Jason Anderson wins Supercross Round 2 at Oakland for first victory since 2018 title


Jason Anderson won in the 450 class for the first time since his 2018 championship season and climbed to second in the points standings Saturday in Round 2 of the Monster Energy Supercross season in Oakland, Calif.

After an opening round that featured a 1-2 finish by last year’s top title contenders, Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb, Round 2 brought new faces up front as Anderson led Aaron Plessinger and Justin Barcia across the line.

Anderson got a good start, but it was new teammate Adam Cianciarulo who grabbed the holeshot and held the lead for the first four minutes.

Once Anderson passed Cianciarulo, he held the lead to the checkers, ending a 47-race winless streak dating to March 3, 2018 at Atlanta.

“Since I won that championship, it’s been a roller coaster for me mentally,” Anderson told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “Last year was a tough one for me. I wasn’t performing, and I was thankful that (Kawasaki) set me up and gave me a breath of fresh air. They stuck with me and gave me an opportunity.

“As much as I don’t show it, this one feels so damn good, and I’m so excited, and I want to keep the ball rolling.”

As Anderson waited to climb onto the podium, nearly every rider in the field came to express congratulations.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 main event in Oakland 

Plessinger and Barcia had more challenging openings to their race. Starting outside the top five, they had to pick their way through the field before finding the podium.

It was a rebound for Anderson, who lost a podium in Anaheim because of late contact with Barcia. Anderson tweeted there were no hard feelings, but it would be nice if Barcia bought a couple of items from his merchandise site. During the track walk, Barcia was seen wearing a Team Fried hoodie.

Despite the slow start, Plessinger moved forward quickly and moved into second at the five-minute mark. It was the second career podium in 450 for Plessinger, who finished third at Daytona last year.

“I don’t know where I was last week,” said Plessinger, who finished ninth at Anaheim in his Red Bull KTM debut as Webb’s teammate. “I was in a different mind state. I regrouped this week, and it was a good week.”

Barcia climbed to third before midway and closed onto Plessinger’s bumper but was unable the complete the pass for the runner-up position. Last week, Barcia was gunning for his fourth consecutive opening round victory, but when he came up short, he was content with being on the podium. He hoped his strong run signaled a return of consistency and would help him make a legitimate run at the championship.

“I was just riding my race, having fun,” Barcia said. “I got a little tight in the middle, was able to regroup. I saw Eli (Tomac) coming and needed to put the hammer down. I really wanted those two in front of me, but they ran awesome.”

He left Anaheim without the red plate for the first time in three years but will have it firmly affixed to his GasGas bike when the series heads to San Diego next weekend.

After a slow start, Tomac finished fourth, and Malcolm Stewart rounded out the top five.

It was a tough evening for last week’s top-two finishers as Webb finished seventh and dropped into a tie for second with Anderson, three points behind Barcia.

The news was worse for Roczen, who started up front but quickly was shuffled out of the top five. Soon after, Roczen lost control in the whoops and crashed hard. He was able to remount but faded to 13th.

After the holeshot, Cianciarulo remained bothered by a separated shoulder over the course of the main event and dropped to a 12th-place finish. But he raced with the leaders for most of the shorter heat race.

The 250 West class had a much more familiar feel at the front. Christian Craig scored his second consecutive win and padded his points advantage to eight over the field.

“It’s always cool to win and then to do it two weeks in a row is special and something I’m very thankful for,” Craig told NBC Sports’ Daniel Blair from the top step of the podium.

“I got behind Jo (Shimoda) in the main, and he stalled it in the whoops. After that, I just clicked off my laps. The track got really tricky. I had a couple of sketchy moments in the rhythms, but other than that, I managed the race.”

The heat races saw a return of both Anaheim winners with Craig standing on the top box in Heat 2 and Michael Mosiman winning Heat 1.

The main event podium was also a replica of last week with one slight adjustment: At Anaheim, Hunter Lawrence crossed over the finish line inches from Seth Hammaker’s back tire. This week, he climbed one spot higher into second with Hammaker rounding out the top three.

Click here for full 250 West main results

Back-to-back podiums were not enough, however: “Not when you’re trying to win a championship,” Lawrence told Blair. “I rode great, but just took myself out of the race with the start.

“It’s all on me. We’ll go back, keep working, and hopefully give ourselves a better chance next weekend.”

Lawrence and Hammaker are tied for second in the championship after two of nine rounds, but eight markers can be hard to make up in this field.

“Solid night here in Oakland: third,” Hammaker told Blair. “I’m going to take it and learn from it. I’m not super pumped about how I rode tonight, but I’m glad to be back on the box.”

Mosiman finished fourth.

But it was Nate Thrasher who mounted the biggest ride through the field. Finishing fifth in his heat, he was ninth at the start of the main before climbing to fifth in the final showdown.

ROUND 1, Anaheim: Ken Roczen renews battle with Cooper Webb by winning the opener

Kyle Larson wins third consecutive High Limit Sprint race at Eagle Raceway, Rico Abreu second again

Larson High Limit Eagle
High Limit Racing - Twitter

It took four attempts for Kyle Larson to win his first High Limit Sprint Car Series race in the series he co-owns with brother-in-law Brad Sweet, but once he found victory lane, he has been undefeated with his win at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway. For the second week, Abreu led early only to fall prey to Larson.

The win was Larson’s third straight victory and the fifth consecutive top-five, giving him a perfect sweep of the season after finishing 10th in last year’s inaugural race at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana.

Larson started third behind Abreu and Brent Marks but was embroiled in a fierce battle with Anthony Macri for third during the first dozen laps. Larson slipped by Macri in traffic until a red flag waved for a flip by Lachlan McHugh.

Meanwhile at the front of the pack, Marks retook the lead from Abreu on Lap 18. Larson followed one lap later and then caution waved again. Tyler Courtney lost power and fell to 24th after starting eighth.

Marks scooted away on the restart but tragedy struck in Lap 26. Leading the race, Marks hit a pothole in Turn 1, bicycled and then flipped, handing the lead to Larson.

Abreu caught Larson again during the final laps and in a reprise of their battle at Tri-City Speedway, the two threw sliders at one another for several laps until Larson built some separation and ran away to the checkers.

“I didn’t feel like my pace in [Turns] 1 & 2 slowed down a ton,” Larson said from victory lane. “I missed it once there and then I saw his nose in 3 & 4. I didn’t know if he nailed the bottom that well behind me and I think he might have slid me in the next corner, so he was definitely on the top.

“I was nervous to move up there because my car was really pogoing up in the entry of 1. I got up just in time, made a few mistakes and he threw a couple more sliders at me but he was just a little too far back and I was able to squirt around him. Then I really had to commit to hitting my marks – back my effort down a bit to avoid mistakes.”

After leading early, Abreu fell back as far as sixth, but faith in his car kept hope alive.

“I just needed to do a few things a few laps before I did and fix some angles, then my car got a whole lot better,” Abreu said. “I’m thankful for this team; they do an amazing job. They don’t give up on me. I know my car is going to be there right at the end of these races, so it’s just the discipline of being patient.”

For Abreu, it was his third near-miss this season. He was leading at Lakeside in the 2023 opener until a tire went flat in the closing laps and he lost the lead to Larson late in the Tri-City Speedway race. Abreu has finished sixth or better in his last three High Limit races with each result being progressively better until his pair of runner-up results.

Third-place finisher Scelzi was the hard charger, advancing from 17th.

“I had a very specific plan; don’t go near [the hole in Turn 1],” Scelzi said. “It worked out. No one wanted to start on the top. I think I gained a couple of rows there on the choose cone and ran the middle, which seemed to be better than right around the bottom.”

Michael “Buddy” Kofoid in fourth and Macri rounded out the top five.

World of Outlaws star and former NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne was one of 41 entrants, but he was not among the 26 starters. He failed to advance to the Main after finishing eighth in the B Main and seventh in his heat.

Feature Results

A Feature (40 Laps): 1. 57-Kyle Larson[4]; 2. 24-Rico Abreu[1]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[17]; 4. 71-Michael Kofoid[5]; 5. 39M-Anthony Macri[3]; 6. 9-Chase Randall[9]; 7. 26-Zeb Wise[14]; 8. 1X-Jake Bubak[15]; 9. 8-Aaron Reutzel[10]; 10. 14D-Corey Day[18]; 11. 11-Cory Eliason[12]; 12. 5T-Ryan Timms[11]; 13. 88-Austin McCarl[13]; 14. 21H-Brady Bacon[22]; 15. 48-Danny Dietrich[16]; 16. 7S-Robbie Price[19]; 17. 21-Brian Brown[23]; 18. 22-Riley Goodno[26]; 19. 52-Blake Hahn[25]; 20. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[21]; 21. 3J-Dusty Zomer[6]; 22. 14-Cole Macedo[7]; 23. 19-Brent Marks[2]; 24. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[8]; 25. 25-Lachlan McHugh[20]; 26. 53-Jack Dover[24]

2023 High Limit Sprint Car Series

Race 1: Giovanni Scelzi wins at Lakeside Speedway
Race2: Anthony Macri wins at 34 Raceway
Race 3: Kyle Larson wins at Wayne County Speedway
Race 4: Kyle Larson wins at Tri-City Speedway