Tomac Masters The Mud in New Jersey

Published On: 4/23/2023

450 class SX point leader Eli Tomac (Star Racing/Yamaha) overcomes a hard crash in qualifying to podium; Chase Sexton (Honda) places 4th, also gains on Webb (5th)

Unlike most forms of motorsport, when it pours rain at Monster Energy AMA Supercross The Show must go on. And in Saturday night’s case at East Rutherford, N.J.’s MetLife Stadium, ‘The Show’ was Monster Energy’s Eli Tomac (Star Racing/Yamaha) himself. The No. 1-ranked 450 class supercross racer overcame a rugged crash in timed qualifying to stand on a mud-strewn 450 class main event podium in 2nd place, gaining some highly important points and extending his lead in the overall class point chase to 11 (315-304) over 5th place Cooper Webb (KTM). Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton (Honda) would lead the 450 main event early, and wound up just off the New Jersey SX podium in 4th, moving to within ten points of Webb.


Tomac’s crash in qualifying, where he jarred his right hand off the bars, enveloped the front end of his YZ450 and stamped his left shoulder, thigh and knee into the unforgiving Jersey gravel/dirt, was as startling as it was rough. The 450 class frontrunner had everyone at Yamaha taking a deep breath as Tomac slowly bear crawled off the track, barely avoiding the rush of the oncoming bikes – and eventually limping back through the MetLife tunnel to the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha hauler under his own power. Banged up but undaunted, the gritty Coloradoan would rally back, transferring to the main with a 4th place finish in the second heat race.


The wild 450 main event would see Sexton pull the holeshot and run out front early, then got passed by Ken Roczen (Suzuki), and eventually ended up down in the mud on an aggressive (yet legal) move from eventual race winner Justin Barcia (Gas Gas) – all on the opening lap! Tomac gutted out the start and put himself in podium position ahead of Webb late in the race. Roczen, running in 2nd place, had Tomac all over him, and wound up putting his bike down in the whoop section – handing the runner-up position over to Tomac. Sexton put up some fast laps late, charging back to an admirable 4th.


“It was a championship ride by Tomac,” agreed both NBC announcers, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart.

Rounding out the 450 class top ten for Monster Energy was a great ride from Justin Hill (Tedder Racing), who placed 9th after qualifying with a 3rd place podium finish in his heat race.


In the combined 250 ESX/WSX Showdown racing at New Jersey, Monster Energy racers were unable to make the podium, but did manage three top ten finishes in the extreme conditions. Haiden Deegan (Star Racing/Yamaha) led the Monster Energy charge in 6th place, with Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates Carson Mumford and Jo Shimoda placing 6th and 9th, respectively.


And opening the night program at MetLife, Monster Energy got podium finishes from Daxton Bennick (Star Racing/Yamaha) and Ryder DiFrancesco (Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) in SX Futures racing.


New Jersey SX

450 class results                                               250 WSX/ESX class results

2nd - Tomac (Monster/Star/Yamaha)               6th - Deegan (Monster/Star/Yamaha)

4th - Sexton (Monster/Honda)                         7th - Mumford (Monster/PC/Kawasaki)

9th – Justin Hill (Monster/Tedder)                   9th - Shimoda (Monster/PC/Kawasaki)


Overall Standings (14 of 17 rounds)

450 class                                                            250 WSX/ESX class

1st - Tomac, 315 points                                     2nd - Deegan, 149 points (ESX)

3rd - Sexton, 294 points                                    4th - Kitchen, 112 points (WSX)

6th - Anderson, 225                                           4th - Thrasher, 120 points (ESX)



Jason Anderson (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) was on it early in the qualifying and heat races, clocking the day’s fastest qualifying time (47.707) and winning the second heat race (ahead of 2nd place Sexton). … As Anderson got out of the main event gate slow off the start and ran into difficulty early (21st place at the end of the opening lap), Sexton blasted to the early lead with the holeshot. … Several corners into the opening lap Roczen was able to get past Sexton on the inside. Moments later Barcia tapped Sexton’s front wheel in a pass attempt in a right hand corner, which put Sexton down into the mud – seeing him go from 1st to 8th on a wild opening lap. … Tomac would benefit from the movement up front, kept his YZ on the rails and blasted through the finish line jump in 3rd place on the opening lap. … With full blown mudder conditions reigning at New Jersey, the race became a battle of survival and attrition from there, with Tomac being the most consistent of the Monster Energy racers. … Both Sexton and Anderson, along with Hill, who started in 19th place (out of 21 spots), would battle valiantly back through the pack, vision at near zero with the mud flying everywhere – burning up clutches and sticking to everything (including goggles). … As Sexton moved up to 4th, Hill got past Anderson (12th) and all the way up to a top ten 9th position. Tomac would benefit later from a Roczen miscue, and upped his podium place from 3rd to 2nd.



The big highlight in qualifying and heat racing for Monster Energy, and race fans in general, was Shimoda’s thrilling back-from-injury win over Hunter Lawrence (Honda) in the ESX Heat Race. … Off the main event start, Shimoda (9th) and Mumford (10th) were the only Monster Energy racers to put their bikes in the top ten after the opening lap as the remaining Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and Star Racing/Yamaha guys would be charging from behind to make up spots in the monsoon conditions. … Deegan would move up the most, battling from 11th up to 7th place at the race’s midway point, then up to 6th on Lap 9 (of 14). … With the water on the track pooling in areas, line selection was pretty wide open as riders took chances to move up positions. Both Mumford (7th) and Shimoda (9th) kept ‘er afloat so to speak, holding strong to their top ten positions. … Deegan would take a chance on a late pass attempt on Hunter Lawrence, who leads the ESX point chase (Deegan’s 2nd), but it didn’t come together and Deegan would have to settle for 6th.