Second overall in premier class gives Chase Sexton Triple Crown title
Colt Nichols returns from injury and finishes eighth in 450SX
Headed into Glendale—round 12 in the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship—Jett Lawrence had already amassed an impressive array of accomplishments, but an overall victory at a Triple Crown race had thus far eluded him. But if anyone seriously doubted that the young Australian had what it took to correct that, they were disproven in Arizona, where Lawrence rode his CRF250R to steady 1-3-1 finishes to come out on top and extend his already dominant lead in the title chase. Chase Sexton also rode well in the premier class, notching 4-1-3 results aboard his CRF450R for second place—good enough to earn the Triple Crown championship-within-a-championship. In his first ride back from injuries incurred at Daytona over a month ago, Colt Nichols was eighth overall, the second-best finish in his young 450SX career.
Lawrence snared the holeshot in 250SX West race 1, and although he was quickly passed by Levi Kitchen, he got him right back, only for the race to be stopped by a red flag. Lawrence was second behind Kitchen on the restart but made the pass through the whoops and went on to win by 2.020 seconds. Lawrence started third in race 2 and was shuffled back to fourth. After taking some time to gather himself, he dispatched Max Vohland on lap 3 and finished the race in third. The final 250SX West race saw Lawrence emerge from turn 1 in second behind Kitchen and move into the lead on lap 3, then put on a clinic before winning by 3.700 seconds.
The first 450SX race saw Nichols emerge from turn 1 in second place, while Sexton was back in the pack. The Illinois native started marching forward, overtaking Nichols, Adam Cianciarulo, Jason Anderson and Ken Roczen to finish fourth. Sexton led out of turn 1 in race 2. Eli Tomac got by him when he stalled, but Sexton got him back immediately and pulled ahead to win by 3.742 seconds. Nichols snared the race 3 holeshot, while Sexton was caught up in turn 1 mayhem. The Illinois native nonetheless managed to complete lap 1 in third, where he stayed until the finish to earn second overall.
Team Honda HRC was happy to welcome back Colt Nichols, who made his return after recovering from injuries incurred at the Daytona Supercross.
Team Honda HRC hosted Nash Powersports in their pits at the Glendale Supercross. The dealership chain, which has stores in Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale, displayed new models and engaged with fans.
Glendale was a Futures round, so SLR Honda was on hand supporting up-and-coming Red Riders Parker Ross and Jaxon Pascal. The duo finished sixth and eighth, respectively, with STR Racing’s Nate Freehill taking 17th.
As has been the norm this season, Team Honda HRC was unbeatable in daytime qualifying, with Sexton best in 450SX and Lawrence fastest in 250SX West.
Sexton had the fastest lap in 450SX race 2. Lawrence turned in the fastest lap times in all three 250SX West races.
Lawrence’s overall win gave him five 250SX victories on the season and 12 in his career. It also put him on the list of Red Riders to take support-class wins in Arizona, joining Willie Surratt (father of current JCR Honda off-road racer Ryan Surratt), Casey Lytle, Jake Weimer, Eli Tomac, Christian Craig and Hunter Lawrence.
Although he was second overall on the evening, Sexton earned the Triple Crown championship-within-a-championship, based on his 1-2-2 results at the three events run under that format this season.
Lawrence and Sexton took part in the post-race press conference.
Lawrence’s win gives him a points lead of over one race—26 points—in the 250SX West title chase. Sexton remains in third in the 450SX points battle, 25 points behind the leading Eli Tomac and 18 behind second-place Cooper Webb.
Next up for Team Honda HRC is the Atlanta Supercross, which takes place this coming weekend.
250SX West Standings
|1||Jett Lawrence||18||Team Honda HRC||Honda||153|
|2||Rj Hampshire||24||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||127|
|3||Levi Kitchen||43||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Yamaha||101|
|4||Cameron Mcadoo||48||Monster Energy ProCircuit Kawasaki||Kawasaki||101|
|5||Enzo Lopes||56||Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha||Yamaha||100|
|6||Mitchell Oldenburg||49||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda||Honda||99|
|17||Anthony Rodriguez||111||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda||Honda||40|
|25||Maxwell Sanford||162||Concrete Plants Inc||Honda||12|
|30||Wilson Todd||102||Firepower Honda||Honda||6|
|36||Luke Kalaitzian||636||Brothers Racing, Honda, Mitchell Brothers Concrete||Honda||1|