Dakar Rally, Stage 10: Ricky Brabec wins again, closes within 51 seconds of overall lead

Dakar Rally Stage 10
FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images
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Ricky Brabec surged into a solid position Wednesday for his second consecutive motorbike victory in the Dakar Rally, winning Stage 10 as teammate Nacho Cornejo withdrew after crashing out of the overall lead.

Brabec, who became the first American to win Dakar last year, trails Monster Energy Honda teammate Kevin Benavides by 51 seconds with two of 12 stages remaining in the prestigious off-road raid that is being held in Saudi Arabia for the second consecutive year.

After a slow start in the first week, Brabec has found the pace on the dunes, hills and sand of Week 2.

In his second stage victory this year, the Hesperia, California, native won by more than 3 minutes over Joan Barreda Bort.

Benavides finished fourth, followed by Skyler Howes in fifth.

“Winning is the best thing there is in life,” Brabec said. “Anything less than winning is unacceptable, so we’re going as fast as we can out there and trying to read this (road book) and dodge rocks and go between canyons and dodge camels.

“We’ve got two days left, and tomorrow is going to be a long day, so let’s keep the focus.”

In his daily Instagram update, Brabec said he overcame slick tires and lack of traction and also wished a speedy recovery to Cornejo.

“Still a lot of km to navigate,” Brabec wrote. “Let’s go! #aimforthemoon #shootforthe stars”

Cornejo had entered the stage with a lead of more than 11 minutes over Benavides, but he crashed near the midpoint of the 342-kilometer special.

Cornejo said he just made a mistake by hitting a rock. Though the Chilean tried to continue, he later retired from the race after being diagnosed with a concussion by the Dakar medical team, which had Cornejo airlifted to the hospital for further MRI testing.

“It’s unfortunate for our teammate,” Brabec said of Cornejo. “Obviously racing motorcycles is dangerous, and we know this every time we gear up. We know how dangerous it is.”

Brabec will be the first rider out in Stage 11 with teammates Barreda and Benavides starting directly behind him.

“Unfortunately, if they catch me, I’ll lose time tomorrow, but it is what it is,” said Brabec, who added there are no team orders in play.

It was the second consecutive day that a contender was eliminated in a crash. Toby Price (who posted a surgery update from the hospital Wednesday) fell out in Stage 9.

Howes, meanwhile, continued his underdog bid to win the Dakar despite limited funding.

The St. George, Utah, resident is the highest-ranked privateer in the bike division after his third top-five stage finish. Howes is 29 minutes, 38 seconds off the lead.

“Today the navigation was quite difficult,” Howes said. “I learned my lesson yesterday and toned it down quite a bit about 5-10% slower on my speed, so it worked out in my favor.

“I nailed the navigation, so today was really rocky and easy to get caught up. My tire’s pretty bald now, so it’s really hard to stop and accelerate, so we took it easy today, and it worked out with no crashes and a clean stage.”

In other divisions Wednesday:

Cars: Yazeed Al Rajhi overcame a late tire puncture to win his second stage, finishing 2 minutes 4 seconds ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah. Third-place finisher Stephane Peterhansel maintained a 17-minute overall lead over Al-Attiyah.

“The pressure is on constantly from morning to evening,” Peterhansel said. “The best position is that of the leader. There’s more pressure on the one who has everything to lose. When you’re the leader, you have a lot more to lose than when you’re the hunter. But I prefer my position.”

Peterhansel is the winningest competitor in Dakar history. The Frenchman has 13 overall victories, six on a bike. His most recent in a car was in 2017

Side by side UTVs (SSV)/lightweight/light prototypes: Sergei Kariakin won his first stage, beating Austin Jones by 29 seconds. Jones rebounded from a series of tire punctures in a  disappointing Stage 9 as the American moved into second overall, trailing Francisco Lopez Contardo by just over 10 minutes.

“Took care of the car really well, didn’t get any punctures, no problems,” Jones said. “So the stage really suited me. Super happy about being P2 overall now.”

In the light prototypes division, Josef Machachek held the overall lead. Seth Quintero, who won five of the first eight stages, fell to sixth overall after the American was hampered by a broken gearbox.

Quads: Pablo Copetti took the stage victory over Italo Pedemonte. Third-place finisher Manuel Andujar maintained a 21-minute lead overall.

Trucks: Martin Macik won his second consecutive stage, finishing 1 minute, 40 seconds ahead of overall leader Dmitry Sotnikov.


STAGE 1 RESULTSCarlos Sainz, Toby Price open with victories

STAGE 2Ricky Brabec jumps to second; Andrew Short withdraws

STAGE 3American privateer Skyler Howes takes lead

STAGE 4Four Stages, four bike winners; Al-Attiyah wins three consecutive in cars

STAGE 5Kevin Benavides new leader in bikes

STAGE 6: Toby Price retakes the lead; Peterhansel distances the competition

STAGE 7Ricky Brabec captures first victory; Skyler Howes third

STAGE 8: Austin Jones takes overall lead in side by sides

STAGE 9: Toby Price retires after heavy crash; Peterhansel wins

STAGE WINS

Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah 4 (Stages 2, 3, 4, 8); Carlos Sainz 2 (Stage 1, 6); Yazeed Al Rajhi 2 (Stage 7, 10); Giniel de Villiers (Stage 5); Stephane Peterhansel (Stage 9)

Bikes: Joan Barreda 3 (Stage 2, 4, 6); Toby Price 2 (Stages 1, 3); Kevin Benavides 2 (Stage 5, 9); Ricky Brabec 2 (Stage 7, 10); Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (Stage 8)

Side-by-sides: Francisco Lopez Contardo 5 (Stage 3, 5, 7, 8, 9); Austin Jones (Stage 1); Saleh Alsaif (Stage 2); Aron Domzala (Stage 4); Khalifa Al Attiyah (Stage 6), Sergei Kariakin (Stage 10)

Lightweight prototypes: Seth Quintero 5 (Stage 2, 3, 5, 6, 8); Cristina Gutierrez Herrero 3 (Stage 1, 7, 9); Kris Meeke (Stage 4)

Quads: Alexandre Giroud 3 (Stage 1, 6, 8); Nicolas Cavigliasso 2 (Stage 3, 5); Manuel Andujar 2 (Stage 4, 7); Pablo Copetti 2 (Stage 2, 10); Giovanni Enrico (Stage 9)

Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov 4 (Stage 1, 2, 4, 7); Martin Macik 2 (Stage 9, 10); Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 3); Andrey Karginov (Stage 5); Airat Mardeev (Stage 6); Anton Shibalov (Stage 8)

Watch highlights from Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally on NBCSN at 2:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

AUTO-MOTO-RALLY-DAKAR-STAGE10
Ricky Brabec powered his Honda to victory during Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally (FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images).

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws
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The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)