Eli Tomac beats Ken Roczen to win Daytona for 4th time, take points lead


Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen entered Round 10 of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series tied in the points. Only one rider could leave Daytona International Speedway with the lead.

Tomac entered as the favorite and left with his fourth victory at Daytona and the points lead.

Roczen still had something to say about the matter, however.

Roczen, who leads the series in laps led at 82, held the top spot for the first 14 laps, but Tomac was up front when it mattered the most for his fifth victory of the season. He now leads Rozen by three points.

“Tonight it was a little bit of patience in the beginning because the pace was really hard early on,” Tomac said on NBCSN after the race. “Somewhere about halfway is where I realized I had to get going and make the moves and the passes. And Kenny was out front again. I’m like, ‘I cannot lose these points right now because this is my good track.’ I just had to pin it; hold it open and get to the front.”

Tomac once again suffered a bad start that left him mired in the pack. He battled outside the top five early with last week’s nemesis, Justin Barcia, and 2019 champion Cooper Webb. After getting around Barcia, Tomac and Webb sliced through the field nose to tail as they caught 2018 champion Jason Anderson.

While they battled for a spot on the podium, Roczen built a 9-second lead. but once Tomac settled into second, he set his sights on the leader and methodically chased him down.

With less than two minutes on the clock, Roczen bobbled in an off-camber turn. Tomac swerved hard left to get around the leader and powered through the next corner with the lead. He held it until the checkers.

Tomac’s fourth win at the World Center of Racing tied him with Jeff Stanton and Ryan Villopoto for second on the all-time Supercross win list at Daytona. The designer of the track, Ricky Carmichael, holds the record with five wins.

“After he passed me I followed him and we kind of yo-yoed a little bit,” Roczen said. “I really tried to put a hard one in that last lap because we were definitely close.”

The top three riders finished in order at Daytona with Webb third in the race and maintaining his third-place position in the standings.

“I just got beat flat out,” Webb said from the podium. “We’ll go back to the drawing board.”

Webb is 29 points behind Tomac. The most a rider can earn in a single race is 26.

The next two riders in the standings rounded out the top five. Anderson (fifth in points) finished fourth in the race. Fifth-place finisher Justin Barcia held onto his fourth-place position in the standings.

Garrett Marchbanks joined Travis Pastrana and Marvin Musquin as first-time winners at Daytona. Feld Entertainment Inc.

Garrett Marchbanks joined some heady company Saturday night. In 2000 Travis Pastrana won his first 250 race at Daytona. Marvin Musquin took his first win in 2013. In 2020: it was Marchbanks winning his first 250 Main on the same night that he won his first heat. More impressive still, he had to hold off last year’s champion and current points leader, Chase Sexton.

“I haven’t gotten a holeshot in I don’t know how long,” Marchbanks said. “Chase has been riding good all season long so far and I had to ride smart. … I knew he wasn’t going to give up. (I thought) don’t look back, just keep on going.”

The box score reveals Marchbanks led every lap, but Sexton did not make it easy. He pressured Marchbanks throughout the race, never falling behind by more than 2 seconds until the checkers waved. It was a two-man show as Marchbanks and Sexton finished 9 seconds ahead of third.

Sexton padded his points lead with his second-place finish. He was frustrated with how he ran all weekend, but in the end he took consolation in the fact that he extended his points lead to 10 over Shane McElrath.

“I’m going into Indianapolis, my home track, with the red plate and that’s all that matters,” Sexton said.

Coming off a disappointing 19th-place finish at Atlanta, Jeremy Martin earned his second podium in four races.

RJ Hampshire finished fourth but was able to gain only one point on McElrath in the bid for second in the standings.

Hampshire and the field had a much greater opportunity to make up ground on McElrath. He was embroiled in a Lap 1 incident with Jordon Smith that saw both riders hit the ground. McElrath made an aggressive pass on Smith. When Smith tried to retaliate in the next turn, McElrath laid over and took both riders down.

Smith limped off the track; McElrath regained his mount and climbed to fifth to minimize the points loss.


Heat 1: Ken Roczen followed and studied holeshot winner Aaron Plessinger for a couple of laps before commandeering the lead. Once in clean air, he built up a 3-second lead as Plessinger shifted gears to defend against teammate Justin Barcia. … Justin Brayton settled into fourth with Malcolm Stewart rounding out the top five. … Henry Miller took the final transfer spot in ninth.  | Heat 1 Results

Heat 2: Cooper Webb grabbed the early lead and listened to a furious battle developing behind him. For much of the race, he led Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac, but not by a wide margin with a total of two to 3 seconds separating them. Webb scored the win over Anderson in second and Tomac third. This is Webb’s first heat win of the season. … Vince Friese took fourth with Chad Reed fifth in what is scheduled to be his final Daytona Supercross. … Alex Ray took the final transfer spot. | Heat 2 Results

LCQ: Ryan Breece scooted out to an early lead and held his advantage over Martin Davalos. … Adam Enticknap led early, but slipped to third at the checkers. … The battle for the final transfer spot heated up on the last lap with Daniel Herrlein edging Ronnie Stewart and Alex Ray.  | LCQ Results


Heat 1: A big snarl in the first corner allowed Shane McElrath to open up a big lead. At the checkers, he was 11 seconds ahead of Jordon Smith. … Jordan Bailey came home third with one of last week’s most pleasant stories Jo Shimoda in fourth. … Carter Halpain rounded out the top five. … RJ Hampshire was one of the riders who hit the dirt in the first turn; he rebounded to finish sixth. … Enzo Lopes took the final transfer spot in ninth. | Heat 1 Results

Heat 2: It pays to get off to a good start because it puts a rider ahead of possible incidents. Another big accident erupted on the opening lap when Nick Gaines went down while riding in the top five. Garrett Marchbanks and Jeremy Martin were ahead of the incident and settled the lead between them. Marchbanks took the top spot; Martin was second. It was Marchbanks’ first career heat win. … Points leader Chase Sexton was involved in the Lap 1 accident but rebounded to finish third – albeit 17 seconds behind the lead pair. … Chase Marquier took fourth with Cedric Soubeyras rounding out the top five. … Justin Rodbell took the final transfer spot. | Heat 2 Results

LCQ: Jalek Swoll ran into trouble in his heat. He didn’t want to have to transfer through the LCQ on his home track, but will take consolation in the fact that it is his first LCQ win. … Grant Harlan finished 4 seconds back in second. … Pierce Brown had a more interesting race than he wanted. Halfway through he stalled his bike in the sand and fell while running second. He dropped to seventh but charged back to third to advance to the Main. … Dustin Winter grabbed the final transfer spot. | LCQ Results

Click here for 450 Main Results | Season Points
Click here for 250 Main Results | Season Points

Next race: March 14, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

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IndyCar champion Will Power completes ‘Victory Lap’ at ceremony in Indianapolis

Will Power Victory Lap
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment

INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power went on his “Victory Lap” last week to celebrate his second career championship as the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series champion.

It began with several media interviews in Monterey, California, the day after he won the championship with a third-place finish in the Sept. 11 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

From there, it was off to Los Angeles for more interviews and personal appearances that included a VIP Tour at the Petersen Automotive Museum, several appearances on SiriusXM and lunch at The Ivy, where the Team Penske IndyCar Series driver was treated to Wagyu Beef.

“It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life,” Power told NBCSports.com.

From L.A. back to Power’s North Carolina home, near Team Penske’s home base of Mooresville, there was one stop left on Sept. 17 — the Victory Lap Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, an invitation-only banquet where Power and his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet crew at Team Penske were honored for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship.

They didn’t even have to check into a hotel and spend another night on the road. Power and his team left on a Team Penske plane from the Statesville, N.C., airport at 4 p.m. ET Saturday to fly to Indianapolis. On arrival an hour later, a limo bus took the team to IMS.

Power led the 2022 season with five NTT P1 Awards for pole, earning the NTT P1 Award as the best qualifier of the season for the fifth time in his career. Power also made history with his 68th career pole, breaking the all-time mark held by the legendary Mario Andretti.

Power and Scott Dixon also became just two of only five drivers to complete every lap of every race in IndyCar Series history.

“What a year,” Power said as he was awarded his personal Astor Cup trophy (the second in his collection after the 2014 championship. “What a phenomenal year coming off one of my worst seasons personally. We came back with a vengeance.

“I want to thank Roger and Kathy Penske for everything they have done for me over the years. I wouldn’t be standing here and have the numbers I have without what Roger has done for me. I’m given a car every week that is capable of winning the pole, races, championships, and Indianapolis 500s. I’m so grateful for that.

“Also, to Greg Penske, you are there every week now at every event and I know we will be in good hands moving forward with the Penske Family.”

There are many on Power’s team and at home, that helped support Power throughout his career. None is bigger than Power’s wife, Liz, who told Power before the season that he would win the championship and break Andretti’s record.

“I must thank my wife. I’m so lucky to have a wife with that crystal ball that can tell me what is going to happen,” Power said. “I can’t think you enough, babe. I love you so much and you have been a big support to me my whole career. We’ve been together 17 years, and I’ve been in the series 17 years. She has been such a huge support to me. The mother of our child and she is a fantastic mother.

“She can’t tell the future. She just had faith in me.”

Liz Power’s premonition came true and that allowed Power and his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet team to celebrate Penske’s 17th IndyCar championship and 42nd title in the racing team’s history.

“The 12 crew this year, I’ve never had such a great group of guys,” Power said. “Trevor Lacasse (chief mechanic) is such a calm guy, but he does such a meticulous job on the preparation of the car. He is very, very good at keeping the whole crew happy. It feels as if there is no pressure on us. That’s a huge part in getting the most out of people. It was our first year together with you as a crew chief. What a great year to start our relationship.

“Dave Faustino (Power’s longtime engineer), we’ve worked together for 15 years. He’s almost like a wife to me, a partner … apart from sleeping together. We have a very good working relationship. Sorry Dave, I’m an awkward person and you are not.

“The things we have been through in our years together, it’s crazy that we continually improve and get better. We are standing on the podium after winning the championship and we are talking about the car, the race, and the tires. We weren’t talking about the championship.

“We never stop. The other boys were laughing at us, but I’m already thinking about next year.

“Ron Ruzewski (Team Penske IndyCar Managing Director and strategist) on the radio, always calm. He has actually made me a calm person. I rarely get upset on the radio anymore.”

Power also recognized the fans who helped boost attendance at many venues on the schedule this season as NBC Sports enjoyed its largest IndyCar audience yet.

“This series is growing,” Power said. “With open wheel racing now so popular because of Formula One, it’s really our time to push and put money behind it and go now and take IndyCar to another level because we have the best racing product in the world.

“I have to thank my teammates and (Team Penske president) Tim Cindric. I can’t tell you how hard we push each other. We are ultracompetitive and love each other and push each other hard, so thank you.”

Power won the championship by 16 points over hard-charging teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished second in the standings for the third year in a row.

“Overall, I’m filled with a lot of pride for our team and what we were able to do this year,” Newgarden said in his banquet address. “Any year that you step in the championship, you can easily see the challenges it presents everybody.

“It’s a very difficult challenge for the teams and drivers. To be a part of it, make it through it and for us at Team Penske, to topple it, is a very big deal. We’re all competitive.

“The tough thing about being in a championship fight, especially with teammates is we all want to be the best. That’s how it should be. We are competitive people and want to be the best. But it’s a team sport.

“Will, tremendous season, great, great job. I think the world of everybody on our team. It’s a big group. I’m so happy for all of you on the 12-car crew. There is so much we can take into next year.”

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was unable to attend the banquet because of the Goodwood Festival in England but sent congratulations to Power via a video message.

“I really want to congratulate Will Power,” Dixon said. “You drove a tremendous season this year. Even with some of the lows that you had, some of the mistakes with qualifying, you bounced back tremendously. I know how tough these championships are and to see you do it in the style that you did it in the last race of the season, massive congratulations.”

Power’s championship formula included one victory, nine podiums and 12 top-five finishes. Teammate Josef Newgarden was second in the championship with five wins but only six podiums.

Cindric saluted Power’s season in accepting the championship team owner award.

“Will, you took it to another level this year,” Cindric said. “You are the complete package. You completed every lap, had nine podiums, finished out of the top 10 just four times, broke Mario Andretti’s record, and you did it all without cussing at the officials on national TV.

“One complaint I do has is while most of us think you might be from another planet, you never told us your wife was a fortune teller.”

Cindric also honored the seasons of Penske drivers Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who won three times in his second full season (“You are one of only two full-time IndyCar drivers that has driven for us in the past 23 years that hasn’t won an Indy 500 or an IndyCar championship. Your time is coming.”).

Kyle Moyer was named team manager of the year (his fifth time and Penske’s sixth). Pennzoil presented Lacasse with the chief mechanic of the year for the first time, the sixth time for Team Penske. The No. 12 crew also won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for the most pit stop performance award points in 2022.

Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin delivered nine of Chevrolet’s series-leading 11 victories this season, helping Chevy win the Manufacturer Award for the seventh time since it returned to the series in 2012 and the first time since 2017. Jim Danahy, U.S. vice president, Competition Motorsports Engineering for Chevrolet, accepted the award on behalf of his team.

Christian Lundgaard was honored as the 2022 NTT IndyCar rookie of the year. Lundgaard, from Denmark, scored one podium, two top-five finishes and seven top-10s in the No. 30 Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He edged David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD by 18 points in the standings for first-year series drivers.

Christian Lundgaard (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

“It’s been a tough season and looking at how it panned out, we struggled so much at the beginning of the season and how we were able to turn it around means so much to me and the team,” Lundgaard said. “It’s the one thing that you only get one shot at. I’m happy to have it.

“Being the first Dane at the Indy 500 certainly helps. Competing here for me is quite important and also special. To win this award and to be here in future years means so much to me. I have a chance to compete for wins and championships.

“This team gave me this opportunity at this track one year ago. We came back and got redemption. We got our first podium here. This year was 40 years ago that Bobby Rahal won the same award. It’s pretty special to keep it among the team.”

Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist was honored as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion after a dominant season for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Lundqvist won a series-high five races in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry and clinched the Lights championship with a race to spare, ending with a 92-point advantage over Sting Ray Robb. HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing owners Henry and Daiva Malukas accepted the team championship.

“I’m very proud of that,” Lundqvist said. “It’s cool to see. We are starting to look to the future, and this might not be doing too bad. It’s been great. As most of you can guess with Henry and Daiva Malukas (team owners), it’s been an incredible journey. So much fun that we’ve had. To be on the grid this year was so much of a struggle for us. I didn’t even know I would be doing this until January.

“To be able to pull out the season that we had, I cannot thank this team enough. We will celebrate this for a long time. I’m so happy and proud about that.”

Outgoing IndyCar Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Geoffrey Billows also was honored as he is leaving that role while battling cancer.

“When I think of Dr. Billows, I think of two words,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “One is selfless and the other is tough. He’s gone through a lot these last couple of years, and he didn’t want anybody to know. He’s an amazing man, and we are very grateful for what you have done.”

Dr. Geoffrey Billows with IndyCar president Jay Frye (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

Billows was presented with a framed checkered flag signed by all drivers in the series as well as other IndyCar officials and dignitaries.

“I was not expecting this at all,” Billows said. “This means so much for me to be part of this family for the past 30 years. I’ve been presented with opportunities I never thought I would ever have. I can’t tell you how much I love all of you guys and care for all of you guys.

“Thank you so much. I want to also thank my wife, Tammy, who has been a pillar of strength as I continue on this journey with cancer for the past two years as well. You will still see me as a consultant because I love this too much to quit altogether.”

When the evening concluded, Team Penske boarded a bus to the airport for the short return flight to Statesville. They were home by midnight.

Power’s Victory Lap was complete.

“The best thing about this is I get to sleep in my own bed tonight,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500