Jason Anderson wins Supercross Round 7 at Minneapolis after Chase Sexton crashes on last lap


Jason Anderson scored back-to-back wins in Supercross Round 7 in Minneapolis, Minnesota after Chase Sexton tucked his front wheel and crashed hard on the last lap.

After winning his heat, Sexton swept around the holeshot winner Cooper Webb to take the lead at the five-minute mark of the race. Sexton then raced unchallenged for the remainder of the race until the mistake took him off the bike as he appeared to be in route to his second win of the season, which would have tied him with Eli Tomac and Jason Anderson.

A problem for Tomac early in the race created a best-case scenario for Anderson to the radically close the points’ gap for the championship.

“I was really struggling all day.” Anderson told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “When I lined up for that main, my heat race had not gone as I had planned, and I knew I had to put myself in position. Even during the main, I was riding hard, but wasn’t feeling the groove like normal, so I had already bitten the bullet (and decided) that Chase was going to win the race.

“It was a bummer to see him go down, but I feel like I’ve been on the other side a couple of times this year and it’s racing.

“I’m thankful I’m okay and got the win and I hope he’s okay and able to be back up there with us next week and battle, because that battle is what the fans need.”

Sexton was unable to climb back onto his bike after the accident and dropped to 16th. Not that it would have mattered; Sexton’s front wheel twisted and would not roll. The bike needed to be carried from the track. Sexton walked off on his own power, albeit a little wobbly after the incident.

A problem for Tomac virtually erased his championship lead, which is now three points over Anderson.

Tomac got a poor start and was trailing the field when teammate Dylan Ferrandis stalled on the rise of a jump. To keep from crashing, Tomac was forced to stop his bike, but was unable to keep his feet on the pegs. Tomac had to walk his bike over the top of the jump and dropped to 20th in the order. He climbed into the top 10 at the midway point, but the gaps ahead of him were widening and it appeared he would settle for eighth.

Sexton’s hard crash and problems for Ken Roczen in the closing laps allowed Tomac to climb to sixth.

Webb also benefitted from Sexton’s crash. He was riding fourth until Malcolm Stewart crashed out of third and Sexton lost the lead. Webb crossed under the checkers second, which is his first podium since he finished second to Roczen in the season opener at Anaheim.

Marvin Musquin earned his first podium of the season.

“The last two weekends, Glendale and Anaheim 3, I would have been on the podium, but I crashed,” Musquin said after the race. “Today the other one crashed and I got on the podium. I’ll take it.

“They don’t come easy, the podiums, and I want to enjoy it even though I’m a little disappointed because I was right there and lost some ground at some point. It took me a while to figure out what to do in the whoops and I was fast on the rest of the track. I capitalized on Malcolm and Chase to get third.”

Stewart was on his way to a second podium of 2022 until he crashed near the end of the race. He overjumped an obstacle, tucked his front wheel and hit the ground, but was able to remount in the top five. He finished fourth to add to a top five streak that now stands at six consecutive races.

In fifth, Justin Barcia rounded out the top five, giving him four such finishes in the first seven rounds.

Click here for complete 450 results

The 250 East riders took center stage for the first time in 2022 and Jett Lawrence apparently had cabin fever. He was originally slated to run the West series, but a minor injury during the off-season caused the team to swap positions with his brother, Hunter Lawrence.

Jett made the win look easy. It wasn’t.

“Today, I was like a little kid. I could not stop smiling; I was so excited,” Lawrence said from the top of the podium. “Even when the gate dropped for the Main Event while I was behind (Austin) Forkner. I was smiling the whole time.

“The boys rode fantastic. They kept me honest the whole time. I was keeping an eye on Forkner, thinking he’s keeping up right now. (I was) trying to get a little bit more of a safety gap. The track was awesome; it’s so technical.

“I made a few sketchy moments by casing (the jumps), oh my goodness. I may have a little mud in the pants after a couple of those.”

After Lawrence won, he pulled the top of a jump and incited the crowd by throwing his goggles and gloves into the stands.

The battle was intense between Lawrence and Forkner in the opening laps.

“It feels good, especially after that heat race with a few sketchy moments,” Forkner said of his second-place finish. “I’ll take that all season long.”

The reason for his enthusiasm was a fast start. Forkner earned the holeshot with Lawrence patiently riding behind for a couple of laps. When the time came to pounce, Lawrence’s pass was aggressive, but clean

“That start was how I started in 2020, 2019,” Forkner added. “It’s how I know how to start – coming out of the gate and not seeing anyone to the sides. That is probably what I’m most pumped about tonight.”

Cameron Mcadoo rounded out the top three.

Hailing from Rochester, Minnesota, Jeremy Martin earned a top-five finish in fourth in front of the home state crowd.

RJ Hampshire won the second heat before climbing to fifth at the checkers.

Pierce Brown won Heat 1 and barely missed the top five with a sixth-place finish, but it was a career performance nonetheless. Prior to Minneapolis, Brown never led a 250 lap in a heat or feature.

Click here for complete 250 results


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

ROUND 2, Oakland: Jason Anderson wins for first time since championship season

ROUND 3, San Diego: Chase Sexton (450s) and Michael Mosiman (250s) deliver first career wins

ROUND 4, Anaheim: Four races, four winners as Eli Tomac solidifies points lead

ROUND 5, Glendale: Eli Tomac wins back-to-back races in Arizona Triple Crown

ROUND 6, Anaheim: Jason Anderson ties Eli Tomac with two 2022 wins

Strong rebounds for Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi amid some disappointments in the Indy 500


INDIANAPOLIS – Alex Palou had not turned a wheel wrong the entire Month of May at the Indy 500 until Rinus VeeKay turned a wheel into the Chip Ganassi Racing pole-sitter leaving pit road on Lap 94.

“There is nothing I could have done there,” Palou told NBC Sports. “It’s OK, when it is my fault or the team’s fault because everybody makes mistakes. But when there is nothing, you could have done differently there, it feels bad and feels bad for the team.”

Marcus Ericsson was a master at utilizing the “Tail of the Dragon” move that breaks the draft of the car behind him in the closing laps to win last year’s Indianapolis 500. On Sunday, however, the last of three red flags in the final 16 laps of the race had the popular driver from Sweden breathing fire after Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden beat him at his own game on the final lap to win the Indianapolis 500.

Despite the two disappointments, team owner Chip Ganassi was seen on pit road fist-bumping a member on his four-car team in this year’s Indianapolis 500 after his drivers finished second, fourth, sixth and seventh in the tightly contested race.

Those are pretty good results, but at the Indianapolis 500, there is just one winner and 32 losers.

“There is only one winner, but it was a hell of a show,” three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Chip Ganassi Racing consultant Dario Franchitti told NBC Sports. “Alex was very fast, and he got absolutely caught out in somebody else’s wreck. There was nothing he could have done, but he and the 10 car, great recovery.

“Great recovery by all four cars because at half distance, we were not looking very good.”

After 92 laps, the first caution flew for Sting Ray Robb of Dale Coyne Racing hitting the Turn 1 wall.

During pit stops on Lap 94, Palou had left his stall when the second-place car driven by VeeKay ran into him, putting Palou’s Honda into the wall. The car sustained a damaged front wing, but the Chip Ganassi crew was able to get him back in the race on the lead lap but in 28th position.

Palou ultimately would fight his way to a fourth-place finish in a race the popular Spaniard could have won. His displeasure with VeeKay, whom he sarcastically called “a legend” on his team radio after the incident, was evident.

“The benefit of being on pole is you can drive straight and avoid crashes, and he was able to crash us on the side on pit lane, which is pretty tough to do, but he managed it,” Palou told NBC Sports. “Hopefully next year we are not beside him. Hopefully, next year we have a little better luck.”

Palou started on the pole and led 36 laps, just three fewer than race leader Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren Racing.

“We started really well, was managing the fuel as we wanted, our car was pretty good,” Palou said. “Our car wasn’t great, we dropped to P4 or P5, but we still had some good stuff.

“On the pit stop, the 21 (VeeKay) managed to clip us. Nothing we could have done there. It was not my team’s fault or my fault.

“We had to drop to the end. I’m happy we made it back to P4. We needed 50 more laps to make it happen, but it could have been a lot worse after that contact.

“I learned a lot, running up front at the beginning and in mid-pack and then the back. I learned a lot.

“It feels amazing when you win it and not so good when things go wrong. We were a bit lucky with so many restarts at the end to make it back to P4 so I’m happy with that.”

Palou said the front wing had to be changed and the toe-in was a bit off, but he still had a fast car.

In fact, his Honda was the best car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway all month. His pole-winning four lap average speed of 234.217 miles per hour around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a record for this fabled race.

Palou looked good throughout the race, before he had to scratch and claw and race his way back to the top-five after he restarted 28th.

In the Indianapolis 500, however, the best car doesn’t always win.

“It’s two years in a row that we were leading the race at the beginning and had to drop to last,” Palou said. “Maybe next year, we will start in the middle of the field and go on to win the race.

“I know he didn’t do it on purpose. It’s better to let that pass someday.”

Palou said the wild racing at the end was because the downforce package used in Sunday’s race means the drivers have to be aggressive. The front two cars can battle for the victory, but cars back in fourth or fifth place can’t help determine the outcome of the race.

That is when the “Tail of the Dragon” comes into the play.

Franchitti helped celebrate Ericsson’s win in 2022 with his “Tail of the Dragon” zigzag move – something he never had to do in any of his three Indianapolis 500 victories because they all finished under caution.

In 2023, however, IndyCar Race Control wants to make every attempt to finish the race under green, without going past the scheduled distance like NASCAR’s overtime rule.

Instead of extra laps, they stop the race with a red flag, to create a potential green-flag finish condition.

“You do what you have to do to win within the rules, and it’s within the rules, so you do it,” Franchitti said. “The race is 200 laps and there is a balance.

“Marcus did a great job on that restart and so did Josef. It was just the timing of who was where and that was it.

“If you knew it was going to go red, you would have hung back on the lap before.

“Brilliant job by the whole Ganassi organization because it wasn’t looking very good at half-distance.

“Full marks to Josef Newgarden and Team Penske.”

Franchitti is highly impressed by how well Ericsson works with CGR engineer Brad Goldberg and how close this combination came to winning the Indianapolis 500 two-years-in-a-row.

It would have been the first back-to-back Indy 500 winner since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002.

“Oh, he’s a badass,” Franchitti said Ericsson. “He proved it last year. He is so calm all day. What more do you need? As a driver, he’s fast and so calm.”

Ericsson is typically in good spirits and jovial.

He was stern and direct on pit road after the race.

“I did everything right, I did an awesome restart, caught Josef off-guard and pulled away,” Ericsson said on pit lane. “It’s hard to pull away a full lap and he got me back.

“I’m mostly disappointed with the way he ended. I don’t think it was fair and safe to do that restart straight out of the pits on cold tires for everyone.

“To me, it was not a good way to end that race.

“Congrats to Josef. He didn’t do anything wrong. He is a worthy champion, but it shouldn’t have ended like that.”

Palou also didn’t understand the last restart, which was a one-start showdown.

“I know that we want to finish under green,” Palou said. “Maybe the last restart I did, I didn’t understand. It didn’t benefit the CGR team.

“I’m not very supportive of the last one, but anyway.”

Dixon called the red flags “a bit sketchy.”

“The Red Flags have become a theme to the end of the race, but sometimes they can catch you out,” Dixon said. “I know Marcus is frustrated with it.

“All we ask for is consistency. I think they will do better next time.

“It’s a tough race. People will do anything they can to win it and with how these reds fall, you have to be in the right place at the right time. The problem is when they throw a Red or don’t throw a Red dictates how the race will end.

“It’s a bloody hard race to win. Congrats to Josef Newgarden and to Team Penske.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500