East Rutherford, NJ (April 27, 2019) — Suddenly thrust into championship position while still pursuing his first career win, on a difficult race track with competitors gunning for him, Chase Sexton saw obstacles coming from all directions. The 19-year-old GEICO Honda rider shrugged it off and performed with the calm of a veteran to grab the victory at Metlife Stadium, just outside of New York City. In the process, he took over the 250SX East points lead in Monster Energy Supercross.
On a track he described as possibly the toughest of his career, Sexton aimed at taking the championship lead away from injured series’ leader Austin Forkner. Early in the race, Forkner was the aggressor, making contact with Sexton several times. Sexton waited it out and wore down his competition. Forkner went out of the race with injury and Sexton made a key pass on race leader Martin Davalos to secure the lead. From there, he rode steady to grab the victory.
“Finally!” said Sexton of his long awaited first career win. “Maybe I came into Austin a little bit off the start, and he was really [getting aggressive]. I can’t knock him. He was going for it, he was riding so much better than he did in his heat race. I felt like I had a target on my back, which was kind of odd because he’s the one that was leading the points. After those couple of incidents, I was just like, “I better let this race come to me” because I felt like I had the speed to go get those guys. Track was gnarly, though. It was probably the toughest 15+ 1 [minutes and laps] I’ve ever done. I feel like I’ve done a good job of taking it race by race. Now I have the red plate and it feels so good now.”
Forkner failed to finish the race due to a knee injury. With one race remaining in the championship, Sexton now holds a nine-point lead over Justin Cooper. However, this weekend’s finale in Las Vegas is an East/West Showdown, bringing in twice as much talent.
At the New Jersey event, Sexton’s teammate Christian Craig planned to return from a thumb injury, but a hard crash during qualifying made him second-guess his decision. He will now hold his return to racing until the pro motocross opener in May.
“I’m pretty bummed on the weekend as I felt I was pretty good to go,” said Craig. “I have been riding my regular schedule and finally feeling close to back to normal but once I crashed in the second qualifying, I realized it’s probably not the smart thing to do these last two. Thankfully I wasn’t hurt, I’m just banged up, but I took it as a sign to just get ready for outdoors. I should be out there with these guys so I wanted to do anything I could to be racing.”
The East/West Showdown will feature Sexton and his West Region teammates RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo, with Sexton looking to claim his first career professional title.
GEICO Honda Results
New Jersey Supercross
1. Chase Sexton
250SX East Region Point Standings
1. Chase Sexton 174
2. Justin Cooper 165
3. Austin Forkner 152