Chase Sexton finishes third at Anaheim 2 in 2022. Photo by Rachel Schuoler with Kickin' the Tires.

Chase Sexton’s Podium at Anaheim 2 Maintains Championship Contention

Supercross

ANAHEIM, Calif. – After his first career win last weekend at San Diego, Chase Sexton finds himself on the podium yet again in the 450 Class of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.

“I put a good effort in,” shared the No. 23 Team Honda HRC rider. “Eli and Jason were riding really good. Those guys were riding really well. I’ve just got to get better for next weekend. I felt really good last weekend in the whoops, and then this weekend, I feel like they were really unpredictable.”

His maturity showed during the entire night. He was the top qualifier to start the day. Moving into the show, he won his heat race and ended up as the second gate pick. While he didn’t lead any laps in the main event, he was able to pick up positions from patient passes and advantages from others’ misfortune to finish third. The biggest showing of maturity brought a sweeping awe from the crowd with a scary incident over the wall-jump that nearly put him over the handlebars.

“I leaned into the rut and the wall had a little bit of a knuckle on it on the outside and I just caught it,” Sexton explained. “I honestly just scrubbed it really hard on accident. Luckily, I didn’t catch a foot peg or anything, but at one point, I kind of felt like I had it saved the whole time but it got a little hairy there, for sure. I think my feet came off. I ended up actually getting the rest of the rhythm section after that, which I was very surprised. It was definitely a scary moment.

“It took me a lap or so to get back moving after that.”

For the sophomore rider, Sexton was out of the season early in 2021 when he suffered a shoulder injury at Houston 2. That knocked the Honda competitor out of most of the season, eliminating his chances at a Rookie of the Year title. This year, he finds himself third in the championship standings, just eight points off tonight’s winner Eli Tomac. Despite winning his first race last weekend, he still holds a very high standard for himself and his performance.

“That’s what I expect out of myself,” he declared about being in the championship hunt after four rounds. “I feel like last year I learned a lot, and that’s why I kind of just tried to learn towards this year and try to not make those mistakes that I had last year. So, I just want to be up here every weekend and racing with these guys. They know what to do. Just trying to learn from them.”

And keeping on his “learning hat” is aiding him in the long run. Whether it be finding a small edge of traction, a couple inches for a better line through the whoops, or readjusting a rhythm section, he’s finding the speed and posting some of the fastest times in the class. With just over a dozen races left, he’s got the right puzzle pieces so far and hopes to have them all together when they race at Salt Lake City.

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Justin Schuoler
Justin’s experience starts back in the mid-90s racing dirt bikes and ATVs. He won a local championship in 1999, and competed in multiple endurance grand prix races across Southern California. In 2015, he shifted from two wheels to four wheels, winning his first sprint kart race and finishing second in that championship. Now he works as a race official with that very club while working on making a comeback to the track. Simultaneously, his journalism career began with NASCAR and Supercross. First started with Speedway Media, he now works as the web developer and tech manager for Kickin’ the Tires. He met his significant other at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and after he and Rachel married in 2018, they together have covered west coast races in karting, Supercross, NASCAR, drag racing, dirt racing, World of Outlaws, and even a visit to his original motocross club.

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