2019 East Rutherford Supercross 250 Class Race Report

Chase Sexton earns first victory; Austin Forkner DNFs with knee injury

Mitchell Oldenburg accepts first place awards on the main event podium.
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Mitchell Oldenburg earned his first heat race win and main event podium finish of the season in New Jersey.Brown Dog Wilson

Geico Honda's Chase Sexton grabbed his first 250SX class main event victory at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In the main event, Sexton rounded the first corner in third. In the opening laps, he passed Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Austin Forkner, who was riding with a torn ACL in his left knee, but the Kawasaki rider put an aggressive pass on Sexton right before the finish line to reclaim the runner-up spot. The two riders then began to close in on race leader and Forkner's teammate Martin Davalos. Two and a half minutes into the race, Forkner landed hard on a flat landing and aggravated his knee. He rolled off the track in obvious pain, out of the race for a DNF and scoring just one championship point. A little over six minutes into the race, Sexton took the lead from Davalos and stayed composed on the challenging track to secure the win, and with it a nine-point lead in the championship chase with one round remaining.

Mitchell Oldenburg races on dirt track in New Jersey.
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Mitchell Oldenburg earned his first heat race win and main event podium finish of the season in New Jersey.Brown Dog Wilson

“It’s unbelievable,” Sexton said. “It couldn’t happen at a better time. The track was super gnarly, so it was probably the longest 15 minutes plus one lap of my life. It was super good. I got off to a pretty good start and, honestly, Austin was trying to take me out. You can’t win a race like that. I know it’s for a championship, but trying to saw a front end off is not cool. I’m just glad that I got into the lead and took this one. It feels really good and I’m pumped. This feels so good. I’ve been wanting to do this for two years now, so I’m pumped on it.”

Justin Cooper doing trick in front of crowd.
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper finished on the final step of the podium after struggling to find his flow.Brown Dog Wilson

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Mitchell Oldenburg began the evening by earning his first heat race win of the season. In the main event, he started in the top five and immediately went to work. By the halfway point in the race, Oldenburg had moved into the runner-up spot, where he would remain until the checkered flag to capture his first podium of the season.

Martin Davalos on dirt mound as he races.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos led six laps of the main event, but ultimately fell back to fourth by the time the checkered flag flew.Brown Dog Wilson

“It’s unbelievable,” Oldenburg said. “With all the injuries, I just didn’t know if this was for me anymore. My wife has always been behind me and this feels amazing. Everyone in my corner has been so awesome and the people around me have never stopped believing in me. It feels good to finally get this done. It feels like we finally got this monkey off our back.”

Brandon Hartranft races on dirt track.
Cycle Trader/Rock River Yamaha’s Brandon Hartranft matched his season-best fifth-place finish.Brown Dog Wilson

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper started the main event in fourth and quickly moved into third. After seeing second within his grasp, he wasn’t able to hold off his teammate who ended up getting by, ultimately pushing Cooper back a spot to round out the podium in third.

Kyle Peters jumps in front of crowd.
JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Kyle Peters qualified 14th in practice, but rebounded to finish sixth in the main event.Brown Dog Wilson

“I just struggled to find my flow,” Cooper said. “I didn’t feel good the whole race, so I can’t really complain about a podium finish. It would have been nice to get second, but I’m pumped for Mitchell. We’ll see what we can do in Las Vegas.”

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos and Cycle Trader/Rock River Yamaha’s Brandon Hartranft rounded out the top five, respectively.

Alex Martin jumps in front of crowd.
JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Alex Martin was credited with the holeshot and led the race very briefly early on, but went down and came back to cross the line in seventh.Brown Dog Wilson

2019 Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Chase Sexton Honda 174
2 Justin Cooper Yamaha 165
3 Austin Forkner Kawasaki 152
4 Martin Davalos Kawasaki 134
5 Mitchell Oldenburg Yamaha 128
6 Alex Martin Suzuki 121
7 Brandon Hartranft Yamaha 118
8 Kyle Peters Suzuki 115
9 Kyle Cunningham Honda 108
10 Jordan Bailey Husqvarna 91
Jordan Bailey jumps in front of crowd in New Jersey.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jordan Bailey got off to an eighth-place start and he battled his way into seventh by lap three. He continued to bounce between seventh and eighth place as he raced his way to a career-best eighth-place finish in New Jersey.Brown Dog Wilson
Lorenzo Locurcio jumps in front of crowd and screen.
Kissimmee Motorsports Kawasaki’s Lorenzo Locurcio put his KX250 in ninth place at MetLife Stadium.Brown Dog Wilson
Anthony Rodriguez jumps in front of crowd.
TiLube Honda’s Anthony Rodriguez rounded out the top 10 on his CRF250R.Brown Dog Wilson