F1: Verstappen wins Mexican GP pole as Bottas crashes

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Max Verstappen won the pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix Saturday afternoon, in a qualifying session that ended under the red flag when Valtteri Bottas crashed in his final lap.

Vestappen showed speed throughout Q3, already setting the fastest time early on in the session.

Despite already being on the provisional pole, the Dutch driver posted an even faster final lap, securing the top starting position for Sunday’s race by laying out a 1 minute, 14.758-second lap around the 2.674-mile, 17-Turn Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit.

“To come out on top is incredible,” Verstappen said following his pole run.  “A huge thank you to the team, they worked very hard. We showed today that we are very quick”

Having won in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018, Verstappen now looks to make it a hat trick in Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc qualified second, just 0.266 seconds behind Verstappen, while fellow Ferrari competitor Sebastian Vettel laid down a 1 minute, 15.170-second lap to qualify third.

Lewis Hamilton and Alexander Albon qualified fourth and fifth, respectfully, while Bottas qualified sixth following his hard crash into the wall in the exit of the final corner.

Bottas walked away from the accident safely, though his car suffered significant damage.

Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Daniil Kvyat, and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10 qualifiers.

Full qualifying results and times are below:

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Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.