Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL — March 6, 2021
Regardless of what you are racing, a victory at Daytona International Speedway is a landmark accomplishment worthy of the top mention on a racer’s resume. Eli Tomac entered Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross at Daytona with wins in four of the last five years at the track. Only the G.O.A.T., Ricky Carmichael, had more with five wins in his career at the World Center of Racing.
In anticipation of the event, Tomac put a lot of pressure on himself. Calling the race a must-win to defend his 450 SX 2020 Title. Having dropped 31 points behind the 2021 points leader, Ken Roczen, it was critical that Tomac reverse the trend of non-podium finishes.
Great racing on the tri-oval of the famed track kept fans entertained all evening. The cheering got louder each moto as Tomac stalked the record and fought to keep his hopes of a championship repeat alive.
In just the 2nd race of the year for the 250 SX West riders, everyone wondered if Justin Cooper(32) would be able to repeat his performance in winning two weeks ago at Orlando. He was set to compete in Heat 2.
At the start of Heat 1, Seth Hammaker(150) took the early lead. But the man on the move was Cameron McAdoo(31) the runner-up in the main event at Orlando. After a sub-par start, McAdoo charged to the front of the pack and was in 2nd after completing the 1st lap. Metamora, Michigan rider Joey Crown(61) ran 3rd.
It did not take long for McAdoo to move past Hammaker for the top spot, which he never relinquished. Mid-race Crown had some difficulties. After cutting a corner too sharp, he ran off the track and dropped out of the Top 9. Unable to recover from the mistake, Crown was forced into the LCQ where he will have to finish in the Top 4 to make the main event.
In Heat 2, Hunter Lawrence(41) sprinted to the lead. It was short-lived. Riley Sipes(264) ran into the back of another rider on the 1st turn. He stumbled, lost momentum, and was a sitting duck as the remainder of the field charged towards him. Sipes was knocked off his bike onto the track, favoring his left rest he was unable to get back on his GASGAS MC 250F. The race was red-flagged as two more riders sprawled on the track seconds later.
On the restart, Lawrence again was hot out of the gate and led start to finish. Jordon Smith(80) took 2nd, and Stilez Robertson(67) finished 3rd. Cooper overcame a poor start to end up 4th. Sipes was able to make it back to the starting gate and finished 5th, a huge break getting the full-field restart.
250 SX LCQ
Crown was determined to make the feature and dominated early in the LCQ until the 2nd red flag of the night brought a complete restart. Again, Crown was fast off the gate drop when a 2nd red flag brought the race to a halt. Unfortunately, this time the accident involved the Michigan rider. Crown went down in the rhythm section when he missed a triple. The crash took him to the care center and out of the race.
Hardy Munoz(93) won the LCQ, Ty Masterpool(75), Mitchell Harrison(35), Ryan Surratt(951) advanced based on their finish position.
250 SX West Main Event
At the start, Robertson took the lead followed by Alex Martin(26), Coty Schock(72), and Lawrence. McAdoo was 5th, Cooper 19th, and Munoz(21). Lawrence went down in the sand and dropped back into the pack. Cooper worked his way into the top 10, but went off track and dropped to 12th. At the 10 minute mark, McAdoo was 2nd, with 5 minutes and a lap to go McAdoo took the lead. Cooper was 8th, he worked his way to 4th.
McAdoo’s win moved him to the top of points with a 4-point margin over Cooper.
250 SX West Main Event Results
|1||31||Cameron McAdoo||Kawasaki KX250||14 Laps|
|2||67||Stilez Robertson||Husqvarna FC 250||3.653|
|3||45||Pierce Brown||GASGAS MC 250F||5.139|
|4||32||Justin Cooper||Yamaha YZ250F||6.043|
|5||48||Garrett Marchbanks||Yamaha YZ250F||14.693|
|6||41||Hunter Lawrence||Honda CRF250R||20.328|
|7||26||Alex Martin||Yamaha YZ250F||22.532|
|8||47||Jalek Swoll||Husqvarna FC 250||23.740|
|9||72||Coty Schock||Honda CRF250R||24.174|
|10||80||Jordon Smith||Kawasaki KX250||35.926|
|11||150||Seth Hammaker||Kawasaki KX250||36.943|
|12||59||Jarrett Frye||Yamaha YZ250F||44.345|
|13||93||Hardy Munoz||Yamaha YZ250F||46.591|
|14||66||Jordan Bailey||Yamaha YZ250F||48.033|
|15||60||Chris Blose||GASGAS MC 250F||51.253|
|16||201||Cedric Soubeyras||GASGAS MC 250F||53.306|
|17||75||Ty Masterpool||GASGAS MC 250F||55.063|
|18||951||Ryan Surratt||Kawasaki KX250||59.289|
|19||39||Carson Mumford||Honda CRF250R||01:07.2|
|20||91||Nate Thrasher||Yamaha YZ250F||13 Laps|
|21||264||Ryan Sipes||GASGAS MC 250F||01:29.1|
|22||35||Mitchell Harrison||Honda CRF250R||DNS|
250 SX West Points Standings
|1||31||Cameron McAdoo||Sioux City, IA||49|
|2||32||Justin Cooper||Menifee, CA||45|
|3||48||Garrett Marchbanks||Coalville, UT||39|
|4||41||Hunter Lawrence||Wesley Chapel, FL||35|
|5||47||Jalek Swoll||Belleview, FL||34|
|6||150||Seth Hammaker||Temecula, CA||29|
|7||67||Stilez Robertson||Murrieta, CA||28|
|8||72||Coty Schock||Dover, DE||25|
|9||60||Chris Blose||Phoenix, AZ||23|
|10||45||Pierce Brown||Sandy, UT||21|
|11||26||Alex Martin||Clermont, FL||17|
|12||56||Kyle Peters||Greensboro, NC||16|
|13||80||Jordon Smith||Ochlocknee, GA||16|
|14||91||Nate Thrasher||Livingston, TN||15|
|15||59||Jarrett Frye||Mechanicsville, MD||15|
|16||69||Robbie Wageman||Newhall, CA||14|
|18||68||Jace Owen||Mattoon, IL||13|
|19||93||Hardy Munoz||Glendale, AZ||10|
|20||61||Joey Crown||Metamora, MI||10|
|21||66||Jordan Bailey||Orlando, FL||9|
|22||220||Ramyller Alves||Coconut Creek, FL||9|
|23||35||Mitchell Harrison||Murrieta, CA||9|
|24||75||Ty Masterpool||Paradise, TX||6|
|25||90||Dilan Schwartz||Alpine, CA||6|
|26||951||Ryan Surratt||Corona, CA||5|
|27||39||Carson Mumford||Simi Valley, CA||4|
|28||264||Ryan Sipes||Ekron, KY||2|
|29||6||Jeremy Martin||Rochester, MN||2|
Cooper Webb(2) left Orlando on fire, he scorched the track at Camping World Stadium for back-to-back wins before coming to Daytona. Was the week off enough to put out the flames?
In Heat 1 it looked like Webb might stay on his hot streak. After an early battle with Justin Barcia(51), Webb pulled away. The surprise of the night was Aaron Plessinger(7) making his strongest run of the season. Plessinger closed on Webb but could not make the pass.
Michigan’s Cole Tickle started 4th and finished 7th to transfer to the Main Event. Chase Sexton(23) made his 1st start since checking out of Round 2 with an injury, he finished 4th.
Heat 2 featured Ken Roczen(94), the points leader, and Eli Tomac(1), last year’s champion, head-to-head. Only Mitchell Oldenburg(49) and Malcolm Stewart(27) got in the way. Oldenburg went down in the sand and was forced into the LCQ. The heat finished Roczen, Stewart, and Tomac. Oldenburg advanced to the Main Event with a 2nd in the Last Chance Qualifier.
450 SX Main Event
After putting himself under the gun saying Daytona was a must-win, Tomac came through in the featured race of the night leading start to finish. That does not mean the moto was without drama.
At the start, Webb forced Roczen high into the tough blocks on the first turn. Webb took the 2nd spot with Plessinger 3rd, Roczen fell back to 7th. Plessinger and Webb fight for the 2nd spot with Aaron taking the position, while Roczen moved to 4th.
At the 15-minute mark, Tomac was up by 2.5 seconds. At the mid-point, Tomac led Plessinger by 3 seconds, Webb by 8, and Roczen by 10 seconds. Stewart, making a run for the podium, passed Roczen in the rhythm section when Roczen over jumped a triple.
With Webb up by two positions over Roczen, he was set to shave four points off the points leader’s margin. But with less than 2 minutes to go, Roczen regained the 4th position.
The final lap saw Webb pass Plessinger just before the finish, grabbing the critical two points back from Roczen.
Tomac’s win gained 7 points on Roczen. He is now 24 points behind, just what he needed to do to get back in the championship chase. Broc Tickle got a bad start in the Main and lingered near the back of the pack. After working his way up to 18th, Tickle crashed out of the moto.
The 3rd place finish for Plessinger gave him his 1st 450 SX podium.
The Daytona race was the 700th in the AMA Supercross series. The 2021 schedule now moves to AT&T Stadium for a tripleheader, next Saturday, March 13, Tuesday, March 16th, and the following Saturday, March 20th.
Something to watch for. In his post-race interview, Roczen expressed frustration with the way Webb raced him on the start. He vowed to return the treatment when the two meet again.
450 SX Round 8 Main Event Results
|1||1||Eli Tomac||Kawasaki KX450||18 Laps|
|2||2||Cooper Webb||KTM 450 SX-F FE||3.856|
|3||7||Aaron Plessinger||Yamaha YZ450F||4.523|
|4||94||Ken Roczen||Honda CRF450R WE||7.755|
|5||27||Malcolm Stewart||Yamaha YZ450F||10.538|
|6||51||Justin Barcia||GASGAS MC 450F||21.635|
|7||21||Jason Anderson||Husqvarna FC 450 RE||25.646|
|8||23||Chase Sexton||Honda CRF450R||32.783|
|9||19||Justin Bogle||KTM 450 SX-F FE||36.097|
|10||15||Dean Wilson||Husqvarna FC 450 RE||41.335|
|11||14||Dylan Ferrandis||Yamaha YZ450F||42.121|
|12||17||Joey Savatgy||KTM 450 SX-F FE||45.410|
|13||40||Vince Friese||Honda CRF450R||01:12.2|
|14||34||Max Anstie||Suzuki RM-Z450||01:22.7|
|15||49||Mitchell Oldenburg||Honda CRF450R||17 Laps|
|16||36||Martin Davalos||KTM 450 SX-F FE||9.106|
|17||11||Kyle Chisholm||Yamaha YZ450F||11.084|
|18||37||Benny Bloss||Honda CRF450R||46.382|
|19||28||Brandon Hartranft||Suzuki RM-Z450||48.945|
|20||280||Cade Clason||Kawasaki KX250||01:14.1|
|21||25||Marvin Musquin||KTM 450 SX-F FE||14 Laps|
|22||20||Broc Tickle||Honda CRF450R||13 Laps|
450 SX Points Standings
|1||94||Ken Roczen||Clermont, FL||199|
|2||2||Cooper Webb||Newport, NC||197|
|3||1||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO||175|
|4||51||Justin Barcia||Greenville, FL||153|
|5||27||Malcolm Stewart||Haines City, FL||143|
|6||25||Marvin Musquin||Corona, CA||135|
|7||7||Aaron Plessinger||Hamilton, OH||134|
|8||16||Zach Osborne||Clermont, FL||123|
|9||14||Dylan Ferrandis||Lake Elsinore, CA||121|
|10||9||Adam Cianciarulo||New Smyrna Beach, FL||120|
|11||21||Jason Anderson||Rio Rancho, NM||116|
|12||17||Joey Savatgy||Clermont, FL||95|
|13||10||Justin Brayton||Charlotte, NC||86|
|14||15||Dean Wilson||Murrieta, CA||70|
|15||20||Broc Tickle||Holly, MI||63|
|16||40||Vince Friese||Menifee, CA||60|
|17||36||Martin Davalos||Tallahassee, FL||57|
|18||19||Justin Bogle||Edmond, OK||56|
|19||11||Kyle Chisholm||Valrico, FL||48|
|20||37||Benny Bloss||Oak Grove, MO||45|
|21||23||Chase Sexton||Clermont, FL||25|
|22||28||Brandon Hartranft||Brick, NJ||23|
|23||12||Shane Mcelrath||Canyon Lake, CA||15|
|24||34||Max Anstie||Murrieta, CA||14|
|25||805||Carlen Gardner||Paso Robles, CA||12|
|26||83||Alex Ray||Milan, TN||9|
|27||49||Mitchell Oldenburg||Aledo, TX||8|
|28||722||Adam Enticknap||Lompoc, CA||7|
|29||280||Cade Clason||Tucson, AZ||7|
|30||81||Justin Starling||Deland, FL||3|
|31||981||Austin Politelli||Murrieta, CA||3|
|32||43||Fredrik Noren||Indian Trail, NC||2|
|33||44||Tyler Bowers||Lake Elsinore, CA||1|