Dakar Stage 3 Highlights: Sainz takes overall lead as Alonso gets top 5

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The third stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally saw Carlos Sainz Sr take the overall race lead while Fernando Alonso had his best stage result so far.

Here are some of today’s highlights:

In the cars class, Carlos Sainz took the overall race lead when he won the third stage by a margin of 4:19 over Jakub Przygonski. Though defending race champion Nasser Al-Attiyah initially finished the stage 3:31 behind Sainz in the second position, he was assessed a three minute penalty. The penalty dropped Al-Attiyah to fifth overall. 

Yasir Seaidan finished the stage in the third position, 5:28 behind, while Fernando Alonso finished in the fourth position, 6:14 off of Sainz’s pace. 

Tuesday’s fourth-place finish has been the best so far for the two-time Formula One World Champion, who finished a disappointing 63rd in the second stage after his car sustained damage when it hit a rock.

Alonso now is ranked 32nd in the overall standings.

Overall: Carlos Sainz holds an advantage of 7:55 over Nasser Al-Attiyah.

In bikes, Ricky Brabec crossed all six checkpoints as the fastest rider to win by 5:56 over Jose Ingacio Cornejo. Kevin Benavides finished third, 7:22 behind, while Stage 2 winner Toby Price finished fifth. 

Overall: Ricky Brabec holds an advantage of 4:43 over Kevin Benavides.

In side by sides, Gerrard Farres Guell won by 0:15 over Sergei Kariakin. Meanwhile, American Casey Currie finished third, 1:37 behind. Currie’s third consecutive top 5 finish was enough for him to take the lead over Francisco Lopez Contardo in the overall standings. 

Overall: Casey Currie holds an advantage of 0:15 over Francisco Lopez Contardo.

In quads, Giovanni Enrico won by 1:01 over Simon Viste, while Ignacio Casale finished third, 3:29 behind. Despite being denied his third straight stage win, Casale added more than five minutes to his overall advantage over Rafal Sonik.

Overall: Ignacio Casale holds an advantage of 14:29 over Rafal Sonik.

In trucks, Andrey Karginov won by 4:54 over Stage 2 winner Siarhei Viazovich. Stage 1 winner Anton Shibalov finished third, 11:13 behind. 

Overall: Siarhei Viazovich holds an advantage of 2:18 over Andrey Karginov.

Stage Wins

Cars: [1] Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1), [1] Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2) and [1] Carlos Sainz (Stage 3)

Bikes: [1] Toby Price (Stage 1), [1] Ross Branch (Stage 2) and [1] Ricky Brabec (Stage 3)

Side-by-sides: [1]  Aron Domzala (Stage 1), [1] Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2) and [1] Gerard Farres Guell (Stage 3)

Quads: [2] Ignacio Casale (Stage 1 and Stage 2) and Giovanni Enrico (Stage 3)

Trucks: [1] Anton Shibalov (Stage 1), [1] Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2) and Andrey Karginov (Stage 3)

Highlights of Stage Three will air on NBCSN this evening at 6:00 p.m. ET.  The rally runs through Jan. 17.

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

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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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.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

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.