Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT — June 17, 2020
The 250SX East riders are back on the track as Shane McElrath(12) and Chase Sexton(1E) try to settle their battle for the top spot in the standings. In the 450SX class, Eli Tomac could lock up his first 450 Championship if he can avoid trouble and add to his 24 point lead in the standings.
250SX East Heats
In Heat 1, McElrath conducted business as usual leading from start to finish unchallenged. For Sexton, it was not as easy, he came out of the gate in 7th at the start. Colt Nichols(13) grabbed the holeshot and lead early. Sexton worked his way through the field and when Nichols bobbled in the triple section Sexton closed and took the lead with just over a minute to go.
Once in front, Sexton stretched the lead setting up the 1-2 duel with McElrath in the Main Event.
250SX Main Event
As expected, it was McElrath and Sexton establishing themselves as the early leaders on Lap 1 of the 250SX Main. Sexton trailed, but he kept the pressure on waiting for McElrath. Just over three minutes in, McElrath rode high into a corner and Sexton charged inside, colliding with his rival and taking the lead.
Riding in top championship form, Sexton pulled away and added another three points to his lead in the standings over Sexton.
250SX East Points Standings
Tomac rode in Heat 1 and started back in the pack (7th) at the start. Martin Davalos(37) took the early lead. Halfway through Davalos landed wrong on a jump and dropped back into the pack, Dean Wilson(15) rode to the lead and Tomac charged his way into 2nd. With 2 laps to go Tomac was on Wilson’s rear wheel. Wilson fought off Tomac’s surge to the front to hold on for the Heat win.
Holly, Michigan’s Broc Tickle(20) put together a solid ride and finished in 7th, advancing to the Main Event.
In Heat 2, Ken Roczen shot off the line to grab the holeshot win over Jason Anderson(21). then disaster struck. On the second corner, Anderson rode inside Roczen forcing him to the outside of the track. Roczen got stuck in a rut and stopped with his front tire against a tuff block. Waiting for most of the field to pass, he pulled his bike out of the rut and rejoined the race in 19th.
Anderson won the heat, Roczen fought back to take the 7th spot. But, that will hurt his gate selection in the Main Event.
450SX Main Event
At the gate drop of the 450SX Main Eli Tomac got a terrible start and was dead last going into the 1st turn. On the inside, he surged up to mid-pack but was 12th at the end of Lap 1. Zach Osborne led, Cooper Webb(1) was 3rd, and Ken Roczen 5th.
To win the Championship, Tomac will need to pass both Webb and Roczen to gain enough points to lock up a full race lead heading to the final. One-by-one, Tomac picked off riders on his march through the field.
At the 15 minute mark, Tomac was 6th. Webb and Roczen had moved into 2nd and 3rd behind leader Osborne. After a fierce battle with Anderson, Tomac rode past and into 4th at the halfway point of the race.
Roczen tried to fight Tomac off, but Eli prevailed and set sail for Webb. Tomac caught Webb as they both worked through lappers at the 5-minute mark. The pair tracked down Osborne and when Webb made the pass on the leader Osborne bobbled and Tomac followed Webb as they now ran 1st and 2nd.
With 2 laps to go, the leaders again encountered lapped traffic. Webb was able to navigate the slower riders and seal the win. Tomac will have to wait for Sunday to clinch his first Championship. Roczen finished 4th and was eliminated from title contention. Broc Tickle finished in 16th position.
450SX Points Standings