Eli Tomac of Cortez, racing for the first time since March 20, got a good start Saturday in the inaugural AMA Supercross at Atlanta Motor Speedway for a convincing victory that keeps him in contention to defend his title.
Tomac was sixth at the start as Aaron Plessinger won the holeshot and went to the lead. After one lap, Tomac was fourth, behind Plessinger, Cooper Webb and Chase Sexton.
However, Plessinger slid out in Lap 7 and crashed, giving Sexton the lead and Tomac, second place. Webb dropped to third.
Racing more than 3 seconds behind Sexton in Lap 8, Tomac outpaced the leader for three laps before posting his fastest lap of the race in Lap 10 to catch Sexton as the white flag came out in Lap 11. He then eased off the throttle for the final lap to win by 6.669 seconds. Sexton was second, and Webb grabbed the final place on the podium in third. Jason Anderson finished fourth after an eighth-place start, and Dylan Ferrandis capped a 14th-place start with a fifth-place finish.
Racing the main event on a wet and slick track, Tomac said patience was key.
“The track changed throughout the main,” Tomac said according to Cycle News. “I switched up the whoops and made up some time.”
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was sixth during timed qualifying laps, at 1 minute, 39.077 seconds. His fastest lap on a wet track during the main event was almost as fast, at 1:40.285.
Anderson, who ultimately finished fourth in the main event, posted the fastest lap, at 1:37.726. Sexton, Plessinger, Malcolm Stewart and Dean Wilson filled the top five.
Tomac won his qualifying heat, starting in third place and overtaking Stewart and Joey Savatgy for the win.
Anderson won the second heat after starting in third place. Plessinger and Ferrandis filled out the top three.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship series stays in Atlanta for two additional races, on April 13 and 17. The series wraps up with two races in Salt lake City, on April 24 and May 1.
This article was republished on April 11 to replace the photo with one of Eli Tomac.