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

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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


RACE RECAPS

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

Alexander Rossi ‘fits like a glove’ with his new IndyCar teammates at Arrow McLaren Racing

Alexander Rossi McLaren
Nate Ryan
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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – There are more than three dozen fresh faces on the Arrow McLaren Racing IndyCar team, but there was one that Felix Rosenqvist was particularly keen to know – Alexander Rossi.

The driver of the No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet is the most high-profile new hire for McLaren, which has expanded to a third car to pair with the No. 6 of Rosenqvist and No. 5 of Pato O’Ward.

And there is another layer than Rossi just being the new kid. McLaren marks only his second team in NTT IndyCar Series after seven seasons at Andretti Autosport, where he began with a victory in the 2016 Indy 500 and was a championship contender for several seasons.

Rossi is a mercurial talent, and when things go wrong, the red mist quickly descends (and sometimes has led to feuds with teammates). He went winless during two of his final seasons at Andretti and was out of contention more often than not, often bringing out the prickly side of his personality.

Yet there has been no trace of the dour Rossi since joining McLaren. The pragmatic Californian is quick to remind everyone he hasn’t worked with the team yet at a track (much less been in its car), and there surely will be times he gets frustrated.

But it’s clear that Rossi, who made five Formula One starts in 2015 after several years racing in Europe, already is meshing well with an organization whose England-based parent company has deep roots in F1.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” Rosenqvist said Tuesday during IndyCar’s preseason media availabilities. “I think Alex kind of has that bad-guy role a little bit in IndyCar. He’s always been that guy, which is cool. I think we need those guys, as well.

“Actually having gotten to know him, he’s been super nice, super kind. He fits like a glove in the team. I think it fills a role where Pato is kind of like the crazy guy, I’m somewhere in the middle, and Alex is the more engineering guy in the team. I think Alex has more experience, as well. He just feels like a guy who knows what he wants.

“Yeah, good addition to the team and great guy at the same time.”

There are many reasons why Rossi’s transition from Andretti to McLaren should be smoother than his abrupt move from F1 to IndyCar seven years ago. Namely, he no longer is the only newcomer to the team’s culture.

“It’s been kind of a good time to come in because everyone is finding a new role and position and kind of learning who’s who, finding everyone’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said.

But while Rossi might have questions about the team, he has none about the series. Unlike when he arrived at Andretti without any oval experience, Rossi joins McLaren with his IndyCar credentials secured as an established star with eight victories, seven poles and 28 podiums over 114 starts.

Even in his swan song with Andretti, Rossi still managed a farewell victory last July at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course that snapped a 49-race, three-year winless drought. It seems reasonable to believe he immediately could re-emerge in his 2017-19 title contender form.

“I know the series, and I know kind of everything that goes into American open-wheel racing vs. the European open-wheel racing, which is really the biggest transition,” Rossi said. “Certainly it’s the largest kind of team switch. I’ve obviously driven for different teams in the past in Europe, in sports cars, whatever, but never really in my full-time job. I’ve driven for the same organization for a very long time and have a lot of respect and fabulous memories with those people.

“So it has been a big kind of shift, trying to compare and contrast areas that I can bring kind of recommendations and experience to maybe help fill the gaps that exist at Arrow McLaren. Again, all of this is in theory, right? I don’t really know anything. We’ll have a much better idea and plan going into St. Pete (the March 5 season opener).”

He has gotten a good handle on how things work at its Indianapolis headquarters, though, and has been pleased by the leadership of new racing director Gavin Ward (who worked in F1 before a championship stint with Josef Newgarden at Team Penske). McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown also seems omnipresent on both sides of the Atlantic, making appearances at IndyCar races seemingly as much as in the F1 paddock.

“I think what’s very cool about Arrow McLaren is we do have the resources of the McLaren F1 team,” Rossi said. “They very much are being integrated in a lot of respects. It’s not two separate entities. McLaren Racing is one organization that has its people and resources and intellect in kind of everything. It’s been pretty cool to see how that can be an advantage to us in terms of people, resources, simulations, software, kind of everything. We’ve been able to kind of rely on that and use that as a tool that maybe other teams certainly don’t have.”

That will be helpful for Rossi with the methodologies and nuances of racing a Chevrolet for the first time after seven seasons with Honda.

And of course, there will be the relationship with O’Ward, who has been McLaren’s alpha star since 2020.

Rossi was in a similar role for Andretti, which raises questions about how McLaren will handle having two stars accustomed to being the face of the team. But O’Ward said IndyCar regulations should allow each driver to maintain their own style without being forced to adapt as in other series.

“At the end of the day, as much as teammates will help in order to gather data, it doesn’t mean they’re going to specifically help you in what you need because it’s a series where you can really tailor the car to what you want,” O’Ward said. “Rather than in Formula 1, (it’s) ‘This is the car, you need to learn how to drive this certain car.’ In IndyCar, it’s very different where you can customize it to what you want it to feel like or drive like.

“From past experience, I think Alex likes a car similar to what I do. I do think we have a very strong car in certain areas, but I definitely think he’s coming from a car where that other car has been stronger than us in other racetracks. I feel like if we can just find gains where we haven’t quite had a winning car, a podium car, that’s just going to help all of us.”

Though Thursday at The Thermal Club will mark the first time the trio works together at a track, Rosenqvist said he’s hung out a lot with Rossi (both are 31 years old) and deems his new teammate “well-integrated” in the simulator.

“I think the fit has been good with him, me and Pato,” Rosenqvist said. “On a trackside perspective, it’s obviously huge to have always a third opinion on things. Every driver’s opinion is valuable in its own way.”

Said O’Ward, 23: “It’s been great. (Rossi has) been great to have around. I think he needed a fresh start. I think he’s excited to really work with all of us, create the strongest package.”

Ever the realist, though, Rossi still is tempering some of his enthusiasm.

“Again, we haven’t really done anything yet other than some meetings and some team activities together,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for what they’ve done in IndyCar and also their prior careers. I think that we all bring something a little bit different to the table, which I think is really unique in terms of not only personalities but driving styles and experience levels.

“I think we have the ingredients to really be able to develop the team and continue to push the team forward to even a better level than what they’ve shown in the past. It’s been a really positive experience. Really I have nothing at all negative to say and can’t actually wait to get to work, get on track and start working together.”