Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb kicked off the Arlington triple-header inside AT&T Stadium with a dominant 450SX Class victory that pushed him from second to the lead in championship points. Opening round winner Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia earned second at the tenth Round of the season with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson battling aggressively through the pack to grab a podium finish in third.
In the third Round of Western Regional 250SX Class racing, a third different winner was crowned. This time it was Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s rookie Seth Hammaker who led wire to wire to the screams of the limited-attendance, pod-seated Texas crowd.
Cooper Webb left Texas with a win at Round Three and returned to the state to win at Round 10 without any bona fide challenges from the other racers. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Wilson grabbed the holeshot but Webb pushed his way past immediately and was never challenged. Justin Barcia started outside the top three but within five minutes of the 20-minute plus one lap Main Event had worked into second place. Barcia shaved a bit of time off the three second deficit to Webb over the next five minutes, but as the race clock ticked to 10 minutes Webb began to stretch his lead back out.
On a track that proved difficult to gain time or make a pass, Jason Anderson was the rider on the move. After one lap he sat eighth, but on the sixteenth of what turned out to be a 28-lap Main Event, Anderson pushed past Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton and held the final podium spot to the checkers. Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen, the points leader going into the race, was the victim of a bad starting gate pick after a heat race crash. A bad launch put Roczen in eleventh after one lap; he managed his way slowly through the pack to earn a sixth-place finish, which dropped him to second in the points. The 2020 defending champion and the winner of the previous round, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, had a night that paralleled Roczen’s but a few positions back. The No. 1 plate rider sat sixteenth on lap one and passed eight riders to finish eighth at the first of three Arlington events.
Webb said:“This is an incredible night. I got a bad start in the heat race but I made some passes and ended up third. In the Main Event, I got a great start and made my way into the lead early on and I led every lap. It’s awesome and it feels great to have these Texas fans here. It was a huge night and to get the red plate is great, I’m super grateful.”
It was an unfortunate turn of events for his teammate Marvin Musquin, who began the day on pole position with an impressive qualifying session. In 450SX Heat 2, he got off to a decent start and settled into third early on as he patiently awaited his chance to make a pass for second. On lap five, he finally made his move and began a charge into the second half of the race.
However, Musquin suffered a hard hit to the ground with three laps to go and he wasn’t able to finish the heat. After being cared for by the on-site medical unit, it was determined that Musquin would sit out for the remainder of the evening, where he underwent further evaluation at the local hospital.
In the Main Event, Barcia put himself into a great position off the start, rounding the opening lap in fourth. Mixing it up in the early laps, Barcia eventually settled into the second-place spot where he strived to catch the leader of Cooper Webb, whose pace proved to be unmatched, to ultimately claim a solid runner-up finish.
Barcia: “It was a good week leading up to this, I did a lot of testing and my team did a great job helping me get comfortable and feeling good again. Tonight was very special for us, our boss from Austria was here, so that’s super awesome to get second and make him proud in front of these Texas fans. The track was super challenging and I pushed hard and closed on Cooper a little but I just couldn’t make it happen, he rode really well. I’m looking forward to the next two rounds here, I’m going to push it hard and try to take another win.”
Jason Anderson got caught up in some first-turn chaos, giving him an eighth-place start, but he charged into a top-five position by the end of lap five. A man on a mission, Anderson continued to charge his way up to third just after the halfway point and from there he maintained a steady pace to lock in his best finish of the 2021 season. “I’ve been following those guys all year and I want to be on the podium and want to start doing good, so I’m going for it and that’s all there is to it,” Anderson said. “We’re going to be firing every time we come out of that gate for the rest of the year. Let’s go!”
Dean Wilson shot off the line in the main to once again capture the holeshot and battle up front in the opening laps. He remained within the top-five battle for the first half of the race but arm pump settled in as the race wore on and he hung on for a season-best ninth for the night. “Overall, the night was a step forward for me,” Wilson said. “My starts were awesome and that’s definitely something to be proud of. I put in a fairly good ride for the first half of the Main Event but unfortunately after that, I got really bad arm pump. It was pretty uncomfortable and I had to fight through it but I just tried to be smart. I just want to keep this momentum with starts and hold it up there.”
The Western Regional 250SX Class served another surprising race as rookie Seth Hammaker launched off the line, grabbed the holeshot, and lead every moment of his career-first victory ride. It wasn’t easy, as Hammaker’s Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Jordon Smith applied the pressure from the start until a bobble that sent him temporarily off the track dropped him back to third. Meanwhile, series leader Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo and Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper were back in the pack in eighth and ninth place respectively.
McAdoo and Cooper clawed their way forward, but progress through the pack was slow. As Hammaker was composed in the lead, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence was just out of reach in second. Just over four minutes into the 15-minute plus one lap race McAdoo had reached the rear wheel of teammate Smith when Smith lost traction on a small jump and landed hard, putting him out of the battle. Things stabilized until the final lap and a half when Cooper reached and then charged past McAdoo. McAdoo countered a corner later and darted back into third. On the second to last corner Cooper made a final pass attempt, slid out, and low-sided trying to cut under McAdoo.
The series races twice more inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, with Round 11 dropping the gate on Tuesday night and Round 12 returning next Saturday.
450SX Class Results
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna
- Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., KTM
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
- Martin Davalos, Tallahassee, Fla., KTM
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (223)
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (216)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (190)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (176)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (152)
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (152)
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna (137)
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (135)
- Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (123)
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (122)
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
- Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
- Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki
- Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha
- Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna
- Stilez Robertson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
- Mitchell Harrison, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (70)
- Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (64)
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (58)
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (57)
- Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (55)
- Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (51)
- Stilez Robertson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (44)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS (37)
- Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda (37)
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (28)