Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence Improve Title Chances at Arlington Triple Crown SX

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.

Hunter Lawrence #18
“I was sitting in a good spot coming into the third race. Unfortunately, on that start I just ran out of real estate on the inside and got pinched; it’s never a good thing when you end up under your bike in the first turn. I just focused on damage control and not making a bonehead mistake or being worse off. There’s still a lot of racing to go; I’ve just got to go back and be better next weekend. That’s the beauty of it–you get to go again.”

Colt Nichols #45
“Another Triple Crown, and a very rough night in the office for me. I wasn’t agreeing with the track and had some mistakes and crashes. I had some bad starts and just put myself in poor positions. Luckily, we get to try again in seven days in Daytona; I really like that place and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve just got to wipe it clean from tonight and focus on next weekend.”

Chase Sexton #23
“I felt like I elevated my speed all day. I didn’t qualify the fastest in practice, so that gave me some motivation in the night show. In the last race I washed the front in a corner, but with my pace, I still felt like Eli was within reach. I just put my head down until he made that mistake. Unfortunately, I ran into some lappers but I just need to be able to read them better. Overall, I felt really solid in every main event–it was some of the best riding I’ve had. Obviously, I didn’t get the win, but everyone has to face the same thing. Lots of positives to take into next weekend.”

Chance Hymas #832
“This weekend wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. I struggled in qualifying, just wasn’t feeling comfortable enough to push to my limit. My first two mains were pretty good, just need to limit my mistakes and get a little meaner. Third main I ended up crashing and getting 16th. Tenth overall is nothing to be stoked about, but I’m happy to get out of it healthy. Now to get ready for Daytona.”

Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager
“It was another busy day, with four riders in the truck. Everybody was in a good mood and happy to be racing inside a dome; even though it was cold outside, the racing inside was hot! It’s the first race of the season we haven’t won in either class, but we were contending all day–and we extended our points lead in the 250 class, and closed the points gap in the 450 class.”

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