Chase Sexton returns to Daytona Supercross, Adam Cianciarulo out

Sexton Cianciarulo Supercross injury
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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Chase Sexton returns next week for Round 9 of the Monster Energy Supercross season at Daytona International Speedway while Adam Cianciarulo is forced to sit out due to an injury sustained at Orlando.

Soon after his accident in the Round 2 of 2021 at Houston, Sexton hoped to return after missing two of the three-races in the Indianapolis residency.

But with hopes of the championship gone, Sexton and his team decided in was more prudent to wait longer and heal completely.

“Very happy to be back on the bike and back to normal,” Sexton said in an Instagram post last week. “I’ve been working my butt off with therapy / strengthening my shoulder the past three weeks. Monday was my first day back and feeling very good on the bike already.

“With that being said just the lack of seat time over the past month my team Honda Racing and I have decided it’s better to come out at 100% for Daytona in a little over two weeks! I can’t wait to be back racing and seeing you all real soon.”

X-rays and MRI scans were negative for fractures or tears in his right shoulder, but Sexton lacked the strength to compete. He was diagnosed with a contusion and strain of the right rotator cuff and scapula.

Sexton was leading at the time of his accident. Eli Tomac went on to win that round while the two riders currently embroiled in a tight points battle for first place in the standings finished off the podium. Sexton’s teammate and current points leader Ken Roczen finished fifth. Cooper Webb, second in the standings by only six points, was fourth.

While Sexton returns to action, the news is not as good for Cianciarulo.

He crashed out of second-place last week at Orlando and broke his collarbone, which will keep him off the bike for some while.

“A lot of time and effort goes into each season and it’s extremely frustrating to have a set back like we did this past weekend,” Cianciarulo wrote on Instagram. “I broke my collarbone and I’m gonna be off the bike for a bit.

“I’m really pissed off at myself for making that mistake. It’s completely unacceptable. I won’t be discouraged, though. I love what I do and I put my heart and soul into it. I’m going to keep working on the things I need to in order to reach my goals. Simple as that. I appreciate my supporters and I’ll keep you guys updated.”

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
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On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)