Eli Tomac, Austin Forkner win Detroit Supercross

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Eli Tomac ratcheted up the drama in the third Main of the Triple Crown format in Round 8 of the Supercross season on his way to the overall win. He was forced to come from behind after riding off course briefly during Lap 1 of the final moto/

In the first two Mains, Tomac was unassailable. He charged from 11th to first with two laps remaining to win the first Main. He passed Cooper Webb for the lead in Main 2 on Lap 6 through the whoops and had a chance to sweep the 450 class by winning all three Mains in a Triple Crown for the first time in Supercross 450s history.

Like the first Main, Tomac got a terrible start in the third, however, and saw his chance for perfection fade away. He fell all the way to 14th at one point before mounting his charge. This time he was not able to get all the way to the front, but secured a sixth-place finish that was enough for the overall victory. This is Tomac’s second win of the season.

“What really got me in that moto was when I went off the track on lap two or three and almost took the tough block [out] and had to go around this double,” Tomac said on NBCSN after the final race. “It shuffled me back. I mean I was back in the beginning [of the race], but that really put me in the pressure cooker there. And I was like, ‘Am I really doing this right now?’ So I got my head back in it and made the charge back.”

Webb showed poise in securing the second-place position overall. He fell back in Main 1 to finish sixth. He lost the lead to Tomac early in Main 2, but held on to finish second overall. He won the third Main – knowing it was his only chance to win the overall. He lost by one point, but managed to hold onto the points lead.

“I tried to reinvent the wheel; change the whole bike,” Webb said afterward. “I just wasn’t riding like myself. Wasn’t focused like I should have been. Like the old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’ So I went back to original settings for the last [Main} and wouldn’t you know it? That was the best one.”

Chad Reed finished third, fifth and seventh to score third overall.

Ken Roczen (5-6-5) minimized his points deficiency to Webb with a fourth-place finish overall. With this result, he maintained his perfect record of top fives and held onto second in the standings.

Blake Baggett (4-11-2) rounded out the top five.

Complete Results
Points Standings

250s

Three 250 East races have resulted in only one winner.

Austin Forkner took his third straight win in dominant fashion over Jordan Smith. For the first time since Supercross has utilized the Triple Crown format in select events, a rider swept all three Mains.

“My starts were dialed all night,” Forkner told NBCSN after winning Main 3. “The last start was the best one I had all night and I knew I had it five feet out of the gate.”

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The real secret to his success? Pixy Stix. Yup, those little tubes of colored sugar that he downed between each Main. His crew credits them with boosting his energy level without putting enough sugar in his system to crash during the middle of the race.

Riding with a bone bruise in his wrist that he sustained last week in Arlington, Jordan Smith finished in the runner-up position in the first two Mains and was fourth in the third. That gave him eight points and the second-place finish.

Chase Sexton also swept the top five with results of fourth, fourth, and second to claim third overall. Sexton had a great start to the third Main and may have been able to catch Forkner if not for lapped traffic.

Justin Cooper stood on the podium in Main 1 and 3. He finished fifth in Main 2 to finish fourth overall.

Martin Davalos (5-7-5) rounded out the top five.

Complete Results
Points Standings

450 Main 1: Eli Tomac had to overcome a terrible start to chase down Justin Brayton. Tomac was 11th on Lap 1 while Brayton led the field after getting the holeshot. Tomac passed Brayton on the next-to-last lap for the Main 1 victory. … Chad Reed rounded out the top three with Blake Baggett in fourth. … The next highest finisher among the current title contenders was Ken Roczen in fifth. … Cooper Webb got the best start among the title contenders and was fourth on Lap 1, but he slipped to sixth at the checkers. … Marvin Musquin finished ninth.

450 Main 2: Eli Tomac charged through the whoops on Lap 6 and grabbed the lead from Cooper Webb. … After grabbing the holeshot, Webb stretched an advantage over the most of the field and held on for second. … The battle for third was a three-man scrum involving Joey Savatgy who nipped Marvin Musquin and Chad Reed at the checkers. … Ken Roczen got a bad start and fell to ninth on the first lap; he rebounded to finish sixth.

450 Main 3: Cooper Webb had a slow start to the evening, but he kept getting better with each Main. He took the lead on Lap 12. … Blake Baggett finished second after recovering from an off course excursion on Lap 8 when he was knocked wide by Justin Barcia – who also recovered to finish third. … Title contender Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac finished fourth through sixth.

450 Last Chance Qualifier: AJ Catanzaro grabbed the holeshot and held the lead to the checkers. … He beat Carlen Gardner by 1.810 seconds with Kyle Chisholm rounding out the top three. … The final transfer spot was decided as the clock wound down to zero; Ryan Breece elbowed Ronnie Stewart out of fourth.

250 Main 1: The only time Austin Forkner was challenged was during Lap 1. His battle with Jordon Smith soon resolved with Forkner in the lead, which he held until the checkers. … Riding with a sore wrist, Smith held on for second, but that position was hotly contested by Chase Sexton.  The two riders were handlebar-to-handlebar for most of the race until Sexton rode off track on the final lap. … Justin Cooper slipped past as Sexton dropped to fourth. … Martin Davalos rounded out the top five. … Forkner’s margin of victory in Main 1 was 10.080 seconds.

250 Main 2: One doesn’t get much TV time while running away from the field. Austin Forkner picked up at least a half second per lap after taking the lead on Lap 1 and beat Jordon Smith by 6.244 seconds. … Alex Martin took the last step of the podium. … Chase Sexton was able to stay on course through the end of this race and finished fourth. … Justin Cooper rounded out the top five. … Forkner’s average margin of victory so far was 8.162 seconds.

250 Main 3: Austin Forkner got the holeshot and led every lap on his way to a perfect evening. … He beat Chase Sexton by 2.945 seconds. … Justin Cooper stood on the bottom step of the podium to sweep the top three on the evening. … Jordon Smith and Martin Davalos rounded out the top five. … Forkner’s average margin of victory for the night was 6.423 seconds.

250 Last Chance Qualifier: Wilson Fleming took the win in the five-minute plus one lap sprint. … He beat Chase Marquier, Lorenzo Locurcio and Justin Thompson. … Locurcio passed Samuel Redman for fourth with 30 seconds on the clock before improving by one more spot for insurance. … Marshal Welton stuffed his wheel in a jump and collected Joey Crown before one lap was in the books; both riders finished in the back of the field off the lead lap.

Points Leaders

450s
Cooper Webb (173) (4 wins)
Ken Roczen (167)
Marvin Musquin (161)
Eli Tomac (160) (2 wins)
Dean Wilson (122)

250s West
Adam Cianciarulo (114 points) (3 wins)
Shane McElrath (106) (1)
Colt Nichols (104) (1)
Dylan Ferrandis (102)
RJ Hampshire (75)

250s East
Austin Forkner (78 points) (3 wins)
Jordon Smith (65)
Justin Cooper (63)
Chase Sexton (60)
Alex Martin (51)

Top 5s

450 top 5s
Ken Roczen: 8
Marvin Musquin: 6
Eli Tomac: 6
Cooper Webb: 6
Blake Baggett: 4
Dean Wilson: 2
Joey Savatgy: 2
Chad Reed: 2
Jason Anderson: 1
Justin Barcia: 1
Justin Bogle: 1
Justin Brayton: 1

250 West top 5s
Adam Cianciarulo: 5
Shane McElrath: 5
Colt Nichols: 4
RJ Hampshire: 3
Dylan Ferrandis: 3
James Decotis: 2
Jacob Hayes: 1
Garrett Marchbanks: 1
Jess Pettis: 1

250 East top 5s
Austin Forkner: 3
Jordon Smith: 3
Justin Cooper: 3
Chase Sexton: 3
Martin Davalos: 2
Alex Martin: 1

Next race: March 2, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona: Schedule, TV info, start times, entry lists, notable drivers, more

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The new year brings the start of a new era for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which will open the 2023 schedule with the 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

A new premier class for prototypes is the overriding story entering the 24-hour endurance race that unofficially kicks off the major-league racing season.

The new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) cars of the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) top category will re-establish a bridge to the 24 Hours of Le Mans while bringing a new layer of engine electrification to IMSA.

With at least a few of the cars on the grid at Daytona also slated to race at Le Mans in June, it’s possible for the first time in decades (since the “Ford vs. Ferrari” battles) to have the same car win the overall title at Daytona and Le Mans.

The GTP category will feature four manufacturers, two of which are new to IMSA’s premier division. Porsche Motorsport (with Team Penske) and BMW (with Rahal Letterman Lanigan) will be fielding LMDh prototypes, joining (now-defunct) DPi category holdovers Acura (Meyer Shank Racing, Wayne Taylor Racing) and Cadillac (Chip Ganassi Racing, Action Express Racing).

Here’s what else you need to know ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener Jan. 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway:


NOTABLE DRIVER ADDITIONS 

The Rolex 24 will feature 10 active drivers from the NTT IndyCar Series, including the IMSA debuts of Team Penske drivers Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who will be teamed in an LMP2 entry (teammate Will Power unfortunately had to withdraw from this debut).

Colton Herta will move into the GTP category with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud return with Meyer Shank Racing to defend their overall 2022 Rolex 24 victory. Scott Dixon also returns in the premier category with Chip Ganassi Racing for his 20th Rolex 24 start and third consecutive in the No. 01 Cadillac.

Other IndyCar drivers in the field: Romain Grosjean will make his debut in GTD Pro with Iron Lynx Racing (as a precursor to driving a GTP Lamborghini next year); Devlin DeFrancesco (Rick Ware Racing) and Rinus VeeKay (TDS Racing) are in LMP2; and Kyle Kirkwood will return in GTD with Vasser Sullivan.

Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric also will return, teaming with DeFrancesco in an LMP2 entry for Rick Ware Racing.


CAR COUNT

The Rolex 24 field was capped at 61 cars, matching last year’s field (which was the largest since 2014). The field was capped because of the space limitations for the LMDh cars of GTP in the pits and garages.

Click here for the official 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona entry list.


STARTING LINEUP

Tom Blomqvist captured the first pole position of the GTP era, qualifying defending race winner Meyer Shank Racing in first with the No. 60 ARX-06 Acura that he shares with Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

The No. 7 Porsche 963 of Porsche Penske Motorsports will start second.

Click here for the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona starting lineup


RACE BROADCAST

The 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona will be streamed across the NBC Sports AppNBCSports.com and Peacock, which will have coverage of the event from flag to flag.

Broadcast coverage of the race coverage will begin Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC and move to USA Network from 2:30-8 p.m. and then will be exclusively on Peacock and IMSA.TV from 8-10 p.m. Coverage will return to USA Network from 10 p.m. to midnight and then move to Peacock/IMSA.TV until 6 a.m.

From 6 a.m. until noon on Sunday, Jan. 29, Rolex 24 coverage will be available on USA Network. The conclusion of the Rolex 24 will run from noon through 2 p.m. on NBC.

HOW TO WATCH IMSA ON NBC SPORTS: Broadcast schedule for 2023

Other events that will be streamed on Peacock from Daytona during January (all times ET):

Jan. 21: IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge, 2:05 p.m.

Jan. 22: IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge, 12:20 p.m.

Jan. 22: IMSA Rolex 24 qualifying, 1:25 p.m.

Jan. 27: BMW Endurance Michelin Pilot Challenge, 1:45 p.m.


ROLEX 24 COVERAGE FROM NBC SPORTS

Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi take their storied rivalry to a new level at Daytona

Pfaff Motorsports returns to Rolex 24 in premier parking spot punching above its weight

Cadillac, Acura battle for top of the speed charts

Herta, Rahal team up with BMW in pursuit of overall win at Rolex 24

Wayne Taylor Racing takes a step up to the next level with Andretti Autosport

Austin Cindric seeks to join legendary club of Rolex 24-Daytona 500 winners

Helio Castroneves recalls “Days of Thunder” moment in 2022 Rolex 24 victory

The “Bus Bros” tackle the “Bus Stop” for Rolex 24 at Daytona debuts

Romain Grosjean adds Rolex 24 at Daytona to his crown jewel career

Tom Blomqvist beats the clock to win Rolex 24 at Daytona pole position

GTP cars make debut in “Gymkhana”-level traffic

Five things to watch in the new GTP class as a golden era of sports cars returns

Cadillac unveils paint schemes for LMDh cars

Austin Cindric, Devlin DeFrancesco, Pietro Fittipaldi teaming up in LMP2

IndyCar drivers in the 61st Rolex 24


ROLEX 24 DAILY SCHEDULE, START TIMES

Here’s a rundown of everything happening at Daytona International Speedway over the last two weeks in January, starting with the Roar test session. Rolex 24 start times and full schedule:

Wednesday, Jan. 18

7 a.m.: GTP garages open

4 p.m.: Non-GTP garages open

4 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship haulers load-in (park only)

6:30 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Thursday, Jan. 19

7 a.m.: Garages, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship haulers open

8:30 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection

10 a.m.: Rolex 24 Media Day

2 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge driver and team manager briefing

3 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver and team manager briefing

5:15 p.m.: Track walk

7:30 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Friday, Jan. 20

7 a.m.: Garages open

8:45-9:15 a.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge practice

9:30-10:45 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

1:45-2:15 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge practice

2:30-4 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

4:15-6 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice (GTD/LMP3/LMP2 4:15-5:45; 4:30-6: GTD Pro, GTP)

8 p.m.: Non-GTP garages close

9:30 p.m.: GTP garages close

Saturday, Jan. 21

7 a.m.: Garages open

8:40-9:15 a.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge qualifying

9:30-11 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

2:05-2:50 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, Race 1 (streaming on Peacock)

3:10 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

4:30-5:30 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

6:30-8:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

10 p.m.: Garages close

Sunday, Jan. 22

7 a.m.: Garages open

10:15-11:15 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

12:20-1:05 p.m.: VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, Race 2 (streaming on Peacock)

1:25-3 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 qualifying (streaming on Peacock)

8:30 p.m.: Garages close

Wednesday, Jan. 25

6 a.m.: Garages open

7:30-10 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection, non-GTP

8 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 load-in

10-11:30 a.m.: Track walk

10 a.m.-noon: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship car photos

11:30 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge team manager briefing

Noon: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team manager briefing

12:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship new driver briefing

Noon-2 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety and technical inspection, non-GTP

1:45-2:30 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

2:45-3:45 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

2:30-7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship safety inspection, GTP only

4-5:30 p.m.: Track walk

6:45 p.m.: Garages close

Thursday, Jan. 26

7 a.m.: Garages open

9-9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

9:45-10:45 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

11:05 a.m.-12:35 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:55-1:10 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 qualifying

2:25-3 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying

3:20-5:05 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice (3:20-5:05: GTD, LMP3, LMP2; 3:35-5:05: GTD Pro, GTP)

5:30-6:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

7:15-9 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

10:15 p.m.: Garages close

Friday, Jan. 27

7 a.m.: Garages open

9:25-9:55 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

10:15-11 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:30 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge driver and team manager briefing

11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

1:45-5:45 p.m.: BMW M Endurance Challenge at Daytona (Michelin Pilot Challenge; streaming on Peacock)

8:45 p.m.: Garages close

Saturday, Jan. 28

6:30 a.m.: Garages open

9:45 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver and team manager briefing

12:30-12:40 p.m.: Rolex 24 engine warmup

1:30-1:40 p.m.: Rolex 24 formation laps

1:40 p.m.: The 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona (starting on NBC; streaming flag to flag on Peacock)

Sunday, Jan. 29

1:40 p.m.: Finish of the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona

7:30 p.m.: Garages close