Eli Tomac (3) races alongside Aaron Plessinger in Arlington. (Feld Motor Sports, Inc. Photo)

Tomac: ‘I’m Sick Of People Calling Me The Old Guy’

Eli Tomac didn’t win Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross round at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but he may as well have. 

The spark that finally caught fire within the Star Racing Yamaha rider was particularly evident during his post-race interview, as he provided insight into his state of mind.

“I’m sick of people calling me the old guy. I’m just warming up, getting better. I’m coming,” Tomac said on the NBC broadcast. As he finished runner-up to teammate Cooper Webb, he also noted, “Second will do for tonight.”

The 31-year-old later explained that some of the external criticism about his up-and-down performance had started to seep in after hearing it for two months straight — basically, ever since the season opener on Jan. 6 where he finished ninth. 

That was Tomac’s first race back after injuring his Achilles heel last May, which may have initially softened the blow of the not-so-ideal result. However, he hasn’t done much to help his case in the ensuing weeks. 

The rider of the No. 3 Yamaha has inconsistently bounced around the top 10 throughout the early part of the season, making it hard to predict where he’s at in relation to his 450SX competitors. 

Tomac’s worst finish thus far was 10th during round six at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., two weeks ago — a result he attributed to arm pump during the post-race press conference at Arlington.

“When that happens, basically your hands are tied behind your back and you’re hanging on for survival,” Tomac described. “I think I have fixed some of that — with that being said, I can’t blame it all on the bike. Look how long I’ve been doing this. I should know what to do.” 

Tomac’s comfortability and know-how on the bike seemed to return to its old form on Saturday night as he made a typical-Tomac charge from the midpack to the podium. 

But even that wasn’t enough to fully quiet the critiques that have taken stock in his mind.

“Maybe they (critics) are right, I haven’t won an overall yet,” Tomac said. “One thing’s for sure is I have improved and I’m getting better. So yeah, I’m ready to put up the fight in this last half and maybe show some of the young guys that they’re still young.” 

He did win one of three short-form features during the Triple Crown event a month ago, but has yet to collect an overall main event victory this season. Still, there were a number of small triumphs for the two-time Supercross champion to dwell on leaving Arlington.

“I made passes this time, I wasn’t going backward after halfway, so it was good,” Tomac said.

Lucky for the Colorado native, the next track on the docket for Monster Energy AMA Supercross is at Daytona Int’l Speedway — a facility he has dominated during his career.

The rider of the No. 3 machine has won seven main events at Daytona, which is the most of any rider in series history. He has topped the 450SX field at the last five races at the track.

“Daytona is the favorite race for me, hands down,” Tomac said. “I’m looking forward to next week.”