Las Vegas 250 Supercross: Ferrandis upsets Cianciarulo in West; Sexton wins the East

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Dylan Ferrandis knew he needed a little help to win the 250 West championship. He was more than prepared to do what was needed by earning the holeshot and dominating the Main. It was not going to be enough, however, with Adam Cianciarulo riding fourth.

With two minutes left on the clock, points leader Adam Cianciarulo handed him the championship when he crashed hard and bent his handlebar.

In the 250 East division, Chase Sexton had an easier night of it, bringing a nine-point advantage into the race. He watched his principal rival Justin Cooper fade outside the top 10 and knew that all he needed was to run a clean, steady race.

Ferrandis’ race win was never in question. He led flag to flag, while drama played out behind him. On the opening lap, he was in a points tie with his rival Cianciarulo. Comfortable in the knowledge that he had the tiebreaker, Cianciarulo rode calmly through Lap 1. The East division points leader Sexton rode one position ahead of him, but Sexton’s main rival Cooper was well back in the pack.

After Cianciarulo went down, “I just tried to stay focused but emotion was difficult to control,” Ferrandis said after being awarded the Number 1 plate signifying his championship. “It’s unbelievable. Wow.”

“It’s more than a dream come true.”

Ferrandis achieved the championship with a determined charge at the end of the season. He won back to back races in Seattle and Houston, finished second in the 250 Showdown in Atlanta and again in Denver.

“I got just a little too close to the tough block there and crashed – and would have been fine I think, but I got up and the bike was super mangled and unrideable,” a gutted Cianciarulo said outside of his hauler. “It’s unfortunate; that’s all I’ve got to say.”

“Unfortunately I made a mistake that cost me the chance to be a champion. I’ve been in this situation before and I’ve felt what the bottom feels like. I have some perspective. The sun’s going to come out tomorrow. … We put everything into this. You put your self-worth into it. I feel like a failure right now, but tomorrow I’m going to wake up. I’m going to put the boots on and go to work.”

Sexton could not afford to make a mistake so he rode a nice, safe race and finished fourth in the feature.

“That was the longest Main event I ever had in my life,” Sexton said on USA Network after the race. “To do it here in Vegas feels so good. I’ve been wanting this for so long and to get it my second year at only 19 years old is awesome.”

RJ Hampshire scored his second podium finish of the season with a third-place finish.

Cameron McAdoo saved his best for last. He finished third, which was not only his first podium of the season, but also his first top-five. McAdoo finished sixth four times, including in the most recent West race at Denver.

Alex Martin rounded out the top five.

Complete Results
West Points Standings
East Points Standings

250 West Heat: The West division set the tone for their championship with a head’s up heat. RJ Hampshire got the hole shot and held the lead till the finish. … Michael Mosiman finished a little more than a second behind with points leader Adam Cianciarulo, who was less than half a second back. … Dylan Ferrandis was outside the top nine on Lap 1, but he charged through the field to finish fourth, and transfer to the Main.

250 East Heat: Chase Sexton served notice he would be the rider to beat with the holeshot. He held the lead till the checkers. … Martin Davalos crossed under the checkers second with Kyle Peters third. … Justin Cooper struggled throughout the heat and never challenged for a top five. He was elevated to sixth at the checkers after Mitchell Oldenburg took a hard tumble with time running off the clock. He was running sixth at the time, but after getting pinned under his bike, he fell to 12th.

250 Last Chance Qualifier: In an East / West Showdown, the LCQ is almost as packed with talent as the Main in either division’s standalone races. Lorenzo Locurcio grabbed the lead just before the white flag waved and advanced to the Main. … He took the lead from Mitchell Falk, who inherited it after Mitchell Oldenburg crashed for the second time Saturday night. … Justin Starling and Chase Marquier also advanced. … When it’s not your night – it’s not your night. Oldenburg went down in exactly the same spot as he did in his heat race and once again got pinned beneath his bike. He ended the night three laps off the pace in 18th.

Points Leaders

250SX West
Dylan Ferrandis (226) (3 wins)
Adam Cianciarulo (211 points) (5 wins)
Colt Nichols (180) (1 win)
RJ Hampshire (168)
Cameron McAdoo (149)

250SX East
Chase Sexton (193) (1 win)
Justin Cooper (180)
Austin Forkner (152 points) (5 wins)
Martin Davalos (148) (1 win)
Alex Martin (139)

Top 5s

250SX West
Adam Cianciarulo: 9
Dylan Ferrandis: 8
Colt Nichols: 6
RJ Hampshire: 6
Shane McElrath: 5
James Decotis: 4
Jacob Hayes: 1
Garrett Marchbanks: 1
Jess Pettis: 1
Michael Mosiman: 1
Chris Blose: 1
Michael Mosiman: 1
Cameron McAdoo: 1

250SX East
Chase Sexton: 9
Justin Cooper: 8
Austin Forkner: 6
Martin Davalos: 5
Jordon Smith: 3
Mitchell Oldenburg: 3
Alex Martin: 3
Brandon Hartranft: 2
Kyle Peters: 1

Next race: Lucas Oil Motocross Championship, May 18, Hangtown, Rancho Cordova, Calif.

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Latest INDYCAR Aeroscreen test continues to provide feedback; data to series

Bruce Martin Photo
Bruce Martin Photo
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RICHMOND, Virginia – After completing its third Aeroscreen test since October 2, INDYCAR continues to collect valuable data and feedback from the drivers and engineers involved in testing.

The latest test of the Aeroscreen came Tuesday, October 15 at Richmond Raceway, a .750-mile short oval. Five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon has been involved in testing dating all the way back to 2017 at Phoenix with the original “Windscreen.” Tuesday’s test was the first-time two-time NTT IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden was able to test the device that partially encloses the cockpit proving greatly enhanced driver safety.

It was also the first time the current “Aeroscreen” designed and created by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Pankl and Dallara has been tested at a short oval – a track that measures under 1.5-miles in length.

The previous tests were at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 2 and the Barber Motorsports Park road course on October 7.

“It wasn’t a problem getting in the car today and relearning a new viewpoint,” Newgarden told NBC at the conclusion of Tuesday’s test. “It felt like a new viewpoint. It’s still an Indy car. It still feels like an Indy car. The car does a lot of the things it did before. It required some slight tuning differences to accommodate a different center of gravity and different total weight.

“Overall, it still felt like the same Indy car I drove three weeks ago. You get used to that new viewpoint within 30 or 40 laps. It was alien at first but halfway through the day it feels like home again.”

Newgarden’s Team Penske test team along with INDYCAR officials worked on changes to getting air into the cockpit and directing the air to the right place where the driver can utilize it.

“We’ve come up with some solutions that we like,” Newgarden said. “INDYCAR and the teams will continue to fine-tune this. That is why we are doing these tests. The main goal was to figure this out and fine-tune this stuff. We have come up with a lot of good solutions to all of the little things we have talked about that we have needed so when Sebastien Bourdais goes to Sebring (on November 5), it will just be another version.

“We are already close. Because they are such small details, it feels like normal racing stuff and we will come up with solutions for that.”

Some drivers who have participated in the Aeroscreen test has said, they almost feel naked without having the halo-like structure with a clear windshield protecting them on the race car.

“Once we got through a whole IndyCar season, if you took it off, it would feel really strange,” Newgarden said. “People adapt so quickly to a change, what the car looks like. Once you give us a couple of races and a full year, it will feel like home and something we are very used to as drivers.

“It is already starting to get that way. People are feeling more comfortable with it. The field of view is almost identical to the way it was before. Your peripheral vision is identical, the way you look out the front of the cars is identical, the way you see the tires is identical.”

Individual driver preference will allow for shading of the sun and that can be accomplished with the visor strips on the helmet and the tear-offs on Aeroscreen.

Drivers will also have a bit of a quieter atmosphere inside the cockpit. The partial enclosure makes it easier to hear his radio communication and the sounds of the engine in the driver’s car. It partially blocks out the sounds of the engines in the other cars and the rush of wind traveling at high speeds that used to buffet in and around the helmet.

“It has changed the noise level slightly inside the cockpit,” Newgarden said. “For me, it wasn’t super dramatic. It’s a slight reduction in wind noise. You’re not getting the wind directly over your head as dramatically as you would before. All that external noise has just been dimmed.

“You can hear the radio a touch better, things like that. But the engine noise is still quite prominent. It’s bolted directly behind us, so you still hear quite a bit of what’s going on in the car and the engine.”

Dixon was in the car at Indianapolis on October 2 and returned on Tuesday. The Barber test on October 7 included this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner, Simon Pagenaud, in a Team Penske Chevrolet and Ryan Hunter-Reay in an Andretti Autosport Honda.

“The only differences are the openings on the front wing that creates some more airflow around the legs and body and a different inlet in the screen that was in place today,” Dixon told NBC “There were helmet cooling options since the Barber test because on the road course, some of the drivers were getting a little hotter.

“This project has been very in-depth. It hit the ground running very smoothly. There are some alternate options they are trying to create, especially on the street courses where we will experience hot condition. On street conditions, your depth perception changes because of how close you are to the walls, but we should get used to that.”

Two weeks ago, Team Penske driver Will Power said it takes a different style to get out of the race car because of the added height of the Aeroscreen.

That hasn’t been a problem for Dixon.

“That’s easy, man,” he said. “Just go through the hole in the top.”