Foothill Ranch, Calif. (March 11, 2018) – Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac was the story of the night at Daytona International Speedway as he raced his Kawasaki KX™450F from 22nd to second place in the 18-lap 450SX Main Event. In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Austin Forkner captured his third straight podium finishing third and is now tied for the championship points lead.
The night show started off with a bang as Tomac and another competitor battled bar-to-bar for the 450SX Heat 2 win, until both riders went down. Tomac went on to qualify seventh, while Tyler Bowers got some extra track time going on to win the Last Chance Qualifier. The gate dropped on Round 10 of the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship and Tomac sat seventh briefly before going down shortly after the start. Tomac remounted in 22nd and began his charge towards the front. As he railed the sand berms, blitzed the breaking bumps and hammered the deep Daytona ruts, Tomac was posting lap times two to three seconds a lap faster than the leaders and making up unbelievable time on his competitors. By the midpoint of the race, he had gotten his KX450F inside the top five. With 10 minutes remaining, and still 13 seconds to make up to the leader, Tomac kept the hammer down and never gave up, crossing the checkered flag in second place. Teammate Bowers, rode smooth and consistent to a 14th place finish.
"I left it all out there tonight," said Tomac. "This was one of the best Daytona tracks I've ever raced because it allowed for a lot of passing with really long rhythm sections. Those long rhythm sections really helped me out there and I'm happy with our result tonight."
"Overall, tonight was good," said Bowers. "I hadn't raced Daytona for a number of years and I forgot how rough and rutted out it gets. These conditions aren't my strong suit but we got an LCQ win and put it in the main. We'll continue to improve and move on to St. Louis."
After setting the fastest time in qualifying, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner qualified third out of 250SX Heat 2, just behind teammate Martin Davalos who qualified second. As the gate dropped on the 250SX Main Event, Forkner sat third with Davalos seventh. Forkner paced the leaders and attempted to move up, but with conditions rough and rutted, Forkner rode smart and consistent to a third place finish, which put him in a tie for the lead in the 250SX Rider Point Standings. Davalos went on to finish in fifth place.
"Tonight's track was crazy rough," said Forkner. "I tried to put in a charge to catch the leaders but every time I would make up ground, I'd make a mistake. So I decided to race smart and settle for third."
"I felt good all day today," said Davalos. "I felt smooth and in the main I put in 15 solid laps. I'm still pretty banged up from Dallas, so to leave here with a fifth place is good."