Dakar Rally 2022, Day 3: Solid results for U.S. drivers and riders in the desert


Led by Seth Quintero’s stage victory in the light prototype class, drivers and riders racing under the U.S. banner had a strong Day 3 of the 2022 Dakar Rally.

Quintero rebounded Tuesday for his third stage victory this year during the endurance classic in Saudi Arabia. A broken differential during the second stage had knocked the American from the overall lead and a shot at title contention after winning the prologue and first stage.

Despite the victory, Quintero still is ranked 25th and nearly 17 hours off the overall lead because of Monday’s time losses. At 19, he was trying to become the youngest Dakar Rally winner in history.

DAKAR RALLY ON NBC: How to watch nightly coverage at the Olympic Channel

“For sure, it’s definitely been quite a Dakar,” Quintero said. “We’ve got three wins out of the four stages that we’ve done, which is awesome, but unfortunately, we’re very far down on the overall. Last night we got back to the bivouac at about four o’clock in the morning and hit the road at 8 a.m. and here we are with a stage win by about six minutes.

“We couldn’t have had a better day and we’re going to keep on chugging along and grab some more wins. It is definitely difficult to keep the motivation going knowing that we are out of the overall classification, but we’re just going to try and score some championship points and keep moving. We’re just going to try and keep ticking off the wins and hopefully we can grab a few more.”

The best American hope for a class victory now might be Austin Jones, who remained the overall leader by over 5 minutes in SSV after a fourth-place finish Tuesday in the 636-kilometer segment around Al Qaysumah.

In the bike division, American riders had their best showing of the 2022 Dakar Rally. Mason Klein finished third Tuesday, just over a minute behind stage winner Joaquim Rodrigues and the first of four Americans in the top eight. Skyler Howes took fourth, followed by former Supercross star Andrew Short (sixth) and 2020 Dakar winner Ricky Brabec (seventh).

Howes, who has moved to Husqvarna Factory Racing this year after strong showings as a privateer, is ranked fourth overall and just under 4 minutes behind Sam Sunderland.

“Today was the first time that in my life that I’ve opened the track on the Dakar rally,” Howes said. “It was a cool feeling, and I’m super proud of the way I navigated. It wasn’t exactly perfect, but I did a pretty good job. I started fourth on the track and I crossed the line physically first, so yes, this was a really cool day. There were some tricky notes out there, some hidden waypoints that were difficult to find, but luckily we got them all and reached the finishing line safely.

“I wouldn’t say I pushed to the maximum today. I rode what I thought was a comfortable pace, though the pace is really high now on the Dakar, it’s almost like a sprint race. So, if you don’t push every day you’re going to be off the pace. So, today I rode fairly conservatively but still within my means. I’m proud of it. It’s really cool to be on the pace. I mean, last year I was on a rental bike as a privateer and now I’m here on a factory Husqvarna competing against the best in the world so it’s really cool.”

In the Quad category, Pablo Copetti, an Argentine who races under the U.S. banner, maintained his overall lead with a Stage 3 victory.

Nasser Al-Attiyah continued to hold the overall lead of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the cars division over Sebastien Loeb (who lost more than 30 minutes with a mechanical failure that left him with two-wheel drive). Three-time event winner Carlos Sainz scored the first stage victory Tuesday (and the 40th of his career) in an Audi RS Q e-Tron.

“For sure, I’m disappointed,” Loeb said. “I’m happy to be at the end of the stage losing only 33 minutes – it could have been even worse, but that’s like it is. The fight with Nasser will be very difficult. He is far in front.”

Al-Attiyah said he drove more cautiously after Loeb struggled.

“I think Seb had a problem with the car and we just tried to take it easy without any risks,” Al-Attiyah said. “I’m quite happy to finish the stage without any problems. This will be good (as Wednesday) is a very long stage. I think we need to be really careful on the long stages.

“Today was a good day for us. I wasn’t surprised to be caught by Carlos because I was going very slowly. It was not a surprise because my main target is Sébastien Loeb not Carlos Sainz. I don’t need to fight with Carlos because he is too far from us.”

There are nine stages remaining in the race.

Here are the top three in each category after Day 3:


Stage 3 winner: Carlos Sainz (ESP), 2:26:51. Overall: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 9:31:22; 2. Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Bahrain Raid Extreme, 10:09:02; 3. Lucio Alvarez (ARG), Overdrive Toyota, 10:13:28.


Stage 3 winner: Joaquim Rodrigues (PRT), 2:34:41. Overall: 1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GasGas Factory Racing, 11:13:40; 2. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 11:13:44; 3. Matthias Walkner (AUS), GasGas Factory Racing, 11:15:10. Other U.S. notables: 4. Skyler Howes, Husqvarna Factory Racing, 11:17:35; 13. Mason Klein, BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 11:39:55; 16. Andrew Short, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 11:45:45; 20. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda, 12:04:19.


Stage 3 winner: Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), 2:43:25. Overall: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), Kamaz-Master 10:42:32; 2. Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 10:54:17; 3. Andrey Karginov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 11:02:16.

Light prototype

Stage 3 winner: Seth Quintero (USA), 2:52:23. Overall: 1. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL), EKS — South Racing, 11:27:54; 2. Sebastian Eriksson (SWE), EKS — South Racing, 11:37:03; 3. Pavel Lebedev (RAF) MSK Rally Team, 11:54:59.


Stage 3 winner: Marek Goczal (POL), 2:58:46. Overall: 1. Austin Jones (USA), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 11:53:53; 2. Rodrigo Luppi De Oliveira (BRA), South Racing Can-Am, 11:59:16; Gerard Farres Guell (ESP) 12:07:57.


Stage 3 winner: Pablo Copetti (USA) 3:12:48. Overall: 1. Pablo Copetti (USA), Del Amo Motorsports/Yamaha Rally Team, 14:10:56; 2. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 14:26:25; 3. Aleksandir Maksimov (RAF), Chyr Mari, 14:40:08.

Texas starting lineup: Felix Rosenqvist back on pole; Scott Dixon qualifies second


FORT WORTH, Texas — For the second consecutive year, Felix Rosenqvist will lead the NTT IndyCar Series starting lineup to the green flag at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Arrow McLaren driver is hoping the third time will be the charm at the 1.5-mile oval, where he has run extremely well but has only a career-best 12th in five starts.

“We’ve always been good here, but this is a whole different confidence level compared to last year,” Rosenqvist told NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. “Let’s try to wrap it up (Sunday).”

In 2020, Rosenqvist was competing for a podium when he crashed with 10 laps remaining at Texas.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Click here for speeds from Saturday’s time trials

INDYCAR AT TEXASSchedule, start times, how to watch on NBC, Peacock

Last year, he started first on an oval for the first time in his career but finished 21st because of a broken halfshaft.

“It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks, and naturally, I’ve always been OK here,” Rosenqvist said. “It was the first oval that made sense to me. Every year I’m building on that. But looking at the results, they don’t represent the speed I normally have.

“I don’t want to jinx anything, but I hope tomorrow is going to go a bit better and some luck our way would be nice. It’s been feeling super good. Arrow McLaren has been mega every session, so just keep it rolling.”

Arrow McLaren qualified all three of its Chevrolets in the top five, building on a second for Pato O’Ward and fourth for Alexander Rossi in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The March 5 season opener was a disappointing start for Rosenqvist who was squeezed into the wall by Scott Dixon on the first lap.

Dixon, a five-time winner at Texas, will start second Sunday, followed by Rossi and Josef Newgarden. O’Ward will start fifth alongside Takuma Sato, who will start on the outside of the third row in his Chip Ganassi Racing debut.

During nearly four hours of practice and qualifying (including a special high-line session), Saturday’s lone incident involved Conor Daly.

The Ed Carpenter Racing driver spun three times but stayed off the wall and in the frontstretch grass. Aside from a front wing change and new tires, there was no damage to his No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet during the incident midway through the 30-minute session in which drivers were limited to the high line.

“I hadn’t really had a moment before, but it snapped really aggressively,” Daly told NBC Sports after final practice. “Not ideal, but I do know my way around correcting a spin it seems like. I drove NASCAR last weekend and that seemed to help a little bit. I drove in the dirt a lot in USAC Midgets and seemed to be able to save something but not ideal or what we wanted to have happen.”

Daly will start 25th of 28 cars alongside teammate Rinus VeeKay in Row 13. Carpenter qualified 18th.

“Our three of our cars were clearly looking for something. Mechanical grip is for sure what we need. Qualifying we actually expected to be a lot better, but we found an issue there. We’ll see what happens. This race can change a lot. I’m confident in the team to hopefully figure some things out for tomorrow.”

Here’s the IndyCar starting lineup for Sunday’s PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway (qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine and speed):


1. (6) Felix Rosenqvist, Dallara-Chevy, 220.264 mph
2. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 219.972


3. (7) Alexander Rossi, Dallara-Chevy, 219.960
4. (2) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Chevy, 219.801


5. (5) Pato O’Ward, Dallara-Chevy, 219.619
6. (11) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 219.508


7. (10) Alex Palou, Dallara-Honda, 219.480
8. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 219.355


9. (18) David Malukas, Dallara-Honda, 219.256
10. (26) Colton Herta, Dallara-Honda, 219.184


11. (28) Romain Grosjean, Dallara-Honda, 219.165
12. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, Dallara-Honda, 219.146

ROW 7 

13. (55) Benjamin Pedersen, Dallara-Chevy, 219.100
14. (14) Santino Ferrucci, Dallara-Chevy, 218.892


15. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Dallara-Chevy, 218.765
16. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Dallara-Honda, 218.698


17. (77) Callum Ilott, Dallara-Chevy, 218.427
18. (33) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 218.375

ROW 10

19. (78) Agustin Canapino, Dallara-Chevy, 218.367
20. (27) Kyle Kirkwood, Dallara-Honda, 218.227

ROW 11

21. (06) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 218.196
22. (60) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 218.103

ROW 12

23. (51) Sting Ray Robb, Dallara-Honda, 217.676
24. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 217.611

ROW 13

25. (20) Conor Daly, Dallara-Chevy, 217.457
26. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Dallara-Chevy, 216.880

ROW 14

27. (45) Christian Lundgaard, Dallara-Honda, 216.210
28. (30) Jack Harvey, Dallara-Honda, 216.103