebastian Eriksson and Joni Wiman were third and fourth, Wiman equaling his best finish of the season, with Brian Deegan completing the top five for Chip Ganassi Racing. Deegan was the only CGR car to make the final after Steve Arpin had a crash in the Last Chance Qualifier.

Round 7 of the season from Washington D.C. is next up, and will air live at 3 p.m. ET on NBC on Sunday, August 15.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.