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Eli Tomac (1) was the dominant force in Saturday's Daytona Supercross event. (Feld photo)

Eli Tomac Makes Daytona History

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — With a flying pass in front of a packed Daytona Int’l Speedway frontstretch, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac became “The King” of Daytona Supercross as he bested his own overall record win total at the historic venue, also tying “The King” of NASCAR, Richard Petty, in overall marquee wins at the track.

It was a night of milestone wins for Tomac, who entered the race tied with Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Supercross wins list with 48, now holds third by himself at 49.

It was also his fifth straight Daytona Supercross win — breaking a tie he held with Carmichael and Jeff Stanton for most consecutive victories at Daytona.

And the seven overall wins matches Petty’s seven Daytona 500 victories.

“The best way to put it is that it just feels like home to me,” Tomac said. “Earlier in the day I was wondering what the heck was going on, I was a second off during practice and was struggling to just find some general flow. Once the lights came on, I was a whole different dude.”

The 450SX class podium was a familiar one for Monster Energy AMA Supercross fans this season as Tomac, Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb and Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton — who entered round eight with just a five-point gap between the three — finished in that order. 

Webb and Tomac took off to a quick lead over the field, with Webb holding the advantage over Tomac through the opening nine minutes.

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Eli Tomac makes a victory lap Saturday at Daytona Int’l Speedway. (Feld photo)

But a slight bobble from Webb as the pair entered the front stretch jumps following the finish line allowed Tomac to vault past him over the table top just before the halfway point of the race. Tomac was flawless after that on the Carmichael-designed course, never allowing Webb a chance to catch him.

“I made that mistake and somehow clicked neutral, and he got by me,” Webb conceded following the race. “I tucked right in behind him and I felt like I stayed right there on him, really hoping for a mistake. I think we left it all out there for sure.”

Sexton was third, while Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson rounded out the top five.

Tomac now holds a five-point lead over Webb in the 450SX standings, 186 to 181, while Sexton remains in third with 176 points. 

Hunter Lawrence Tops 250SX Class

The 250SX class of the 53rd running of Daytona Supercross produced a high-level of intense racing throughout the entire day, from the first Heat to the main event. 

The action began with two heats and a last chance qualifier for the 250SX class. Coming off a victory in Arlington last weekend, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Nate Thrasher secured heat one early in the evening to set the scene for the Main Event while Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence took the heat two win. Josiah Natzke topped off the early evening action by finishing first in the last chance qualifier. 

The main event was tight from the moment the gate dropped as Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle, Thrasher and Lawrence battled it out for the holeshot, but it wasn’t long before a collision between Lawrence and Thrasher caused a shift in momentum. Thrasher went down while Lawrence continued on, eventually turning his Heat win into an overall Daytona Supercross crown. 

“You’re making split decisions out there,” said Lawrence, the newest 250SX class Daytona champion. “I just want to be the best version of me when I ride and do well for the team. Obviously, they’re stoked and happy. It’s a cool time right now.”

Lawrence came across the finish line 9.127 seconds ahead of Fire Power Honda’s British rider Max Anstie, who finished second. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan rounded out the top three, securing his first professional career podium and becoming the second youngest podium finisher in Supercross history. 

The 17-year-old 250 rider and son of former Supercross athlete Brian Deegan hoisted his trophy after only four races in his rookie season, an impressive feat.