Cooper Webb wins Arlington Supercross Triple Crown, closes to within two of Tomac
ARLINGTON, Texas - Cooper Webb made a late-race pass on Chase Sexton in Race 3 of the Arlington Triple Crown Monster Energy Supercross to create a tie in event points and win Round 7 on the tiebreaker. Webb’s win in the third race of the night, which gave him a 5-2-1, was what was needed to give him his second victory of the season.
“You never know in racing,” Webb told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “I didn’t put myself in a good position at the start. I made a mistake of the rhythm section that kind of cost me. The track was really tricky, you couldn’t get caught up if you tried to really push. It was pretty edgy and slick underneath.”
None of the three podium finishers rode perfect races. Webb’s slow start in Race 1 mired him deep in the pack and with a fifth-place finish, he had a lot of ground that needed to be made up.
Sexton finished third in the first two races and was poised to take the overall win until lapped traffic came into play.
Eli Tomac won Race 1 and said afterward, “I like to come out swinging in these Triple Crown Events. I got the perfect start there and ended up sweeping into that turn and then rode my own race.”
Race 3 of Round 7 was shaping up to be a coming down to a winner take all format. Two points separated the top three heading into that feature. Tomac led with 5, Sexton was second with 6 and Webb third with 7 in the Arlington Supercross Triple Crown. It was a fitting lineup considering how intensely these three riders have pushed each other all year.
In the final race, Tomac grabbed the early lead until he made a mistake on the back side of the tunnel jump. His bike washed out from under him, dropping Tomac from the lead to fourth.
Sexton pressured Tomac early Tomac in Race 3 until he had a minor fall that cost him three seconds. The combination of Tomac’s crash and Sexton’s fall allowed Webb to close the distance.
Each of the riders was able to overcome their mistakes and stand on the podium and it was lapped traffic that made the difference. When Sexton got held up by a rider with less than two minutes remaining on the clock, Webb pounced and took the lead.
With a 3-3-2, Sexton claimed second place. Tomac rounded out the podium with a 1-4-6.
Tomac held onto the red plate, but by a slim margin of two points over Webb. Sexton is five points behind Tomac in third.
Jason Anderson had a tough start to the night. He crashed on the first lap and was run over by Sexton and his ninth-place finish in that race put the overall win practically out of reach. Anderson won the second race and finished third in the final event to score a fourth overall.
With a 2-6-4, Ken Roczen rounded out the top five.
The Triple Crown format always adds drama to a night.
Nate Thrasher and Hunter Lawrence entered the final race of the 250 East Triple Crown tied with four points each. As with the 450 class, the overall win would go to the rider with the best finish in the Race 3. Things went horribly awry in the first turn for Lawrence. Riding in a tight crowd, Lawrence ran out of room and laid his bike down. Max Anstie ran into the back of him and flipped over the top, pinning Lawrence beneath the two bikes.
Meanwhile, Nate Thrasher grabbed the early lead and the math seemed easy. Thrasher was on his way to an easy victory until he also crashed, handing the top spot over to Jeremy Martin. Thrasher recovered to finish third and on the heels of a pair of second-place finishes in the first two races, he earned the fewest points to score his first win of the season.
Making his win more dramatic, Thrasher was riding with an injured knee.
“I dug all night,” Thrasher said. “That second race, I had a mishap. My knee has been bugging me, but that is no excuse. We should have won that last main and I’m a little bit bummed. But the way I’m riding right now is unbelievable. I have the speed to win every night and I haven’t had that before.”
While he was riding, Jordon Smith was doing math in his head. He knew he was ahead of Lawrence after that rider’s Turn 1 crash and could see his teammate Thrasher fall late in the race. Had Smith been able to close the distance and pass Thrasher for third, the 250 East race would also have ended in a tie and Smith’s better finish in Race 3 would have given him the win.
“When I saw Nate go down and I knew Hunter was behind me somewhere, I knew I could get him,” Smith said. “The race was treacherous, that last one. I was trying to run some math through my head and I knew I needed to get Nate, so I was trying to get a last-lap push on him and those whoops, you just can’t push them too hard.”
Smith bobbled in the whoops and could not make up the ground he needed to.
Lawrence proved to be human. After winning the first two rounds in the 250 East division, he scored the victory in Race 1 of Arlington’s Triple Crown. He had a bad start in the second race and climbed only to third. The Turn 1 accident is what sealed his fate, but even then Lawrence was able to ride from the back of the pack to finish sixth.
Lawrence tied Smith with 10 points on the night and finished second with the tiebreaker.
“Rough day at the office,” Lawrence said after the race. “A few mishaps, but the guys that won championships last year didn’t win Triple Crowns, so I’m trying to take the positives with it.”
With a 5-9-2, Tom Vialle finished fourth.
Max Anstie finished 3-4-9 in the three races to round out the top five.
2023 Race Recaps
Oakland: Eli Tomac ties Ricky Carmichael with 48 wins
Tampa: Cooper Webb gets first 2023 win
Houston: Tomac bounces back from A2 crash to win third race of 2023
Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time
Arlington Supercross coverage
Eli Tomac extends contract with Pro Motocross and SMX
Max Anstie: You can’t skip steps
Marvin Musquin out indefinitely with wrist injury
SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Oakland
Eli Tomac wins Oakland; ties Ricky Carmichael on wins’ list
Results and points after Oakland
Jason Anderson on probation for rough riding
Eli Tomac wins 2022 Arlington