For the second time in as many months, off-road champion Gray Leadbetter and Partzilla have teamed up to score a podium finish in Nitrocross SXS class action, this time from Glen Helen Raceway. The North Carolina native wheeled her #28 Partzilla Can-Am to third place in Sunday’s final thanks to a perfectly executed Joker Lap strategy, backing up a fourth place finish from the day before as she maintains a podium position in the overall series standings.
On Saturday, Leadbetter spent much of the final battling with Michael Leach for fourth place, renewing their battles from Wild Horse Pass and even dating back to their time together in Americas Rallycross. She would follow Pastrana into the Joker on Lap 4, hanging onto a top-five spot until a late DNF for Brian Deegan allowed her to move back up to fourth.
Sunday’s final saw Leadbetter roll off fourth on the grid, and this time it was Deegan himself that she’d be fighting with. When the leaders tangled and Pastrana rolled over, it opened the door for Leadbetter to return to the podium—if she could find her way around Deegan. She pressured the action sports legend all race long until he Jokered, ran one of her fastest laps of the race in the clean air, and slid out just ahead of him to claim third place.
“I couldn’t have asked for much more out of the weekend in Glen Helen!” said Leadbetter. “First off, a huge thanks to Partzilla for all the support—it was great to have them at the track with us, and also a huge shout out to the fans who braved some crazy winds all weekend long. The racing itself was as exciting as ever, and getting to go wheel-to-wheel with Michael and Brian in the finals made it a ton of fun. I’m thrilled that we got back onto the box on Sunday and can’t wait for the next race!”
Leadbetter remains a comfortable third in the standings thanks to her season-long consistency, and she made modest gains on second place over the weekend as well. She is now the only driver in the SXS class to have finished fourth or better in every race so far this season. The Nitrocross season continues with the SXS class wrapping up its campaign in Las Vegas on March 1-2.
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