FeaturesThe Week That Was

The Week That Was: Impressive Performances in New Jersey, Charlotte, and More

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Supercross (1); NHRA (2); Formula Drift (3)

Easter weekend may have been barren for action motorsports fans and competitors, but the past weekend more than made up for it with a grab bag of most of racing’s most exciting series. Whether you’re more into two wheels or four, here’s a look at the drivers and riders who stood out the most in an exceptional weekend of action:

Supercross 450: Cooper Webb

Sometimes, all you need to do is put yourself in a position to win and let things happen around you. That’s what Webb did at MetLife Stadium, putting himself up front right away, leading briefly, and then running second until Eli Tomac threw away the lead. Zach Osborne got past him as well, but then Osborne made a mistake to give Webb the lead back, and that was that. The 450 title is all but locked up heading into Las Vegas, a feat made more impressive knowing that Webb was puking before the race.

Supercross 250 East: Chase Sexton

Austin Forkner’s untimely knee injuries may have handed Sexton an opportunity to get back into the 250 East points chase, but that doesn’t mean the GEICO Honda rider didn’t have to step up and take advantage of them. That’s exactly what he did in New Jersey, getting past Forkner when he went down and thwarting Martin Davalos’ pursuit of a second straight victory with a pass for the lead. It wasn’t just important in the points, though: it was also Sexton’s first career Supercross win.

NHRA: Steve Torrence

Andrew Hines scored his 50th career win in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Shawn Langdon picked up his first in Funny Car, but it was defending Top Fuel champion Torrence who became that class’s sixth different winner in six races to start the 2019 NHRA season when he conquered the Four-Wide Nationals on Sunday at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte. Torrence joins his father, Billy, among this year’s race winners; he’s got 10 more wins to go this year to equal his 2018 total.

WRC: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul

Determined to right 2018’s wrongs and claim their first WRC title in 2019, Neuville and Gilsoul picked up another victory for the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team in Argentina. They extended their points lead over six-time defending champions Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia from two to 10 by taking their second straight victory. The Belgian duo have yet to finish worse than fourth this season, a step up from even last year’s first five rounds, where they scored five straight top-six finishes.

Formula Drift: Odi Bakchis

Sometimes, it’s just your year. That seems to be the case for Bakchis right now, whose victory in Orlando on Saturday made for his second straight to start the 2019 season. After a winless 2018 season ended a three-year victory streak, the Lithuanian-born driver and 2011 Formula Drift Rookie of the Year took down Forrest Wang in Long Beach, and defeated three-time FD champion Chris Forsberg in the final round in Florida.

Formula 1: Valtteri Bottas

Another Mercedes 1-2 in Azerbaijan sounds like a pretty ho-hum result, but it was Bottas who jumped out to an early lead from the pole and managed to hang on over teammate Lewis Hamilton on the notoriously narrow Baku street circuit. The Mercedes duo are now tied at the top of the Formula 1 points table, and Bottas is making more of a game of it in the year’s early stages than some might have expected after going winless in 2018.

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