Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence Improve Title Chances at Arlington Triple Crown SX
・Sexton reduces premier-division points gap with second overall
・Lawrence extends 250SX East title-chase lead despite finishing third
Although the Arlington Triple Crown was the first AMA Supercross round of the season at which neither class was won by a Team Honda HRC rider, both Chase Sexton and Hunter Lawrence actually improved their situations in their respective title chases. Sexton entered the round seven points behind Eli Tomac in the premier class and reduced the gap to five with a second-overall finish, while Lawrence–third overall in Texas–leaves the event having expanded his lead on fellow Red Rider Max Anstie from eight to 11.
Sexton suffered a terrible start in the first 450SX race and had to work his way forward after completing lap 1 in 11thplace. With his CRF450RWE, Sexton steadily picked off riders, ultimately climbing to third by the finish. Nichols started well and finished ninth. Sexton started fourth in race 2 and passed Tomac on lap 9, then challenged Cooper Webb for second before settling for third. Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson was 10th, and Nichols finished 16th after crashing in the whoops. Race 3 saw Sexton emerge from turn 1 in second behind Tomac and dog him until crashing in a corner with eight minutes left. He remounted in time to take advantage of a Tomac fall a couple of minutes later, only for a lapped rider to block him shortly after, allowing Webb into the lead. Sexton held on to finish a close second. Wilson ended the race 11th, with Nichols another four positions back.
The first 250SX East race saw Lawrence put his CRF250R into turn 1 first and lead every lap for the win. Fire Power Honda’s Anstie was third, with Hymas ninth. Lawrence emerged from turn 1 in second in the next race, then slipped to third and was bumped back to fifth. He recovered to enter a three-way battle for the lead before he and Nate Thrasher made contact, sending Lawrence to the ground. The Australian remounted in time to finish third, with Anstie one position back and Hymas seventh. Heading into race 3, Lawrence and Thrasher were tied on points, but Lawrence went down in turn 1 and was trapped under two bikes. He sat in 18th place after lap 1, and despite riding with a broken clutch perch, he worked his way up to sixth by the finish. Anstie was ninth, one ahead of Phoenix Racing Honda’s Jace Owen, with Hymas 16th.
While Colt Nichols currently lives in Southern California, he’s originally from Muskogee, Oklahoma. With his hometown about four hours north of Arlington, Nichols had several guests on hand for the race.
American Honda held a National Sales staff summit to coincide with the Arlington race. In addition to meeting for work-related matters, the managers met the Team Honda HRC riders, participated in a track walk and watched the racing from a suite.
On Friday, Nichols took part in Friday’s media-day activities, getting some time on the Arlington track.
During daytime qualifying, Hunter Lawrence set the fastest lap time of the 250SX East riders, and was the only rider to dip into the 46-second range. Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie was third, with Chance Hymas ninth. Chase Sexton was the third-fastest rider in the 450SX division, with Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson seventh and Nichols 12th.
Although Jett Lawrence is on a break along with the rest of the 250SX West division, he made the trip to Arlington, where he hosted 150 fans to a Friday-night event at Texas Live!, with free dinner, donuts and country music. Jett also made a guest appearance in the broadcast booth during the night show.
Half of the riders in the 250SX East night program–11 of 22–were CRF250R-mounted.
Sexton posted the fastest lap time in the third 450SX race, and Lawrence did likewise in the second 250SX East race.
Arlington marked the 17th 450SX podium finish of Sexton’s career, and the 16th 250SX podium finish of Lawrence’s career.
Sexton and Lawrence both took part in the post-race press conference at Arlington.
With the Daytona Supercross up next week (March 4), several Team Honda HRC technicians left directly from Arlington to spend the week in Florida testing with the riders.
250SX East Standings
|1||Hunter Lawrence||96||Team Honda HRC||Honda||73|
|2||Max Anstie||63||Fire Power Honda||Honda||62|
|3||Nate Thrasher||29||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Yamaha||57|
|4||Haiden Deegan||238||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Honda||53|
|5||Jeremy Martin||6||Muc-Off FXR ClubMX||Yamaha||53|
|6||Jordon Smith||58||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Yamaha||52|
|9||Chance Hymas||832||Team Honda HRC||Honda||43|
|11||Jace Owen||62||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||35|
|12||Henry Miller||66||Ti-Lube, Storm Lake Honda, Innovation Concrete Inc, Rangeline||Honda||30|
|13||Coty Schock||285||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||29|
|15||Cullin Park||67||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||23|
|18||Jeremy Hand||91||Valley Ford Truck, Dean Hushon Insulation, Wiseco, SKDA, 6D||Honda||13|
|19||Luke Neese||125||Red Research Group, Honda of Lynchburg||Honda||13|
|20||Caden Braswell||243||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||11|
|22||Michael Hicks||460||TDMX Graphics||Honda||7|
|24||A J Catanzaro||330||The Moto Academy, Honda||Honda||5|