The No. 3 sat atop the running order all day and night inside AT&T Stadium. He posted the fastest lap time inqualifying, cruised to a heat race win, and of course saved his best for last in the Main Event. Tomac’s Kawasaki hooked up out the gate and put him in position to race to the holeshot and establish an early gap on the field. Current points leader Jason Anderson, chasing a third straight win,gave pursuit to Tomac in second. However, Anderson’shopes of maintaining his healthy points lead took a bit of a hit when he went down on Lap 3 and dropped to seventh.
That gave Tomac all he needed to quickly establish an insurmountable advantage over Marvin Musquin. The No. 3 led the entirety of the 20-minute-plus-one-lap Main Event (20 laps) and took the checkered flag 5.6 seconds ahead of the Frenchman.
“Tonight was about finding the flow, feeling good on the bike, and on the track. The starts really did us good tonight. I got holeshots in the heat race and Main Event. Once we got going it was just about staying consistent. It was justme and the bike. It was a good day. I’ve always wanted to check off my box (with) a win in Dallas.”
The win comes after two weeks of terrible luck for Tomac. He sits just 10th in the championship standings, 70 points behind Anderson, who finished fourth. However, Tomacknows more than anyone that there are still 10 rounds remaining in a season that’s proven anything can happen in this sport.
“I feel like we’re where we’re always supposed to be[performance wise], but this season has been rough for us.It’s just dirt bike racing. You’ve got to deal with it. All you can do is charge forward and look ahead to that next weekend, and make it happen like we did tonight.”
Fellow Monster Energy athlete Cooper Webb also enjoyed a confidence-boosting outing in Dallas, earning his best result of the season for Monster Enegry/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing. Webb showed serious speed en route to posting the second-fastest time in qualifying, and took advantage of a good start in the Main Event. Following a lengthy and resilient battle with Cole Seely for a spot in the top five, Webb finished sixth and looks poised to get his sophomore season headed in the right direction.
Unfortunately, heartbreak struck for factory Yamaha’s other rider. Justin Barcia was off to a stellar start to the season, grabbing three podium finishes in six races, but suffered a broken bone in his hand after it was landed on during the heat race. Barcia tweeted that he will undergo surgery Monday. In addition to Barcia, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant missed out on the action as well. A tweet from the team after qualifying announced Grant would not participate in the night show due to a lower leg injury.
450SX Class Results
1. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki
2. Marvin Musquin, KTM
3. Blake Baggett, KTM
4. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna
5. Cole Seely, Honda
6. Cooper Webb, Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing
450SX Class Standings
1. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna – 160
2. Cole Seely, Honda – 124
3. Blake Baggett , KTM – 120
4. Marvin Musquin, KTM – 119
5. Weston Peick, Suzuki – 114
6. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing – 113
10. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 90
11. Cooper Webb, Monster Energy/Knich/Yamaha Factory Racing – 89
12. Josh Grant, Monster Energy Kawasaki – 83
Eastern Region 250SX Class
After winning each of their respective heat races, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo of Martin Davalos and Austin Forkner entered the opening Eastern Regional Championship Main Event with the momentum that could carry them to victory. Additionally, the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha tandem of DylanFerrandis and Colt Nichols were both coming off solid heat races of their own, establishing promising odds that a Monster Energy athlete would stand atop the podium at night’s end.
For Davalos and Ferrandis, their Main Event was over before they could even reach the first turn. Davalos’ Kawasaki appeared to carry the advantage out of the gate as the field approach the holeshot line, but another rider made heavy contact with the rear of Davalos’ bike, sending the Ecuadorian veteran across the mass of riders outside of him and igniting a melee that would also collect Ferrandis.
Nichols emerged in the best shape for the Monster Energy crew, completing the opening lap in seventh, while Forknerwas forced to recover from some misfortune of his own and started 14th. From there, the chase was on for both riders. Nichols stormed forward, breaking into podium position in just three laps, while Forkner had a tougher task to work through the field. The Kawasaki rider was patient and broke into the top 10 at the halfway point.
Nichols gained additional ground in the second half of the Main Event in pursuit of Zach Osborne. Nichols moved up to second shortly after Osborne passed RJ Hampshire for the lead, and kept him in sight throughout the remainder of the race. Nichols crossed the line 3.3 seconds behind Osborne to equal his career-best result.
The fact that Nichols was even on the gate in Dallas is a testament to his recovery from a broken arm suffered before the start of the season in December. The decision to give it a go in the East opener was a late one for Nichols, but it proved to be the right one.
“It’s unreal [to be on the podium]. It’s a blessing to just be here, it was such a last minute thing. I’ve only been on the bike for a few weeks. We really contemplated whether or not to show up, but I said I’ll [definitely] lose the championship if I’m not there. We decided to show up and give it our best, and that happened to be second place tonight. To leave this race on the podium is huge.”
Forkner showed tremendous resilience that could potentially pay big dividends in the big picture of the championship. He improved seven positions to earn a hard-fought seventh-place finish.
Nichols will enter next weekend’s race in Tampa just three points out of the points lead. Forkner is 10 points back.
East Region 250SX Class Results
1. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna
2. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha
3. Jimmy Decotis, Suzuki
4. RJ Hampshire, Honda
5. Jeremy Martin, Honda
7. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
19. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha
22. Martin Davalos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
East Regional 250SX Class Standings
1. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna – 26
2. Colt Nichols, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha – 23
3. Jimmy Decotis, Suzuki – 21
4. RJ Hampshire, Honda – 19
5. Jeremy Martin, Honda – 18
7. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 16
19. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha – 4
22. Martin Davalos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 1