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Daytona Supercross, Jett Lawrence Ends Eli Tomac Domination

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Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL — March 2, 2024

Five-time DAYTONA Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael has been designing Supercross courses at Daytona International Speedway for 17 years. This year, he may have outdone himself with a layout that is spectacular. With the starting gates facing the grandstands, fans will see the greatest motocross riders in the world fire off directly towards their seats.

After heading toward turn one of the Speedway, riders will reverse course and head down the front stretch toward turn four in the opposite directions from which cars run at the World Center of Racing.

The course incorporates elements of grass, dirt, sand, clay, and possibly mud if Mother Nature adds some wet weather, as the forecast predicts.

It does not matter the mode of transport used, everyone who has ever raced at Daytona covets the title Daytona Champion.

Daytona Motorcycle History

Daytona International Speedway’s “Bike Week” has been an annual tradition since the inaugural Daytona 200 in 1937. Only WWII could stop this lively event (1943-1946), and 2024 marks the 83rd running.

In 1974, Daytona International Speedway and Bike Week hosted the first round in the “Yamaha Super-Series,” the first iteration of what is now Monster Energy Supercross. Pierre Karsmakers won the 250cc Class, now the 450SX Class. Daytona Bike Week 2024 is set to host 450SX Class round #750. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Supercross, Daytona’s rich Supercross history began long before the Yamaha Super-Series in 1974.

Daytona Bike Week garnered an incredible opportunity in 1973 to host the 250/500 Pro Motocross Championship Opener. Bob Grossi scored the overall win in the 250 Motocross Class, while Karsmakers won the 500 Class.

Karsmakers would come back to Bike Week and win the first ever 450SX Class race in 1974’s Yamaha-Super Series. While the Speedway/Supercross model has blossomed in other locations, such as Atlanta Motor Speedway, Chicago, Charlotte, and Talladega, Daytona has stood the test of time with the series. As Supercross raced through 50 years and nearly 750 rounds, Daytona remains a difficult mid-season test in every campaign.

Eli Tomac Owns Daytona Supercross

Nobody has navigated the Daytona beast as smoothly as Eli Tomac, who is looking to score his eighth 450SX Class Daytona victory.

Eli Tomac at Daytona / Lasco Press Photo Jessica Ten Hagen

Tomac has compiled seven wins and two runner-up rides in the Speedway. Justin Brayton’s magical 2018 ride where he eclipsed Tomac by mere seconds at the finish line remains as Tomac’s only Daytona blemish from 2016-2023.

Tomac sits at five in a row and is looking to become the second rider in 450SX Class history to win in the same venue for six straight seasons (Jeremy McGrath, Minneapolis, HHH Metrodome). Tomac has caught fire going into Daytona after a furious 16th to 2nd place comeback in Arlington. He will look to make a dent in his point standings deficit versus red-plate Jett Lawrence in their first Daytona duel.

Who to Watch

Cooper Webb took advantage of two late mistakes by Jett Lawrence to score his record-sixth 450SX Class win in Arlington. It was Webb’s second win of the season and the 23rd 450SX Class victory of his career. The victory moves him ahead of Ken Roczen for 10th on the all-time 450SX Class wins list. He now has 42 AMA victories, officially moving him into top 15 all-time tied with Mark Barnett, Jeff Emig, and coincidentally Lawrence. Webb only trails Lawrence by three points in the standings heading into Daytona, a location where he has scored a perfect six podiums in six starts.

Eli Tomac found himself 16th on the second lap after a wreck last week at Arlington. The Yamaha rider quickly moved through the pack and was in the top 10 by the fourth lap. On lap 17, Tomac was in sixth place with a host of riders in sight. He then passed Chase Sexton for fifth and Hunter Lawrence for fourth. By the 23rd lap, he was in podium position after putting Aaron Plessinger behind him. Lawrence’s second wreck gave Tomac one more position and the 16th to runner-up comeback was complete only 3 seconds behind his winning teammate. Tomac now has 98 450SX Class podiums and 170 starts after his incredible ride.

Jett Lawrence led the first 23 laps before his wreck on lap 24. He would then tie up with lapper Vince Friese on the last lap to drop out of a podium position. The fourth-place ride was good enough to retain the red plate but with a slew of competition on his heels. Not even 20 points separate Lawrence from seventh place in the standings. Lawrence has two wins, three podiums, five top fives, and seven top 10s in his first seven 450SX Class starts.

Aaron Plessinger Scored his seventh 450SX Class podium and third of the year. He looks to make his 200th career AMA start in Daytona. Plessinger is third in the points.

Chase Sexton Struggled to 9-6 finishes the previous two rounds, dropping him to fourth in the points and -8 overall. Sexton has 51 450SX Class starts and 27 podiums, three coming this season.

Justin Cooper Has nine top-10 finishes in his first 11 450SX Class starts. He is 103/112 (92%) in his AMA career for top 10 finishes.

Rain interrupted qualifying as the 450SX riders had their second session canceled. The extra time allowed track crews to work the racing surface into what looks to be perfect conditions.

250SX Riders

Haiden Deegan scored his first 250SX Class win and became the 122nd different 250SX Class winner with his victory in Arlington. His father Brian was the 43rd different winner when he performed a “ghost ride” on his Suzuki across the L.A. Memorial Coliseum’s finish line. Deegan became the 26th different rider to win their first 250SX Class race on a Yamaha. Deegan now has four wins in 28 AMA starts and is only seven points back of the red plate going into Daytona. Deegan scored a third in his first Daytona start last year.

The top four finishers in Arlington were all involved in the Eastern Regional Opener’s first turn pile up in Detroit, giving them a bad points position going into the rest of the nine round Championship. Factory riders Deegan, Cameron McAdoo, Tom Vialle, and Seth Hammaker made some ground back up while Deegan gained the most back, taking the victory. Deegan improved from 16th to 5th in the standings with his victory, McAdoo 15th to 6th, Vialle 18th to 11th, and Hammaker 21st to 13th. McAdoo earned his 18th podium in his 45th start, while Vialle nabbed his first career 250SX Class podium. Hammaker now has eight top-five finishes in 13 starts.

Deegan suffered a scary-looking crash in qualifying. He expects to race tonight. We expect he will be very sore.

A record crowd for Supercross at Daytona greeted the drivers during the opening ceremonies. The pyrotechnics hyped the pre-race excitement, and riders circled the course on the pavement of pit road and the tri-oval to the thundering staccato of DJ music. Hand-slapping spectators within reach.

250SX Heats

Jeremy Martin(6) took the holeshot and the early lead. But Cameron McAdoo(63) was the rider making moves. He rode to the front easily and began putting time on the rest of the pack.

Cameron McAdoo at Daytona / Lasco Press Photo (JTH)

Haiden Deegan(38), showing no ill effects from his qualifying crash, rode into third and began to put pressure on Martin. Martin crashed Almost over the handlebars, and Deegan moved into the second spot. But, he could not close the gap on McAdoo. Chance Hymas(68) took third place.

In Heat #2, Daxton Bennick(59) earned the holeshot and led the first lap. However, it did not take the series points leader, Max Anstie(37), to move to the head of the field. After building a safe lead, Anstie laid his bike down. He was able to remount and hold onto the top spot. Tom Vialle, running third, was able to close on Bennick. Both riders went down, with Vialle getting up first and coming out on top. Seth Hammaker(43) rode into the third spot as Bennick fell to fifth after being passed by Coty Schock(69).

450SX Heats

Ken Roczen(94) was fast out of the gate and took the early lead over Justin Barcia(51) and Benny Bloss(67). Chase Sexton(1) held the fourth spot over Aaron Plessinger(7).

Ken Roczen at Daytona / Lasco Press Photo (JTH)

Roczen went down and fell back to fifth place. It triggered an amazing run back towards the front, culminated by Roczen blowing past Barcia for the lead. The position battle saw Sexton work his way into second and stage a classic battle with Roczen for the lead.

The track began showing the wear of three heat races, and riders were hitting the dirt everywhere. Sexton went down, giving the win easily to Roczen. Barcia went down, and Plessinger moved into third.

Malcolm Stewart(27) rode clean and took the fourth position as Barcia fell to the fifth spot.

Heat #2 saw Justin Cooper(32) outdueled Eli Tomac(3) for the early lead. Dylan Ferrandis(14) tried to make it a three-way race but could not maintain his forward momentum, falling into a battle with Jason Anderson for third. Hanging just out of the top four, Jett Lawrence began to make his presence known as he picked off riders until he was trailing only Cooper and Tomac.

Jett Lawrence at Daytona / Lasco Press Photo (JTH)

Eli put some pressure on Cooper but could not make the pass until Lawrence rode through both leaders, and Tomac followed. Lawrence rode away, as did Tomac, putting space on Cooper, as the top three held the outcome well in hand.

Ferrandis managed to keep fourth place. Cooper Webb(2) got a terrible start but recovered and finished in fifth place.

250SX Main Event

Cameron McAdoo and Haiden Deegan fought it out at the start. However, McAdoo quickly established himself as the leader. Seth Hammaker moved into second as Deegan was having trouble all over the course. The points leader, Max Anstie, was mired back in the pack.

Tom Vialle moved past Deegan and then set his sights on McAdoo. Hammaker dropped Deegan back to fourth as the top three established a cushion on the remainder of the field.

McAdoo rode off-course, giving the lead to Vialle. Deegan closed on Hammaker. A mistake by Danger Boy allowed Hammaker to ride away. Pierce Brown(39) closed but could not get to Deegan’s rear tire.

Anstie moved up to ninth, but that will likely not be enough for him to hold onto the red plate as the series leader.

Taking the white flag with large cushions between the top four, the podium appears assured. Vialle, McAdoo, and Hammaker will take the accolades of the crowd. Deegan missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Max Anstie held onto the points lead by the slimmest of margins. Cameron McAdoo and Pierce Brown are tied for second, one point behind the leader. Tom Vialle and Haiden Deegan are tied for fourth, three points behind Anstie.

250SX Main Event Results

POS. # RIDER BIKE INTERVAL TEAM/SPONSORS
1 16 Tom Vialle KTM 250 SX-F FE 11 Laps Red Bull KTM
2 63 Cameron Mcadoo Kawasaki KX250 4.997 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
3 43 Seth Hammaker Kawasaki KX250 8.674 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
4 38 Haiden Deegan Yamaha YZ250F 14.224 Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (250)
5 39 Pierce Brown GASGAS MC 250F 16.318 Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas
6 69 Coty Schock Yamaha YZ250F 46.589 Coty Schock Racing
7 33 Jalek Swoll Triumph TF 250-X 53.864 Triumph Racing
8 37 Max Anstie Honda CRF250R 53.954 Firepower Honda
9 75 Marshal Weltin Yamaha YZ250F 01:11.4 Marshal Weltin Racing
10 59 Daxton Bennick Yamaha YZ250F 01:20.6 Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (250)
11 65 Henry Miller Honda CRF250R 01:22.6 Henry Miller Racing
12 6 Jeremy Martin Yamaha YZ250F 01:24.6 Muc-Off FXR ClubMX
13 511 Nicholas Romano Yamaha YZ250F 01:31.1 Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (250)
14 92 Jace Kessler Yamaha YZ250F 01:34.3 Jace Kessler Racing
15 48 Chance Hymas Honda CRF250R 10 Laps Team Honda HRC
16 483 Bryton Carroll Yamaha YZ250F 10.806 Bryton Carroll Racing
17 682 Izaih Clark Honda CRF250R 21.340 Iziah Clark Racing
18 602 Gage Linville GASGAS MC 250F 26.052 Gage Linville Racing
19 177 Tyler Stepek Honda CRF250R 28.232 Tyler Stepek Racing
20 964 Dominique Thury Kawasaki KX250 30.119 Dominique Thury Racing
21 242 Garrett Hoffman Yamaha YZ250F 34.677 Garrett Hoffman Racing
22 60 Lorenzo Locurcio GASGAS MC 250F FE 9 Laps Lorenzo Locurcio Racing

 

250SX East Points Standings

POS. # RIDER HOMETOWN POINTS
1 37 Max Anstie London, England 52
2 63 Cameron McAdoo Sioux City, IA 51
3 39 Pierce Brown Sandy, UT 51
4 16 Tom Vialle Avignon, France 49
5 38 Haiden Deegan Temecula, CA 49
6 69 Coty Schock Dover, DE 48
7 59 Daxton Bennick Morganton, NC 44
8 43 Seth Hammaker Bainbridge, PA 39
9 65 Henry Miller Rochester, MN 37
10 75 Marshal Weltin Ubly, MI 35
11 48 Chance Hymas Pocatello, ID 34
12 33 Jalek Swoll Belleview, FL 31
13 64 Austin Forkner Richards, MO 27
14 83 Guillem Farres Barcelona, Spain 27
15 511 Nicholas Romano Bayside, NY 27
16 602 Gage Linville Lake Park, GA 16
17 174 Trevor Colip Bowling Green, IN 11
18 6 Jeremy Martin Millville, MN 10
19 86 Luca Marsalisi Cairo, GA 10
20 682 Izaih Clark Fort Dodge, IA 10

 

450SX Main Event

Here is the race everyone has been waiting on. Will the young kid outrun the wiley veteran going for his eighth Daytona win. What will the points standings look like after the tricky track takes its toll on the series premier class?

Chase Sexton interacts with fans at Daytona / Lasco Press Photo (JTH)

The gate drops and turns the pack loose. Chase Sexton leads, and Eli Tomac runs second. Then it’s Jett Lawrence in third, with Ken Roczen running in fourth.

Hunter Lawrence was running fifth when he hit the dirt just short of the finish line. Damage to his bike forced Lawrence off the track.

Jett Lawrence closed on Tomac but got hung up on a tuff block allowing Tomac to pull away slightly.

Eight minutes into the moto, Lawrence passes the two bikes in front of him on consecutive corners to take the top spot. Tomac and Sexton battle side-by-side until Tomac’s bike begins to smoke, and Sexton pulls away.

Meanwhile, at the front, Jett Lawrence has checked out. Significant intervals separate Sexton and Tomac. Battles for positions are fought throughout the field. If Tomac’s engine holds out, the podium appears to have already been determined.

Last week Lawrence had trouble late, could the bad luck continue at Daytona. Tomac is hounding Sexton, so the podium positions could change.

Jett holds it together and gets the win. Tomac makes the pass on Sexton to take the second spot.

Eli Tomac at Daytona / Lasco Press Photo (JTH)

In an unbelievable scene, the fans stormed the track running towards the winner’s podium while riders are still racing to complete the moto.

Lawrence ended Tomac’s dominance of Daytona and stretched his points lead to 10 over Webb and 13 over Sexton. Tomac, Roczen, Plessinger, and Anderson are not out of the title race but need to stop their slide down the standings. They trail the leader by 16, 27, 28, and 29 points respectively.

450SX Main Event Results

POS. # RIDER BIKE INTERVAL TEAM/SPONSORS
1 18 Jett Lawrence Honda CRF450R 14 Laps Team Honda HRC
2 3 Eli Tomac Yamaha YZ450F 5.889 Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (450)
3 1 Chase Sexton KTM 450 SX-F FE 9.734 Red Bull KTM
4 2 Cooper Webb Yamaha YZ450F 32.404 Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (450)
5 94 Ken Roczen Suzuki RM-Z450 35.227 HEP Motorsports
6 32 Justin Cooper Yamaha YZ450F 36.214 Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (450)
7 27 Malcolm Stewart Husqvarna FC 450 RE 48.370 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
8 14 Dylan Ferrandis Honda CRF450R 49.213 Phoenix Racing Honda
9 21 Jason Anderson Kawasaki KX450SR 01:36.1 Monster Energy Kawasaki
10 67 Benny Bloss Beta 450 RX 13 Laps Liqui Moly Beta
11 51 Justin Barcia GASGAS MC 450F 25.005 Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas
12 9 Adam Cianciarulo Kawasaki KX450SR 27.498 Monster Energy Kawasaki
13 11 Kyle Chisholm Suzuki RM-Z450 36.915 HEP Motorsports
14 12 Shane McElrath Suzuki RM-Z450 43.249 HEP Motorsports
15 199 John Short Kawasaki KX450 01:07.0 John Short Racing
16 29 Ty Masterpool Kawasaki KX450 01:18.4 HBI Racing Kawasaki
17 56 Jeremy Hand Honda CRF450R 01:22.8 Jeremy Hand Racing
18 7 Aaron Plessinger KTM 450 SX-F FE 01:51.2 Red Bull KTM
19 22 Freddie Noren Kawasaki KX450SR 12 Laps International Supercross Race Team
20 15 Dean Wilson Honda CRF450R 11 Laps Firepower Honda
21 96 Hunter Lawrence Honda CRF450R 1 Lap Team Honda HRC
22 46 Justin Hill KTM 450 SX-F FE 12.217 Team Tedder Racing

 

450SX Points Standings

POS. # RIDER HOMETOWN POINTS
1 18 Jett Lawrence Landsborough, Australia 160
2 2 Cooper Webb Newport, NC 150
3 1 Chase Sexton LaMoille, IL 147
4 3 Eli Tomac Cortez, CO 144
5 94 Ken Roczen Mattstedt, Germany 133
6 7 Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH 132
7 21 Jason Anderson Rio Rancho, NM 131
8 14 Dylan Ferrandis Bedarrides, France 107
9 32 Justin Cooper Cold Springs Harbor, NY 91
10 96 Hunter Lawrence Landsborough, Australia 87
11 51 Justin Barcia Monroe, NY 82
12 27 Malcolm Stewart Haines City, FL 79
13 12 Shane McElrath Oakland, FL 64
14 15 Dean Wilson Glasgow, Scotland 46
15 111 Jorge Prado Lugo, Spain 45
16 9 Adam Cianciarulo New Smyrna Beach, FL 43
17 28 Christian Craig San Diego, CA 39
18 67 Benny Bloss Oak Grove, MO 33
19 46 Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR 29
20 11 Kyle Chisholm Tampa, FL 27