Eli Tomac won the first of three races on the infield at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Monster Energy Supercross Round 13 results show that he has firmly established himself as the speedway king. Tomac won his fifth Daytona International Speedway infield race last month to tie Ricky Carmichael for the most on that course.
Tomac’s third win of the season allowed him to narrow the gap to points’ leader Cooper Webb to 36 markers, but it may be too little, too late unless Webb makes a mistake. Still, after Ken Roczen swept the residency at Indianapolis and Webb swept both Orlando and Arlington, it was an achievement to put himself in a position where he could do the same thing in Atlanta.
It was almost a night for first time winners, however.
Aaron Plessinger jumped out to an early and comfortable lead until he crashed with seven minutes remaining on the clock.
Plessinger’s accident opened the door for Chase Sexton, who had moments earlier passed Webb. Sexton set off to find the checkers, but Tomac was slowly reeling him in. As the riders were rounding the final two corners, Sexton was stalled by a lapped rider and allowed Tomac to take the lead as the white flag was unfurled.
Sexton was pleased to score his first career podium in the 450 class even though he lost his chance for victory twice in 2021. Sexton was leading Houston 2 and pulling away when he crashed out of that event.
Webb got a good start, but never really found his rhythm. Once Sexton caught him, it took only a lap to get around.
“To gain points is always good on your bad days,” Webb told NBC’s Will Christian after the race.”
— Supercross LIVE! (@SupercrossLIVE) April 10, 2021
El Hombre, Jason Anderson, got mired in traffic early and had a huge deficit to erase. In the closing laps, he may have been the fastest rider in the field, but he was forced to settle for fourth.
Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.
And Plessinger? He lost his momentum after suffering his crash, which relegated him to sixth on the chart.
Marvin Musquin in seventh and Joey Savatgy in eighth were next in line.
Roczen’s late season slump continues. In this week’s preview, it was noted how rare it is for him to earn back-to-back podiums this late in the season. He was coming off a third and second at Arlington while still losing points to the winning rider Webb. Roczen lost even more ground with his ninth-place finish.
Justin Barcia completed the top 10.
Nate Thrasher might have felt the pressure of winning his first 250 race after previously scoring a best of ninth. If he did, it certainly didn’t show as his smooth trips around the track put the pressure on Garrett Marchbanks instead.
Thrasher became the fifth first-time winner of the season following Jett Lawrence in the Houston 2 race, Cameron Mcadoo on the infield course at Daytona International Speedway, Seth Hammaker in Arlington 1 and Hunter Lawrence in Arlington 2.
“I got a great start,” Thrasher told NBC Sports’ Daniel Blair. “I went through the LCQ unfortunately; I had a crash. I knew I had the speed tonight. The track was technical and I’m good at that stuff.
“It feels amazing. I just want to take it in tonight and come back Tuesday.”
Thrasher’s first win came in his sixth start, which ties him for the sixth-quickest to a 250 victory with 450 winner Tomac and Hunter Lawrence.
Justin Cooper struggled in his heat race. He went down on the opening lap and was forced to battle back through the field, but that may have taught him a lot about setting up the pass in difficult conditions.
Cooper rebounded to finish second, which allowed him to double his points’ lead from two to four markers over third-place Mcadoo.
Mcadoo was set to make up some points on the 250 West leader until he drifted right in one of the rhythm sections and slipped off course in the opening laps. Mcadoo was leading Cooper at the time.
The third points contender in 250 West did not fare as well.
Hunter Lawrence was swallowed up as the field narrowed into a single groove at the end of the starting stretch. One of the points contenders entering Atlanta, Lawrence buried his front tire and fell. Lawrence remounted dead last and was able to climb to only seventh at the checkers.
— Supercross LIVE! (@SupercrossLIVE) April 10, 2021
Seth Hammaker in fourth and Kyle Peters in fifth rounded out the top five.
Sixth through 10th were Mitchell Harrison, Lawrence, Jalek Swoll, Pierce Brown and Coty Schock.
Like the winner Thrasher, Brown was forced to make his way into the big show through the LCQ.
Next Up: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga. April 13.
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 1 AT HOUSTON: Justin Barcia, Christian Craig take early lead
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 2 AT HOUSTON: Eli Tomac closes gap, Jett Lawrence wins his first
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 3 AT HOUSTON: Ken Roczen earns one-point margin; Colt Nichols, Christian Craig share 250 lead
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 4 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen wins to extend points margin, Colt Nichols doubles down
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 5 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen makes it two in a row; Colt Nichols threepeats
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 6 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen continues to roll; Christian Craig stops Colt Nichols
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 7 AT ORLANDO: Cooper Webb gets second win as Jett Lawrence also doubles
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 8 AT ORLANDO: Cooper Webb wins again to close the gap on Ken Roczen
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 9 AT DAYTONA: Eli Tomac gets back in contention with fifth Daytona win
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 10 AT ARLINGTON: The Battle of words between Webb and Roczen ends with Webb win
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 11 AT ARLINGTON: Cooper Webb two-for-two in Arlington; Hunter Lawrence wins first 250
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 12 AT ARLINGTON: Cooper Webb gets second residency sweep with perfect Arlington effort