IMSA: Castroneves, Cameron on front row for Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio

Photo courtesy IMSA

Courtesy IMSA Wire Service

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio will have a pair of Acura Team Penske Acura DPis at the front of the field when the green flag drops on the two-hour, 40-minute race at 1 p.m. ET.

For much of Saturday’s 15-minute IMSAWeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying session, it appeared that Dane Cameron would be the one leading the way in the No. 6 Acura ARX-05. However, Helio Castroneves stole the Motul Pole Award from his teammate on the final lap of qualifying, throwing down a blistering lap of 1 minute, 11.837 seconds (113.155 mph) in the No. 7 Acura DPi he co-drives with 2017 WeatherTech Championship Prototype champion Ricky Taylor.

It was the second consecutive Motul Pole Award for Acura Team Penske, as Cameron’s No. 6 co-driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, led the field to green last month in the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. It also was Castroneves’ second career WeatherTech Championship pole and first since scoring the pole in the 2017 Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta last October.

Castroneves also has two IndyCar pole positions at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2007 and 2008 and has two Mid-Ohio race wins in the CART Champ Car World Series in 2000 and 2001.

“Man, Dane was on it,” Castroneves said. “I knew he was going to be super-fast, and when they told me the number of the lap time that he did, and I passed him and then he did it again, and T.C. (Team Penske President Tim Cindric) – I’ve worked with T.C. in my radio with more than 10 or 15 years, and I knew exactly what he was asking for.

“I knew I had it. I just had to put it together. Every time I was going out there, the car was getting better, it was accepting it. It was a great team effort. Dane actually helped me to find out something that maybe wasn’t there, but we were able to put it together and it was awesome.”

Cameron will start second with a best lap of 1:11.984 (112.924 mph). This will be the first time that teammates will share the front row of a WeatherTech Championship race since then-Action Express Racing teammates Joao Barbosa and Cameron started 1-2 for the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Another pair of teammates also will be sharing the second row of the Prototype grid. Mazda Team Joest locked out positions 3 and 4, with Oliver Jarvis qualifying third in the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P DPi car at 1:12.339 (112.370 mph) and Jonathan Bomarito fourth in the No. 55 Mazda DPi at 1:12.596 (111.972 mph).

Renger van der Zande completed the top five in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R he shares with Jordan Taylor. Van der Zande’s best lap was a 1:12.600 (111.966 mph).

The two-hour, 40-minute race will be televised live on FS2 at 1 p.m. ET, with live IMSA Radio coverage also available on, and SiriusXM Radio.

Motocross: Chase Sexton to miss Hangtown after midweek practice crash

Sexton Hangtown practice crash
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Chase Sexton announced on Instagram he will sit out this weekend’s Pro Motocross race at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California after a practice crash on Tuesday left him with a concussion.

Sexton’s crash on Tuesday happened during a test session at Fox Raceway.

“Bummed to make this post but I’ll be sitting out this weekend,” Sexton said. “As you guys saw I had a big one during qualifying at Pala, then another one on Tuesday this week that banged me up pretty good. Nothing broken just need a few days to get back to 100%.”

Despite his crash in the first qualification session in Pala, California, Sexton mounted up for both motos and finished second in each race behind his teammate Jett Lawrence, who was making his Motocross debut and won with a pair of first-place finishes. Sexton padded his SuperMotocross points’ lead over the injured Eli Tomac, who is still second in the combined Supercross and Motocross standings despite missing the SX finale at Salt Lake City and the outdoor opener with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Sexton has an advantage of 78 points over Cooper Webb and cannot give up his SMX lead by missing this round.

At stake, however, is the risk of losing ground to Lawrence in the Pro Motocross championship. Sexton currently trails his teammate by six points and is liable to lose significant ground this weekend.

In addition to his concussion, Sexton has also been diagnosed with mononucleosis and the combination of the two conditions caused the team to make the difficult decision to keep him out of the lineup at Hangtown.

“I’m super-bummed to miss this weekend’s race,” Sexton said in a press release. “I feel like I rode well at Pala, and I was really looking forward to Hangtown because it’s a good track for me. Unfortunately, I was already pretty banged up from my qualifying crash on Saturday, and now with mono and Tuesday’s concussion on top of it, I want to do the right thing and hopefully be back on the track soon.”

A return date for Sexton has not yet been announced.

Other 2023 Injury News

450 riders
Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon | It was just a freak deal
Justin Barcia,
collarbone and shoulder
Jason Anderson, vertebrae
Christian Craig, elbow
Marvin Musquin, wrist
Malcolm Stewart, knee | Signs two-year extension
Aaron Plessinger, hip | returned at Salt Lake City
Dylan Ferrandis, concussion | Will not return until Motocross
Cooper Webb,
concussion | returned at Pala

250 riders
Nate Thrasher, hip
Stilez Robertson, leg
Cameron McAdoo, shoulder
Seth Hammaker, arm and wrist
Austin Forkner, knee | Injury isn’t the hardest part
Jo Shimoda, collarbone | returned at Atlanta
Jalek Swoll, arm | returned at Pala