Eli Tomac rode a Kawasaki to victory Saturday night in the DAYTONA Supercross at Daytona International Speedway, becoming the fifth rider to win the prestigious Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship event three times.
Tomac, from Cortez, Colorado, joined Bob “Hurricane” Hannah, Mike Kiedrowski, Jeremy McGrath and Chad Reed as a three-time champion. Riding the No. 3 Monster Energy Kawasaki and wearing a helmet bearing the likeness of Daytona stock car legend Dale Earnhardt, Tomac assumed the lead on Lap 5 of the 18-lap 450SX main event en route to a dominating ride. Second-place Cooper Webb (KTM) – the leader in the series’ point standings – finished 6.889 seconds behind Tomac.
“The last half of the race was effortless. I just got the flow and that’s so important at this track. It just started coming to me,” Tomac said.
“Title number three … this is so cool at Daytona!”
DeLand, Florida native Justin Starling, riding a Husqvarna, qualified for the 450SX main event. He finished 19th.
Austin Forkner of Richards, Missouri won the 250SX Main Event aboard the No. 24 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Forkner started the evening with a strong run in winning the first 250SX heat. He ended with his fourth main event win of the year – and a commanding lead in the 250SX East championship standings.
“It was tough,” Forkner said about the main event. “Just not making mistakes was one of the biggest things; I honestly didn’t feel like I was going super fast. Just every rhythm, every jump, every lap was just perfect – that was the key tonight, I feel.”
Both the 450SX and 250SX classes had two heat races that advanced the top-nine finishers to the 22-rider main events. The 450SX heats were won by Tomac and Blake Baggett (KTM); Forkner and Justin Cooper (Yamaha) won the 250SX heats.
Bike Week At DAYTONA continues at Daytona International Speedway with the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross on Sunday and Monday, followed by ATV and Vintage Supercross on Tuesday. On Thursday night, the American Flat Track series will open its season with the DAYTONA TT, featuring a challenging race course that utilizes the speedway’s frontstretch and produces flat-out speeds and high jumps. Saturday, Bike Week At DAYTONA wraps up with the 78th annual DAYTONA 200, a historic 200-mile race contested on a 3.51-mile road course that travels through the speedway’s infield and atop the 31-degree banking in the turns.